Despite being the first driver to cross under the checkered flag in the American-Canadian Tour Fall Foliage 200, Patrick Laperle wasn’t the driver to leave Airborne Park Speedway (NY) with the first-place trophy Saturday night. Laperle of St. Denis, Quebec was stripped of the win by ACT officials in post-race technical inspection for a shock violation, according to an initial report by Vermont Motorsports Magazine.
Speed51.com powered by JEGS later confirmed the report with ACT President Tom Curley, who stated that Laperle’s No. 91 car “was found to have 7-inch shocks on the rear when the rule book clearly states that you must run 9-inch.”
Laperle acknowledged that he did have seven-inch shocks on the back, but said that the car has been run like that since it was built in 2009.
“They changed the rules and said on the rear you need to run with nine-inch shocks. My car was built with seven-inch shocks,” Laperle told 51 while driving back to Quebec Saturday night. “They changed the rule like three years ago I guess. They told us you should look at the rule book every year. F— that. Do you think I have the time to look at everything? They say that you’re not legal because you have seven-inch shocks. We got DQ’d for that. When I heard about that, I said I better leave because I’m going to punch somebody.
“It’s our job to make sure everything is right, but I don’t have time to check the rules all the f—— time. The car was built in 2009. We’re in 2015. I’m all done. I’m so f—— pissed right now. F— it. I”m all done, I’m all done.”
Since owning the car he currently races in ACT Late Model competition, Laperle said he’s never had an issue with running seven-inch shocks on the rear until Saturday night.
“I’ve been racing ACT for 17 years and we got caught because probably somebody was crying. I don’t know. I was not the fastest car, but my car was steady. Take out all my wins that I’ve got with that car. It’s always been like that. What the f—. That car has been running with seven-inch shocks in the rear. They’ve never taken my shocks during any of my wins or all of the times I’ve been to the tech. That car has always been like that.
“I was looking to get away from racing. I just won my last race and I’m all done. All of my stuff is for sale. I was crying. I told my father when we crossed the border, I told him I’m all done with racing. He told me that’s the only thing left for me to have fun with, but I’m 39 years old and I’m done. I have a sponsor. I just went with my uncle to see that guy this week on Tuesday and the guy told me he was happy. He couldn’t show up at the race. Can you imagine what he’s going to think when he hears I got DQ’d for stupid thing just because the f——shock needs to be two inches longer?”
Laperle initially carried the checkered flag after a side-by-side battle with eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar during the final laps. Hoar cleared post-race technical inspection and was officially named the winner of the 200-lap race.
“It was a fun race. It was a lot of fun,” Hoar said. “We battled hard and it was a lot of fun. It’s been a while so we’re tickled. The car ran good and we had a lot of fun. We put on a good shot for the fans. All and all a good day.”
Hoar’s win on Saturday was his first of the 2015 season and his first ACT win since winning at Devil’s Bowl Speedway (VT) in June 2014.
“It’s tricky because out of the seven races we’ve done this year three of them have been Super Late Model races,” Hoar noted. “We’ve had a lot of our focus divided. But we’re one for four in our Late Model starts, that’s still 25-percent. We haven’t run that much.”
ACT International winner Nick Sweet, defending Serie ACT winner Alex Labbe, Vermont native Bobby Therrien and hometown favorite Brandon Atkins completed the top-five.
Championship contender Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. suffered a broken shock mount on lap 35 of the race while leading. Wayne Helliwell, Jr. finished seventh to extend his lead in the standing over Polewarczyk heading into the season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).
Dany Trepanier finished ninth to clinch the 2015 Serie ACT championship.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Dusty Deavitt
FALL FOLIAGE 200
|7||27nh||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.||200|
|18||28me||Rowland Robinson, Jr.||198|
|20||83qc||Martin Goulet, Jr.||198|
|21||99ny||Richard Lowery III||197|
|22||8vt||Rich Lowrey Jr.||197|
|28||97nh||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.||34|
Lap Leaders: Patrick Laperle, 0; Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 1-34; Laperle, 35-150; Alex Labbe, 151-153; Laperle, 154-163; Nick Sweet, 164-171; Laperle, 172-182; Brian Hoar, 183-187; Laperle, 188-200. (8 lead changes among 5 drivers)
Time of Race: 1:36:28 Margin of Victory: 0.184 seconds
Cautions: 5 (laps 34, 90, 150, 163, 182)
Heat Winners: Bobby Therrien, Jonathan Bouvrette, Joey Polewarczyk Jr.
Consi Winners: Dany Trepanier, Jimmy Hebert