COLCHESTER -- A Wednesday evening meeting may prove to be a very decisive point in the future of the American-Canadian Tour: Jean-Paul Cyr is back. The seven-time series champion has agreed to return in 2010, driving for veteran racer Gary Caron of Colchester. What's more, Cyr is also trying to piece together a run at his second-straight Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl championship in Barre with owner Joey Laquerre.
Both deals are dependent upon sponsorship dollars, but will potentially bring Cyr back to the circuit he dominated for most of the last decade, as well as giving him the potential to build a similar dynasty at Thunder Road.
Caron team member Keith Williams, who was also a member of Cyr's ACT Late Model Tour championship teams with owner Rick Paya from 2003-07, said the Cyr-Caron partnership has been in progress for a while. "It was a done deal before [Wednesday], we just put together some of the details at the meeting," said Williams. "We're going to make the opener at Lee (N.H.) and go to the first few races, and we'll continue if it's going well."
Cyr, of Milton, won ACT Late Model Tour championships as an owner/driver in 1994, 1996, and 2003-06. In two seasons driving for Paya, he was the champion in 2007 and finished third overall in 2008, his last full ACT season. Cyr won the 2009 Thunder Road title driving for a new team led by Laquerre and his son, crew chief Jeff Laquerre.
Caron won three consecutive ACT Late Model Tour events in 1995, and has been running part-time with ACT and at Thunder Road for several seasons while developing the career of his son, Kyle. Reportedly, Kyle Caron will continue to race weekly at Thunder Road in his own car.
Williams said Cyr will drive Caron's familiar #22 at all Tour events except May 2 and Sept. 5 at Thunder Road, when he would potentially drive the Laquerre #11 car. Williams said other drivers may be considered for the Caron car at Thunder Road races; Chip Grenier raced a limited ACT schedule for Caron in 2009.
(Cyr photo by Leif Tillotson)