HEBERT

Jimmy Hebert races to victory during an American-Canadian Tour event at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.

The ACT Late Model Tour heads back to New Hampshire on Saturday the Spring Green event at White Mountain Motorsports Park.

The final ACT event of the spring is shaping up as a big showdown featuring the Tour regulars, several weekly White Mountain standouts and a few of the region’s top Super Late Model stars.

After four weeks off, the field is anxious to get back on track. They’ll do so at the only track hosting three Tour events in 2021. The Spring Green has long been one of ACT’s most prestigious events. This Saturday is the 46th edition of the Spring Green and the 33rd ACT Late Model Tour event overall at White Mountain.

In 2021, the Spring Green is also a prelude to the $10,000-to-win Midsummer Classic 250 on July 31 and the $5,000-to-win Fall Foliage 200 on Sept. 26. With three big ACT Tour events and an average of 24 Late Models at this year’s weekly shows, White Mountain Motorsports Park is becoming a new mecca for ACT Late Model racing.

“I like it,” Joey Polewarcyzk said. “White Mountain is one of my favorite tracks. It’s smooth, it’s got multiple grooves and I feel like the racing is actually getting better there. They repaved it a few years ago, and it was a little line-sensitive for a while, but I feel like it’s starting to come back to a two-groove track. It’s just a lot of fun to race on, and it always draws pretty good fields. So I think it’s a perfect spot.”

Polewarcyzk is of the drivers to watch Saturday. He has earned multiple Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model victories at White Mountain, including one on May 23. But despite seven top-5 results and two runner-up finishes, Polewarcyzk has yet to carry an ACT checkered flag at the quarter-mile track. A White Mountain win is one of the few items missing on Polewarczyk’s distinguished ACT résumé, and his Pole’s Automotive team is anxious to finally check off that box.

“I’ve been going there my whole career, because ACT usually has a few stops at White Mountain, and I’ve been close numerous times,” Polewarczyk said, “We have a couple of seconds, a couple of thirds and a lot of good runs. We just haven’t found Victory Lane yet. That’s one of the reasons why we’re coming this weekend. We had a really good weekend with the PASS car a few weeks ago, so now we’ll bring the old Late Model out and see what she can do.”

Polewarczyk is aiming for his second Spring Green victory at two different tracks. The Spring Green is one of the ACT’s most historic events. It began in 1974 at Catamount Stadium as part of the Northern NASCAR Series. It transferred to the NASCAR North Tour in 1979 and then to the newly-founded ACT Pro Stock Tour in 1986. Since 1995, the Spring Green has largely belonged to the ACT Late Model Tour, apart from two seasons with the former Tiger Tour. Nearly every season, one lap has been added to reflect the year, going from 74 laps in 1974 to 121 laps this time around.

Along with shifting series and lap counts, the Spring Green has also changed tracks six times. After Catamount Stadium closed following the 1987 season, the Spring Green moved to Quebec’s Sanair Superspeedway for one year and then took 1989 off before settling at New York’s Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway in 1990. It bounced between Airborne and Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway from 2011 to 2017 before falling off the schedule again in 2018. Saturday will be the third straight year the event is held at White Mountain Motorsports Park.

All the while, the Spring Green has maintained its status as a crown jewel of the early Northeast racing schedule. ACT Tour stars such as point leader Ben Rowe, Lee USA Speedway winner D.J. Shaw, multi-time White Mountain weekly winner Stephen Donahue and rookie sensation Erick Sands are raring to add the event to their list of accomplishments.

Defending ACT Champion Jimmy Hebert is one of the biggest potential wild cards. Hebert, last year’s Spring Green winner, is still rebuilding from a devastating practice crash at Lee USA Speedway. The veteran said on Wednesday that, although the Hebert Excavation team still has some late shop nights ahead, the plan is still to defend their Spring Green crown.

They’ll be facing off against a long list of contenders. Eight-time White Mountain Champion Quinny Welch has entered the event in search of his first ACT Tour win. So has Ryan Olsen, who won the track’s season opener. Mike Hopkins, the reigning PASS National Champion, has filed an entry after making his ACT debut at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway in April.

The 121-lap celebration of spring is joined by the local Flying Tigers, Strictly Stock Mini’s and Kids Trucksa action. Admission is $20 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and $40 for a family of four (two adults, two children). Post time is 6 p.m.

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