American Canadian Tour
|Category||Stock car racing|
|Country||Northeast United States, Quebec, Canada|
|Drivers' champion||ACT Late Model Tour – Wayne Helliwell Jr.
Série ACT – Dany Trepanier
|Official website||ACT 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 New York, and the La Série ACT (formerly known as Série ACT Castrol Tour), founded in 2005 runs in Quebec, Canada.
In 1979, television and radio journalist Ken Squier and 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.
1980 saw 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 they made their first 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 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 Late Model Tour.
Drivers and guest appearances
Patrick Laperle is the only driver in the history of the American Canadian Tour to win both the ACT Tour Championship and also the ACT Castrol Series Championship, doing it in back to back years (2007, 2008). Patrick is also second on the all-time wins list in the ACT Late Models with 24 wins, 1 behind Brian Hoar's 25 wins and just before Jean-Paul Cyr's 19 wins. In 2009 Laperle lost the ACT Castrol series championship by one point to 2 time champ Donald Theetge in a controversial final race that saw Donald Theetge get involved in a crash and also saw Laperle go a lap down to a flat tire and also get a one lap penalty for a pit infraction.
Jean-Paul Cyr, one of the best ACT Late Model drivers of all time, was able to win to the ACT points Championship 5 years in a row from 2003–2007 bringing his all time ACT championship total to 7. Jean-Paul also holds third place on the all time ACT wins list with 19 career wins.
Brian Hoar, once again one of the best ACT Late Model drivers of all time and also the winningest driver of all in the ACT Late Models, was able to win the ACT points Championship 4 years in a row from 1997–2000 and was able to get his 6th ACT Championship in 2009. Brian also holds the number one spot for the number of wins in the ACT racing league with 25 wins along with his 6 championships. Outside of Brian's 6 championships, he has finished in the top 3 in the points standings 3 times.
Tony Stewart, one of NASCAR's best, and now a driver owner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, took part in the CarQuest Vt Governors Cup on June 25, 2009, at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Tony was able to get a 16th-place start for the race, but finished in the 16th-place spot. He had said that Thunder Road beat him. Young star Joey Pole from Hudson, New Hampshire, went on to win the non-points race.
Kevin Harvick took on the ACT Boys on July 21, 2008 at the New England Dodge Dealers TD Banknorth Oxford 250 in Oxford, Maine. Harvick ended up winning the race, showing that he is able to take home the wins even on the short tracks.
David Ragan, the 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 had David race in their final evening program on its 50th year.
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 Champions
- #45/37VT Brian Hoar – 8 Championships (1993, 1997–2000, 2009–2011)
- #32VT Jean-Paul Cyr – 7 Championships (1994, 1996, 2003–2007)
- #27NH Wayne Helliwell, Jr. – 3 Championships (2012–2013, 2015)
- #91QC Patrick Laperle – 1 Championship (2008)
- #25VT Dave Whitcomb – 1 Championship (1992)
- #31VT Lance Ferno – 1 Championship (1995)
- #14VT Phil Scott – 1 Championship (2002)
- #75 Pete Fecteau – 1 Championship (2001)
- #97NH Joey Polewarczyk Jr. – 1 Championship (2014)
- #40VT Nick Sweet – 1 Championship (2016)
Série ACT Champions
- #91QC Patrick Laperle – 3 Championships (2007, 2011, 2012, 2016)
- #80QC Donald Theetge – 2 Championships (2006, 2009)
- #48QC Karl Allard – 1 Championship (2010)
- #21QC Jean-François Déry – 1 Championship (2013)
- #27QC Alexandre Gingras – 1 Championship (2008)
- #3QC Sylvain Lacombe – 1 Championship (2005)
- #48QC Alex Labbé – 1 Championship (2014)
- #19QC Dany Trepanier - 1 Championship (2015)
- #41QC Jonathan Bouvrette - 1 Championship (2017)
ACT Pro Stock Tour Champions
- Robbie Crouch – 6 Championship (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990)
- Junior Hanley – 3 Championships (1991, 1992, 1993)
- Dick McCabe – 2 Championships (1981, 1982)
- Beaver Dragon – 2 Championships (1979-1980)
- Brad Leighton – 1 Championship (1995)
- Mike Rowe – 1 Championship (1994)
- Russ Urlin – 1 Championship (1989)
- Randy LaJoie – 1 Championship (1985)
American Canadian Tour tracks
- Autodrome Chaudière
- Autodrome St-Felicien
- Autodrome Montmagny
- Autodrome St-Eustache
- Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
- Circuit Riverside Speedway Ste-Croix
- Lee USA Speedway
- Monadnock Speedway
- New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- Sanair Super Speedway
- Seekonk Speedway
- Speedway 51
- Star Speedway.
- Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
- Thunder Road International Speedbowl
- White Mountain Motorsports Park
- Claremont Speedway
- "The History of the American Canadian Tour". American Canadian Tour. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "NASCAR North/ACT Pro Stock Series". ACT History.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Group formed to oversee Coors tour". Lewiston Daily Sun. Lewiston, ME. November 15, 1985. p. 23. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
- "ACT Late Model Tour Winners, 1992-2013". American Canadian Tour. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Carquest Governor's Cup 150". Ultimate Racing History. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "TD Bank 250: Cup drivers runneth over ... and over, and over". Sun Journal. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Thunder Road Celebrates Final Thursday Night Race With NASCAR Cup Driver David Ragan". WhoWon.com. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "NASCAR CUP Driver David Ragan Coming To Thunder Road". American Canadian Tour. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
- "Riverside Speedway Improvements Ahead Of Schedule". The Caledonian Record. Retrieved 2013-08-01.