THE FIELD: 2015 Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational
Posted By Tj Ingerson On September 22, 2015
Categories: American-Canadian Tour
PHOTO: Forty-three American-Canadian Tour Late Model drivers will make their daring moves at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in an effort to become the winner of the seventh Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational. (Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com photo)
--by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
LOUDON, N.H. -- Forty-three American-Canadian Tour Late Model drivers from the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada will assemble at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 26, 2015 for the seventh running of the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational. A diverse mixture of youthful and experienced will compete for 50 laps in the special invitation-only event at the 1.058-mile oval. The 2015 field will be made up of various race winners and champions, as well as young drivers just beginning to make their mark on the sport.
0NH Alby Ovitt, Somersworth, N.H. – Sullivan Construction/Kustra’s Autobody Chevrolet Impala – White Mountain Motorsports Park – Ovitt called White Mountain Motorsports Park home in 2015 behind the wheel of the Chad Sullivan-owned “0NO” car and posted two wins during the season. The Somersworth, N.H. driver will make his first start at New Hampshire after he was reportedly impressive during the open test in August.
3NH Mike Kenison, Lancaster, N.H. – Central Asphalt Paving/DK & Sons Auto Repair Chevrolet Impala – Speedway 51 – Kension will make his first career Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational start after a late replacement for Gaetan Longtin. The Lancaster, N.H. driver ran a part-time schedule at both Speedway 51 and White Mountain Motorpsorts Park in 2015 and made multiple appearances on the ACT Late Model Tour.
3VT Ricky Roberts, Washington, Vt. – Brad Penn Lubricants/Nordic Fluid Services Chevrolet Impala – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Roberts will make his fourth start in the Bond Auto ACT Invitational after he completed a full season at Thunder Road. The Washington, Vt. driver will be one of seven drivers that will represent the Green Mountain State at the Magic Mile in the 50-lap non-point counting event.
4NY Brandon Atkins, AuSable Forks, N.Y. – Northline Utilities/Milwaukee Tools Dodge Charger – American-Canadian Tour – The sophomore driver on the ACT Late Model Tour will make his third start at the Magic Mile and will look to crack into the top-ten after an 11th place finish one year ago. Atkins posted a win in Late Model competition earlier this season at Devil’s Bowl Speedway and will be the lone representative from the State of New York.
5CT Dillon Moltz, Waterford, Conn. – RB Performance/Bracket Mechanical Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – The reigning Granite State Pro Stock Series champion broke away from a full-time run in any series and competed in select events throughout the northeast in 2015. Moltz’s best ACT run came at Oxford Plains Speedway in July when he finished runner-up to Joey Polewarczyk Jr. He also turned in an impressive sixth place finish in his first ACT start in June at Devil’s Bowl, the first time he had ever attended the half-mile oval.
7NH Scott MacMichael, Newbury, N.H. – Bly Machine Ford Fusion – NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – The 2013 Canaan Fair Speedway Late Model champion turned his focus toward open-wheel Modified racing at Monadnock Speedway in recent years, but MacMichael has shown quick success in that and finished second in the championship standings this season. The Newbury, N.H. driver will make his first ACT Invitational start in a car owned by Late Model driver Ricky Bly.
8NH Guy Caron, Lempster, N.H. – Caron Excavating/A-1 Siteworks Chevrolet Impala – At-Large – Caron will become one of six drivers who will have competed in all seven Invitationals. Despite running a very limited schedule in 2015, Caron posted the quickest time during the open test session at New Hampshire in August and will look to earn his first top-ten finish at Loudon.
9NH Kyle Welch, Newport, N.H. – Huberts Family Outfitters/The Kids Place Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – The Newport, N.H. driver will make his third start in the ACT Invitational and currently sits eighth in the ACT Late Model Tour standings after he has posted five top-ten place finishes in 2015. Welch will look to improve his career best finish of 37th in the seventh edition of the race.
10MA Tom Carey Jr., New Salem, Mass. – Aalanco Service/Independent Claims Service Ford Fusion – At-Large – The former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner has posted top-ten finishes in each of his four ACT Invitational starts, but the New Salem, Mass. driver will make his first start behind the wheel of the James Falconi entry. Carey finished 14th overall at New Smyrna Speedway in February in his first run behind the wheel of the 10MA Ford Fusion.
11NY Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt. – Masterson Excavating/Naylor & Breen Builders Chevrolet Impala – Devil’s Bowl Speedway – The third-year Late Model racer sealed his first Late Model championship with a win in the 100-lap season finale. Masterson posted four wins in the 2015 season and was ultra-consistent with just two finishes outside of the top-five. He will make his third start at the Magic Mile after he was caught up in the “big one” last year.
11RI Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, R.I. – Team V Racing Chevrolet Impala – Seekonk Speedway – The Seekonk Speedway Pro Stock and Late Model driver will make his third start in the ACT Invitational after he finished 11th in the first edition of the race. Vanasse closed out his Seekonk Pro Stock season in victory lane and will be a second representative from the state of Rhode Island. He is a multi-time Late Model champion from Seekonk and had a brief stint with the ACT Late Model Tour.
14CT Paul Charette, Woodstock, Conn. – Brooklyn Farm and Pet Chevrolet Impala – Thompson Speedway – Charette made part-time appearances at Thompson Speedway in 2015 and made his first career American-Canadian Tour start in July at Oxford Plains Speedway. The Woodstock, Conn. driver will become one of 14 drivers who will make their first start in the ACT Invitational during the seventh edition of the event.
15NH Brad Babb, Windham, Maine – Speedway 51 Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The 2012 Beech Ridge Pro Series champion returned to the American-Canadian Tour in 2015 after he spent last season competing with the Granite State Pro Stock Series. Babb made an immediate impression on car owner Joey Laquerre when he won at Thunder Road for his first career ACT Late Model Tour win. Babb then backed it up with another win at his home track, Beech Ridge, in August. Babb will compete in his second Invitational.
15VT Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier, Vt. – Speedway 51 Chevrolet Impala – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Laquerre switched hats for the 2015 season, going from driver to car owner for Brad Babb and race track owner at Speedway 51. Laquerre will make his seventh start in the ACT Invitational after he posted a pair of top-ten finishes in the first two editions. The 72-year-old driver also started on the front row for the ACT All Star Challenge at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2011.
17MA Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass. – EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – The three-time ACT Invitational winner will likely be at the top of many lists as pre-race favorites for the seventh edition of the race. MacDonald has posted five top-five place finishes in the ACT Invitational and scored the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model win earlier this season at the Magic Mile. He finished third last season to Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Patrick Laperle.
17RI Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I. – Amtrol Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The surprise 2012 winner of the ACT Invitational will look to improve on his two previous finishes and seek to return to victory lane. Parent reverted to a part-time schedule in 2015 and played the role of car owner for his son at Seekonk Speedway in Legends car racing. The Rhode Island driver will be one of two drivers from the Ocean State that will compete in this year’s Invitational.
19QC Dany Trepanier, St-Edouard, Que. – Construction JC-7 Ford Fusion – Serie ACT Quebec – Trepanier will lead the Quebec-based Serie ACT into New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the seventh ACT Invitational. The St-Edouard, Quebec driver earned his third career win – and his guaranteed spot in the Invitational – in ACT’s return to Autodrome St-Felicien in July. Trepanier will compete in his fifth Invitational and will look to best his 12th place finish from 2012.
20CT John Lowinski-Loh, Milford, Mass. – Auto Go, Inc. Chevrolet Impala – Thompson Speedway – The part-time Thompson Speedway Late Model competitor competed in two ARCA Racing Series events in 2015, first at Daytona International Speedway in February and again at Chicagoland Speedway in June. Lowinski-Loh competed in the ACT Invitational one time before in 2013.
21QC Jean-Francois Dery, Quebec, Que. – Giguere Portes et Fenetres Toyota Camry – Serie ACT Quebec – The 2013 Seire ACT Quebec champion will enter the Bond Auto ACT Invitational second in the point standings in the Quebec-based Late Model Series. Dery has yet to win a race this season, but has been near the front in every race this season. The Quebec City driver has competed five previous times at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and posted a sixth place finish in 2010.
23ME Dave Farrington Jr., Jay, Maine – Hilltop Collision Center/Kulwicki Driver Development Ford Fusion – NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – The 2014 Beech Ridge Pro Series champion posted a sixth place finisher when the ACT Late Model Tour visited the Scarborough, Maine track in August. Farrington has competed in three prior ACT Invitationals and will be one of four drivers from the Pine Tree State in the seventh edition of the race.
26NH Bucky Demers, Cornish, N.H. – Sparky Electric Chevrolet Impala – Claremont Speedway – The 2015 Claremont Speedway track champion will be one of 14 drivers that will compete in their first ACT Invitational. Demers ended his championship season in victory lane and visited it five times throughout the 2015 season in the return of weekly racing to the quarter-mile oval.
27NH Wayne Helliwell Jr., Dover, N.H. – EKeys4Cars/Harpoon Brewery Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The defending Bond Auto ACT Invitational winner enters the seventh edition of the event at the top of the ACT Late Model Tour standings following his win two weeks ago at Autodrome Chaudiere. The Dover, N.H. driver has posted four wins in 2015 on the ACT Late Model Tour and will become one of six drivers who have competed in all seven Invitationals. Helliwell and his Bruce Bernhardt-led team also led the most laps in the 42nd running of the Oxford 250 in August.
28ME Rowland Robinson Jr., Steuben, Maine – Camp Pickled/Rowland’s Recycling Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The Steuben, Maine driver will compete in his fourth straight ACT Invitational and will look to improve on his career-best 26th place finish in the race. Robinson has posted three top-ten place finishes on the ACT Late Model Tour in 2015, including a fifth place finish at Beech Ridge in August.
29NH Aaron Fellows, Croydon, N.H. – New England Outdoor Furnaces/Crazy Horse Racing Dodge Charger – American-Canadian Tour – Fellows is no stranger to New Hampshire Motor Speedway and put forth an impressive fourth place finish in 2013. The Croydon, N.H. driver nearly upped his shock-value this February in Florida when he appeared to be headed toward the win at New Smyrna before a late race restart – and subsequent contact that sent the 29NH around – ended the storybook.
30NH Rich Dubeau, Plainfield, N.H. – Upper Valley Equipment Rentals/Upper Valley Stove Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – The freshman ACT Late Model Tour driver turned two impressive performances in the first two touring races this season. Dubeau will make his first career start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the ACT Invitational, joining 13 other drivers that will accomplish the same in the seventh edition of the 50-lap event.
31VT John Donahue, Graniteville, Vt. – Wells River Chevrolet/Shocker Graphics Dodge Charger – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Donahue will carry a different look when he makes his fourth start in the ACT Invitational, driving the family-owned No. 31vt that brother Bill Donahue competed at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. John posted a top-five finish in the Late Model standings at Thunder Road in 2015 and will look to duplicate – or better – his fifth place finish in the Invitational from 2009.
34NH Todd Davis, Claremont, N.H. – R.E. Hinkley Oil/Crickets NAPA Dodge Charger – Claremont Speedway – Davis returned back to his home track of Claremont Speedway in 2015 and posted multiple victories. His toughest task, however, may have come when he stepped in for his brother-in-law Luke Hinkley after he was diagnoised with Leukemia in early June. Hinkley’s cancer has since gone in remission, and Davis piloted that car to feel-good wins at Claremont. Davis will make his third start in the Invitational after he posted a 13th place finish one year ago.
40VT Nick Sweet, Barre, Vt. – Mansfield Heliflight/Gary Clay Builders Chevrolet Impala – Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Sweet continued his big-time Thunder Road wins streak as he claimed back-to-back wins in both the Vermont Governor’s Cup in July and the Labor Day Classic in September. The Barre, Vt. fan favorite also competed full-time on the ACT Late Model Tour for Eric Chase and posted two podium finishes during the season at Oxford and Devil’s Bowl. Sweet is a two-time runner-up and will make his seventh start in the Invitational.
41QC Jonathan Bouvrette, Blainville, Que. – DLGL Software Chevrolet Impala – Serie ACT Quebec – The fourth place point driver in the Serie ACT Quebec standings will make his third career Bond Auto ACT Invitational start. Bouvrette posted back-to-back runner-up finish this season in Serie ACT at Autodrome Montmagny in June and Autodrome St-Eustache in July. The Blainville, Que., driver will look to improve on a 20th place finish in his first start in 2013.
48QC Alex Labbe, St-Albert, Que. – Larue Industrial Snowblowers/Desjardins Ford Fusion – Serie ACT Quebec – The reigning Serie ACT Quebec champion is the series’ most winningest driver in 2015 and has visited victory lane four times in just nine starts. Labbe, who missed two events due to NASCAR Canadian Tire Series commitments, finished second to Nick Sweet in the ACT International 500 at Airborne Park Speedway in July. Labbe posted a career best fifth place finish one year ago at New Hampshire in just his third ACT Invitational start.
49NH Matt Anderson, Franklin, N.H. – Watts/Al’s Village Pizza Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – After running the full-time ACT Late Model Tour slate in 2014, Anderson cut back his schedule and ran select events throughout the 2015. Despite the part-time schedule, Anderson, however, has played the role of crew member for Wayne Helliwell Jr. at times during the season. Anderson will make his third start in the Bond Auto ACT Invitational.
54VT Mike Ziter, Williamstown, Vt. – Jeffords Steel & Engineering/Ziter Masonry Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – Ziter will compete in his first ACT Invitational in his second season of Late Model racing. He posted his first career ACT Late Model Tour top-five finish at White Mountain in June after he led a majority of the 150-lap event. He will be one of seven drivers that will compete in the Invitational from the State of Vermont.
58VT Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, Vt. – Hebert Excavations/Lowery Auto Sales Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour – Hebert will make his fourth career start in the ACT Invitational after he posted a career-best sixth place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway one year ago. The 24-year-old driver was impressive in his first start as he drove to the lead early in the race before he faded back to a 16th place finish. Hebert will look to turn a tough 2015 season around in the 50-lap event.
61NH Ryan Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H. – NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala – At-Large – The son of former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East New Hampshire winner Mike Olsen will make his first start on the American-Canadian Tour at the Magic Mile after he attempted to qualify at Beech Ridge earlier this year. The great-grandson of legend Stub Fadden, the multi-time White Mountain Motorsports Park race winner in 2014 was impressive during the open test session at the New Hampshire in August.
68CT Jeff Rocco, Wallingford, Conn. – Boss Roofing/D&G Paving Chevrolet Impala – Thompson Speedway – The twin-brother of the better known Keith Rocco, Jeff Rocco joined the Late Model ranks full-time in 2015 and posted four-straight wins at Thompson Speedway. Rocco also competed in the American-Racer Challenge at New Smyrna Speedway in February and will be a guaranteed-starter in the American-Canadian Tour season finale at Thompson in October. He will make his first start at the Magic Mile.
77MA Jimmy Linardy, Somerville, Mass. – Kayem Hot Dogs/Jim’s Heavy Duty Chevrolet Impala – American-Canadian Tour –The favorite of many in the ACT Late Model Tour pit area, the driver affectionately known as “Scruffy” will make his fourth appearance in the ACT Invitational and will look to improve on his career best 30th place finish.
83QC Martin Goulet Jr., Mascouche, Que. – JR Services Sanitaire Chevrolet Impala – Serie ACT Quebec – The Mascouche, Quebec driver punched his ticket to the Bond Auto ACT Invitational with his first career Serie ACT Quebec win at Autodrome St-Eustache in July. Goulet will make his first career start at the Magic Mile in the ACT Invitational in his third full-time season with the Quebec-based Late Model Series.
91CT Larry Gelians, Buxton, Maine – Vermont Stone Art Ford Fusion – Thompson Speedway – Gelinas made his first career ACT Invitational start one year ago and posted a 20th place finish. The former Oxford 250 race winner has competed full-time at Thompson Speedway in 2015 where he sits sixth in the Late Model standings with one race left.
91QC Patrick Laperle, St-Denis, Que. – RTA Pieces D’Auto Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The Quebec favorite has posted four top-ten place finishes in five ACT Invitational starts, including two runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2014. Laperle competed part-time in 2015, but earned a win in the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model event at Autodrome Chaudiere in June. Laperle also finished runner-up to Joey Polewarczyk Jr. at Airborne in May and sixth in the ACT International 500 in July.
97NH Joey Polewarczyk Jr., , Hudson, N.H. – Pole’s Automotive/CigarPerforator.com Ford Fusion – American-Canadian Tour – The second place point driver on the ACT Late Model Tour leads the series in race wins by visiting victory lane five times in 2015. Polewarczyk, the 2010 winner of the ACT Invitational, has posted a top-ten finish in every Invitational start and will look to become the second repeat winner in the non-point counting event.
98NH Walt Hammond Jr., Canaan, N.H. – Enfield Garage Chevrolet Impala – Devil’s Bowl Speedway – The longtime Canaan, N.H. driver called Devil’s Bowl Speedway home for much of the 2015 season. Hammond will make his first ACT start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after he was quick during the open test session held in August.
07MA Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn. – Summit Ice Ford Fusion – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – The Modified front runner has made noise on both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Valenti Modified Racing Series by posting wins in both series. Pitkat will make his first start in the Bond Auto ACT Invitational, but he is no stranger to the Magic Mile as he won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event in September 2014 as well as the All-Star Shootout in July.
07QC Jean-Pierre Ouimet, Terrebonne, Que. – Ouimet Transport Chevrolet Impala – Serie ACT Quebec – Ouimet was a late addition after fellow Quebec driver Gaetan Gaudreault was forced to withdraw due to an incident at the previous Serie ACT Quebec event. Ouimet competed with the American-Canadian Tour at New Smyrna Speedway in February and will make his first career New Hampshire Motor Speedway start in the ACT Invitational.
(Photos by Alan Ward, Eric LaFleche, Jamie Williams, Sylvain Morin, Team Provided, and T.J. Ingerson)