February is always a good month. In February we pass the ½ way mark of the winter season. Generally by now everyone has pretty much had time to hunt, vacation, attend banquets and either celebrate a great past season, or in some cases, forget about what is past and look with optimism toward the coming season.
Each February signals Daytona and the ‘unofficial’ beginning of the coming race season. Just the idea of seeing some racing after four or five months without it is enough to get the enthusiasm going. In an attempt to enter the 21st Century here at ACT and Thunder Road, I am going to try and write you some thoughts each season and post it on the ACT/TR internet site for a few days. Obviously, the winter quarter is the season of great expectation. Most race teams start looking forward to the Spring and a chance to ‘start over’ for another season. All of us pretty much do the same, although this has been a very, very busy ‘off season’ for us here at the ACT/TR office.

ACT, Thunder Road Announce 2009 Schedule Changes
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road offices announced today final changes to their 2009 schedules.
The New Hampshire Motor Speedway has confirmed Saturday, September 19, 2009 for the inaugural ACT Invitational at the Northeast’s only super speedway.

Thirty-six of the best Late Model race teams in the Northeast and Canada will be invited to participate over the Fall NASCAR weekend at NHMS in this $65,000.00 event. Approved qualifiers will come from all 2009 ACT Tour events in the US; all the winners on the very successful Sërie ACT Castrol throughout Quebec; and additional invitations will be available to teams from ACT rules-affiliate tracks including champions from Thunder Road Speebowl (Barre, VT), Oxford Plains Speedway (Oxford, ME), Lee USA Speedway (Lee, NH), White Mountain Motorsports Park (Lincoln, NH) Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, MA), Waterford Speedbowl (Waterford, CT), Twin State Speedway (Claremont, NH), Kawartha Down Speedway (Peterborough, ON) and Capital City Speedway (Ottawa, ON). Additional non-point events will also award winners with invitations to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway which include the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway on July 19, 2009, the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on June 25, 2009, and the Showdown at Chaudiere All Star Race at Valle Junction, QC being held on August 29, 2009.

ACT Invitational Joins a Super September Saturday Line-Up at NHMS

LOUDON, N.H. (January 14, 2009) - New Hampshire Motor Speedway announced today that the inaugural American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Invitational will be run on Saturday, September 19 at approximately 5:30 p.m.

The stars of the ACT and the Canadian Série ACT-Castrol will get their first superspeedway experience after the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New Hampshire 100 and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series New Hampshire 200 races.

The ACT Invitational will have a purse of more than $65,000 for invited and approved teams that attend this historic, groundbreaking Late Model stock car racing event.

"This is an incredible day of racing for our fans," said New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice-president and general manager Jerry Gappens. "The Invitational is a great addition to our already strong Saturday schedule. I really appreciate NASCAR's Mike Helton and his team for working with us to add this event to an already jam-packed schedule. For my money, this Saturday lineup will feature the most exciting, competitive and diverse dayof racing in all of motorsports."The ACT Invitational race will be a 50-lap all-star event with 36 starters.Each 2009 race winner up to the running of the Invitational on the

U.S.-based ACT Late Model Tour and the Québec/Ontario-based SérieACT-Castrol will be awarded a guaranteed starting spot and a $500 bonus for each win contingent upon participation at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway event.

Laperle, Dragon, Williams Honored at ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions

American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model driver Patrick Laperle from Montreal was honored as a first time winner of the United States ACT Championship at the annual Banquet of Champions on Saturday night at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in South Burlington, VT. Over 500 teams and fans celebrated with Laperle, as he became the first Canadian driver to win the ACT title since Jr. Hanley took the honors in 1995. Laperle is the first Quebec driver to ever win the US championship. Laperle won the ACT Canadian Serie Castrol championship in 2007. Laperle beat Milton, Vermont driver Scott Payea for the 2008 US title by a single point in the final race of the year. He had to win his third Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road last fall to win the ACT title.

            The 40th winner of the prestigious MacTavish Award was given to Milton, Vermont’s Brent Dragon. The award named for legendary New England racer Don MacTavish, who lost his life racing at the Daytona Int’l Speedway in 1969, made Dragon the third member of the first family of racing in Vermont to be honored with receiving the MacTavish, following wins by his father Harmon “Beaver’ Dragon in 1979, and uncle Bobby Dragon in 1983.

            Thunder Road International Speedbowl crowned Hyde Park, VT’s Eric Williams the 2008 ‘King of the Road’. Williams had previously won titles in the ACT NAPA Sportsman division at both Airborne Speedway and Thunder Road. Williams captured the 2008 Late Model crown on the final race of the year by only 3 points over multi time track champion from Montpelier VT, Phil Scott.

Moody inducts Tom Curley into NEAR Hall of Fame

Skip Barber, a five-time national champion sports car racer and the present owner/operator of Lime Rock Park, heads up an impressive list of presenters at the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Sunday Jan. 25 at LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT.


A one-time Formula 1 competitor, Barber is the perfect choice to induct Northeast Connecticut neighbor John Fitch. A racer of international acclaim, Fitch’s accomplishments also include design work on the original Lime Rock.


Harvard educated, Barber’s resume includes success in Formula Ford, Formula 5000 and GT cars. His driver’s school is among the best in the world.


Airborne Speedway Redesigned, Fall Foliage 300 Returns to ACT Schedule

PLATTSBURGH, NY – Airborne Speedway Promoter Mike Perrotte has announced plans for a major renovation of the historic Plattsburgh, NY stock car track, including a total reconfiguration of the racing surface and layout for the 2009 racing season. As a result, the track has added a second American-Canadian Tour Late Model Championship event, the storied Fall Foliage 300, to its 2009 schedule.
The addition of the race brings the ACT schedule to 13 championship events, and compliments the annual Spring Green 100 at Airborne on May 9. The 38th Annual Fall Foliage 300 will be held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009. The 300-lap distance will also be the first of its kind for the present-day ACT Late Model Tour.
Airborne Speedway’s 4/10-mile, D-shaped layout will be partially razed to allow construction of new, sweeping, progressively-banked corners, creating multiple racing grooves and closer competition. The present layout has been in use since 1990. Previously, Airborne Speedway had been a 5/8-mile track with both dirt and asphalt surfaces since 1954.

2009 ACT Tour Schedule





1. Sun., Apr 19 – Lee USA Speedway – Lee, NH – 150 laps
2. Sun., May 03 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150 laps
3. Sat., May 09 – Airborne Speedway – Plattsburgh, NY – 100 laps
4. Sun., May 17 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 150 laps
5. Sun., May 24 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 100 laps
6. Sat., Jun 13 – Waterford Speedbowl – Waterford, CT – 100 laps
*** Thu., Jun 25 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150 laps
7. Sat., Jun 27 – White Mountain Motorsports Park – North Woodstock, NH – 150 laps
8. Sun., Jul 12 – Kawartha Speedway – Fraserville, ON (Peterborough) – 200 laps
*** Sun., Jul 19 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 250 laps
9. Sat., Jul 25 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME (Portland) – 150 laps
10. Fri., Jul 31 – Twin State Speedway – Claremont, NH – 100 laps
*** Sat., Aug 29 – Autodrome Chaudière – Vallée-Jonction, QC – 200 laps
11. Sun., Sep 06 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 200 laps
12. Sun., Sep 13 - Airborne Speedway - Plattsburgh, NY - 300 laps
*** Sat, Sep 19   – New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH – 50 laps
*** Sat./Sun., Sep 26/27 – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – 150 laps
13. Sun., Oct 11 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME – 150 laps
*** – denotes non-championship (non-points) events
Schedule subject to change

Banquet of Champions Information

When: Saturday, January 10, 2009 – Social Hour at 6:00pm, Dinner at 7:00pm

Where: Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center, South Burlington, VT

Dress Code: Semi-Formal – no jeans, t-shirts, or ball caps

Tickets: Please contact the ACT/Thunder Road office at (802) 244-6963 to request ticket order forms.  Tickets are $38.00 each.  DEADLINE – THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2009.  Reservations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis, according to availability.  NO reservations will be accepted without payment, and reservations are subject to immediate cancellation if payment is not honored by the bank.  Reservations WILL NOT be accepted over the phone, and NO TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR – YOU MUST PURCHASE YOUR TICKET IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO ATTEND THIS EVENT – TICKETS ARE REQUIRED FOR ATTENDANCE.  For planning purposes, seating is assigned and tables are arranged in rounds of 10 persons per table.

Rooms: If you wish to reserve overnight guest rooms, please contact the Sheraton before December 10 to receive a special rate of $82.00 per room.  Call 1-800-325-3535 and request the ACT Room Block.

American-Canadian Tour 2009 Schedule to Test Race Teams

Exciting changes have been announced for the 2009 American-Canadian Tour Late Model Championship stock car racing schedule.  The 12-event calendar will put the Northeast’s premier Late Model touring series race teams to the test, bringing them to championship races at nine vastly different tracks in the United States and Canada, with an additional five “bonus” events at four tracks, including the division’s first superspeedway race at the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The series begins its 18th season at the 3/8-mile Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH on Sunday, April 19, with the race distance increased from 100 laps in 2008 to 150 for 2009.  The second event is the Merchants Bank 150 at the 1/4-mile Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl bullring in Barre, VT on Sunday, May 3.  The Airborne Speedway half-mile in Plattsburgh, NY hosts the 35th Annual Spring Green 100 on Saturday, May 9, with Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway holding the first of its two 150-lap races on Sunday, May 17.  The ACT Late Model Tour returns to Thunder Road on Sunday, May 24 for the 47th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, a Twin 100 doubleheader with the open-wheel True Value Modified Racing Series.

The historic, 3/8-mile Waterford Speedbowl on the Connecticut shoreline will return to the ACT schedule on Saturday, June 13 for a 100-lap event, and the scenic White Mountain Motorsports Park 1/4-mile in North Woodstock, NH will hold its annual 150-lap race on Saturday, June 27.  Ontario’s Kawartha Speedway, a state-of-the-art, 4/10-mile oval near the city of Peterborough, will host the Summer Sizzler 200 on Sunday, July 12.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Host ACT Invitational in 2009

Late Model stock car drivers will get their first super-speedway experience next year, as the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH hosts the inaugural American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Invitational on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 weekend, September 18-20, 2009.  The ACT/NHMS event will have a purse of more than $65,000 for invited and approved teams that attend the historic, groundbreaking event for Late Model stock car racing.

“New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been looking for a way to support the short track industry throughout the Northeast and Québec/Ontario markets.  ACT offers the perfect conduit to help us meet our marketing goal,” said NHMS Vice President and General Manager Jerry Gappens.

“New Hampshire Motor Speedway is giving short track fans and teams throughout the Northeast and Canada a wonderful opportunity,” said ACT President Tom Curley.

The ACT Invitational race will be a 50-lap all-star event with 36 starters.  Each 2009 race winner on the U.S.-based ACT Late Model Tour and the Québec/Ontario-based Série ACT-Castrol as of Sept. 18, 2009 will be awarded a guaranteed starting spot at NHMS, along with a $500 bonus for each win, contingent upon participation at the NHMS event.

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