The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) invades N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (WMMP) this Saturday, May 11 at 6:00pm for the 44th Caron Fabrication Spring Green 119. The event is big in more ways than one as the ACT Late Model Tour reaches the finale of its torrid 3-events-in-14-days start to the 2019 season.
Saturday’s event marks the return of the Spring Green to the ACT schedule. The event’s history goes back to 1974 at the former Catamount Stadium as part of the Northern NASCAR circuit. When NASCAR North and later ACT were founded, the Spring Green came along, and it will now be held at WMMP for the first time.
WMMP becomes the fifth track to host the Spring Green, joining Catamount, Quebec’s Sanair Super Speedway, New York’s Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway, and Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway. One of the event’s trademarks is adding one lap with each passing year to match the calendar, making the Spring Green 119 laps for 2019.
“The Spring Green is one of those fun events that truly signals the arrival of spring in the Northeast,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “Getting it back on the schedule was a priority this year, and when we decided to add a second event at WMMP, making it the Spring Green was a natural fit.”
“Having the event at a shorter track also changes the dynamics,” Michaud added. “The Spring Green has always been held at larger speedways, and by adding one more lap each year, it gradually shifted from a sprint-type race to a more long-distance affair. Moving it to the ¼-mile WMMP high banks brings back some of that sprint feel and should make for an action-filled night.”
This year’s Caron Fabrication Spring Green arrives just as the early-season dynamics have shifted dramatically. Perennial ACT frontrunner Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, VT now sits atop the standings following Sunday’s Community Bank N.A. 150 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Lebanon, NH’s Rich Dubeau is four points behind in second with Oxford winner Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, NH another four points back in third. All have been fast early and will try to continue their quick ways at WMMP.
What’s more noticeable for many fans is a name not in that group. The 2019 ACT title chase was shaken up on Sunday when two-time defending champion Scott Payea failed to qualify for the Community Bank N.A. 150. It is believed to be the first time since 2002, when Pete Fecteau failed to qualify for the Fall Foliage 200, that the defending ACT Champion did not make the main event.
As a result, Payea has fallen to seventh in the standings and will try to rebound on Saturday. In the meantime, the door has been opened for others to make a championship run. Veteran Chip Grenier and top rookie Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, VT now sit fourth and fifth overall after strong starts. Donahue is already a multi-time winner at WMMP in weekly competition, making Saturday’s event a prime opportunity for an early statement. Defending Rookie of the Year Dylan Payea of Milton, VT is sixth in the standings and ready to break into the top-five.
They’ll be joined by other top ACT Late Model racers from throughout the Northeast. A strong Canadian presence will be on hand once again, led by St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle. “Le Grande” will make his first point-counting start of the season at a track, like many, where he is a previous winner. He joins fellow Quebecers Jonathan Bouvrette, Mathieu Kingsbury, and Claude Leclerc, all of whom are on track for a full season with the ACT Late Model Tour.
Saturday’s Spring Green is also a point-counting event for the Foley Oil & Propane Late Models, meaning the track’s best weekly racers will take on the ACT invaders. Seven-time champion Quinny Welch of Groveton, NH has officially entered the event, and others such as four-time champion Stacy Cahoon, former winner Jesse Switser, and North East Mini Stock Tour Champion Cody LeBlanc are expected be on hand.
The ACT Late Model Tour rolls into White Mountain Motorsports Park this Saturday, May 11 at 6:00pm for the 44th Caron Fabrication Spring Green 119. The season-opener at WMMP also features the Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis, Dwarf Cars, and Dads 4 By Tool & Supply Kids Trucks. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
The day begins with the annual WMMP Car Show on the track from 10:00am-12:00pm. The Car Show is free for the public to attend. Practice for all divisions is scheduled from 1:00-5:00pm.