VETERAN CYR USES PATIENCE TO SCORE ACT VICTORY by Mike Twist
Only One Caution in 150 Lapper Keeps Things Challenging For Teams
The season opening ACT Late Model event at the Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) was a race with a few different faces. The 150-lap event started out with a promising two-car battle for the lead, then threatened to turn into a snoozer with a runaway leader in the middle laps and ended up being a game of strategy for the victory.
seventh before he crossed horns with Eric Williams shortly after the 100-lap mark. Shaw ended up bouncing off the frontstretch wall and dropped out of the event with damage to the rear suspension of his #52 ride. Mike Olsen also moved inside the top ten
early, but saw his day end with electrical problems.
Meanwhile, as Wheeler neared the 100-lap mark of the race, his lead started to shrink to the #32 car of Cyr. With 38 laps to go, Cyr motored by Wheeler for the top spot. Wheeler would finish third.
The #55 team of Brent Dragon rolls their car through pre-race technical inspection. The team finished second in the 150-lap feature.
"We got the car out front early there," said Wheeler. "Jean (Paul Cyr) came up so fast that I just couldn't do anything with him. He runs these long races so well. He's set his car up for really long runs and comes on at the end. We just couldn't hold him off."
Brent Dragon was also quick late in the race and took over the second position from Wheeler a few laps later. Dragon may have had the quickest car late in the event, but did not have enough time to chase down Cyr.
Dragon and Cyr also raced each other early on from their fourth
When it all was over, defending series champion, Jean-Paul Cyr, ended up with the checkers ahead of a charging Brent Dragon.
Joe Becker and Dave Whitcomb battled for the lead with each other early on, but were bypassed by the #92 car of Chad Wheeler on lap 33. Wheeler pulled away from the field during a race that went green until lap 129.
Although mostly caution-free, the race did eat up a few contenders prematurely. Dale Shaw was on a march through the pack early. He started 16th and worked his way up to
This isn't the parking lot or the pit at Thunder Road - it's the field of cars lined up fro driver introductions in four divisions of racing.
When all was said and done, Cyr ended up with his 11th ACT victory.
"We were managing tires the whole race," Cyr said. "We always set the car up to where it will run good for 100-150 laps. We'll give up a little bit of speed for a better handling car. With only one caution in the race it really played into our favor today."
The top five finishers were rounded out by Williams, who rebounded from his early tangle with Shaw, and Cris Michaud.
The ACT Late Model series has their next event scheduled for Saturday May 8th at the Airborne International Raceway (NY).
Ken Squier interviews Jean-Paul Cyr in Victory Lane.
row starting positions and Dragon predicted early on who his competition would be.
"When he (Cyr) got up on the outside of me and got by (early in the race), I knew that he was going to be the car to beat and he was," said Dragon. "I would have liked to have had a restart up beside him late in the race because we were both hanging on about the same, but he had a good car and you can't take that away from him. It was a good race and we'll take second to start out the year."