After being forced to postpone the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup at Lee USA Speedway on two separate occasions, the 2018 American-Canadian Tour season will officially get underway Sunday. The popular Late Model touring series will get things started at ACT’s home track of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl with the Community Bank 150.
We get you caught up on the 2018 ACT season in this edition of “By the Numbers” on Speed51.com.
1:30: ACT Late Model fans are counting down the the minutes and hours until 1:30 p.m. Sunday when the 2018 season will officially begin.
5: A year after finishing second in the championship battle Scott Payea took the 2017 by storm. He finished fourth at Lee in the first race and then rattled off four straight wins. In all, he won five times on the way to his first career ACT championship.
5: Five of the last six winners of the Community Bank 150 have raced almost exclusively on the ACT Late Model Tour. The sixth winner, Nick Sweet in 2016, competed full-time with both ACT and Thunder Road that season.
17: “The Outlaw” is back. Eddie MacDonald has filed a full-season entry and will run for the 2018 points championship. Over the years, MacDonald has nine ACT wins and finished third in points in 2016. He will help mix up the battle for championship.
27: This will be the 27th season of racing for the ACT Late Models. Over the years, well over 750 drivers have run laps with the series in the United States and Canada.
58: Jimmy Hebert, the driver of the No. 58VT, has finished in the top three in points twice in the past and he is looking to start 2018 off the right way chasing the points. He won the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup at Lee back in 2013.
66: The last driver to win a Late Model race at Thunder Road is 2017 Milk Bowl winner Jason Corliss, the driver of the No. 66 VT. Corliss will be considered a favorite to win at his home track, especially after his impressive Milk Bowl performance to end the 2017 season.
68: There have been 68 ACT points-counting races held at Thunder Road. Scott Payea won both races at the track in 2017.
91: Patrick Laperle, the driver of the No. 91QC, will make his way across the border this weekend to compete in the Community Bank 150. Laperle is a three-time winner of the Vermont Milk Bowl.
150: The Community Bank event will be 150 laps on Sunday at Thunder Road.
Locals: The strong contingent of local Late Model drivers that compete weekly at Thunder Road will be hoping to knock off the ACT stars on Sunday. Defending “King of the Road” Bobby Therrien will lead the charge with 2016 track champion Scott Dragon and 2017 Vermont Governor’s Cup winner Trampas Demers also expected to be strong contenders.
New Owners: Although Cris Michaud and Pat Malone took over ownership of Thunder Road last season, this will be their first event as co-owners of the American-Canadian Tour after acquiring the tour during the offseason.
Past ACT Champions
2017 Scott Payea
2016 Nick Sweet
2015 Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
2014 Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
2013 Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
2012 Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
2011 Brian Hoar
2010 Brian Hoar
2009 Brian Hoar
2008 Patrick Laperle
2007 Jean Paul Cyr
2006 Jean Paul Cyr
2005 Jean Paul Cyr
2004 Jean Paul Cyr
2003 Jean Paul Cyr
2002 Phil Scott
2001 Peter Fecteau
2000 Brian Hoar
1999 Brian Hoar
1998 Brian Hoar
1997 Brian Hoar
1996 Jean Paul Cyr
1995 Lance Ferno
1994 Jean Paul Cyr
1993 Brian Hoar
1992 Dave Whitcomb
-Text by Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Alan Ward