Albany-Saratoga 100 coverage presented by RPM Racing Engines
MALTA, N.Y. -- Come Sunday, Patrick Laperle's self-imposed exile from the American-Canadian Tour will be over before it ever really started.
Laperle, the 2008 ACT Late Model Tour champion and 2007 Serie ACT-Castrol champion, defected from ACT last September after a falling out with series president Tom Curley, threatening to leave the series for "two years".
A controversial move by Laperle at Autodrome St-Eustache in his native Quebec at the 2009 Serie ACT-Castrol finale left him penalized by Curley and ACT, effectively costing him his second Castrol title by just a single point to Donald Theetge. Laperle skipped the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road the following week -- a race he had won three times in the previous four years -- and the ACT Late Model Tour season finale at Oxford Plains Speedway in October.
Tuesday night, though, he told Vermont Motorsports Magazine that he'll be at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y., for the ACT Late Model Tour season opener on Sunday.
Laperle said he has little interest in racing with Curley, but feels competing this weekend is something he owes to his family team.
"I don't want to go," he said. "I haven't talked to Tom and I don't want to. My brothers Eric and Daniel want to test the car, and we're usually pretty good at new tracks, so we're going."
The Albany-Saratoga 100 is the first event for ACT at the newly-paved track. Laperle has previously won inaugural ACT events at Lee USA, Twin State, St-Eustache, and Kawartha.
"It's a track nobody has really been to, and we'll probably have a good chance to win," he said. "Beyond this weekend, I'm racing a dirt modified once at Granby this year, but other than that... when, where, we don't know.
"But we're going to Albany this weekend. We're not doing it for Tom Curley. We're doing it for us."