Drivers compete for position during an American-Canadian Tour race.

The American-Canadian Tour wraps up the 2019 ACT Late Model Tour season this Saturday, Oct. 12, at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway. The World Series 75 is part of the annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing that brings 20 of the region’s best touring divisions and weekly series together for three days of great racing.

ACT stars such as Rich Dubeau, Jimmy Hebert, Scott Payea and Ryan Kuhn will take on many locals from Thompson, Seekonk Speedway, and other nearby tracks in the Saturday-night event. History has shown that Thompson is one track where the locals more than hold their own whenever ACT comes to town.

Last October saw a local triumph in the World Series 75 as former Thompson Speedway Champion William Wall took the victory. This year, Thompson standouts such as point leader Woody Pitkat, of Bellingham, Mass., multi-time winner Mark Jenison, of Warwick, RI, and local legend Glenn Boss, of Danielson, Conn., will try to score their first ACT triumph at the legendary track. Pitkat finished second in ACT’s first visit of the year this past June and is eager to do one spot better.

“I’m feeling pretty excited,” Pitkat said. “The last race (in June) was really the first time out with the car this year. Bob Filla and his guys pretty much take care of the car and maintain it – I just show up and drive! But he’s always given me a piece that I’m able to adapt to and that I’m comfortable with. We always seem to be fast. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

This is the fifth straight year that ACT has concluded its season at the Sunoco World Series. The racing festival began in 1963 and is one of the biggest events of its kind in North America. ACT joins major series such as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, International Super Modified Association, Northeastern Midget Association, and North East Mini Stock Tour for the 57th edition of the World Series.

While many ACT drivers are sticking to their own series to focus on the season-ending point battles, other drivers at Thompson will take advantage of the opportunity to run other events. Many locals are expected to compete in both the Thompson Late Model finale on Friday and the World Series 75 on Saturday. Others, like Pitkat, jump in cars such as Modifieds and Midgets and truly make it a full weekend of racing.

“Sometimes I’m in the points battle in a series, and sometimes I’m not, but I feel like running a couple different divisions throughout the weekend kind of gets your mind off that,” Pitkat said. “It doesn’t give you a chance to worry about it – you’re just in one car, and out, and into another one. Your mind is just focused on what the cars are doing so you can give the crew members as much feedback as you can. That’s one of the things I like about the World Series. Also, it’s the end of the year, so it’s bragging rights as well. If you win there, you can have those bragging rights for the whole winter and have that little bit of momentum to build up to the following year.”

Pitkat and others will have to hold off the best of ACT to defend their track. ACT’s charge is led by Rich Dubeau, of Plainfield, New Hampshire. The fifth-year Tour veteran is coming off his second win of the year at Barre’s Thunder Road and a segment win in the non-point Vermont Milk Bowl. Dubeau only needs to start the main event to be crowned the 2019 ACT Champion, marking a culmination of a journey that began in 2015.

However, there is plenty still to be decide throughout the field. Number-two point man Jimmy Hebert, of Williamstown, is going for the season sweep at Thompson after capturing the Summer Kickoff Series event in June. Colchester’s Scott Payea is looking for his first win at Thompson in his final race as reigning champion. A win could help Payea steal the runner-up spot from Hebert in the final standings.

Top ACT rookie Ryan Kuhn, of E. Bridgewater Mass., is putting the finishing touches on an impressive campaign. Meanwhile, sophomore standout Dylan Payea is trying to bounce back from two straight rough Thunder Road outings. Newmarket, NH’s Bryan Kruczek could become ACT’s only three-time winner in 2019 as he gears up for a reported championship run in 2020. Quebec veteran Claude Leclerc, rising Vermont racer Christopher Pelkey, and many more are getting ready to make the haul to Connecticut.

The ACT Late Model Tour travels to Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway this Saturday, Oct. 12, for the World Series 75. Post time is 2:20 p.m. for the second day of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. The Saturday program also includes features for the Valenti Modified Racing Series, NEMA Lites, Exit Realty Pro Truck Challenge, North East Mini Stock Tour, and many other divisions. The pits open at 7 a.m. and the front gates open at 9:30 a.m. A three-day general admission ticket is $55 for adults, $50 for seniors/veterans/active military, and free for kids ages 12 and under.

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