ACT
Ford Blue Oval Cup Championship

Ford Blue Oval Cup Title on the Line at Riverside

While Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. decided the American Canadian Tour Championship a few weeks ago at Airborne Speedway in the Fall Foliage 200, but they have one more title to settle this weekend. The duo sit atop the Ford Blue Oval Cup Standings separated by just one point, Helliwell leads, heading into the final ACT-affiliated event at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, NH this weekend.

The Ford Blue Oval Cup Challenge is a season-long point system that awards competitors who use Ford’s S347JR engine in ACT series and approved affiliated track events. Competitors use their best 18 events in the Ford Blue Oval Standings. The 2013 championship team will receive $2,000 for their effort. Helliwell is a two-time Blue Oval Cup Champion and has been atop the standings for the majority of the 2013 season. Polewarczyk has earned the most wins for Ford this season with four, and his 5th place effort in the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road brought him within one point of the lead.


51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

Nick Sweet Takes First Milk Bowl Victory
Shawn Fleury and Bunker Hodgdon Earn Track Titles

Barre’s own Nick Sweet claimed his first career Milk Bowl in the 51st running of the People’s United Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Sunday, October 6. Consistency was the key for Sweet, who drove the St. J Auto Buick to segment finishes of 6th, 8th and 4th to win $10,000 in the season finale at Thunder Road.

Sweet began the final 50-lap segment in 17th, one spot behind 2013 Thunder Road champion Derrick O’Donnell, who entered the final round with lowest point total (11), and eight positions behind three-time Milk Bowl winner Brian Hoar.

 One lap into the final segment, O’Donnell’s bid came apart when he spun out after contact with Lance Allen and took a blow from Alex Labbe.

 On the restart, Hoar sat 9th with Sweet in 17th as a heavy mist came and went threatening to end the race early. Rain would have been a reprieve for O’Donnell, but through four more restarts and some pause for the weather, the race, and Sweet continued on.


51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

Quebec’s Alex Labbe Scores Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole Award

 Racing stateside is becoming very agreeable with 2013 Série ACT Runner-up Alex Labbe of St-Albert, QC.

One week after winning the ACT Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Park Speedway, the 20-year-old Canadian racer won the Booth Brothers/HP Hood pole award at Thunder Road and will start on the point in Sunday’s (October 6) 51st Peoples United Bank Milk Bowl. He became the first Quebec driver to earn the pole award and the $1,000 bonus since Patrick Laperle in 2002.

Labbe best 49 other ACT Late Model teams when he turned Saturday’s fastest lap (13.159) in qualifying. Three-time Milk Bowl winner Brian Hoar (13.206) will be his partner on the front row.

“This was my second time trying to qualify for the Milk Bowl,” the former go-kart racer said. “The first time, in 2010, I didn’t make it. I just wanted to get into the race, but the car felt really good. I practiced on older tires, but I went out on new tires for the time trial. In the 50-lap race, I let (Patrick) Laperle go. I want to keep my stuff for tomorrow.”

51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

Pit Notes: 51st Milk Bowl Practice

A total of 46 American Canadian Tour Late Models were in attendance at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT for Friday’s (October 4) practice session in anticipation of the 51st People’s United Bank Milk Bowl. Practice was delayed and started around 1:30pm due to some showers. The session was extended until 6:00pm to give teams time to get comfortable on the new American Racer tires.

A diverse group of competitors ran near the top of the speed charts all day. Former Milk Bowl Champions Jean-Paul Cyr, Brent Dragon, Brian Hoar, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Cris Michaud and Dave Pembroke were among them. Several drivers looking for their first career Milk Bowl wins also turned quick laps, including Chip Grenier, Trampas Demers, 2013 Thunder Road Champion Derrick O’Donnell, Cody Blake, Nick Sweet and Stacy Cahoon. A contingent of Quebec stars was also quick in the practice sessions. Alex Labbe and three-time Milk Bowl Champion Patrick Laperle led the way with Jonathan Bouvrette and Stephane Descoste not far behind.

51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

ACT Young Stars Ready to Spoil Milk Bowl for Veterans

The American Canadian Tour (ACT) young stars heading to the 51st Peoples United Bank Milk Bowl has a list deep in numbers and talent. Looking for first wins in what is arguably one of the most famous short track races in the country, first time winners include young local and young touring stars from throughout New England and Quebec.

Thunder Road hopefuls who have not held up the Milk Can are led by two-time ‘King of the Road’ Nick Sweet. Sweet is the home-town kid who made Thunder Road his own playground, coming up through the ranks of 4-cyl racing, then graduating to the intermediate Limited Late Model Tiger Sportsman division. He is always a favorite to win at his home track in any event. “I guess I would like to win this race as much as any I have ever been in. I almost won at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s ACT Invitational a couple years ago. I’ve done well and been in a position for a win a couple times at the Oxford 250, and have been lucky to have won a few of Thunder Road’s big ACT events, but I am still missing the biggest one!. Maybe this is my year,” said Sweet.

51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

NINE (9) MILK BOWL CHAMPIONS TO COMPETE IN 51ST EDITION                                     

The Peoples United Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Sunday, October 6, 2013 will welcome back nine (9) former champions of the prestigious event, billed as the ‘toughest short track race in North America’. Between the nine former champions who will compete in the 51st running of the Milk Bowl is a group of champions who have earned the right to lift the legendary milk can 15 times.

Eight (8) time ACT Champion Brian Hoar from Williston, VT and four (4) time ACT Champion Patrick Laperle (three Série ACT and one US title) each have won the race three (3) times and will be looking to tie Robbie Crouch’s record of four (4) Milk Bowl victories. “It really is unique in racing. First, it’s not 150 or 200 laps of straight racing. Next, it is Thunder Road, which is a challenge in any race, and finally, there are going to be 20-plus ‘regular weekly’ Thunder Road teams who race 50-lap segments every Thursday night. All these factors make it a very tough race. I love it. It is old-fashioned, get-up-on-the-wheel, hold-your-breath and hang on,” said Hoar.


51st People's United Bank Milk Bowl

Laperle and MacDonald Enter 51st Milk Bowl

ACT Champion Helliwell Withdraws Entry

 Quebec’s Patrick Laperle and the “Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald from Rowley, MA are the latest entries in the 51st Peoples United Bank Milk Bowl, to be held at Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, 2013.

Newly crowned ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. from Dover, NH and his Bruce Bernhardt team have withdrawn their entry from the event. “Our sponsor backed out so we don’t have the money to make the Milk Bowl weekend,” the 2013 Champion said.

Laperle is a three-time winner of the ‘toughest short track’ race in North America and will seek his 4th win in the fall classic on Sunday, October 6, 2013. When the hard charging three time Série ACT and 2008 ACT US Champion was asked why he was coming to this year’s Milk Bowl, Laperle said, “The money! Ten Thousand ($10,000.00) to win is a lot of money. I am excited to try out the new American Racer tire too.”

LABBE WINS ACT FALL FOLIAGE 200

HELLIWELL WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE ACT CHAMPIONSHIP BY 16 POINTS

Alex Labbe of St. Albert, Quebec won the 39th annual American Canadian Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY on Sunday, September 28, 2013.  Labbe became the spoiler in the season-long championship title bout between defending Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of Dover, NH and contender Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH.  Polewarczyk took the lead on lap 34 and led the most laps, held off numerous challenges from Labbe until lap 186 when the fourth and final caution of the day flew for a major wreck involving Helliwell, Jonathan Bouvrette, and shuffled many cars, including Polewarczyk. 

Labbe led the final 16 laps, while Polewarczyk had to contend with a hard-charging Brian Hoar for 2nd place.  Helliwell pitted after the 186 damage, and nursed his car to finish as the last car on the lead lap, finishing ninth (9th), and his pre-race 41-point lead ended up unofficially at 16 points securing his second ACT Championship.

Brian Hoar finished 3rd, 3-time Airborne Champion Brent Dragon finished 4th, and Steuben, Maine’s Rowland Robinson, Jr. had a career-best finish, rounding out the top 5.

ACT competitors will next return for the 51st running of the People’s United Bank Milk Bowl which will take place next weekend, October 5th and 6th, 2013 at the home track of the American Canadian Tour, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, in Barre, VT.

 


American Racer Debuts at Milk Bowl

American Racer Tire Debuts at 2013 Milk Bowl

 One of the country’s most unique events, billed as the ‘toughest short track race in America’, Thunder Road’s Milk Bowl just got tougher. The American Canadian Tour recently announced that they will be making a tire change for the first time in nearly a decade. The American Racer tire will become the tire of choice beginning in 2014 for the large network of weekly tracks and the two popular touring series sanctioned by ACT. The season-ending 51st Milk Bowl will unveil the new product for use in the Fall classic the weekend of October 4-6, 2013.

“We have spent the entire summer developing and testing a tire to serve our needs for future years. American Racer has done an outstanding job of getting us exactly what we asked for to replace our current brand of Late Model tires. We have full confidence that the teams will be enthusiastic about the new tire that was developed and ‘rolling’ it out at Thunder Road’s most historic event should let everyone know how confident we are about this product”, said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour and Promoter of Thunder Road International Speedbowl.

ACT Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne

ACT Champion to be Crowned in Fall Foliage 200

The American Canadian Tour rolls into Airborne Speedway this Saturday, September 28 for the Fall Foliage 200 season finale. The 2013 ACT Championship battle has been narrowed down to three contenders. Defending ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. leads the way over Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. and Jimmy Hebert, who are both eager to take home their first championship title.

Helliwell and his E-Keys 4 Cars Ford claimed the 2012 ACT Championship with a win in the Fall Foliage 200 last season. This year he has to fend off Hudson, NH’s Polewarczyk, who claimed the biggest win of 2013 in the ACT International 500 at Airborne back in July. Breakout star, Hebert is also in the mix with two ACT wins of his own already this year.

All three drivers are coming off solid performances in the Bond Auto ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Saturday (September 21). Helliwell came home second after contending for the win with eventual winner Eddie MacDonald and Brian Hoar. Polewarczyk drove his Pole’s Automotive Ford from 22nd to finish fifth, while Hebert earned 15th.