Officials of the American Canadian Tour (ACT) and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) announced today that the starting field for the second edition of the ACT Invitational will be increased from 36 teams last year to 43 teams in 2010. The event is part of a mega triple-header to be held on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at the region’s most notable speedway. The Invitational will join NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Tour and the Camping World Truck Series to provide the fans with the most exciting triple-header of the year.
“The great success we had with the inaugural ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last year has given us the confidence to invite several more teams to make up the starting field for this year’s race”, said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour. “We will soon be announcing another great promotion for all the fans that attend weekly affiliate ACT tracks, and all ACT touring events during the upcoming season,” concluded Curley.
The race has been extended to 60 miles for the 2010 version. There will be a mandatory caution flag between lap 28 and 38, if there is no racing caution that occurs during that time frame. Teams will be allowed to pit for adjustments and tires if they choose to pit, but it will not be mandatory. “This format really sounds like a lot of fun. I think it will certainly add some strategy to the race and make for some tough decisions about whether to pit or not,” said Brent Dragon, one of the top contenders for the ACT title in 2010.
There will be plenty of money on the line for the second ACT Invitational. The purse has been increased throughout the field with the winner’s share is a minimum of $4,000. Bonus money of $400 will be paid for every event won at the ACT US events (14), the ACT Série Castrol Edge (11), special events (4), which include the TD Bank 250 at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine, the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic doubleheader with Modifieds, and the Vermont Governor’s Cup held at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road on Thursday, June 24, 2010. The annual Coors Light Showdown of Champions held at Autodrome Chaudiere in Valle Junction, QC is a $5,000 to win 200-lap special between the top US and Castrol ACT teams, and will be the fourth ACT Invitational special event Qualifier.
In addition, $400 in bonus money will be available to each Track Champion that represents the affiliate tracks which are using the ACT Late Model rules package as part of their weekly racing program. The tracks include: Thunder Road, Lee USA, White Mountain Motorsports Park, Oxford Plains Speedway, Seekonk Speedway, Waterford Speedbowl, and Twin State Speedway in the US. Ontario tracks Capital City Speedway, Ottawa and Kawartha Speedway in Peterborough are also ACT affiliate weekly short tracks. The total posted purse for the 2010 Invitational will be over $73,000.
Over 60 teams will be invited to test and tune at NHMS in August. For many of the “at large teams”, this day of testing will be not only a great race experience, but for many it is an audition to be invited to the Invitational. In 2010, two of the youngest drivers, (without automatic wins to qualify), were so impressive on test and tune day that they got invited to compete in the first Invitational. In the Invitational, Nick Sweet from Barre, VT, a Thunder Road weekly competitor was challenging eventual winner Eddie MacDonald for the win and ended up finishing second. Sixteen year-old Brandon Watson from Ontario accepted the invitation and came home third!
The first opportunity to lock in a spot in the ACT Invitational will happen at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH on Sunday, April 18, 2010 with the annual running of the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. Defending Champion and the winningest driver in the history of NHMS, Brad Leighton, will look for his second consecutive win and the bonus of receiving the first invite to New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s ACT Invitational in September.
Gates open at 10:00 and post time is 1:00 o’clock Sunday, April 18 at Lee USA.