Eight-time American-Canadian Tour champion Brian Hoar has experienced unmatched success during his years of competing in ACT-style Late Models throughout the Northeast region. In addition to his series record eight ACT championships, Hoar and his RPM Motorsports team led by Car Owner/Crew Chief Rick Paya have visited victory lane a record 39 times during his career.
During the 2014 racing season, Hoar and Paya will attempt to carry that success to the Southern and Midwest regions of the United States by competing in four of the most prestigious Super Late Model events in the country.
Paya told Speed51.com on Wednesday that he is currently in the process of building a new Super Late Model that the team will compete with in the Winchester 400, World Crown 300, All American 400 and Snowball Derby.
“We’ve been planning on this for quite a while,” Paya said. “It’s our own design and we had RB Performance out of Maine construct the chassis. We want to hit some of the big races with the CRA and Southern Super Series. We have been puttering on it for awhile.”
Hoar, who previously competed on the Busch North series (currently NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), is looking forward to having the chance to drive a Super Late Model in some of the biggest short track events in the country.
“I’m super excited,” said Hoar. “I’ve been racing a long, long time. I’ve raced these (ACT-type) Late Models with the small engines for a long time and obviously had a lot of success with that. I’ve raced some bigger horsepower stuff with the Busch North Series, but I’ve never really raced a Super Late Model. I’m super pumped. I’m really, really excited to do this.”
Racing in big events like the Snowball Derby is something that both Hoar and Paya have had on their bucket list for quite some time. Hoar recalls following former ACT competitor and fellow New England resident Austin Theriault (Fort Kent, Maine) on Speed51 during the 2013 running of the Snowball Derby and wishing he was there. That moment helped Hoar cement his plans to run the event in 2014.
“The last two years I’ve followed it closely,” Hoar said about the Snowball Derby. “Part of it was watching Austin (Theriault) go down there and run. He’s the one that kind of cemented it for me. I was following him as a fan down there and it got me so excited about the event that I was so wishing I was at that Snowball Derby last year. I think I followed it on Speed51 just about every lap.”
The Williston, Vermont driver knows that the competition will be fierce and the challenge they face will be tough when his team hauls their RPM Motorsports trailer from Georgia, Vermont to the big Super Late Model races throughout the country.
“All the way around, it’s going to be a big challenge,” Hoar told Speed51.com presented by JEGS. “From Rick building the car, to going to tracks we’ve never seen, to all these guys that race down there weekly. Number one, they race more weeks out of the year than I race in our short seasons up north here. They’re very, very talented and they’ve raced those tracks for years. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we’re looking forward to it.”
Paya echoed his driver's comments when asked about the challenge his team will face when attempting to qualify and compete in these big Super Late Model events. He believes the team’s success on the competitive American-Canadian Tour will help them when they go up against tough competition in other parts of the country.
“I’m not saying that there’s not competition up here because there is, but Brian and I look for new challenges,” Paya said. “This is definitely a big challenge to even be competitive in that series down there and over there with the CRA. It’s going to be a big challenge for sure, but we’re up to it.”
Although the RPM Motorsports team is accustomed to showing up at race tracks with the expectation to win races, the 42-year-old Hoar is taking it one step with his goals for the RPM Super Late Model program.
“Get in the race, that is number one,” Hoar said about his goals for the big events he’ll compete in during the 2014 season. “When there’s as many racers trying to qualify and as competitive as it is, to think that we might have an opportunity to go down there and qualify would be amazing. Don’t get me wrong, if we didn’t qualify I’d be severely disappointed, but if we can get the car going well and qualify, going down and being competitive would be awesome. ”
In addition to racing in the four prestigious Super Late Model events on their schedule, Hoar and Paya plan to run part-time on the American-Canadian Tour in 2014. The eight-time series champion plans to attend the first four races on the ACT schedule, as well as the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, International 500 at Airborne Park Speedway (NY), People’s United Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) and Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne.