The Lee USA Speedway track crew is making final preparations at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed” in anticipation of the traditional season-opening New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 for the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models, slated to take the green flag on Sunday, April 13.
Defending race winner Jimmy Hebert has no small task facing him in trying to defend his title, considering that the last 11 ACT races at Lee USA have produced 10 different winners, with only eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar able to repeat the trip to victory lane, claiming the win in the Lee season-opening event back to back in 2011 and 2012.
Several drivers among those favored to contest for the win the 2014 season-opener can trace their racing roots back to Lee USA, most notably 2012 and 2013 ACT Late Model champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of nearby Dover, who cut his racing teeth on the fast 3/8th’s mile oval and has been winning ever since.
Although he’s never finished better than runner-up in the Governor’s Cup, the second-generation racer started his career as a teenager in the Lee Street Stocks some 20 years ago, and the eventually went on to capture track championships in the Late Model Sportsman, Late Model, and Small Block Supermodified ranks before moving to the ACT tour full-time.
Helliwell’s seat time at the Lee oval can do nothing but help his chances of winning, but he’s not the only driver on the entry list with plenty of laps around the seacoast-area speedplant. Eddie “The Outlaw” MacDonald is another driver who calls Lee his home track, and for good reason, since his parents own the facility.
MacDonald is fresh off one of the biggest wins of his career, taking down the win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at the storied Bristol, TN Speedway in March, and he’s also checkered first in some of the biggest Late Model races in the nation, including the ACT Invitational at NHMS, and the famed Oxford 250 in the past few seasons.
The Governor’s Cup has always somehow eluded MacDonald, who finished third last year, fourth back in 2009, and runner-up in 2008 to Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., another driver who began his career at Lee USA back when he was making the transition to full-sized racers as a teenager.
Polewarczyk finished second the Helliwell in the 2013 ACT point standings, and would like nothing better than to start his 2014 with another Governor’s Cup win. Joey “Pole”s Lee record includes an impressive four top tens in the last six races, but nothing less than a win would suffice for the Hudson, NH native.
There are over 40 race teams expected to compete at the season-opening event at Lee USA Speedway on April 13, including entries from all 6 New England states, New York, and the province of Quebec, all looking to make their first start of 2014 in the traditional curtain-raiser a memorable one.
In addition to the 40-plus entries expected for the ACT season-opener, the North East Legend Car Auto Racing Series and North East Classic Lites will be in competition for the first time in 2014 as well, making it three season-opening events all rolled into one.
In the unlikely event that weather causes postponement of the Lee USA Speedway season opener, the ACT Governor’s Cup 150 will be moved to Saturday, April 19th. Track owners and promoters Red and Judy MacDonald invite you to join the excitement as we open the 2014 season with one of the most entertaining racing programs on the spring calendar.