Thunder Road, Thompson Speedway confirm 2018 dates

–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
VMM Editor

WATERBURY — How the 2018 ACT Late Model Tour season will look became a bit clearer this week.

Thunder Road Speedbowl and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park both announced their 2018 schedules on Monday and will each host ACT Late Model Tour events.

Thunder Road will again serve as the ACT Late Model Tour’s “home” tracks after Thunder Road track owners Cris Michaud and Pat Malone took ownership of the series just two weeks ago. As in 2017, Thunder Road will host two Tour events, the track lid-lifter Community Bank 150 on Sunday, April 29 and the end-of-summer Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday, September 2.

The ACT Late Model Tour championship will be decided again at Thompson Speedway for the fourth straight year as part of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. That event will take place on Saturday, October 13 as part of three-day event that features the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, International Supermodified Association, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Northeast Midget Association, Granite State Pro Stock Series, Northeast Mini Stock Tour, and Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.

This past season, Scott Payea twice overcame early race incidents to claim wins at Thunder Road that helped propel him to his first series championship. Eddie MacDonald earned a dominating win at Thompson in October.

Bobby Therrien picked up the win at Thompson in 2016 while Brian Hoar announced he was stepping away from the driver’s seat after his 2015 win.

“Since switching to the ACT Late Model rules package, our Late Model division car counts have nearly tripled, and fans have been thrilled with the exciting wheel-to-wheel racing that takes place in the division,” Thompson Speedway General Manager Josh Vanada said. “It was a pleasure for us to fulfill one of Tom Curley’s wishes to bring the American-Canadian Tour to Thompson for their championship event.

“Each October, we welcome them back to crown their champion, which has become an annual privilege for us. We look forward to continuing the great tradition under Cris Michaud and Pat Malone’s ownership.”

For Thunder Road, the 2018 season continues the longstanding relationship between the track and series since the founding of the ACT Late Model Tour in 1992. Thunder Road has hosted 68 races since the series inception and has produced 33 different winners. That is 20 more than the next track, Airborne Park Speedway, and more than double the next active asphalt track, Oxford Plains Speedway.

White Mountain Motorsports Park is the next current ACT Late Model Tour track with 27 races. The track is expected to hold at least one ACT Late Model Tour event in 2018 as they have done since 1998.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and Seekonk Speedway, two tracks that held ACT Late Model Tour races one year ago, have published tentative 2018 schedules that do not have a scheduled ACT Late Model Tour date. Beech Ridge has scheduled a Valenti Modified Racing Series event in place of last year’s scheduled ACT event while Seekonk will run a Monster Truck Madness event.

Serie ACT Quebec director M.P. Roy informed that he is currently looking at a 10-race schedule for 2018.

Series officials state they hope to have the complete 2018 scheduled released within the coming weeks.

PHOTO: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will once again host the ACT Late Model Tour season finale in 2018. (Alan Ward photo)