Waterbury, VT – Eight-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar of Williston, VT has sent a strong message for his title defense, notching wins in the first two ACT events of the season. But perhaps the stronger message has been sent not by Hoar, but by Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, NH who rides second overall in the series.
Helliwell, the four-time Lee USA Champ, has finished second in each of the opening two events. In the season opener at Lee USA Speedway, he looked to have the car to beat and launched an assault on the back bumper of Hoar for the last ten laps at the track he calls home. More impressively, the Bruce Bernhardt-owned team came to Thunder Road, a track where they had typically struggled, and had the crowd on their feet with yet another late race assault of the eight-time Champion. The cheers paused momentarily with two laps to go after contact from Helliwell, hungry for his first ACT Tour win, had Hoar sideways out of turn four. A classy lift allowed Hoar to gather it back up and head to his first ever Merchants Bank 150 win.
“I would expect us to run like we did at Lee, but to come (to Thunder Road) and run like we did (Sunday)? Nah, I never would have even thought it if someone would have told me that at the beginning of the day.” Helliwell said. “We’ve done really well at Lee over the last few years, but you get stagnant. To get out on the Tour and get beat week in and week out, you kind of pick things up. It makes you change and search. You learn to make the right calls (on the car’s setup) first before you chase a million other things.” Helliwell continued. “As a whole, it’s made the team better.”
Though Hoar has won both events, he remains a slim six (6) points ahead of Helliwell for the point lead heading into Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT this Sunday, May 6 for the 101.5 The Fox Spring Green 112. Last year in this race Helliwell took a spin off the backstretch and got a face full of mud, but he is confident in this year’s trip.
“It’s never good when they need a tractor to come get you.” said Helliwell. “We had a really good car there last year before all the mud, so I’m looking forward to getting back there. I’m really proud of where this team is right now, we can’t wait for Sunday,” he finished.
Hoar will look to continue his march toward a record ninth ACT Championship, and Helliwell will remain hungry for his first ACT Tour win. The battle continues at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, May 6 for the 101.5 The Fox Spring Green 112. Post time 2pm.
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