WATERBURY -- The American-Canadian Tour released most of its 2010 Late Model Tour schedule earlier this week, with 13 confirmed dates at nine venues in New England, New York, and Québec. Two more dates are expected to be added this month, according to the series' official press release.
Tentatively, the ACT Late Model Tour will open its season for the third-straight year at Lee USA (N.H.) Speedway, on April 18. The series then travels to Malta, N.Y. on April 25 for its first-ever visit to Albany-Saratoga Speedway, which is currently undergoing a major transformation from a clay surface to asphalt.
Barre's Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl will host three events, while Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. and Oxford Plains (Me.) Speedway will each have a pair of races. Single events will also be held at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Me., Twin State Speedway in Claremont, N.H., and Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix, Qué. Two dates have been reserved for non-championship events: the TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains on July 18 and the third-annual "Showdown at Chaudière", an all-star race for the ACT Late Model Tour and Série ACT-Castrol, at Autodrome Chaudière in Vallée-Jonction, Qué. on August 28.
POINTS OF INTEREST
--No mention of a return date to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. was made in the ACT press release, although it is widely believed that an announcement will be made in the near future. NHMS hosted the first-ever ACT Invitational, a 50-lap, non-points event, on Saturday, Sept. 19 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Sylvania 300 weekend. The spectator crowd, estimated by some near 40,000, was reported to be one of the track's most successful Saturday draws in its 20-year history.
--The 200-lap event at Riverside Speedway (formerly Circuit Ste-Croix) on August 14 marks the first championship-counting ACT Late Model Tour event in Québec since a race at Autodrome St-Eustache in July 2007. The "Can-Am Confrontation by the Seaway" at Riverside will also be a combination event for ACT's two touring series, and is the first race since the 2007 St-Eustache event that will award championship points for both the U.S.-based ACT Late Model Tour and the Canadian-based Série ACT-Castrol. Riverside's 5/8-mile layout is the largest that either series will compete on in 2010.
--ACT president Tom Curley has asked track promoters to be conscientious of traveling race teams and fans in the upcoming season. "For 2010 ACT feature events, we have requested that the features be started no later than 8:30pm," said Curley. "We continue to try and accommodate the fans and teams of ACT racing in our efforts to make the tours friendlier to compete in and to attend." Some events were negatively effected by late start times in 2009, including a 100-lap feature at Twin State Speedway in September that began just before 11:30pm.
--Big Bigelow of the Caledonian-Record (Vt.) is reporting that there will be no "Pick 10" championship format in 2010, and that all point-counting events on the schedule will count toward the ACT Late Model Tour championship.
--Two tracks that have hosted multiple ACT Late Model Tour events, Connecticut's Waterford Speedbowl and Kawartha Speedway in Ontario, have not yet been included in the 2010 ACT schedule. Kawartha has held one ACT event each year since 2007, while Waterford rejoined the schedule in 2008 and '09 after a four-year absence; Waterford recently staved off foreclosure for the second time. Both tracks operate with a weekly Late Model division under ACT-legal rulebooks.
--The 100-lap event at Albany-Saratoga will be the 200th championship-counting race for the ACT Late Model Tour, which began in 1992.
--Two major events at Thunder Road -- the Merchants Bank 150 and the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 -- remain on the ACT Late Model Tour schedule. The third event, however, will not be the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, as it was in 2009, but rather the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl, which closes the ACT championship on October 2/3.
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR 2010 SCHEDULE (as of Nov. 9, 2009)
1. Sun., April 18 -- Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. -- 150
2. Sun., April 25 -- Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Malta, N.Y. -- 100
3. Sun., May 2 -- Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre -- 150
4. Sat., May 8 -- Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 100
5. Sun., May 16 -- Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me. -- 150
6. Sat., June 19 -- Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me. -- 150
7. Sat., June 26 -- White Mountain Motorsports Park, North Woodstock, N.H. -- 150
-- Sun., July 18 -- Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Me. -- 250 (non-points)
8. Sat., July 24 -- Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough (Portland), Me. -- 150
9. Fri., July 30 -- Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H. -- 100
10. Sat., Aug. 14 -- Riverside Speedway, Ste-Croix (Québec City), Qué. -- 200 (Tour/Castrol combo)
-- Sat., Aug. 28 -- Autodrome Chaudière, Vallée-Jonction, Qué. -- 200 (non-points)
11. Sun., Sept. 5 -- Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre -- 200
12. Sun., Sept. 12 -- Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, N.Y. -- 300
13. Sat./Sun., Oct. 2/3 -- Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre -- 150