St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle came out on top of a thrilling battle with defending American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion Scott Payea during a final 4-lap sprint to win the Caron Fabrication 151 at Groveton, NH’s Speedway 51 on Saturday, June 2. It was Laperle’s 19th career ACT Late Model Tour victory, but first on U.S. soil in nearly eight years.
Laperle held a half-straightaway lead over Colchester, VT’s Payea in the final stages of the race. But a herd of lapped cars had allowed Payea to get to his bumper before Craig Bushey spun in turn four to bring out the caution on lap 147. Shawn Swallow then went for his own spin when the green flag dropped, bringing the field back together for the final shootout.
Payea put his nose up outside on the restart, leading laps 148 and 149. Laperle, though, found something extra in the tank, getting back in front as the field came to the white flag and holding on for the win.
Nottingham, NH’s Miles Chipman started on the pole and led the first eight laps before Au Sable Forks, NY’s Brandon Atkins swept underneath. Atkins then built up a lead only for Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert to reel him in.
After pressuring Atkins for more than 20 laps, Hebert dove to the inside entering turn 3 with 62 laps complete. The two then got together and both ended up hard in the turn-4 wall. The wreck also swept up top ACT point contender Eddie MacDonald and brought out the red flag. Atkins and Hebert were eliminated from the event while MacDonald was off the pace for the rest of the night.
Lebanon, NH’s Rich Dubeau inherited the lead for the restart. Although Dubeau was able to get away from Laperle initially, his car’s handling began to go away as the run went on. Entering turn 3 on lap 94, Laperle – who had started 11th on the grid – was able to get beneath Dubeau and take over the top spot.
Payea then took the second spot on lap 110 when Dubeau got sideways in lapped traffic. But by then, Laperle had rocketed out to the big lead. The two effectively paced each other until traffic again came into play, with the two late spins setting up the breathtaking finish.
With his second-place finish, Payea added a big chunk to his point lead thanks to Hebert and MacDonald’s misfortune. Dubeau hung on for third, matching his career-best ACT finish.
Defending Speedway 51 Champion Corey Mason notched his second straight 4th-place finish on the Tour followed by Mike Kenison in fifth. Russ Clark, Bushey, Swallow, Grenier, and rookie Dylan Payea completed the top-10.
ACT will be back in action at Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday, June 16. The second leg of the Summer Showdown Series will see another $5,000 top prize awarded to the winner. Post time is 5:00pm.
CARON FABRICATION 151
Pos Start Pos Driver Car # Hometown Laps
1. ( 11 ) Patrick Laperle ( 91QC ) , St-Denis, QC , 151 Laps
2. ( 10 ) Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Colchester, VT , 151 Laps
3. ( 7 ) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Lebanon, NH , 151 Laps
4. ( 6 ) Corey Mason ( 1NH ) , Groveton, NH , 151 Laps
5. ( 5 ) Mike Kension ( 3NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 151 Laps
6. ( 12 ) Russ Clark ( 55NH ) , Littleton, NH , 151 Laps
7. ( 9 ) Craig Bushey ( 15VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 151 Laps
8. ( 3 ) Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 151 Laps
9. ( 19 ) Chip Grenier ( 9VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 150 Laps
10. ( 13 ) #Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 150 Laps
11. ( 17 ) #Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Duxbury, VT , 150 Laps
12. ( 14 ) Eddie MacDonald ( 17MA ) , Rowley, MA , 150 Laps
13. ( 15 ) #Christopher Pelkey ( 41VT ) , South Barre, VT , 150 Laps
14. ( 16 ) Claude Leclerc ( 11QC ) , Lanoraie, QC , 150 Laps
15. ( 18 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Stark, NH , 150 Laps
16. ( 1 ) Miles Chipman ( 0NH ) , Nottingham, NH , 150 Laps
17. ( 21 ) #T.J. Moreshead ( 00MA ) , Seekonk, MA , 148 Laps
18. ( 20 ) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 148 Laps
19. ( 8 ) Brian Tagg ( 9MA ) , Oxford, MA , 146 Laps
20. ( 23 ) #Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Duxbury, VT , 141 Laps
21. ( 22 ) Remi Perreault ( 33QC ) , St. Paul de Joliette, QC , 92 Laps
22. ( 2 ) Brandon Atkins ( 4NY ) , Au Sable Forks, NY , 62 Laps
23. ( 4 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 62 Laps
Lap Leaders: Miles Chipman 1-8, Brandon Atkins 9-62, Rich Dubeau 63-93, Patrick Laperle 94-147, Scott Payea 148-149, Laperle 150-151. (5 lead changes among 5 drivers)
Time of Race: 1:10:30 Margin of Victory: 0.306 seconds
Cautions: 4 (laps 49, 62, 147, 147)
Heat Winners: Mike Kenison, Corey Mason, Rich Dubeau
Consi Winner: Shawn Swallow