NORTH WOODSTOCK, N.H. — The American-Canadian Tour will invade White Mountain Motorsports Park at 6 p.m. Saturday for the 44th Spring Green 119.
The event will mark the third ACT race in 14 days to kick of the 2019 season. The Spring Green competition dates back to 1974 at the former Catamount Stadium as part of the Northern NASCAR circuit. This will be the first time it is held at the White Mountain track following additional stints at Quebec’s Sanair Super Speedway, New York’s Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway and Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway. One of the event’s trademarks is adding one lap with each passing year to match the calendar, making the Spring Green 119 laps for 2019.
“The Spring Green is one of those fun events that truly signals the arrival of spring in the Northeast,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “Getting it back on the schedule was a priority this year, and when we decided to add a second event at WMMP, making it the Spring Green was a natural fit. Having the event at a shorter track also changes the dynamics. The Spring Green has always been held at larger speedways, and by adding one more lap each year, it gradually shifted from a sprint-type race to a more long-distance affair. Moving it to the ¼-mile WMMP high banks brings back some of that sprint feel and should make for an action-filled night.”
This year’s Spring Green arrives just as the early-season dynamics have shifted dramatically. Perennial ACT front-runner Jimmy Hebert now sits atop the standings following Sunday’s Community Bank N.A. 150 at Thunder Road. Rich Dubeau is four points behind in second, with Oxford winner Bryan Kruczek another four points back in third. All have been fast early and will try to continue their quick ways at WMMP.
What’s more noticeable for many fans is a name not in that group. The 2019 ACT title chase was shaken up on Sunday when two-time defending champion Scott Payea failed to qualify for the Community Bank N.A. 150. It is believed to be the first time since 2002, when Pete Fecteau failed to qualify for the Fall Foliage 200, that the defending ACT Champion did not make the main event.
As a result, Payea has fallen to seventh in the standings and will try to rebound on Saturday. In the meantime, the door has been opened for others to make a championship run. Veteran Chip Grenier and top rookie Stephen Donahue now sit fourth and fifth overall after strong starts. Donahue is already a multi-time winner at WMMP in weekly competition, making Saturday’s event a prime opportunity for an early statement. Defending Rookie of the Year Dylan Payea is sixth in the standings and ready to break into the top-five.
They’ll be joined by other top ACT Late Model racers from throughout the Northeast. A strong Canadian presence will be on hand once again, led by Patrick Laperle. He will make his first point-counting start of the season at a track, like many, where he is a previous winner. He joins fellow Quebec drives Jonathan Bouvrette, Mathieu Kingsbury and Claude Leclerc, all of whom are on track for a full season with the ACT Late Model Tour.
Saturday’s Spring Green is also a points-counting event for the Late Models, meaning the track’s best weekly racers will take on the ACT invaders. Seven-time champion Quinny Welch has officially entered the event, and others such as four-time champion Stacy Cahoon, former winner Jesse Switser and North East Mini Stock Tour Champion Cody LeBlanc are expected be on hand.
Saturday’s season-opener at WMMP will also features the Flying Tigers, Strictly Stock Minis, Dwarf Cars and Kids Trucks. Admission is $20 for adults and free for children 12-and-under.
The day will begins with the annual WMMP Car Show on the track from 10 a.m. to noon. The Car Show is free for the public to attend. Practice for all divisions is scheduled from 1-5 p.m.