Story By: AMERICAN-CANADIAN TOUR – BARRE, VT – The ACT Late Model Tour was built on the idea of pitting local, hometown favorites against the greatest touring drivers in the Northeast.
It’s a simple and exciting formula that builds storylines, spawns thrilling fan engagement and creates some of the greatest feuds in stock car racing. The ACT formula is not viewed anywhere better than at the home of American-Canadian Tour racing, Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road Speedbowl.
With Tour regulars coming off a screaming Northeast Classic 50 lap spectacular at New Hampshire Motor Speedway ready to battle the Thunder Road faithful in their first event of 2022, there is no clear favorite.
In twenty-four editions, only three outsiders have taken the Community Bank N.A. 150 checkered flag, giving those with plenty of Thunder Road seat-time the advantage. Of them, Jean-Paul Cyr used ‘Bank Race’ wins to propel himself into his 3rd and 5th ACT Late Model Tour championships in 2004 and 2006, while most recently the ‘King of Barre,’ Nick Sweet, used the early-season win to take down his Tour championship in 2016.
The Community Bank N.A. 150 also lends itself heavily to the dark horse driver. In 2000, Tracie Bellerose broke out to claim her first ACT Late Model Tour win in the race’s second edition, growing her team’s confidence to take the track championship that same year. Similarly, Ken Dufour also took his first ACT win the following year as did Scott Payea in 2007, Nick Sweet in 2010, Maine’s Brad Babb in 2015, Jason Corliss in 2018 and most recently, Brooks Clark in 2021.
When asked, the Fayston, Vermont driver is still awestruck by that first ACT Late Model win at his home track. “Winning any race at Thunder Road is a big deal but winning an ACT race there means you’ve not only beat the best weekly racers in the Northeast but also some of the best tour racers in the region,” said Clark. “Winning the Community Bank 150 last year was not only a dream come true but a huge confidence boost to start the season. Sweeping the ACT races at Thunder Road and etching my name in granite is still surreal to me.” Clark is ready to defend his 2021 Community Bank N.A. 150 win in the Sticks & Stuff #68VT this Sunday.
Alongside Clark, fellow Thunder Road turf-defenders include three-peat track champion Jason Corliss, 2021 Rookie of the Year Brandon Lanphear in the Green’s ACE Hardware #16VT, 2021 championship runner-up Christopher Pelkey and multi-time winner Tyler Cahoon. Williamstown’s Jimmy Hebert is ready for action following a late race dust-up at NHMS, as are ACT title-hunters DJ Shaw, Jonathan Bouvrette, Jimmy Renfew Jr., and Northeast Classic victor Derek Gluchacki. Patrick Laperle is ready to return to Thunder Road after a successful podium finish at New Hampshire as is Quebec’s Michael Lavoie.
The 24th Community Bank N.A. 150 weekend starts on Saturday, April 30th with the annual Thunder Road car show at the track starting at 9:00am with practice for all divisions starting at 1:00pm. On Sunday, May 1st the ACT Late Model Tour is set for a 1:30pm post time following the annual Thunder Road Class Day Activities that start promptly at 12:55pm. The ACT Late Model Tour will also be supported by the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors.
Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 6-12 years old and kids 5 and under are free! Front Gates open at 9:00am on Saturday for the car show and open at 10:00am on race day Sunday.