WEST HAVEN, VT — Since joining forces to win a record eight American-Canadian Tour championships, Brian Hoar and the RPM Motorsports team have always had nicknames for their ACT Late Model cars. When Hoar’s 2014 season got off to a rough start through the first three races of the season, the RPM team discovered something was missing.
Their brand new Late Model that was built over the winter months didn’t yet have a nickname. After much consideration, the team decided on the nickname, “Hot Tamale.” They slapped a decal of the car’s name on the side of the No. 37VT and headed to Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont.
Without an air conditioning unit in “Hot Tamale” on this hot June day, Hoar would charge to the front from the 12th starting spot, take the lead from Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. on a lap 106 restart and go on to win the Spring Green 114 Sunday.
The win, which was his first since May 18, 2013 at Airborne Park Speedway (NY), was the 40th career American-Canadian Tour victory for Hoar.
“I’m stoked, really stoked,” Hoar told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s been a long three races to get to this point. Last year we had an average finish of like three, right now I’m running on an average finish of like 14th or 15th up until today.
“The car was turning really, really well. We had to work hard on the balance. It’s just been new car blues this year, but finally we had something we could run with.”
Prior to Hoar taking the lead for the first time on lap 106, it seemed as though 2014 American-Canadian Tour point leader Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. was set to run away with the victory. After starting from the ninth position, Polewarczyk quickly made his way to the front of the field and took the lead away from Aaron Fellows on lap 60.
After taking the lead, Polewarczyk extended his lead to nearly a full straightaway before the caution flag waved on lap 100. On the following restart, he would have five lapped cars between himself and second-place Jamie Fisher.
As three more cautions came out between laps 100 and 106 those lapped cars began to drop to the rear of the longest line setting up the battle between Polewarczyk and Hoar during the final restart of the race.
Hoar stated after the race that although his car was very good, he would have never been able to catch Polewarczyk without the cautions and the lapped cars dropping to the rear of the field.
“I didn’t have anything for Joey if we didn’t have that last caution,” said Hoar. “He was out there. He had checked out. At one point I was looking at Jamie (Fisher) with a whole lot of lapped cars between me and him and I’m going, ‘I don’t’ see at this point how I’m even going to get to Jamie for second place or even challenge for second’.
“The big thing is, fortunately, a few lapped cars had some sense to just go to the back. I have a lot of respect for them for doing that.”
Polewarczyk wasn’t as thankful for the lapped cars that elected to go to the rear during the final restarts. After jumping out to an early lead, Polewarczyk’s strategy was to run hard in an attempt to get those lapped cars between himself and the other fast cars like Hoar that would be making their way towards the front.
“My strategy every race so far has been to save tires, save tires and just ride. Today we had a decent starting position so we got the lead pretty early. I knew Brian and all those guys would be coming, so at that point my strategy was to try to put as many lapped cars in between us as I could just in case there was a late race yellow.
“There’s been so many times when I’ve been that guy in second praying that the lapped cars get out of the way and they don’t usually. That’s their right to not move. I couldn’t believe it at the time. It’s part of it. Hopefully I’m the guy in second another time and that same thing happens for me.”
Two-time defending ACT champion Wayne Helliwell’s bid for four straight ACT wins at Devil’s Bowl came to an end on Sunday with a third-place finish. Canadian invader Stephane Decoste finished fourth and 2013 Milk Bowl champion Nick Sweet rounded out the top-five.
Montpelier, Vermont’s Emily Packard continued her strong run of finishes with a sixth-place finish. Jimmy Hebert, Bobby Therrien, Brandon Atkins and Ray Parent completed the top-10.
The American-Canadian Tour returns to action next Saturday, June 21 with a trip to Woodstock, New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Spring Green 114 Unofficial Results
American Canadian Tour
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, VT
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Pos. (Start) Driver, Hometown, Laps Completed
1. (12) Brian Hoar, Williston, VT, 114 Laps
2. (9) Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Hudson, NH, 114 Laps
3. (21) Wayne Helliwell Jr., Dover, NH, 114 Laps
4. (2) Stephane Descoste, Oka, QC, 114 Laps
5. (14) Nick Sweet, Barre, VT, 114 Laps
6. (4) Emily Packard, E. Montpelier, VT, 114 Laps
7. (13) Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, VT, 114 Laps
8. (23) Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, VT, 114 Laps
9. (7) #Brandon Atkins, AuSable Forks, NY, 114 Laps
10. (6) Ray Parent, Tiverton, RI, 114 Laps
11. (5) Rowland Robinson Jr., Steuben, ME, 114 Laps
12. (3) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 114 Laps
13. (19) #Lance Allen, Barre, VT, 114 Laps
14. (11) Travis Stearns, Auburn, ME, 114 Laps
15. (34) Robert Bryant, Jr., Rutland, VT, 113 Laps
16. (27) Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier, VT, 113 Laps
17. (15) Ben Ashline, Pittston, ME, 113 Laps
18. (20) Ricky Bly, Sonapee, NH, 113 Laps
19. (25) Kyle Welch, Newport, NH, 113 Laps
20. (16) Todd Davis, Claremont, NH, 113 Laps
21. (10) Josh Masterson, Bristol, VT, 112 Laps
22. (31) #Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA, 112 Laps
23. (26) James Linardy, Somerville, MA, 112 Laps
24. (32) #Matt Anderson, Franklin, NH, 111 Laps
25. (18) #Mike Ziter, Williamstown, VT, 104 Laps
26. (1) Aaron Fellows, Croyden, NH, 100 Laps
27. (17) Jeff White, Winthrop, ME, 100 Laps
28. (22) #A.J. Panessiti, Barnstead, NH, 99 Laps
29. (29) Richard Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI, 96 Laps
30. (28) Patrick Emeraling, Orchard Park, NY, 52 Laps
31. (8) Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT, 42 Laps
32. (33) Dan St. Hilare, Shelburne, VT, 39 Laps
33. (30) #John Falconi, Oakham, MA, 36 Laps
34. (24) Luke Hinkley, Claremont, NH, 34 Laps
Lap Leaders: Aaron Fellows, 1-60; Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., 61-106; Brian Hoar, 107-114.
Time of Race: 1:05:14
Margin of Victory: 1.034 seconds
Cautions: 5 (laps 42, 100, 100, 101, 106)
Heat Winners: Travis Stearns, Brian Hoar, Rowland Robinson, Jr.
Consi Winners: Emily Packard, Josh Masterson
B-Feature Winner: Bobby Therrien
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo