One of the biggest events in the history of American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models just continues to get bigger. A total of 35 drivers have now officially filed their entries for the ACT Commonwealth Classic 65 at Virginia’s Richmond Raceway on Saturday, March 30. With nearly three weeks still left before the event, the potential is there for even more names to be added to the list by the time the haulers arrive in Virginia.
“The interest in this event from teams has already surpassed what we were hoping for,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “When we first agreed to be part of the Commonwealth Classic, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. The amount of entries we have speaks to how excited ACT Late Model teams are for the chance to race on this track – without spending a fortune to do so. We’re thankful to Tom Mayberry and the Pro All Star Series for giving us and our teams this opportunity.”
The latest round of entries includes even more names known to ACT Late Model and weekly racing fans in the Northeast. St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle threw his name into the mix at the end of February when he sent his entry in. “Le Grand” Laperle is one of the most prolific and popular drivers in the history of ACT, making him one to watch at Richmond.
A win for Laperle and the FRAMECO Racing team he is driving for would be big in more ways than one. The Quebec veteran is currently tied with Brian Hoar for the most victories in ACT-sanctioned Late Model events. His next win would be his 45th and would break that tie.
Two more strong weekly Late Model racers have also submitted their Commonwealth Classic entries. Rehoboth, MA’s Nicholas Johnson is the latest racer to commit to the event. Johnson was the 2018 Thompson Speedway Late Model Champion, meaning all of the track’s top-3 point drivers last year will be at Richmond. It also adds another family dynamic to the event as Johnson’s cousin Jake previously sent in an entry.
Wolcott, VT’s Marcel Gravel has also made the decision to travel south. Gravel is the official track record holder at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl, a record his set in qualifying for the 2017 Vermont Milk Bowl. He also captured his first Late Model win there last August. He will drive a second car that his team purchased over the winter while carrying his familiar #86VT.
There have been several surprises on the Richmond entry list, and the latest one is Barton, VT’s Blair Bessett. The veteran has spent decades racing on the NASCAR North Tour, ACT Pro Stock Tour, and in Thunder Road’s weekly Late Models and Flying Tigers. He will climb back behind the wheel in a car prepared by his friend Eric Johnson.
These drivers just the latest additions to an event that will feature a who’s-who for ACT Late Model racing’s past, present, and future. Former ACT Champions Laperle, Wayne Helliwell Jr., Joey Polewarcyk Jr., Nick Sweet, and Jonathan Bouvrette are all making the trip to Richmond. So are weekly track champions such as Johnson, Ryan Kuhn, and Jeff Marshall. Established ACT star Jimmy Hebert and rising standouts Rich Dubeau and Christopher Pelkey are on the entry list, as are father-son duo John and Stephen Donahue. Add in a large contingent of Quebec drivers and several new faces to ACT, and the event already has the makings of a classic.
The ACT Commonwealth Classic 65 on Saturday, March 30 is part of a huge day of action at Richmond Raceway. Almost $165,000 in total awards have been posted for a card that also includes the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models, Tour-type Modifieds, Mid Atlantic Street Stocks, and North East Mini Stock Tour. Qualifying begins at 1:00pm. Open practice is scheduled for 11:00am to 5:00pm on Friday, March 29.
2019 ACT Commonwealth Classic Entry List
CAR# DRIVER HOMETOWN TEAM
1 4NY Brandon Atkins AuSable Forks, NY Northline Utilities Dodge Charger
2 5MA Tommy Carey III Warwick, MA Brookside Equiment Sales/Lyon Auction Chevy Monte Carlo
3 6MA Nicholas Johnson Rehoboth, MA Propane Plus/Lins Propane Trucks Ford Fusion
4 9QC Mathieu Kingsbury Blainville, QC DuroKing/Dynamitage Piche Ford Fusion
5 10ME Jesse Switser Whitfield, NH Laflamme's Landscaping
6 13VT Boomer Morris Barre, VT K. Bellevance/Classic Auto Chevy Impala
7 15MA Jake Johnson Rehoboth, MA Daffodil's Gift Shop/Lin's Propane Trucks Chevy Monte Carlo
8 15NY Gerard Giordano Jr. Freeport, NY K-1 Logistics Chevy Impala
9 18QC Jean-Philippe Bergeron Saint-Donat, QC Prolon Controls/JC Perreault Chevy Impala
10 19NH Bryan Kruczek Newmarket, NH Little Webb's Fuel/Sunoco Chevy Camaro
11 20VT Blair Bessett Barton, VT Eric Johnson Ent./Sanborn Machine Chevy SS
12 21QC Alexandre Tardif Notre Dame des Pins, QC Gestion Roy Electrique Ford Fusion
13 22RI Mark Jenison Warwick, RI Jenison Motorsports Ford Mustang
14 26VT John Donahue Graniteville, VT Donahue Motorsports Chevy Monte Carlo
15 27NH Wayne Helliwell Jr. Dover, NH E Keys 4 Cars/Unique Ford Ford Fusion
16 28VT Stephen Donahue Graniteville, VT Donahue Motorsports Chevy Monte Carlo
17 29MA Joshua Hedges New Bedford, MA Chuckran Auto Parts/NLaro Photo Toyota
18 30NH Rich Dubeau Plainfield, NH Upper Valley Equipment Rental Toyota Camry
19 32NH Jeff Marshall Gilman, VT Knudson Salvage/Fadden Automotive Chevy Monte Carlo
20 37QC Marc Begin St-Philibert, QC Begin Auto Parts Chevy Impala
21 38VT Tyler Cahoon Danville, VT Berlin Optical Expressions/P&H Transportation Chevy Impala
22 40VT Nick Sweet Barre, VT Mansfield Heliflight Chevy Impala
23 41QC Jonathan Bouvrette Blainville, QC Globocam/DLGL Chevy
24 48QC Alex Guenette Terrebonne, QC Larue Industrial Snow Blower Chevy SS
25 58VT Jimmy Hebert Williamstown, VT Hebert Excavation/Lowrey's Auto Chevy SS
26 64VT Chris Pelkey Graniteville, VT Vermeer Chevy
27 72MA Ryan Kuhn East Bridgewater, MA Everetts Auto Parts/Berniers Liquors Chevy SS
28 72VT Scott Coburn Barre, VT Coburn Motorsports Chevy Impala
29 77MA Jimmy Linardy Malden, MA Kayem Hot Dogs Chevy SS
30 83QC Martin Goulet Jr. St. Calixte, QC Goulet Motorsport Chevy Impala SS
31 86VT Marcel J. Gravel Wolcott, VT Gravel Motorsports Toyota Camry
32 91QC Patrick Laperle St-Denis, QC FRAMECO Ford Fusion
33 97NH Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Hudson, NH Pole's Automotive/Headman Headers Ford Fusion
34 00MA TJ Moreshead Seekonk, MA T. Moreshead Landscaping/Miller Chiropractic Chevy Impala
35 04NH Shawn Swallow Lancaster, NH North Conway Incinerator/Central Paving Chevy Impala
as of 03.11.19