Contributed by: ACT Staff
Travis Stearns Scores First ACT Win in Labor Day Classic
Travis Stearns of Auburn, Maine scored his first career American Canadian Tour victory in one of the biggest races on the 2013 schedule. The rookie held off eight-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar to claim the win in the 35th Annual VT Foodbank Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road on Sunday, September 1.
Two-time Thunder Road Champion Dave Pembroke led the entire first half of the 200 lap event, building a large lead through lap traffic before the second caution flag of the event flew on lap 116. Every lead lap car took advantage of the caution period to visit pit road for fresh right side tires. Hoar and Stearns were the first two cars back onto the race track claiming the first and second positions but starting 4th and 5th respectively on the ensuing restart. Pembroke stalled on the exit of pit road and could not get the car refired sending him to the tail of the field.
Stearns gained the advantage on the restart, getting around Hoar through the lapped traffic to take a lead he would never relinquish. Hoar slid back as far as fourth before mounting a comeback with 60 laps to go. He moved his way back into second with just under 50 laps to go and set his sights on Stearns. While Hoar got to his rear bumper with 15 laps remaining, Stearns protected the outside lane. Hoar couldn’t find the bite on the inside and came up a half car length short coming to the line as the two fishtailed to the finish.