NORTH WOODSTOCK, N.H. — Entries from the biggest names in Northeast Late Model racing have already started to arrive for the Midsummer 250 at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Aug. 3. The $10,000-to-win affair is drawing interest from racers in both the U.S. and Canada as the longest, richest event on the ACT Late Model Tour calendar.
Quebec driver Patrick Laperle was one of the first to file an entry. “Le Grand” Laperle has been knocking off big wins his entire American-Canadian Tour (ACT) career, including three victories in the Vermont Milk Bowl and a $25,000 score in the 2014 ACT International.
The former ACT & Série ACT champion is looking for his second career victory at WMMP and first since back in 2002. A victory would break a tie with fellow legend Brian Hoar for the most ACT-sanctioned wins — and add another five-figure payday to his ledger in the process.
“For sure, there’s big money to win,” Laperle said. “Last time we were there in May, we finished fifth, and the car wasn’t as good as it is right now. So I think we have a good shot for the win. But you never know. There’s a lot of good racers that are going to be there — all the best from ACT plus some guys from Quebec are going to be there, so it’s going to be tough. But it would be awesome to win.
“We ran this event last year, and the car wasn’t that good, and we didn’t even finish the race,” Laperle added. “But with the way the car is going right now, I think we’ve got a good shot. We’ve changed a bunch of stuff on the car. Every time we change stuff, though, it’s getting better. So that’s good news for us — maybe not for the competition, though!”
The current WMMP points leader is also ready to defend his home track. Seven-time WMMP Late Model champion Quinny Welch of Groveton, New Hampshire, has sent in his Midsummer 250 entry and will headline the list of locals who try to outrun the invaders.
Welch took second in ACT’s first visit to WMMP this year for the Spring Green. Should Welch succeed in doing one spot better, he would become the first track regular to win an ACT Late Model Tour event.
ACT has also received a verbal commitment from Hudson, New Hampshire’s Joey Polewarcyzk, the winner last time out at Star Speedway. “Joey Pole” has been running a partial ACT Tour schedule this year in his return to competition, but the team confirmed following their Star victory that they will be at WMMP on Aug. 3.
Like Laperle, Polewarczyk is no stranger to big ACT Late Model wins. The 2014 tour champion has victories in the ACT International, Oxford 250, ACT NHMS Invitational and Vermont Governor’s Cup under ACT rules. Earlier this year, Pole came out on top in ACT’s inaugural visit to Virginia’s Richmond Raceway, joining a select group that has won at the historic track.
These invaders and many others will join the best of the ACT Late Model Tour in an event that comes as the championship hunt is hitting high gear. Lebanon, New Hamsphire’s Rich Dubeau currently holds a 14-point edge over Williamstown’s Jimmy Hebert. Two-time defending champion Scott Payea, of Colchester, is 55 points behind Dubeau in third. With just four point-counting events remaining, every lap will matter for the trio from here on out.
Many other ACT regulars could be a threat to win the $10,000 top prize. East Bridgewater, Massachusetts’ Ryan Kuhn earned his first ACT podium finish at Star and now returns to a track where he has multiple top-10 finishes. Blainville, Quebec’s Jonathan Bouvrette resurrected his season over the month of June and looks to keep the momentum rolling.
Milton’s Dylan Payea turned in his season’s best effort at Autodrome Chaudiere, a bullring that bears similarities to the New Hampshire oval. Chris Pelkey, Scott Coburn, Claude Leclerc and the rest of the Tour regulars are also ready to roll.
Teams can enter the Midsummer 250 by submitting the entry form at www.acttour.com/rules. The early-entry deadline for the event is Monday, July 22.
Qualifying begins at 6 p.m. The ACT Late Model Tour will be joined by WMMP’s Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis and 7-Eleven Dwarf Cars. The pits open at 11 a.m. and the front gates open at 2 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12, and $50 for a family of four (two adults, two children).