Waterbury, VT –The announcement last November that there was an alliance between the American-Canadian Tour (ACT), a Northeast regional Late Model stock car division, and the Pro All Star Series (PASS), a Super Late Model Series that competes throughout the Northeast with PASS North and the Southeast with sister series PASS South, came as welcome news to many race fans and teams in New England and Quebec.
With the recent postponement of ACT’s traditional opening event at the Lee USA Speedway due to continuing snow removal issues after a record-breaking winter for cold and snowfall that has lingered into the spring, the historic doubleheader event at Oxford Plains Speedway (OPS) in Oxford, ME now inherits the start of the 2015 season in the Northeast on Saturday, April 18.
“Call it luck, call it a windfall, call it whatever you like, but this anticipated event with both ACT teams and PASS teams at the same track, running 150-lap features each, just got the wick turned up,” said PASS and Oxford Plains Speedway owner Tom Mayberry. “Everyone looks forward to opening day of a new race season and we are ready to have what should be our biggest opening day in years.”
The opening event at Oxford is the first of three doubleheader races scheduled between the organizations for the 2015 season. The International 500, to be held on the weekend of July 17–19 at the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY, will see both divisions race for more than $100,000.00 in posted awards in two 200-lap contests. The third and final event of the 2015 twin bills will be held on Saturday, September 12 at the Autodrome Chaudiere in Quebec. Those features will also be 200 laps each.
“We expect to have a number of ACT teams compete in both events during this series of doubleheaders,” said American-Canadian Tour president Tom Curley. “It would not surprise anyone to see some of the PASS teams find ACT Late Model rides and race for two purses on the same day. I think it will be fun to watch this 2015 season and see where it takes us as we go forward. So far it seems to have energized both race team bases and certainly fans of fender type Late Models are looking forward to getting sort of ‘two for one’ at these three races.”
Both PASS and ACT have star power, particularly in northern New England and Quebec. Numerous past champions from PASS, including defending Champion D.J. Shaw from N. Conway, NH; Travis Benjamin from Morrill, ME; Ben and Mike Rowe from Turner, ME; Johnny Clark from Hallowell, ME; and Cassius Clark from Farmington, ME lead the Super Late Model teams into the season’s three twin bills. ACT will counter with 2014 Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH and two-time (2012, 2013) Tour Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of Dover, NH. From the Quebec side of the border, Alex Labbe (Ste Albert, QC) is the defending Série ACT Champion, while Donald Theetge is a multi-time Champion from la belle province. Eddie MacDonald (Rowley, MA) is the hottest driver in the region, having won the last five events he has competed in. The strength of ACT may lie in the depth of competitors who come from throughout the region. Ray Parent (Tiverton, RI), Jimmy Hebert (Williamstown, VT), Travis Stearns (Auburn, ME), and Jeff White (Winthrop, ME) have all won ACT events. Stearns and White have done the majority of their racing at OPS.
The much-anticipated ACT/PASS doubleheader program will go to post on Saturday, April 18, with qualifying races beginning at 2:00pm. Admission for the double feature is just $30 for adults and $15 for juniors. The pits will open at 7:30am on Saturday. There will also be an open practice session on Friday, April 17. The pits for this session will open at 12:00pm.