Many of the long time race chasers in the Northeast have talked about the big half-mile at New Smyrna Speedway (NSS) in Florida being just like an extra-large Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. If that is an accurate assumption, then one former Rookie-of-the-Year and two veterans from the American Canadian Tour (ACT) will have an edge going into the February trip to Florida at the “World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing”. The American Racer Challenge Cup will post $35,000 for teams from throughout the Northeast and Eastern Canada on Monday and Tuesday, February 16 and 17, 2015 in a unique twin 100 lap event over the two days.
Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, VT was the 2012 ACT Rookie of the Year. In 2013, Hebert shocked the short track racing community with a dramatic first ACT win on opening day at the Lee USA Speedway in the traditional April ACT opener, the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150.
“Well I have to thank Dale Shaw for helping with that win. He kind of helped guide our new team that day, and really helped me keep my cool during the race. It was a real thrill to see my dad running up the race track on my victory lap. I’ll never forget it. We didn’t even have an ACT Late Model team when the first trip to NSS took place, but this is going to be a great way to start our 2015 season. If NSS is anything close to Lee, I think we might have a great two days of racing,” said Hebert.
Two of the region’s very best short track racers, two-time ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, NH, and “The Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA will return to the American Racer Challenge Cup. In 2011, Helliwell finished two points from winning the Cup, in fourth position, and Eddie MacDonald, with only a few ACT races under his belt, a new untested car, and by his own admission struggling, managed a 7th place overall finish.
MacDonald is coming off a 2014 opening day win at Lee USA Speedway. Noted New England crew-chief Rollie Lachance achieved a personal goal in October when the 17MA team won the last ACT race of the season at the 52nd Milk Bowl at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT. There is plenty of momentum going for the Freddy Petersen-owned team heading to the American Racer Challenge Cup at New Smyrna.
“We had a good time at New Smyrna in 2011, although the end results were disappointing. We have gotten far more competitive with our ACT Late Model over the past couple of years. We are looking forward to heading south in February”, said MacDonald.
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. is a two-time American Canadian Tour Champion. He also owns multiple championships at Lee USA Speedway. In his three years of full-time competition on the ACT US, he has finished second (to 8 time champion Brian Hoar)in 2011, and first in 2012, and first again in 2013. The Bruce Bernhardt team also has some momentum, winning the Bond Auto ACT Invitational at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September. Helliwell is a threat to win in any type car at any type track in the Northeast. He has to be considered a favorite for the New Smyrna overall win.
There will be winners in each of the two 100 lap feature events over two nights at the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway, and an over-all winner takes the American Racer Challenge Cup when all finishes are combined. Over 25 cars have entered the New Smyrna Speedway event to be held on Monday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 17, 2015.
-ACT Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo.