American Canadian Tour
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) is a late model stock car racing series based in the northeastern United States, and Quebec, Canada. The American Canadian Tour has two different late model divisions: the ACT Late Model Tour, founded in 1986 conducts races in New England, and the Série ACT (formerly known as Série ACT Castrol Tour), founded in 2005 runs in Quebec, Canada.
|Category||Stock car racing|
|Country||Northeast United States, Quebec, Canada|
|Drivers' champion||ACT Late Model Tour – Scott Payea (2018)|
Série ACT – Jonathan Bouvrette (2017)
|Official website||ACT Tour|
In 1979, television and radio journalist Ken Squier and his business partner Tom Curley formed the NASCAR North Tour for late-model Sportsman-type cars. With sponsorship from companies like Coors, Molson, Skoal, STP, Valvoline and General Motors, the NASCAR North Tour visited the short track showplaces of the northeastern United States and Canada: Thunder Road in Vermont, Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine, Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, Thompson Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut Sanair Super Speedway near Montreal, Cayuga Speedway in Ontario, and Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Southern stars Butch Lindley, Bill Dennis, Harry Gant, Tommy Ellis, Gene Glover, L.D. Ottinger and Bosco Lowe were frequent visitors to NASCAR North Tour events, along with national icons Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker and Dale Earnhardt.
In 1980, there was more sponsorship support for the tour. Molson was signed as the major sponsor and car counts kept growing. 1982 was a banner year for the tour as it made their its appearance at Dover Downs Speedway as the support division for the Winston Cup race. Purses and point funds kept growing to levels over $1 million by 1985. However, several lawsuits filed by various competitors had soured NASCAR on the tour and NASCAR dropped its sanction of the tour at the end of the 1985 season.
Following the decision by NASCAR to cease sanctioning the Coors Tour following the 1985 season, Curley formed the independent American-Canadian Tour in 1986, continuing the series as the ACT Pro Stock Tour. In 1992, a second series was added, the ACT Late Model Sportsman International Series. With the closing of the Pro Stock Tour after the 1995 season, this series, currently[when?] known as the ACT Late Model Tour, became the ACT's premier circuit. Two years after its inception in 2005, the ACT took over the Canadian-based Serie Nationale Castrol LMS Quebec, renaming it as the Séries ACT and casting it as a Canadian sister series to the New England centered Late Model Tour.
All-time drivers and guest appearancesEdit
Brian Hoar, possibly the greatest ACT late model driver of all time and the wmost successful driver of the series, started collecting his ACT points championships early, winning his first in 1993. He later won the ACT points championship four years in a row from 1997 to 2000 and later three years in a row from 2009 to 2011. Hoar also holds the record for the number of wins in the ACT racing league with 42. Outside of Hoar's eight championships, he has finished in the top three in the points standings fourtimes.
Jean-Paul Cyr, another of the great ACT late model drivers, also started his successes early, winning his first and second ACT points championship in 1994 and 1996. Cyr won a record five straight ACT points championships from 2003 to 2007, bringing his all time ACT championship total to seven. Cyr also holds third place on the all-time ACT wins list with 19 career wins.
Patrick Laperle is the only driver to win both the ACT Tour Championship and the ACT Castrol Series Championship, doing it in back-to back-years (2007, 2008). Laperle is fourth on the all-time wins list for the ACT late models with 18 wins, behind Hoar's 42 wins and Cyr's and Joey Polewarczyk Jr.'s tie for second all-time, each with 19 wins. In 2009, Laperle lost the ACT Castrol series championship by one point to twice champion Donald Theetge in a controversial final race that in which Theetge was involved in a crash and also Laperle go a lap down because of a flat tire and receiving a one lap penalty for a pit infraction. Laperle went on to win Serie ACT points championships in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
The NASCAR star Kevin Harvick took on the ACT regulars on July 21, 2008, at the New England Dodge Dealers TD Banknorth Oxford 250 in Oxford, Maine. Harvick won the race, showing that he was able to take home wins even on small town short tracks.
Tony Stewart, one of NASCAR's best, and now an owner in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, took part in the CarQuest Vt Governors Cup on June 25, 2009, at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Stewart had a 16th-place start for the race and finished in the 16th-place position. He later said that Thunder Road beat him. The young star Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. from Hudson, New Hampshire, won the non-points event.
David Ragan, then a young and up-and-coming star in the NASCAR series, took part in the August 27, 2009, race at Thunder Road International Speedway. It was Thunder Road's 50th year and Ragan raced in the final evening program during its 50th season celebrations.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Camping World Truck Series and Pinty's Series driver D. J. Kennington is the only driver in ACT Late Model Tour history with a win in his only career start with the tour. Kennington won the New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Lee USA Speedway on September 26, 2004.
ACT Late Model Tour championsEdit
- Brian Hoar – 8 championships (1993, 1997–2000, 2009–2011)
- Jean-Paul Cyr – 7 championships (1994, 1996, 2003–2007)
- Wayne Helliwell, Jr. – 3 championships (2012–2013, 2015)
- Scott Payea - 2 championships (2017-2018)
- Nick Sweet – 1 championship (2016)
- Joey Polewarczyk Jr. – 1 championship (2014)
- Patrick Laperle – 1 championship (2008)
- Phil Scott – 1 championship (2002)
- Pete Fecteau – 1 championship (2001)
- Lance Ferno – 1 championship (1995)
- Dave Whitcomb – 1 championship (1992)
Série ACT championsEdit
- Patrick Laperle – 4 championships (2007, 2011, 2012, 2016)
- Donald Theetge – 2 championships (2006, 2009)
- Jonathan Bouvrette - 1 championship (2017)
- Dany Trepanier - 1 championship (2015)
- Alex Labbé – 1 championship (2014)
- Jean-François Déry – 1 championship (2013)
- Karl Allard – 1 championship (2010)
- Alexandre Gingras – 1 championship (2008)
- Sylvain Lacombe – 1 championship (2005)
NASCAR North (1979-1985) and ACT Pro Stock Tour (1986-1995) championsEdit
- Robbie Crouch – 6 championship (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990)
- Junior Hanley – 3 championships (1991, 1992, 1993)
- Beaver Dragon – 2 championships (1979, 1980)
- Dick McCabe – 2 championships (1981, 1982)
- Brad Leighton – 1 championship (1995)
- Mike Rowe – 1 championship (1994)
- Russ Urlin – 1 championship (1989)
- Randy LaJoie – 1 championship (1985)
American Canadian Late Model Tour and Serie ACT tracksEdit
|Track||Location||Last visited||Last winner|
|Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park||Thompson, CT||2018||William Wall|
|Thunder Road International Speedbowl||Barre, VT||2018||Jason Corliss|
|Oxford Plains Speedway||Oxford, ME||2018||Eddie MacDonald|
|White Mountain Motorsports Park||N. Woodstock, NH||2018||Jimmy Hebert|
|Speedway 51||Groveton, NH||2018||Jimmy Hebert|
|New London-Waterford Speedbowl||Waterford, CT||2018||Scott Payea|
|Lee USA Speedway||Lee, NH||2018||Scott Payea|
|New Hampshire Motor Speedway||Loudon, NH||2017||Woody Pitkat|
|Autodrome St-Eustache||St. Eustache, QC||2017||Jonathan Bouvrette|
|Autodrome Montmagny||Montmagny, QC||2017||Jonathan Bouvrette|
|Beech Ridge Motor Speedway||Scarborough, ME||2017||Eddie MacDonald|
|Seekonk Speedway||Seekonk, MA||2017||Scott Payea|
|Devils Bowl Speedway||West Haven, VT||2017||Scott Payea|
|Airborne Park Speedway||Plattsburgh, NY||2016||Eddie MacDonald|
|Autodrome Chaudière||Vallee-Jonction, QC||2016||Patrick Laperle|
|Autodrome St-Felicien||St. Felicien, QC||2015||Dany Trepanier|
|Circuit Riverside Speedway||St. Croix, QC||2015||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.|
|New Smyrna Speedway||New Smyrna, FL||2015||Eddie MacDonald|
|Canaan Fair Speedway||Canaan, NH||2013||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.|
|Sanair Super Speedway||St. Pie, QC||2013||Jimmy Hebert|
|Star Speedway||Epping, NH||2013||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.|
|Claremont Speedway||Claremont, NH||2011||Brian Hoar|
|Capital City Speedway||Ottawa, ON||2009||Sean Kennedy|
|Kawartha Speedway||Fraserville, ON||2009||Brad Leighton|
|Monadnock Speedway||Winchester, NH||2003||Todd Stone|
|Hudson Speedway||Hudson, NH||2001||Pete Fecteau|
|Adirondack Speedway||Beaver Falls, NY||2001||Todd Stone|
- "The History of the American Canadian Tour". American Canadian Tour. Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
- "NASCAR North/ACT Pro Stock Series". ACT History.com. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Group formed to oversee Coors tour". Lewiston Daily Sun. Lewiston, ME. November 15, 1985. p. 23. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
- "ACT Late Model Tour Winners, 1992-2013". American Canadian Tour. Archived from the original on December 30, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "TD Bank 250: Cup drivers runneth over ... and over, and over". Sun Journal. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Carquest Governor's Cup 150". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Thunder Road Celebrates Final Thursday Night Race With NASCAR Cup Driver David Ragan". WhoWon.com. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "NASCAR CUP Driver David Ragan Coming To Thunder Road". American Canadian Tour. Archived from the original on December 22, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- "Riverside Speedway Improvements Ahead Of Schedule". The Caledonian Record. Archived from the original on August 1, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.