LOUDON, N.H. —Fourty-three American-Canadian Tour drivers that represent all six New England states and the Quebec province of Canada are set to take on New Hampshire Motor Speedway for 50 laps in the eighth annual Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational.
3MA BRIAN TAGG, Oxford, Mass. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park — B&G Toys & Trains Chevrolet Impala — The defending Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Late Model champion will make his second career start in the ACT Invitational. Tagg competed on the ACT Late Model Tour in 2014 and will look to improve his 25th place finish in his first ACT Invitational.
3VT RICKY ROBERTS, Washington, Vt. — Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — Nordic Field Services Chevrolet Impala — The longtime Thunder Road Speedbowl driver will make his fifth appearance in the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational. Roberts will look to improve on his career best 31st place finish in the event that came in his first year.
4VT CHRIS RIENDEAU, Ascutney, Vt. — Claremont Speedway — Lightnin’ Chassis Chevrolet Impala — The one-time ACT Late Model Tour competitor will make his first start in the ACT Invitational. Riendeau, the longtime Claremont Speedway regular, has sat dormant for much this season and has competed on a part-time basis for the two previous seasons.
5CT DILLON MOLTZ, Waterford, Conn. — ACT Late Model Tour — RB Performance/Brackett Mechanical Chevrolet Impala — Moltz has been impressive in his first full year on the ACT Late Model Tour and collected his first career win at White Mountain Motorsports Park in July. The former Granite State Pro Stock Series champion sits fourth in the series point standings and has posted three additional podium place finish this season. Moltz made his first ACT Invitational start one year ago and finished an impressive ninth place.
5MA TOM CAREY III, New Salem, Mass. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park — Brookside Equipment Sales Chevrolet Impala — The Monadnock Speedway Super Stock runner moved up to the ACT Late Model ranks this season and competed at Thompson Speedway during 2016. Carey has big shoes to fill as his father is a five-time top-ten finisher in the ACT Invitational in his five starts and former NASCAR East Series winner at the “Magic Mile”. He made an ACT Late Model Tour start at White Mountain Motorsports Park in July and finished 18th. Carey will make his first start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
5QC PATRICK CLICHE, Levis, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — CFM/EZ Websolution Chevrolet Impala — The former Serie ACT Quebec championship contender ran a limited schedule in 2016 in Quebec and posted two-top ten place finishes. Cliche was quick during the open test session a few weeks ago and will make his first start in the ACT Invitational. Cliche owns two career Serie ACT Quebec wins.
5VT BOBBY THERRIEN, Hinesburg, Vt. — ACT Late Model Tour — Subway/Phil Scott for Governor Chevrolet Impala — Therrien returned to ACT Late Model Tour competition this season and broke through early as he won the first race at Oxford Plains Speedway. The young driver has made one previous ACT Invitational start with a 23rd place finish. Therrien also broke free and the end of last year and won the Fall Brawl at Speedway 51.
6QC SIMON ROUSSIN, Quebec, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — Prince-Edouard Performance Chevrolet Impala — The former Sportsman Quebec front-runner made the jump back to full-time Serie ACT competition one year ago and made gains to be a consistent top-ten threat. The reward will be his first visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Roussin posted seven top-ten finishes this season in eight Serie ACT races.
9ME EMILY PACKARD, East Montpelier, Vt. — ACT Late Model Tour — Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels Ford Fusion — Packard cut back her racing operations to a part-time schedule in 2016 after teaming up with Joey Pole Racing. That combination has had flashes of brilliance, along with two top-ten place finishes and plenty of other solid showings. Packard will make her fourth start in the Invitational after missing the event one year ago. She became engaged this past weekend to fellow Late Model competitor Shawn Swallow at Speedway 51.
9NH KYLE WELCH, Newport, N.H. — ACT Late Model Tour — The Kid Store/Peterboro Tool Chevrolet Impala — Welch ran a part-time schedule in 2016 and the team was rewarded with a consistent effort, improving their average finishing position by two full spots from one year ago to a 13.5 average. He will make his fourth start in the Invitational and will look hope to put forth his best showing after disappointing results in his first three tries.
10NY JIM ZULLO II, Claremont, N.H. — Claremont Speedway — Woof While You Walk Dodge Charger — Zullo will make his first career start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the eighth Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational. He has run at various tracks throughout the past few season and competed twice with the ACT Late Model Tour this season. Zullo will also compete against his brother-in-law Brian Tarbell.
11NY JOSH MASTERSON, Bristol, Vt. — Devil’s Bowl Speedway — Masterson Excavation/Taylor & Breen Builders Chevrolet Impala — Masterson collected his second straight Devil’s Bowl Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model championship in just his fourth year competing in the Late Model ranks. He expanded his racing this year and competed multiple times at Thunder Road and finished second in the 100-lap season finale at Devil’s Bowl two weeks ago. Masterson will make his fourth start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
15NH BRAD BABB, Windham, Maine — ACT Late Model Tour — Speedway 51/Nitro Trailers Ford Fusion — Babb has been one of the Tour’s most consistent runners in the second half of the season — albeit one race ending in dramatic fashion — and posted his third career win at his home track of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in August. The Maine driver, however, destroyed his car in a wreck during the test and tune session at New Hampshire in August and will look to rebound in his third attempt in the ACT Invitation. Babb posted a career best 15th place finish in the event one year ago.
15ME BRIAN TARBELL, Springfield, Vt. — Claremont Speedway — Maple Ridge Farm/ImageTek Chevrolet Impala — Tarbell has bounced back from an early season visit with Thunder Road’s widowmaker and will make his first start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The longtime racer has won races in many divisions between Claremont Speedway and the old Canaan Fair Speedway. Tarbell will also compete against his brother-in-law Jim Zullo.
17MA EDDIE MACDONALD, Rowley, Mass. — ACT Late Model Tour — Exit Realty/Hancock Electric Chevrolet Impala — The four-time Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational race winner found a home with the ACT Late Model Tour this season and currently sits third in the championship standings with one race remaining. MacDonald has made the Invitational his playground and owns the most career laps led in the event, the most career top-five place finishes, and the most money won during the event. He also also passed the most cars four times during the event. MacDonald will look for his fifth win that is held at one of his favorite race tracks.
17RI RAY PARENT, Tiverton, R.I. — Seekonk Speedway — Anytime Realty Ford Fusion — Parent cut back his 2016 racing after the loss of primary sponsor, but didn’t miss a beat when he did compete. The former ACT Invitational winner claimed the Seekonk Speedway Triple Crown Series for the track’s Late Model division. Parent also competed three times this season on the ACT Late Model Tour and scored a pair of top-five finishes while not finishing outside of the top-ten.
19QC DANY TREPANIER, St-Edouard, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — JC-7 Signature Ford Fusion — The defending Serie ACT champion entering the season ran to the final race with a chance to successfully defending his championship, but finished fourth in the standings. Trepanier will make his sixth start in the ACT Invitational and will look to avenge his 41st place finish from one year ago after a transmission issue ended his race after 19 laps. Trepanier posted one win during the 2016 Serie ACT season.
21QC JEAN-FRANCOIS DERY, Quebec, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — Giguere Portes et Fenetres/Construction CRD Toyota Camry — Dery came on strong at the end of the 2016 season and posted back-to-back wins to close the season out. The Quebec driver will make his seventh start in the ACT Invitational and will look to post his first top-five finish in the event, besting his sixth place finish from 2010. Dery posted seven top-five finishes during the Serie ACT Quebec season this year.
22RI MARK JENISON, Warwick, R.I. — ACT Late Model Tour — Protective Automotive Service Chevrolet Impala — Jenison will make his first career start in the ACT Invitational during the eighth running of the event. He has been a freshman campaigner on the ACT Late Model Tour this year and has shown improvement since the beginning of the season.
26NH BUCKY DEMERS, Cornish, N.H. — Claremont Speedway — Demers Racing Chevrolet Impala — The 2015 Claremont Speedway Late Model champion has sat quiet for much of the 2016 racing season but will dust off the ‘ol Late Model and compete in the ACT Invitational for the second straight season. Demers finished an impressive 24th place in his first go at the invitation-only event.
27NH WAYNE HELLIWELL JR., Dover, N.H. — ACT Late Model Tour — Rydemore/Unique Ford Ford Fusion — The 2016 HP Hood Oxford 250 champion will seek his second win in the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational in search of turning around a disappointing season on the ACT Late Model Tour. Helliwell has yet to visit victory lane this season with the Bruce Bernhardt-led Late Model program, but is one of the top ACT drivers at the “Magic Mile”. Helliwell owns the record for the single largest sum of money won in an ACT Invitational event.
28ME ROWLAND ROBINSON JR., Steuben, Maine — ACT Late Model Tour — AIM Recycling/Camp Picked Ford Fusion — Robinson kicked off the 2016 season by posting a career best finish of second at Oxford Plains Speedway in April and has rode that momentum to four additional top-ten place finishes. He will make his fifth start in the ACT Invitational and will look to best his career best from one year ago of 22nd place.
29NH AARON FELLOWS, Croydon, N.H. — Claremont Speedway — Crazy Horse Racing/New England Outdoor Furnaces Ford Fusion — Fellows cut back on his ACT Late Model racing this season, choosing to compete in the revitalized Super Street class at his home track Claremont Speedway and currently holds the point lead. He put forth an impressive Invitational showing three years ago when he finished fourth and looked to be en route to his first ACT win in Florida one year ago before an wreck ended his day. Fellows will compete in his sixth ACT Invitational.
31ME JOHN DONAHUE, Graniteville, Vt. — Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — Wells River Chevrolet Dodge Charger — Donahue will make his fifth ACT Invitational start and his second behind the wheel of his family-owned ride. He competed for much of the season this year at Thunder Road and pulled out a thrilling photo finish over eventual champion Scott Dragon early in the year. That win was unofficially the closest margin of victory recorded in Thunder Road’s electronic scoring era.
32NH JEFF MARSHALL, Guildhall, Vt. — Speedway 51 — LME Realty/Errol Motel Chevrolet Impala — The 2015 Speedway 51 champion will make his first start in the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Marshall has run a limited schedule this season which has included occasional starts at White Mountain Motorsports Park in both Late Model and Dwarf Car competition.
38VT TYLER CAHOON, St. Johnsbury, Vt. — Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — P&H Transportion/Berlin Optical Expressions Chevrolet Impala — The Thunder Road Memorial Day Classic winner will make his second start in the ACT Invitational after he posted a 16th place finish in 2014, but was involved in the race-ending “big one”. Cahoon finished inside the top-ten in the point standings at Thunder Road this year during his first full season competing full-time at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement”.
40VT NICK SWEET, Barre, Vt. — ACT Late Model Tour/Thunder Road — Malone Properties/Gary Clay Builders Chevrolet Impala — Sweet will lead the ACT Late Model Tour into New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the ACT Invitational at the top of the standings after a dominating win on Sunday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, his third Tour win of the season. The two-time Thunder Road champion will make his eighth start at the “Magic Mile” and has posted two previous runner-up finishes, including a thrilling conclusion to the 2011 edition of the race with MacDonald. Sweet also finished second by one point to Scott Dragon in the Thunder Road championship this season.
41QC JONATHAN BOUVRETTE, Blainville, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — DLGL/GloboCam Chevrolet Impala — Bouvrette once again put himself in the conversation of top Serie ACT Quebec drivers this season and posted five top-ten place finishes this season to finish fifth in the series standings. He will make his fourth start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the ACT Invitational and will look to best his finish of seventh from one year ago
48QC ALEX LABBE, St-Albert, Que. — NASCAR Pitny’s Series/Serie ACT Quebec — Larue Industrial Snoblowers/LeeBoy Ford Fusion — Labbe was a regular this season with the Serie ACT Quebec Late Models, but made the full-time jump to the NASCAR Pitny’s Series and earned his first career win. That win also came one day before his Serie ACT win this season. Labbe is on the shortlist of favorites for the ACT Invitational and was quick during the open test session there one month ago.
49NH MATT ANDERSON, Franklin, N.H. — White Mountain Motorsports Park — Watts Water Technologies/Doherty Electric Chevrolet Impala — Anderson cut back his ACT Late Model Tour racing this season and returned to his home track White Mountain Motorsports Park. He will make his fourth start in the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
54VT MIKE ZITER, Barre, Vt. — ACT Late Model Tour — Jeffords Steel/Ziter Masonry Chevrolet Impala — Ziter has experienced his best season yet since joining the ACT Late Model Tour and has posted four top-ten place finishes, including three straight in the between June and July. He will make his second start in the ACT Invitational and look to improve on his 30th place finish from one year ago.
58VT JIMMY HEBERT, Williamstown, Vt. — ACT Late Model Tour — Hebert Excavation/Lowery Auto Sales Chevrolet Impala — Hebert scaled back his racingoperation in 2016 to a part-time basis, but has showed winning ability at each event he has competed at this season. He will make his fifth career ACT Invitational start and look to better his fifth place finish from one year ago. Hebert is also just days removed from becoming a brand new father with fiancee Taylor as the two welcomed a baby girl.
59QC JEAN-PIERRE OUIMET, Terrebonne, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — Ouimet Motorsports Chevrolet Impala — The part-time Serie ACT Quebec competitor will make his second start at the “Magic Mile” in the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational. He will look to best his last place finish from one year ago in which he didn’t complete a lap after he ran into ignition issues. Ouimet will hope for a better outcome — and more laps completed — this season.
61NH RYAN OLSEN, North Haverhill, N.H. — ACT Late Model Tour — FMS NAPA Auto Parts/Mountain Milk Ford Fusion — The freshman campaigner on the ACT Late Model Tour will make his second start in the ACT Invitational. Olsen has come on strong during the second half of the season behind the wheel of the Joey Pole Racing car and posted back-to-back sixth place finishes in the past two Tour races. Olsen, the son of NASCAR East Series champion Mike Olsen, was quick at the test session in August and will to improve on his 37th place finish from one year ago.
77MA JIMMY LINARDY, Somerville, Mass. — ACT Late Model Tour — Kayem Franks Chevrolet Impala — The longtime ACT Late Model Tour stalwart will make his fifth career Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational start. He has posted consistent finishes in his four previous events and will look to improve on his career best 30th place finish. Linardy is known as “one of the good guys” in the ACT Late Model pit area.
78NH QUINNY WELCH, Lancaster, N.H. — White Mountain Motorsports Park — Hawkeye Construction/Hiltz Excavating Chevrolet Impala — Welch added another White Mountain Motorsports Park championship to his resume as he began the season inside the top-ten on the ACT Late Model Tour standings. The always thrilling driver at his quarter-mile home track will make his fifth start in the event and posted a fourth place finish in the 2011 edition of the event.
80QC DONALD THEETGE, Boischatel, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — Mercedes Bent St-Nicolas Chevrolet Impala — The two-time Serie ACT Quebec champion will make his return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway after he elected not to compete in the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational the past four season. Theetge has show consistency at the invitation-only event with finishes between 18th and 22th. The Serie ACT all-time wins leader with Patrick Laperle will look for his first top-ten in the 50-lap special event.
91QC PATRICK LAPERLE, St-Denis, Que. — Serie ACT Quebec — RTA Pieces D’Auto Ford Fusion — A rocky end to last season left many questioning what was next for Laperle, but the team turned it up in 2016 and posted their fourth Serie ACT championship on the back of seven top-five place finishes along with three wins. Laperle has been very strong at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with four top-five place finishes and five top-ten place finishes in six Invitational starts. The Quebec driver will look to be the first Canadian native to win in the invitational-only event.
93CT RAY CHRISTIAN III, Norwich, Conn. — New London-Waterford Speedbowl — Walter Electric/Allied Snow Removal Chevrolet Impala — Christian posted three wins this season — including his first career triumph on opening night — at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl this season. He also competed in three ACT Late Model Tour races this season and posted a career best top-ten finish in the first event at Oxford. Christian will make his first career start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the ACT Invitational.
97MA ADAM GRAY, Granby, Mass. — Stafford Speedway — Meadows Motor Car/Gregg F. Orlen Construction Chevrolet Impala — The former Stafford Speedway Late Model champion ran part-time in the ACT Late Model ranks this season and competed at various tracks in 2016. Gray will make his first start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the ACT Invitational. Gray is a former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II runner-up.
97NH JOEY POLEWARCZYK JR., Hudson, N.H. — ACT Late Model Tour — Pole’s Automotive/ CigarPerferator.com Ford Fusion — The 2014 ACT Late Model Tour champion and 2010 ACT Invitational race winner cut back his full-time ACT schedule this year to focus on his driver development program with driver Ryan Olsen, but Polewarczyk struck quick in his first race by winning the event. Polewarczyk posted his first career PASS North Super Late Model win this season and leads the list with seven career top-ten place finishes in the ACT Invitational, five of those coming inside the top-five.
03MA JOEL MONAHAN, Whatley, Mass. — Stafford Speedway — Monahan Trucking/RAD Auto Machine Chevrolet Impala — The Stafford Speedway and Monadnock Speedway competitor will make his first career ACT Late Model start in the 50-lap Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational at New Hampshire. Monahan, however, is no stranger to competition as he sits inside the top-five in both Stafford’s Late Model point standings and Monadnock’s Super Stock point standings. The 19-year-old is a former UNOH Youth Achievement Award winner.
07MA WOODY PITKAT, Stafford, Conn. — NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour — Summit Ice Ford Fusion — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour runner made his first ACT Invitational start one year ago and posted a sixth place finish, but he is no stranger to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The reigning Thompson Speedway Modified champion will compete again in the invitation-only event just after he competed in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100.
(Race car photos provided by: Alan Ward, VMM, Guy Laroche, LinMat, Stafford Speedway, and race teams)
FEATURED PHOTO: The eighth Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational features a talented field of 43 drivers that represent all six New England states and the Canadian province of Quebec. (Heather Aube photo)