Some of the biggest stars of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) will be heading north of the border this Saturday, August 18. The Bacon Bowl 200 at Vallée-Jct., QC’s Autodrome Chaudiere is shaping up to be the biggest Late Model event of the year in Quebec and is expected to attract racers from throughout the province as well as the northeastern United States.
Colchester, VT’s Scott Payea and Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet, the two most recent ACT Late Model Tour champions, are among those who have committed to the high-profile event. The 200-lap affair will pay $10,000 CAD to the winner. With nearly $40,000 CAD in posted purse and point fund awards, it will be one of the richest events of the year for ACT-type Late Models.
Payea has had a superb season on U.S. soil with two wins and six podium finishes driving for RPM Motorsports. This record has given him a 41-point lead in the ACT Late Model Tour standings. Sweet has run a partial schedule in 2018, but finished third in the Summer Showdown Series opener at Oxford Plains Speedway. He will pilot a car from the Mad Dog Motorsports stable that Kyle Busch raced at Thunder Road in 2017.
“It’s going to be nice to get back in the seat,” Sweet said. “It’s a unique race that pays well. Chaudiere is a place that’s I’ve never had outstanding success at, but I like a challenge, and we’ll see if we can get in the show and have a good time.”
Payea and Sweet will be joined by a few other U.S. drivers in making the trek to Vallée-Jct. ACT rookie Christopher Pelkey of Barre, VT is another racer who has committed to the event. Pelkey has shown steady improvement throughout the season and also sits sixth in Thunder Road Late Model points. Thunder Road regular Mike Foster has also stated he will be heading to Chaudiere.
In addition to sporting a sizeable purse, the Bacon Bowl is also the finale of both the 2018 ACT Triple Crown and the Chaudiere Triple Crown. All drivers who make the trip to Chaudiere will combine their two best ACT Late Model Tour finishes so far this season with their finish in Saturday’s main event.
The top drivers in the final Triple Crown standings will receive cash bonuses. This includes a $2,000 USD award to the champion. Payea currently is tied for the ACT Triple Crown lead with Jimmy Hebert, while Sweet sits fourth in the standings, 14 points behind Payea.
The U.S. contingent will join the best Quebec racers in chasing the $10,000 CAD top prize. Multi-time ACT champion Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, QC leads the Chaudiere Triple Crown standings and will go for the title on Saturday. Former Série ACT champions Karl Allard and Dany Trépanier are also in the top-5 in Chaudiere Triple Crown points. The track’s weekly Late Model class is expected to be out in force as well.
Qualifying for the Bacon Bowl 200 gets underway at 4:00pm on Saturday, August 18 with group time trials for the ACT Late Models. Heat races for all divisions begin at 5:00pm. The Late Models will be joined by the NASCAR Sport Compact Amateur, Slingshot, and Vintage divisions. The pits open at 12:00pm and the front gates open at 2:00pm. Admission is $42 CAD (appx. $32 USD) for adults and free for kids ages 17 and under.