Barre, VT — As part of Thunder Road’s 63rd Season Opener, along with the 24th Community Bank 150, the American-Canadian Tour celebrated their 2021 champions, top runners and rookies as well as the various annual special awards alongside the Thunder Road faithful. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the annual dinner and awards ceremony was once again held outdoors on the Thunder Road property under the afternoon sun.
To start the night, ACT Late Model Tour driver Matt Anderson was awarded the 2021 ACT Sportsman of the Year award for his constantly friendly attitude and respect towards others and for simply being a racer’s racer. Anderson would also earn his highest ACT points standing to date, coming in 9th in the season-long standings in his third full-time venture with the Tour.
Top ten drivers and car owners who tackled the whole 12-race schedule in 2021 were also honored including 9th-place Anderson, 7th-place Stephen Donahue and car-owner Norm Andrews, and 6th-place Erick Sands and car-owner Jay Sands. Erick Sands would also accept his 2021 Rookie of the Year award, one he earned handily with his first ACT podium finish at Seekonk Speedway in October.
5th-place Jimmy Hebert and car-owner Larry Hebert also grabbed their hardware after securing three victories at three extremely different racetracks last season. Even after struggling through multiple crippling wrecks in 2021, taking the checkered flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Oxford Plains and White Mountain Motorsports Park speaks volumes for the versatility of the Hebert Excavation Ford Mustang crew.
3-place Derek Gluchacki took home his best ACT Late Model Tour season to date, solidified by his first ACT win at Thompson Speedway during Sunoco World Series weekend. D.J. Shaw was also on hand to accept his second consecutive runner-up in points on the ACT Tour along with the A.H. Fence crew for Arnie Hill’s Ford Mustang. In the most thrilling ACT Late Model Tour championship race to date, Shaw lost the championship in the final turn of Seekonk Speedway but is poised to come out on top in 2022.
The man that made that fatal last lap, last ditch effort for the 30th ACT Late Model championship was the last to accept his 2021 winnings. Turner, Maine’s Ben Rowe and his Richard Moody Racing crew made the trip west to celebrate their crowning achievement as the first team to earn both the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model and ACT championships. Along with joining in ACT royalty with his father, 1994 ACT Pro Stock champion Mike Rowe, the group also celebrated as crew chief Ricky Rolfe received the annual ACT Crew Chief of the Year award.
Last, but far from least, longtime member of the Vermont and Northeast racing community, and ACT Late Model championship car owner, Larry Hebert was awarded the fifth annual Thomas M. Curley Memorial Award. As someone who lives out the same passion for stock car racing that the late founder and promoter of ACT did, Hebert was a number one choice for ACT managing partner Cris Michaud. “For answering all the late-night calls and simply being one we can always count on for advice and ideas, good and bad, Larry is always there for the betterment of our sport,” said Michaud. “Because of this, he deserves the Tom Curley award more than most and I am proud to present it to [him].”
The ACT Late Model Tour continues the 2022 season with a 150-lap event alongside the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model and Modifieds at Winchester, New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway on Sunday, May 22nd. Further event information will be released in the coming weeks.
For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, email@example.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.
-American-Canadian Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward