Trackside Now: ACT Late Models, Lee USA Speedway
The 2009 Season Starts Up
Lee, NH
Sunday - 5:45pm ET -  Here is the finishing order for the Governor's Cup 150 ACT Late Model Tour event at Lee USA Speedway (NH).  We'll have Leftovers from the race coming up soon on Speed51.com, so thanks for following along with us and our Trackside Now coverage today.

1.  Brad Leighton
2.  Joey Pole
3.  Scott Payea
4.  Eddie MacDonald
5.  Quinney Welch
6.  Ricky Wolf, Jr.
7.  John Donahue
8.  Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
9.  Brian Hoar
10.  Mike Olsen
11.  Randy Potter
12.  Larry Gelinas
13.  Eric Chase
14.  Brent Dragon
15.  Cris Michaud
16.  J.R. Baril
17.  Tyler Cahoon
18.  Donald Theetge
19.  Jeremy Harclerode
20.  Glen Luce
21.  A.J. Begin
22.  Mark Anzalone, Jr.
23.  Pete Potvin, III
24.  Miles Chipman
25.  Bryan Kruczek
26.  Bobby Dragon
27.  Jeff Zuidema
28.  Fred Astle, Jr.
29.  Jamie Fisher
30.  Corey Morgan

Sunday - 5:00pm ET -  Brad Leighton has won the Governor's Cup 150 over Joey Pole, Scott Payea and Eddie MacDonald.  It is his second career ACT Late Model victory.  We're going out to get some post-race quotes and will have your full finishing order in a little bit.  Stay tuned.

Sunday - 4:55pm ET -  With 10 laps to go, the once dominant teammates of Mike Olsen and Brian Hoar are going one lap down to Brad Leighton.

Leighton now has a fair lead over Joey Pole.  He took that while the duo encountered heavy lapped traffic on the backstretch at lap 132.  Leighton muscled his way by Pole with slight contact and once in the lead, he took off.

Sunday - 4:50pm ET -  The battle for the lead just got hot. Brad Leighton passed Joey Pole down low going into turn three.  Leighton then edged ahead, but there were double-filed lapped cars ahead of them.  This let Pole close back up and contact was made.  Leighton skated sideways through turn four and Pole retook the lead.  Now, Leighton is looking back under Pole for the lead again.  Both cars appear to be close to equal and this is shaping up to be a great show.

There are currently 20 laps to go.

Sunday - 4:45pm ET -  We are at the 100-lap mark of the Governor's Cup 150.  Joey Pole holds a slim lead over Brad LeightonScott Payea lurks in third.  All of the leaders are working heavy lapped traffic.

Sunday - 4:40pm ET -  Brad Leighton has now moved into second place.  He is gaining on Joey Pole for the lead.

Sunday - 4:36pm ET -  Joey Pole has now pulled away from Scott Payea for the lead.  They are now single-file. Brad Leighton is several car lengths back in third.  Eddie MacDonald and Quinney Welch are fourth and fifth.

Sunday - 4:35pm ET -  The side-by-side battle for the lead between Joey Pole and Scott Payea continues.  One driver might poke his nose ahead for one lap, but the other driver is right there to do the same on the next lap.  It's Payea low and Pole high and it's one heck of a race between them.

Sunday - 4:30pm ET -  On the restart, Joey Pole pulled by Scott Payea on the outside to take the lead.  Payea is staying low though and trying to retake the top spot. 

Sunday - 4:25pm ET -  Scott Payea has passed Mike Olsen for the lead.  Olsen is hanging tough on his rear bumper though.

Well....he was.  That was until he looped it down the fronstretch on lap 52.  Olsen spun through the infield, but did not hit anything.  The caution is out and he'll be restarting the race at the rear of the field.

Sunday - 4:20pm ET -  Bryan Kruczek has brought out the caution again.  This time, he coasted to a stop in turn four, but there was no contact.

Several drivers have pitted, including A.J. Begin, Tyler Cahoon and Glen Luce.

Sunday - 4:20pm ET -  Bryan Kruczek has looped his #00 in turn three to bring out the caution flag.

Mike Olsen leads Scott Payea, but Payea is closing in on that lead.  Brian Hoar and Joey Pole are next in line at lap 38.

Sunday - 4:15pm ET -  Jeff Zuidema has pitted his #42MA car under green.  His team is jacking the rear end of the car.

Meanwhile, Scott Payea has taken over second place from Brian Hoar.  He is gaining on Mike Olsen for the lead.

Sunday - 4:10pm ET -  The RPM Motorsports battle continues with Mike Olsen retaking the lead from teammate Brian Hoar.  Scott Payea has moved up to third place.

Sunday - 4:05pm ET -  Brian Hoar has now switched the lead with teammate Mike Olsen.  Those two have pulled away to a healthy lead over Joey Pole, Scott Payea and John Donahue.

Sunday - 4:00pm ET -  There has been a hard wreck here early in the ACT Late Model race.  Jamie Fisher and Corey Morgan took the hardest hits into the turn one wall and are both likely done for the day.  Morgan was able to drive away with heavy front end damage.  Fisher required a tow truck to head back to the pit area.

Sunday - 3:55pm ET - The green flag is out for the Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway.  Mike Olsen has put himself into the early lead over teammate Brian Hoar.

The caution is out early for a spin by Mark Anzalone and Bobby Dragon.

Sunday - 3:45pm ET - Lee USA Speedway is a special place for Vermont driver Scott Payea, who made his Tour debut here back in 2005.  Payea finished third in his first ever start here and has now become one of the top drivers on the Tour.

Sunday - 3:40pm ET - Lee USA graduate Andy Seuss won last night's NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Georgia's Lanier Speedway.  Seuss is a former regular int he small block Super Modified and Late Model divisions at Lee and has also won here in True Value Modified Racing Series competition.  His younger sister Shelly is here today as a spectator.

Sunday - 3:35pm ET - Winged Supermodified driver Mike Ordway, Jr. is here today helping out the #0NO team of Miles Chipman.  Ordway told Speed51.com that he is trying to learn more about the Late Models and would love to find a ride on the ACT Tour or in the Late Model division at Lee.

Sunday - 3:30pm ET - Here is the starting lineup for the Governor's Cup 150 today:

1.  Brian Hoar
2.  Mike Olsen
3.  John Donahue
4.  Scott Payea
5.  Jeff Zuidema
6.  Eddie MacDonald
7.  Ricky Wolf, Jr.
8.  Joey Pole
9.  Tyler Cahoon
10.  A.J. Begin
11.  Quinney Welch
12.  Larry Gelinas
13.  Eric Chase
14.  Pete Potvin
15.  Randy Potter
16.  Jeremy Harclerode
17.  Bobby Dragon
18.  Mark Anzalone
19.  Brad Leighton
20.  Donald Theetge
21.  Bryan Kruczek
22.  Jamie Fisher
23.  Brent Dragon
24.  Corey Morgan
25.  Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
26.  Fred Astle, Jr.
27.  J.R. Baril
28.  Cris Michaud
29.  Glen Luce
30.  Miles Chipman

Sunday - 3:25pm ET - Former NASCAR Busch North driver Jimmy Renfrew has won the Hobby Stock feature.

We have also just been handed the starting grid for the Governor's Cup 150.  Miles Chipman will start the race on the Lee USA Speedway provisional.

Sunday - 3:15pm ET - Wayne Helliwell, Jr. won the B-Main for the ACT Late Models. Fred Astle, Jr., J.R. Baril and Cris Michaud also earned transfer spots into the feature.

Glen Luce received the ACT Late Model provisional.  A Lee USA Speedway provisional has yet to be announced.

Those not making the field were Mike Johnson, Shawn Martin, Glenn Martel, Karl Allard, Travis Sterns, Miles Chapman, Joey Doiron, James Linardy, Ben Lynch, Matt White, Chip Grenier, Ricky Rolfe, Rowland Robinson, Joey Laquerre and Matt Anderson.

Sunday - 3:05pm ET - Travis Sterns looped his #85 machine on the first lap of the Late Model B-feature.  Joey Laquerre was also involved in the incident and suffered heavy sheetmetal damage to the right side of his #15VT.

We will now have a complete restart of the event.

Sunday - 3:00pm ET - A surprise entry into today's Governor's Cup 150 is that of Mike Johnson in the #96 Johnson Lumber machine.

Johnson is a former regular is what was then the NASCAR Busch North Series and is now known as the NASCAR Camping World East Series.  Before that though, he won two Late Model titles at Lee and finished within three points of a Pro Stock (Super Late Model) championship here.

Johnson kept his Pro Stock car and about 10 days ago, decided that he would like to run it at Lee this year.  So the team thrashed to convert it over to Late Model specs and install a General Motors crate engine in it.  They finished up around 1:45am this morning.  Getting a 10-year-old car that hadn't raced in seven years presented plenty of challenges.  For example, the master cylinder needed attention after it started leaking due to the fact that the seals were aged enough to not seal anymore.

Sunday - 2:55pm ET - Here is the lineup for the B-Feature - which will be the last chance for the ACT drivers to get into their feature event without a provisional.

1.  Shawn Martin
2.  Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
3.  Cris Michaud
4.  Fred Astle, Jr.
5.  Karl Allard
6.  J.R. Baril
7.  Glenn Martel
8.  Mike Johnson
9.  Travis Sterns
10.  Miles Chapman
11.  Glen Luce
12.  Joey Doiron
13.  James Linardy
14.  Chip Grenier
15.  Matt White
16.  Mark Hayward
17.  Ricky Rolfe
18.  Rowland Robinson
19.  Joey Laquerre
20.  Matt Anderson

Sunday - 2:50pm ET - Grant Athier has won the Late Model Sportsman feature race over Nick Gravel and Lee Weldy.

Sunday - 2:40pm ET - Brad Leighton took the lead late and won the second consi race for the Governor's Cup 150.  Jamie Fisher, Bobby Dragon and Brent Dragon also earned transfer spots.

Those headed to the last chance qualifer will be Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Fred Astle, Jr., J.R. Baril, Mike Johnson, Miles Chapman, Joey Doiron, Mark Hayward, Matt Anderson, Rowland Robinson and Chip Grenier.

Sunday - 2:35pm ET - The first consi race for the ACT Late Models was a wild one.  Ben Lynch got spun out of a transfer position and then on the final lap, Ricky Rolfe also saw his transfer spot go away when he ended up hitting the turn one wall hard - possibly with a little bit of help getting there.

When the dust settled, it was Bryan Kruczek who won the qualifier.  Donald Theetge, Mark Anzalone and Corey Morgan also took down transfer spots.  The battle for the final transfer position came down to a three-wide battle on the final lap.

Those not making the cut were Cris Michaud, Shawn Martin, Karl Allard, Glenn Martel, Travis Sterns, Glen Luce, James Linardy, Joey Laquerre, Matt White, Lynch and Rolfe.

Those final drivers will need a provisional, to advance through the last chance qualifier or will be heading home without racing in the Governor's Cup 150.

Sunday - 2:25pm ET - Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) is well represented in today's event at Lee.  Former OPS regulars Glen Luce and Ricky Rolfe are both ACT regulars now, but with Oxford's opening day coming up, three current competitors at the track towed down to New Hampshire to race here today.  Those drivers are Corey Morgan, Shawn Martin and Travis Sterns.

We have also spotted OPS Late Model regular Tommy Ricker walking the pits here.

Sunday - 2:20pm ET - Dan Bose has won the 25-lap Small-Block Supermodified feature.

Sunday - 2:15pm ET - Ben Lynch is looking to make his ACT Late Model debut here this weekend and came very close to doing that already.  Lynch battled up until the last lap of his heat race for the final transfer position in heat race number one.  He'll now start on the pole for the first consi race.

Teenaged Lynch has moved up through the classes at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH).  He started out in Mini Trucks, moved into Strictly Stocks and then up to Late Models.  Longtime readers of Speed51.com might be familar with his first ride there.  The lime sherbert green Chevrolet mini truck that he raced at White Mountain with the #37 on it was sold to Speed51.com Editor Mike Twist, who campaigned it with the same paint scheme at Oxford and Beech Ridge with the #51 on it and wrote about those adventures as part of his "Trucking With Twisty" column.

Sunday - 1:55pm ET - In the fourth and final heat race, it was sophomore driver Tyler Cahoon to take the victory.  Here are the results.  The top four are locked into today's Governor's Cup 150 feature race:

1.  Tyler Cahoon
2.  Ricky Wolfe
3.  Randy Potter
4.  Joey Pole
5.  Jamie Fisher
6.  Brent Dragon
7.  Brad Leighton
8.  Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
9.  J.R. Baril
10.  Miles Chipman
11.  Rowland Robinson

Sunday - 1:45pm ET - Heat race number three is in the books and Larry Gelinas was the winner.  Here is the rundown:

1.  Larry Gelinas
2.  Eddie MacDonald
3.  Brian Hoar
4.  Jeremy Harclerode
5.  Bobby Dragon
6.  Randy Potter
7.  Pete Potvin
8.  Joey Doiron
9.  Mark Hayward
10.  Mike Johnson
11.  Matt Anderson

Sunday - 1:40pm ET - Quinney Welch has won heat number two.  Here is the rundown.  Keep in mind that the top four advance to the feature race.

1.  Quinney Welch
2.  Scott Payea
3.  Eric Chase
4.  Mike Olsen
5.  Bryan Kruczek
6.  Mark Anzalone
7.  Donald Theetge
8.  Ricky Rolfe
9.  Karl Allard
10.  Matt White
11.  James Linardy

Sunday - 1:35pm ET - Heat number two is underway and there is already an early caution period for spins by Matt White and James Linardy in turn three.  Quinney Welch , a regular at White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) is currently leading the way.

Sunday - 1:30pm ET - Heat race number one is in the books and it was Jeff Zuidema who showed the way and took down the victory.  The top four finishers qualified for the feature based on their finishes. 

1.  Jeff Zuidema
2.  John Donahue
3.  Pete Potvin, III
4.  AJ Begin
5.  Ben Lynch
6.  Glen Luce
7.  Corey Morgan
8.  Shawn Martin
9.  Cris Michaud
10.  Glenn Martel
11.  Joey Laquerre
12.  Travis Stearns

Sunday - 1:00pm ET - Here are the heat race lineups for today's racing:

Heat #1 -
1.  41 - Pete Potvin, III
2.  7NH - Ben Lynch
3.  42MA - Jeff Zuidema
4.  26ME - Corey Morgan
5.  66 - A.J. Begin
6.  7ME - Glen Luce
7.  26VT - John Donahue
8.  23 - Glen Martel
9.  94 - Shawn Martin
10.  85 - Travis Sterns
11.  6 - Cris Michaud
12.  15VT - Joey Laquerre

Heat #2 -
1.  78 - Quinten Welch
2.  40VT - Eric Chase
3.  42VT - Matt White
4.  00 - Bryan Kruczek
5.  48 - Karl Allard
6.  89 - Scott Payea
7.  80 - Donald Theetge
8.  1 - Mark Anzalone, Jr.
9.  77MA - James Linardy
10.  51ME - Ricky Rolfe
11.  32 - Mike Olsen

Heat #3 -
1.  3 - Larry Gelinas
2.  5 - Jeremy Harclerode
3.  9VT - Chip Grenier
4.  17 - Eddie MacDonald
5.  49 - Matt Anderson
6.  96 - Mike Johnson
7.  71 - Bobby Dragon
8.  02MA - Fred Astle, Jr.
9.  73 - Joey Doiron
10.  37 - Brian Hoar
11.  77NH - Mark Haywood

Heat #4 -
1.  02NH - Randy Potter
2.  38VT - Tyler Cahoon
3.  18 - James Fisher
4.  38NH - Ricky Wolfe, Jr.
5.  55VT - Brent Dragon
6.  97 - Joey Pole
7.  55NH - Brad Leighton
8.  27 - Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
9.  2 - J.R. Baril
10.  28ME - Rowland Robinson, Jr.
11.  0 - Miles Chipman

Sunday - 12:30pm ET - The official car count here today is 45.  Not among that number though is Canada's Patrick Laperle, whose #91 team did not enter the Lee opener despite having won the 2008 ACT Late Model championship.

Here is today's roster of drivers:

0 - Miles Chipman
1 - Mark Anzalone
2 - J.R. Baril
5 - Jeremy Harclerode
6 - Cris Michaud
7NH - Ben Lynch
7ME - Glen Luce
9VT - Chip Grenier
15VT - Joey Laquerre
17 - Eddie MacDonald
18 - Jamie Fisher
23 - Glenn Martel
26ME - Corey Morgan
26VT - John Donahue
27 - Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
28ME - Rowland Robinson, Jr.
32 - Mike Olsen
37 - Brian Hoar
38VT - Tyler Cahoon
38NH - Ricky Wolfe, Jr.
40VT - Eric Chase
41 - Pete Potvin
42MA - Jeff Zuidema
42VT - Matt White
48QC - Karl Allard
49 - Matt Anderson
51ME - Ricky Rolfe
55VT - Brent Dragon
55NH - Brad Leighton
66 - AJ Begin
71 - Bobby Dragon
73 - Joey Doiron
77MA - Mark Hayward
78 - Quinten Welch
80 - Donald Theetge
85 - Travis Sterns
89 - Scott Payea
94 - Shawn Martin
96 - Mike Johnson
97 - Joey Pole
00 - Bryan Kruczek
02MA - Fred Astle, Jr.
02NH - Randy Potter
3 - Larry Gelinas

Sunday - 12:25pm ET - Practice is underway here at Lee USA Speedway and there is a big mix of teams here in the pit area.  We've been walking the grounds here and have a notebook full of information and photos as well that we'll be sharing shortly with you.

Sunday - 11:20am ET - Welcome to Lee USA Speedway, where the American-Canadian Tour Late Models are set to start their 2009 off with the running of the Governor's Cup 150.

It's a beautiful spring day here in Southern New Hampshire.  The sky is blue and there is not a single cloud in the sky.  a perfect day for pulling out a classic Oldsmobile from the garage and taking off the T-Roofs for a ride to the track - getting here really was half the fun.  The other half of the fun will be watching the gaggle of ACT Late Models do battle here on opening day for the Tour that visits tracks from Maine to Canada to Vermont and plenty of venues in between.

What is the skinny with the race?  Well, let's check out the official ACT Tour race notes to get up to speed:

WHAT: New Hampshire Governor’s Cup

WHERE: Lee USA Speedway – Lee, NH

WHEN: Sun., April 19, 2009

DISTANCE: 150 laps (56.25 miles)

SANCTION: American-Canadian Tour, Ltd. (ACT)

PROMOTER: Red & Judy McDonald

SCHEDULE: Sat., Apr. 18 Pits Open: 10:00 am Practice: 12 noon

Sun., Apr. 19 Pits Open: 9:00 am Practice: 12 noon
Post Time: 1:00 pm

POSTED AWARDS: $24,045.00

PAYOUT: 1. 2,000 2. 1,300 3. 1,000 4. 700 5. 600 6. 550
7. 525 8. 500 9. 475 10. 450 11. 440 12. 430
13. 420 14. 410 15. 400 16. 400 17. 400 18. 400
19. 400 20. 400 21. 400 22. 400 23. 400 24. 400
25. 400 26. 400 27. 300 28. 300 29. 300 30. 300

PARTICIPATING MANUFACTURERS: Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Quarter Master, Koni Shock Absorbers, Five Star Race Car Bodies, G-Force Racing Gear, Racing Electronics, Holley Carburetors, MSD Ignitions, Longacre Racing Products, Race Basics, Bassett Wheels, Ringers Gloves, Kenyon Racing Products, Lefthander Chassis, Sunoco Race Fuels

NOTES: Lee USA Speedway will again kick off the 2009 ACT Tour schedule with the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH led 90 of the 100 laps on his way to victory in last years NH Governors Cup. This years Governor Cup is the first qualifier for the historic ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday Sept. 19. Looking to become the first qualifier is Scott Payea of Milton, VT who is back for another title run after falling one point shy in 2008. Also looking to qualify is outlaw Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, MA who will try and steal a spot from the ACT Tour regulars. Lee USA Track Champion Larry Gelinas is expected to compete as well.

PREVIOUS ACT WINNERS AT LEE USA SPEEDWAY: Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (2008), Ben Rowe (2006), Jean-Paul Cyr (2005), Cris Michaud (2005), D.J. Kennington (2004), Patrick Laperle (2003)


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Brent Dragon (Left) and Brad Leighton (Right) chat at Lee.  (51 Photo)
Last season, Joey Pole took the checkers first in the ACT opener at Lee.  (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Jeff Zuidema won heat race number one.  (51 Photo)
The pits at Lee are a crowded place with nearly 50 Late Models, including the #78 of Quinney Welch, in attendence today.    (51 Photo)
Brad Leighton's #55   (51 Photo)
The blue oval on Cris Michaud's #6 has some meaning to it today.  For the first time in ACT Late Model history, a Ford crate engine is being used - and it is in Michaud's car.  (51 Photo)
Bobby Dragon's #71   (51 Photo)
Chip Grenier's #9VT was one of several drivers who didn't make the field for today's race.   (51 Photo)
The RPM Motorsports team will share the front row with Brian Hoar (#37) and Mike Olsen (#32).   (51 Photo)
The starting grid for the Governor's Cup 150.   (51 Photo)
J.R. Baril's #2.   (51 Photo)
Brad Leighton, his crew and his car in victory lane at Lee.   (51 Photo)
Brad Leighton (Left) and Joey Pole (Right) talks after the race - and after a fierce battle for the victory.  (51 Photo)