WHETHER HE WANTED IT OR NOT, CYR EARNS $10k IN LABOR DAY CLASSIC by Justin St. Louis
Driver "Not Even Thinking" About Winner's Purse Cashes in Big Time
On Saturday afternoon, defending American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT was his usual self - calm and cerebral, but at the same time, ready to race, and holding a fire in his eyes. The fact that Sunday's event, the Bond Auto Parts Labor Day Classic 200 at Barre, VT's historic Thunder Road, paid $10,000 to the winner meant little to Cyr. Instead, he was more interested in beating the 55 teams that showed up to compete and padding his point lead.
and cross-town Milton rival Brent Dragon on lap 115. Cyr then held off Dragon, Eric Williams, and eventual runner-up Dennis Demers during the balance of the event to take the biggest payday of his racing career.

"Before the race, I was keeping the money out of the mind," Cyr said. "I wanted to win. I've got ten thousand reasons to think about the money now. I'm pretty happy with it."
Even after holding the check in Victory Lane and accepting a large trophy, Cyr wasn't wasting any time celebrating. He was looking forward to returning to Plattsburgh, NY for the Fall Foliage 150 at Airborne Speedway, a track where he won many races in the early 1990s. Cyr talked about the event like it was the biggest race on his schedule - even though the winner's purse will be about one-fourth of the Labor Day Classic.

"I'm anxious for Airborne, I haven't been there for a while. We've won 3 out of 7 (ACT races in 2005), now we'll try for one more. We have a good setup for Airborne, a fast car, and boy, I can't wait to go around that track again."

Veteran Dennis Demers ran in a very competitive second place behind Cyr. Behind Demers, a heart-stopping three-wide finish involving Phil Scott, Dave Pembroke, and Patrick Laperle brought the fans to their feet. After several minutes
Cyr gets the big check and the trophy in victory lane.  (Justin St. Louis/51 Photo)
"I'm not even thinking about the money," he said, "We're here to win a race."

With such a large turnout of competitors, ACT used five qualifying heats, three consolation events, a "C" main, and a last-chance "B" feature to set the 30-car field. Cyr earned his way onto the starting grid through the second consi, and lined up 17th in the feature.

He put forth a steady charge to the front of the pack, quietly picking off cars a few laps at a time and eventually using a multi-lane attack to overtake leader
of review, Pembroke was awarded the spot ahead of Laperle in fourth and Scott in fifth. Dragon, Rich Lowrey, Chad Wheeler, Cris Michaud, and John Donahue rounded out the Top 10 in order. Speed51.com will Labor Day Classic Leftovers this week, so stay tuned.



The field at Thunder Road  (Leif Tillotson Photo)