LEE, N.H. — The American-Canadian Tour season continues to go the way of the home-track driver, and Friday night Miles Chipman of Epping, N.H., earned his first career victory at Lee USA Speedway. Despite a solid season at the 3/8-mile track on the New Hampshire seacoast, Chipman was not initially considered among the hometown favorites that could challenge for the victory in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150.

Dracut, Mass., driver Wayne Helliwell, Jr., a three-time Lee USA winner in 2010 and frequent ACT Late Model Tour competitor, handily won his qualifying heat and took the lead from John Donahue on lap 12. Chipman, meanwhile, disposed of polesitter Travis Adams, Brent Dragon, and eventually Donahue before making his way to Helliwell on lap 45.

A restart three laps later brought Chipman alongside Helliwell, and the two exchanged the lead seven times, unofficially, over the next 40 laps. Chipman eventually took the lead for good on lap 105, then cruised to the win. As Helliwell faded to a sixth-place finish, another Lee driver, Jeffrey Labrecque of Rochester, N.H., rallied late to finish second. Defending ACT champion Brian Hoar of Williston was third.

Chipman became the first Lee USA Speedway driver to win an ACT Late Model Tour event since the series began racing there in 2003. With the win, he becomes the fifth driver to earn a starting spot in the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

“It’s just awesome to win,” said Chipman. “The car was good, it never fell off, and we just kept picking off cars. I kept looking in my mirror for the ACT regulars to catch up and they never did. It’s great for the Lee regulars that we were finally able to win one [against the ACT drivers].”

Chipman’s win added to an impressive career for car owner David Storey; Storey has fielded cars since the 1980s with such notable drivers as Buzzie Bezanson, Paul Richardson, Dale Shaw, Dave Pembroke, and Robbie Crouch. Chipman’s win came in a car built by Shaw in 2004 that had previously won ACT events at Oxford Plains (Me.) Speedway and Thunder Road in Barre.

“To be a Lee regular and win this, that means a lot,” said Storey. “This is up there with Buzzie winning the New England 300 at Beech Ridge in 1989, it’s the same feeling. You don’t get too many of these, so you savor it while you can.”

Hyde Park driver Eric Williams started fourth, fell as far back as 13th at mid-race, and rebounded to finish fourth in a tight battle with Hoar. Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier finished fifth. Brent Dragon finished seventh behind Helliwell, followed by Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., rookie Austin Theriault, and Donahue.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150
ACT Late Model Tour — Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H.
Friday, June 11, 2010

# – denotes rookie

1. (5) Miles Chipman, Epping, N.H.
2. (14) Jeffrey Labrecque, Jr., Rochester, N.H.
3. (13) Brian Hoar, Williston
4. (4) Eric Williams, Hyde Park
5. (9) Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier
6. (3) Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dracut, Mass.
7. (8) Brent Dragon, Milton
8. (25) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, N.H.
9. (17) # Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Me.
10. (2) John Donahue, Graniteville
11. (30) Randy Potter, Groveton, N.H.
12. (15) J.R. Baril, Haverhill, Mass.
13. (28) # Bradley Babb, Windham, Me.
14. (11) Scott Dragon, Colchester
15. (21) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
16. (27) Pete Potvin, III, Graniteville
17. (12) Scott Payea, Milton
18. (23) Craig Bushey, Cambridge
19. (6) Ricky Rolfe, Albany Twp., Me.
20. (19) Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton
21. (7) Mark Hayward, Newport, N.H.
22. (29) Quinny Welch, Lancaster, N.H.
23. (1) Travis Adams, Canton, Me.
24. (16) # Dave Paya, Milton
25. (20) Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
26. (22) A.J. Begin, Merrimac, Mass.
27. (10) Derek Lynch, Warkworth, Ont.
28. (18) Eric Chase, Burlington
29. (31) Jimmy Linardy, Malden, Mass.
30. (24) Brad Leighton, Center Harbor, N.H.
31. (26) T.J. Watson, Cundy’s Harbor, Me.