Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, NH wins the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. Leighton came from deep in the field starting 19th to become the first qualifier for the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The deciding battle of the race came on lap 130 when Leighton got by defending NH Governor’s Cup Champ Joey Pole of Hudson, NH. The two had to fight through heavy lap traffic due to a long green flag run from lap 52 to the finish.


Leighton said, “It’s a real honor to be the first qualifier for the New Hampshire Invitational. The Invitational is going to be a huge boost for the ACT series and attract tremendous regional exposure. And it’s great to be part of it.”


Rounding out the top five were Joey Pole, Scott Payea, Eddie MacDonald, and Quinny Welch. Coming home sixth was Ricky Wolf Jr., John Donahue, Wayne Helliwell Jr., Brian Hoar, followed by teammate Mike Olsen finishing in tenth.

ACT Tour

Pit Notes from Lee USA Speedway 4/19/09


  • Yesterday 45 cars took advantage of the two one-hour practice sessions at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. The practice served as a test and tune for today’s New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. As drivers shook off the rust from a long winter, they appeared to get comfortable and became racier as the day went on. There were few wrecks or issues throughout the day.
  • Among the fastest cars of the day was Lee regular Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, NH. He was fast right out of the trailer and spent the majority of his time on the high side of the track. Throughout the day non-Lee regulars attempted to mimic his line and find the fast way around.
  • Also near the top of the speed charts was five-time ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar in the #37 Rick Paya machine. Hoar has signed on for the full 2009 season after several years’ absence. Paya and Hoar will be a strong team as Paya has also won several Tour championships with his previous driver, Jean-Paul Cyr.
  • Tour full-timer Jeff Zuidema had a rough start to the season. His first practice session ended early when he broke a push rod. They pulled the motor at the track and trucked it to Dave McMaster’s shop about two hours away. The repair took four hours and the crew had it back at the track first thing this morning. They are currently re-installing the motor and should be ready in time for practice.
  • One of the two accidents of the day involved Pete Potvin on the first lap of the final practice. Potvin appeared to get loose coming off turn four before overcorrecting and hitting the wall nose first at the flag stand. He was able to drive away with no serious damage. The only casualty was his bumper, which had to be cut off and welded back on. He will be ready for today’s race.
  • The second incident of the day occurred when Joey Laquerre broke a tie rod and tangled with Travis Stearns. Stearns suffered only cosmetic damage while Laquerre’s only damage was the tie rod. This accident ended the day’s practice. Both Stearns and Laquerre are expected to be fixed before post time.
  • James Linardy also had some issues yesterday. They too had to pull the motor to make a repair. The problem has been fixed and they are ready to race.
  •  The anticipation is mounting for today’s New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 as the 45 or more drivers will battle for 30 qualifying spots.
  • Today the pit gate opens at 9 a.m., front gate opens at 10 a.m. Practice will begin at 12 noon with post time at 1 p.m. It is currently sunny with no clouds in the sky and no threat of rain for the day.

The Northeast Media have picked the ‘outlaw’, Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA to win the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 this weekend at the Lee USA Speedway.
The contest, conducted by the American Canadian Tour sanctioning body, (ACT) asked media from throughout the Northeast to send in their picks for those drivers they think will qualify for the inaugural ACT INVITATIONAL Late Model event to be held this September at New England’s only Super-Speedway, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS). 

ACT FORD Crate Motor Passes Initial Tests
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) has successfully completed the first two tests on a new Ford crate engine program. The tests were conducted at the White Mountain Motorsports Park in Lincoln, NH last week, and during a test and tune session at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, VT on Tuesday, April 14, 2009.
Veteran ACT driver Cris Michaud, of Williamstown, VT, along with his crew chief Kendell Legendre, was asked to do the testing. “It took a bit of work to convert our existing GM-equipped car to the Ford, but we managed to accomplish it. We were pretty happy with the first test, and yesterday at Thunder Road we felt we might be a little short on gear, but the FORD motor never skipped a beat. The times were certainly in line with what the GM crates average at White Mountain and Thunder Road”, said Legendre, who is a former Late Model racer at both facilities.

LEE USA SCHEDULE & Information
Forecast: Long term shows 60 and sunny Saturday
              Sunday partial sunshine…mid 50’s
             [Rain is not forecast until Monday at this time]
Saturday Schedule 
April 18, 2009
                            A FOUR-TIRE EVENT
·        Pits open (Late Models will pit in main pit area)
·        Tire compound open --- practice tires
                      NOTE:(LEE competitors are encouraged
                      to purchase practice tires from the
                      the Lee tire supplier)
·    Tech opens (preliminary safety check)
 Full Tech will be conducted on Sunday morning
·    Tire Draw for first round race tires maximum (4)
·    First round mounting and impound (tires will be released at 3:45 for ‘scuffing’ at final practice session and will be immediately returned to impound following practice.)
·        PRACTICE (schedule subject to change)
·        12:00 - 1:00 ACT Late Model practice
·        1:00 – 2:00 Divisional practices
·        2:15          Qualifying heats for support divisions
·        3:45 – 5:00 ACT Late Model final practice
(scuff session)
·         5:00 – Track Closed
(Haulers may be left in pits overnight)

50th Anniversary Celebrations at Thunder Road
Richard Petty, stock car racing’s all-time Champion, will appear at Barre’s Thunder Road as part of the track’s season-long 50th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday Night, July 30th. The 7-time National Champion, and record 7-time Daytona 500 mile winner, holds the record of 200 major wins in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His closest rival on that win list is David Pearson at 105, with Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison tied for third at 84.
Petty is considered the cornerstone of the sport’s popularity and growth. Thunder Road’s history parallels the Petty legend. The Level Cross, North Carolina native won his first race in 1960 on a half-mile dirt track in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Petty name still dominates the sport 17 years after he retired as a driver. Many consider his 27 wins--including 10 in a row in 1967--the greatest single season performance in NASCAR history.

50th Anniversary Celebration at Thunder Road


Three-time Daytona 500 mile stock car champion Bobby Allison will participate in the 50th anniversary celebration at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road this summer. Allison will make an appearance at the high-banked track on Thursday night June 18th.

Ken Squier, co-owner of Thunder Road said the announcement of Allison’s appearance was part of a year-long Thunder Road effort to recognize and honor great racing talent from the beginning of the Barre track’s history to today. "The track’s intention is to honor the greats from the 60’s to today, national stars and Thunder Road’s own greats. Actually we’re planning to present another NASCAR star driver for the future who will compete against Thunder Road regulars later this season," said Squier.

Goodyear ACT INVITATIONAL Test at NHMS Successful
Loudon, NH - Former American Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion Phil Scott of Middlesex, Vermont was the first American Canadian Tour driver in history to take laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Scott, along with veteran Donald Theetge of Quebec City, Quebec, conducted a successful two-day Goodyear tire test in preparation for the inaugural ACT INVITATIONAL to be held at NHMS on September 19, 2009 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup opening Chase weekend. 
ACT officials who were present at the test session also gained valuable information as they prepare for the event that will qualify 36 teams during the 2009 race season. Aero packages and brakes were a couple of concerns prior to the test session. Dean Gallison, the ACT Director of Competition was very satisfied with the results. “The aero packages on both cars were very different with regard to bracing and we didn’t seem to have any problems. The cars certainly appeared stable on the race track at speeds approaching 140 mph, and the report was that the brakes held up better than at some of the long fast short tracks that we run on. We will recommend a couple of things to help teams before we have our two-day test and tune session in August”, said Gallison. 

ACT Tour

“Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald Enters Season Opener at Lee USA Speedway


The 2009 season is shaping up to be the year of the “outlaw” on the ACT Tour. Leading the charge of the outlaws is Camping World East Series regular Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA, who will be at the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee (NH) USA Speedway.


MacDonald competed in four ACT Tour events in 2008. He finished in the top ten in all four of them and had an average finish of 4.5. One of his two second place finishes last year came in the season opener at Lee. MacDonald captured his only ACT Tour win at Oxford Plains (ME) Speedway in 2007.

Thunder Road 50th Anniversary
Thunder Road officials confirmed that two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart will be racing in the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 150, Thursday, June 25 as a part of the 50th Anniversary celebration season at Thunder Road International Speedbowl.
Stewart has long been regarded as one of the most versatile and accomplished stars of NASCAR stock car racing. A multi-time USAC open wheel sprint car racer in his early years, Stewart then went on to race in the Indianapolis Racing League. Stewart was the only rookie to sit on the pole of the Indianapolis 500. He joined the Joe Gibbs racing in 1997. Stewart won 33 NASCAR Cup races while racing for Gibbs.
Tom Curley, promoter and co-owner of Thunder Road said, “ Of all the people, in any form of racing, the one driver I wanted to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of Thunder Road was Tony Stewart. I have always thought that Tony Stewart represents what stock car racing is supposed to be about. He will definitely be coming to race, and that is what Thunder Road fans and competitors expect.
The CARQUEST Governor’s Cup will draw the best competitors from the American Canadian Tour (ACT) along with Thunder Road’s best Late Model teams. Earlier this year ACT gave a special event status to this year’s Governor’s Cup. It will be one of four specials designated as a ‘Qualifier’ for the September 19th ACT INVITATIONAL to be held on the NASCAR ‘Chase’ opening weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire in September. If Stewart wins the event, and elects to compete, NHMS will increase the starting field for this September’s INVITATIONAL.
Stewart said, “ Thunder Road has been on my list of short tracks I just had to race at in my career. I have heard so much about this track from so many different people around the country. Thanks to my friend Kenny Schrader for getting them to add some laps to the Governor’s Cup. From what he tells me the competition is tough and whoever wins needs all the laps he can get.” Stewart is the owner of the famous Eldora Speedway in Ohio. He is an avid supporter of short track racing.

A special commemorative 50th Anniversary – Tony Stewart Governor’s Cup ticket will be available at a discount price beginning at Thunder Road’s Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic double header over the May 23/24 weekend. The American Canadian Tour will be joining the True Value Modified Racing Series in a twin 100-lap event.
Ticket prices for the Carquest VT Governor’s Cup will be Adult - $17 in advance, Adult - $20 day of race, all kids (6-12) $3. Pits will open at 3 pm; front gates will open at 4 pm. Post time is 6 pm. Feature event post time is 8 pm.
For additional information contact the ACT office at 802.244.6963 or

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