American-Canadian Tour (ACT) officials released a 10-race schedule for the 2017 season on Tuesday afternoon. The schedule will see the tour visiting seven race tracks in five states next season.
“I think it serves us well for where we are right now in terms of geography and support,” said Tom Curley, President of the American-Canadian Tour. “I think it’s well designed and I’m pleased with it.
“We’re getting a little closer to the core that we’re in right now, which is New Hampshire and Thunder Road.”
Among the noticeable changes to the schedule from recent years is the addition of another points-counting event at the series’ home track, Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT). The Labor Day Classic 200 on September 3 will once again become a points-counting event.
ACT has also added an additional date at two other tracks close to home for the majority of their competitors. For the first time in 10 years, they will host two events at White Mountain Motorsports Park in New Hampshire. They will also host two races at Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
“If you look statistically, we can’t seem to get the Thunder Road teams, of which there are every Thursday night 24, we can’t get any other than Nick Sweet to travel outside of Thunder Road,” Curley explained. “We couldn’t even get them to go to White Mountain. With Devil’s Bowl and White Mountain now going to two races each, including two at Thunder Road, that may be more motivation for some of the Thunder Road to step out a little bit and it’s close to home. I know a couple of them went to Beech Ridge and had a great time, so hopefully that will shore up where we are at this point.”
For the 11th straight year, ACT is scheduled to kick off their season with the Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway (NH) on April 9. They will then visit their home track of Thunder Road for the Merchant’s Bank 150 on April 30.
The tour will make its first stop of the year at Devil’s Bowl Speedway for a 100-lap race on May 7 before making a trip to White Mountain Motorsports Park on June 17 for a 150-lap affair.
On July 15, ACT will return to Seekonk Speedway (MA) for the second straight season.
Saturday, August 5 at Beech Ridge (ME) will mark the tour’s first and only stop of the year in the state of Maine.
On August 19, ACT will return to White Mountain Motorsports Park for its second race of the season at the track. That race will be 100 laps in distance.
The month of September will include the previously mentioned Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road, as well as a second stop at Devil’s Bowl Speedway during the Vermont 200 Weekend.
For the third straight season, the ACT champion will be crowned during the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut.
One track noticeably missing from the 2017 ACT schedule is Oxford Plains Speedway (ME), a track that hosted two ACT events in 2016.
“We don’t have any Maine support. We had one Maine car,” Curley said. “Their clearly isn’t going to be any interest in our kind of cars in that area. We had a lot of them when Tom (Mayberry) took over the place, there were 40 or 42 of them and now there aren’t any left. Fields of 26 cars becomes a big expense for Tom Mayberry and I don’t want to put him through that, it doesn’t make much sense. 26 cars at Oxford is not 40 and I don’t see signs that we’re going to get 40.”
Information about additional ACT-sanctioned events is expected to be released soon.
The full 2017 schedule can be seen below:
April 9 – Lee USA Speedway (NH) – 150 laps
April 30 – Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) – 150 laps
May 7 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (VT) – 100 laps
June 17 – White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) – 150 laps
July 15 – Seekonk Speedway (MA) – 100 laps
August 5 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) – 100 laps
August 19 – White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) – 100 laps
September 3 – Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) – 200 laps
September 10 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway (VT) – TBD
October 14 – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) – 75 laps
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Alan Ward