Thompson, CT – Williston, VT’s Brian Hoar ended the most accomplished career in American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model history on top once again by winning the World Series 100 at Connecticut’s Thompson Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 17. Meanwhile, Dover, NH’s Wayne Helliwell Jr. added another notch to his belt by clinching his third ACT Tour Championship in four years.
Hoar was running second on a restart with eight laps remaining when leader Dillon Moltz lost control as the field came to the green. Although Hoar was able to get by, third-place Joey Polewarczyk Jr. could not and plowed into Moltz’s front end, with Walter Sutcliff getting collected as well.
Hoar easily held off Brad Babb and Jimmy Hebert on the final restart for his second straight ACT Late Model Tour win and 42nd of his career. He then tearfully announced in Victory Lane that he is stepping away from the driver’s seat.
“I’ve got two teenage daughters – one of them just got her learner’s permit – and that’s a big part of it,” Hoar said of his decision. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve got a lot of other things I want to do as well.
“I was lucky enough to be surrounded by really, really good people for all of my career,” he added. “That’s how we got here – having good people, working our tails off, and staying motivated and focused on the goal.”
Helliwell finished seventh, which was more than enough after Polewarczyk’s misfortune to win the title. Helliwell was slow coming up through the field from his 15th starting spot but said afterward his windshield was clouded early by the overheating car of Brian Tagg, and with impaired vision and a championship at stake he chose to tread cautiously.
“It’s definitely a big deal,” Helliwell said of his third ACT title. “I never even thought I’d get one. When we got our first, we beat the king (Brian Hoar). He’s been the man for a long time…Brian and I were talking after the race about when enough is enough. I told him, ‘I don’t know if I’ll get eight (titles) – I’m stressed enough as it is already.’ But I’m sure we’ll regroup over the winter and probably do it again next year.”
Polesitter Hebert led the first three laps before Polewarczyk dashed to the point. Hebert then snatched the lead back from Polewarczyk on a lap-29 restart, only for Eddie MacDonald to take it away on another restart four laps later.
MacDonald kept pace over a four-car breakaway of Moltz, Polewarczyk, and Hoar in the race’s middle stages, but smoke began showing from the left front of MacDonald’s car just past the lap-70 mark. The smoke quickly turned to flames, forcing MacDonald to dive to the pits on lap 76 and sending Moltz to the point. A caution on lap 92 when Tom Carey slid into the frontstretch wall set up the dramatic finish.
Babb finished second with Hebert third. Ray Parent finished a season-best fourth followed by Brandon Atkins in fifth. Rowland Robinson Jr., Helliwell, local racer William Wall, a surprising Mark Jenison, and Emily Packard rounded out the top-10.
The 2015 ACT season has now concluded on both sides of the border. Banquet dates and times are to be announced.
ACT WORLD SERIES 100
Pos, Start Pos, Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
- ( 9 ) Brian Hoar ( 37VT ) , Williston, VT , 100 Laps
- ( 10 ) Brad Babb ( 15NH ) , Windham, ME , 100 Laps
- ( 1 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 100 Laps
- ( 11 ) Ray Parent ( 17RI ) , Tiverton, RI , 100 Laps
- ( 16 ) Brandon Atkins ( 4NY ) , AuSable Forks, NY , 100 Laps
- ( 4 ) Rowland Robinson, Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 100 Laps
- ( 15 ) Wayne Helliwell, Jr. ( 27NH ) , Dover, NH , 100 Laps
- ( 6 ) William Wall ( 4MA ) , Shrewsbury, MA , 100 Laps
- ( 2 ) Mark Jenison ( 22RI ) , Warwick, RI , 100 Laps
- ( 13 ) Emily Packard ( 9ME ) , E. Montpelier, VT , 100 Laps
- ( 12 ) Keith Rocco ( 88MA ) , Berlin, CT , 99 Laps
- ( 22 ) Jeff Smith ( 15CT ) , Old Lyme, CT , 99 Laps
- ( 19 ) Rowan Pennink ( 91PA ) , New Egypt, NJ , 99 Laps
- ( 25 ) Walter J. Hammond ( 98ME ) , Orange, NH , 99 Laps
- ( 18 ) Dave Farrington, Jr. ( 23ME ) , Jay, ME , 99 Laps
- ( 20 ) Larry Gelinas ( 91CT ) , Buxton, ME , 99 Laps
- ( 33 ) Kyle Welch ( 9NH ) , Newport, NH , 99 Laps
- ( 21 ) Paul Charette ( 14CT ) , Woodstock, CT , 98 Laps
- ( 28 ) Jared Materas ( 13CT ) , Westfield, MA , 98 Laps
- ( 7 ) Dillon Moltz ( 5CT ) , Waterford, CT , 92 Laps
- ( 3 ) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. ( 97NH ) , Hudson, NH , 92 Laps
- ( 29 ) Walter Sutcliff ( 38MA ) , East Haven, CT , 91 Laps
- ( 26 ) Tom Carey, Jr. ( 10MA ) , New Salem, MA , 91 Laps
- ( 8 ) Eddie MacDonald ( 17MA ) , Rowley, MA , 76 Laps
- ( 27 ) Chad Labastie ( 44MA ) , Uxbridge, MA , 65 Laps
- ( 24 ) #Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Plainfield, NH , 39 Laps
- ( 17 ) Raymond Christian III ( 93CT ) , Groton, CT , 39 Laps
- ( 30 ) Brandon Warren ( 55MA ) , Chicopee, MA , 38 Laps
- ( 23 ) Josh King ( 21VT ) , Vernon, VT , 34 Laps
- ( 5 ) Alby Ovitt ( 0NH ) , Somersworth, NH , 30 Laps
- ( 31 ) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 27 Laps
- ( 14 ) Brian Tagg ( 9MA ) , Oxford, MA , 26 Laps
- ( 32 ) Allan King ( 0MA ) , Webster, MA , 14 Laps
DNS Anthony Ryan, Jr. ( 2CT ) , Ridgefield, CT
DNS Rick Gentes ( 70RI ) , Burriville, RI
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Hebert, 1-3; Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., 4-29; Hebert, 30-33; Eddie MacDonald, 34-75; Dillon Moltz, 76-92; Brian Hoar, 93-100 (5 lead changes among 5 drivers)
Time of Race: 1:01:42 Margin of Victory: 1.742 seconds
Cautions: 5 (laps 29, 33, 39, 92, 92)
Heat Winners: Eddie MacDonald, Brain Hoar, Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
Consi Winner: Keith Rocco