The American Canadian Tour Late Models are set to enter their 23rd season of competition with their season opener at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH this Sunday, April 13. This will be the seventh time the 3/8ths-mile speedway has hosted the season opener. Norm Andrews won the first ever ACT Late Model event at Sanair Super Speedway in 1992 and the first event of the season has seen a variety of tracks and winners ever since.

Over the past 22 seasons, the ACT Late Model season opener has been hosted by seven different tracks and seen 16 different winners. Only four drivers have won more than one season opener, led by ACT Champions Brian Hoar (1997, 2011, 2012) and Jean-Paul Cyr (1996, 2004, 2006). Dennis Demers (1993, 1994) and Cris Michaud (2001, 2005) are the only other drivers with multiple season opener wins.

Last year’s season opening winner Jimmy Hebert joined Andrews (1992), Demers (1993), Chris Fisher (1998), Tracie Bellerose (2000), Michaud (2001), Randy Potter (2007) and Nick Sweet (2010) as the only eight drivers to earn their first career ACT wins during a season opening event.

While the first event of the year is important to each competitor’s title hopes, only five times has the winner of the first race gone on to claim the championship in the same season. Cyr has done it in three of his championship seasons (1996, 2004, 2006), while Hoar did it in two of his title years (1997, 2011). In 12 seasons, the eventual champion claimed a top five in the season opener and 17 times the title winner has finished in the top ten.

That means only five times has a champion started off his season with a finish outside of the top ten. Cyr climbed back from a 35th place effort to start off his 1994 championship season to become the only champion with a finish outside the top 25 in the season opener.

The 2014 ACT season gets under way with the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway this Sunday, April 13. Post time is 1:15pm.

For more information visit www.acttour.com or contact the ACT office by email (media@acttour.com) or phone 802-244-6963. Follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/ACTTour) and Twitter (twitter.com/ACTTour).

Past ACT Season Opener Winners
Year     Track                                       Winner                      
1992    Sanair  Super Speedway          Norm Andrews
1993    Airborne Speedway                 Dennis Demers
1994    Airborne Speedway                 Dennis Demers
1995    Thunder Road                         Greg Blake
1996    Riverside St-Croix                   Jean-Paul Cyr
1997    Thunder Road                         Brian Hoar
1998    Airborne Speedway                 Chris Fisher
1999    Thunder Road                         Phil Scott
2000    Thunder Road                         Tracie Bellerose
2001    Star Speedway                        Cris Michaud
2002    Star Speedway                        Patrick Laperle
2003    Thunder Road                         Scott Dragon
2004    Thunder Road                         Jean-Paul Cyr
2005    Lee USA Speedway                  Cris Michaud
2006    Thunder Road                         Jean-Paul Cyr
2007    Oxford Plains Speedway         Randy Potter
2008    Lee USA  Speedway                 Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
2009    Lee USA Speedway                  Brad Leighton
2010    Thunder Road                         Nick Sweet
2011    Lee USA Speedway                  Brian Hoar
2012    Lee USA Speedway                  Brian Hoar
2013    Lee USA Speedway                  Jimmy Hebert
ACT Late Models Enter 23rd Season with Lee Opener
Season Opens this Sunday in New Hampshire
ACT Press Release
The field takes the green at the ACT Late Model Season Opener at Lee USA Speedway in 2013. (Photo credit: Alan Ward)