Contributed by: ACT Staff
Hoar Closes Point Gap, Heads for Thunder Road
Labor Day Classic Kicks off $300,000 Fall Winnings
The championship battle for the American Canadian Tour’s biggest stars will be in town for a critical points event this Sunday, September 2 at the 34th Annual Bond Auto Labor Day Classic at Barre’s Thunder Road. Point leader Wayne Helliwell, Jr. will have to defend his slim 22-point lead from eight-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar, hot off his win at Circuit Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix, QC last weekend.
With two races remaining for the Championship to be decided, a familiar two-horse battle has re-emerged. Dover, NH’s Helliwell leads Williston, VT’s Hoar by 22 points coming into the Labor Day Classic, a track where Hoar owns 12 victories. The pair has combined for 13 top tens in 16 starts, vaulting them into a championship scrap that is now coming down to the wire.
Helliwell has risen to the top on the wings of three victories and five top fives, but Hoar has battled back in an attempt to defend his title with three victories of his own. Hoar won the Merchants Bank 150 in the Spring at Thunder Road, but not without locking horns with then second-place point man Helliwell, who pulled the packed house to their feet during an all-out war between the two in the closing laps. The battle picks back up this Sunday, September 2 as the Championship hits the homestretch.
Hoar is ready to return to The ‘Road. “We’re going to keep the pressure on them and just keep doing what we can do,” said Hoar in a team press release. “We’re going to race hard for it. Let the best man win, let the best team win. We’re going for it.”
Upon hearing Hoar’s words, Helliwell remained confident. “They have been on top, so we have come to expect that. Hopefully we’ve rattled their cage and are making them try things they wouldn’t normally do. We will continue putting the pressure on and race them as hard as we can as we have all season. Going to be tough and tight all the way to the end,” said Helliwell. “We feel fairly confident coming to Thunder Road. It’s always subject to change, but we were good there last time and I think we’ve found a few things over the season that will make us a tick better this time around. The pressure really isn’t there for us, we’ve never point raced persay. Just try to win every time out, and when we can’t, we do the best we can,” he finished.
Groveton, NH’s Randy Potter will look to bounce back at the Labor Day Classic, returning for the first time since a brutal multi-car wreck that left his car strewn across turn one last May. Potter proved his grit last weekend at Circuit Riverside on a sensational drive from 34th to 5th in the feature event after the front end of his #02 Chevrolet was destroyed in the first curve of his qualifying heat. Potter, along with teams from both sides of the border, rebuilt the front end of the car just in time for the drop of the green flag.
Potter is wary of his recent luck. “I’m a little apprehensive, to be honest, but we’re pretty relentless. I think last week was hopefully a momentum builder,” said Potter. “Sometimes it takes something like that to realize what you’ve got, and how much people respect you. It really shows what the other teams think of you when they all rally around you like that.”
The American Canadian Tour will be back in town this Sunday, September 2 for the 34th Annual Bond Auto Labor Day Classic at Barre’s Thunder Road. Post time is 1:00pm.