Waterbury, VT — The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) travels to Epping, NH’s Star Speedway for the first time since 2013 this Saturday, June 29 at 4:30pm. The Dream Ride 150 will certainly be a dream for at least one driver with a $5,000 check awaiting the winner of the Summer Kickoff Series finale.
The month of June has been a big-money month for the ACT Late Model Tour with two $5,000 winner’s prizes already awarded. Lebanon, NH’s Rich Dubeau grabbed five grand for his first ACT win at Quebec’s Autodrome Chaudiere on June 1 while Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert took the second $5,000 award at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway on June 15. The duo now sit 1-2 in the point standings, meaning both will surely be a threat for another big score on Saturday.
However, plenty of other ACT and local stars are ready to knock them from their perch. While it has been six long years since the Tour has visited Star Speedway, plenty of runners have Late Model experience and success at the track, meaning it could be anyone’s game when the green flag drops.
“Star Speedway is a tough racetrack to get around,” two-time Star winner and top ACT rookie Ryan Kuhn said. “It’s tight and has a very narrow groove. I think that kind of track really suits my driving style – just wrapping it around the bottom. But just racing there in general is a blast.”
“One thing it will help us with is the setup,” Kuhn added of his experience at Star. “Every time we’ve been there, we’ve burned the right rear off the car. But now we know to start off tighter so hopefully it will be better for the long run. And it’s just big turning laps there. We’ve run there three times and won there twice, and that’s a huge help running with some of their weekly guys. Some of them are pretty good and have a lot of experience and success. Running well against them means a lot.”
Kuhn joins a growing list of drivers looking to make a big score as ACT opens the second half of its point-counting season. At least one former ACT winner at Star is expected to be in the field. Hudson, NH’s Joey Polewarczyk has been running a limited schedule this year, but the 2013 winner has stated that Star is an event where he plans to put his full-season entry to use.
But that means much of the field will be hungry for their first ACT win at Star — or their first ACT win period. Two-time defending champion Scott Payea of Colchester, VT has vaulted back into this year’s title hunt after three-straight top-5 finishes. Milton, VT’s Dylan Payea continues to make strides on the Tour as do former Série ACT Champion Jonathan Bouvrette and sophomore Christopher Pelkey. Any of them could reasonably find themselves onto the podium at Star.
However, some locals have plenty of Late Model credentials. Three-time ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. has gone two-for-two in weekly features at Star Speedway this season and is going for a third victory. Newmarket, NH’s Bryan Kruczek won the ACT Tour season opener at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway while also making multiple starts at Star.
Both have entered the event, as have number-six Star Late Model point man Randy Cole Jr., former ACT regular Matt Anderson, and part-time Rhode Island racer Jason Larivee Jr. Several others from the growing weekly class are expected to defend their home track from the outsiders rolling in.
Qualifying for the Star Speedway Dream Ride 150 begins at 4:30pm on Saturday, June 29. The ACT Late Model Tour is joined by the track’s Woody’s Auto Street Stocks, Maddy’s Car Wash Six Shooters, Lucky 13 Fast 4’s, and Star Troopers. The pits open at 12:00pm and the front gates open at 1:00pm. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/juniors/military, and free for kids ages 10 and under.
-American-Canadian Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Daniel Holben