PHOTO: Brian Hoar celebrates his New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 victory with a smokey burnout. (Leif Tillotson photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

LEE, N.H. — Brian Hoar began his record breaking eighth American-Canadian Tour championship season with a victory in last year’s New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. Fast forward one year later and the victor remains the same.

But the path to get there for the Williston, Vt., driver featured many more twists and turns this year.

Hoar was one of front running driver that took advantage of a lap 117 caution flag to pit for two, new right side tires and make an adjustment on his race car. Hoar restarted eighth in the running order, and further back on the track, when the green flag racing resumed with then leader Ben Rowe. Rowe lost the lead on the restart to favorite Eddie MacDonald, however.

MacDonald, who hadn’t pitted yet, was caught quickly by the fresh tired No. 97 of Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. It appeared to be only a matter of time when Polewarczyk would become the race leader. He had made a daring three-wide move to get into second, and had rapidly caught MacDonald.

The faster Polewarczyk then caught MacDonald a little too quickly as the duo went through turns one and two. MacDonald would spin off Polewarczyk’s bumper on lap 130, and Polewarczyk would be penalized to the rear. The beneficiary of the incident? Brian Hoar.

But Hoar’s victory wasn’t sealed just yet. Hoar had to first hold off the seven-time ACT champion Jean-Paul Cyr, and then the eight-time Lee USA Speedway champion Wayne Helliwell over the races final three restarts. He did, and took his record leading 34th series victory.

“I got an eight-time Lee USA Speedway champion on my outside, I was shaking in my boots,” Hoar joked. “Nobody’s better here and I learned a lot from [Helliwell]. I didn’t like those restarts. Restarts are just more opportunities for mistakes.”

Hoar wasn’t a major factor in the first portion of the race. He had moved up into the top five before fading prior to the lap 117 caution.

“Early on, I didn’t think I was going to have the car to beat,” Hoar said. “The first part of the race, I was kind of whining like a little baby. [The team] made some good adjustments. We opened the hood on the pit stop and lost a little bit of time, but it was a good adjustment. It tightened [the car] up a little bit and it definitely helped.”

Helliwell finished second after challenging Hoar over the final 19 laps. The Dover, N.H., driver battled back after being the cause of the lap 117 caution, spinning out on his own off of turn two.

“I don’t think I’ve spun out here on my own, ever. That’s bad,” Helliwell joked. “I kind of have to hang my head about that. We didn’t go down a lap, got tires on it, and the car came right back. We had those restarts with Brian, and I had to be on my game. I tried to get the jump each time, and we got close, but our cars were too equal to get around him on the outside.”

Fort Kent, Maine’s Austin Theriault charged from his 19th place starting position to finish third. Polewarczyk, of Hudson, N.H., rallied from his penalty to finish fourth. Second year racer Ben Ashline, of Pittston, Maine, tied his career best finish with a fifth.

Polesitter Jeff Taylor was sixth, while Eddie MacDonald recovered from his spin to finish seventh. Cyr, Jeffrey Labrecque, Jr., and Ray Parent completed the unofficial top ten.

The American-Canadian Tour Late Models open up the Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl season in Barre, Vt., on Sunday, April 29. Vermont Motorsports Magazine will have more from the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 this week.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150
American-Canadian Tour — Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H.
Sunday, April 15, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

1. (9) Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt.
2. (5) Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, N.H.
3. (19) Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
4. (13) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, N.H.
5. (3) Ben Ashline, Pittston, Maine
6. (1) Jeff Taylor, Farmington, Maine
7. (12) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
8. (6) Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, Vt.
9. (18) Jeffrey Labrecque, Jr., Rochster, N.H.
10. (25) Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I.
11. (21) Shawn Martin, Turner, Maine
12. (4) Randy Potter, Groveton, N.H.
13. (20) Karl Allard, Saint-Felicien, Que.
14. (14) Quinny Welch, Lancaster, N.H.
15. (26) Todd Patnode, Richmond, N.H.
16. (23) Luke Hinkley, Claremont, N.H.
17. (15) Eric Chase, Milton, Vt.
18. (24) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, Vt.
19. (28) Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township, Maine
20. (8) Donald Theetge, Boischatel, Que.
21. (17) Brent Dragon, Milton, Vt.
22. (27) James Linardy, Somerville, Mass.
23. (22) Mike Kenison, Lancaster, N.H.
24. (7) Glen Luce, Turner, Maine
25. (10) Ben Rowe, Turner, Maine
26. (16) Derek Lynch, Warkworth, Ont.
27. (2) Nick Sweet, Barre, Vt.
28. (11) Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y.