Barre, VT — When the American-Canadian Tour rolls through the gates of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, a trifecta of year-long battles meet their conclusion. Three drivers will leave the gates on Saturday having accomplished something extraordinary and sealed off their 2023 seasons on high while everyone else will take the day as being the best that they could make it on the coastal Connecticut oval.
Northeast race fans turn their eyes to a hardened battle that after twelve events have seen two neighbors, co-workers, families, true-to-form brothers lead the nation’s most historic short track tour. Young Gabe Brown leads defending champion D.J. Shaw by just 21 points going into the New London-Waterford Speedbowl after yet another historic season with the American-Canadian Tour. Brown has maintained consistency en-route to the top spot and earned his first career ACT win at Oxford Plains Speedway in August. Shaw took down the popular return to Stafford Speedway in May and has maintained a streak of top-10 finishes extending all the way back to May of 2021. Both will have to maintain the strong foundation they’ve built in Saturday’s 100 lap dash to the end.
The Rookie of the Year title is just as rabid as the ACT Championship chase between young-guns Tanner Woodard and Andrew Molleur. Both have tackled the learning curve and made massive gains within their separate programs with just eight points between the two going into Saturday. Woodard has been hard at work to the infinite detail to keep his J&S Sales and Service Ford Mustang in the top spot while Molleur looks to take the home field advantage all the way to the title in his K&H Construction/CBYD-811 Chevy Camaro.
While Shaw may be on the outside looking in for the title, he’s in control of the Brookside Equipment Sales Southern New England Triple Crown standings. Shaw’s win at Stafford and a seventh-place finish at Seekonk has him in a slim three-point lead in his search for a second Triple Crown championship. Derek Gluchacki is the man on the bubble behind Shaw after pulling off two runner-up finishes in both Triple Crown events so far.
Along with the title chasers, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Erick Sands, Jonathan Bouvrette and Bryan Wall Jr. are all looking for a strong finish to their 2023 ACT Touring season. White Mountain Motorsports Park hot-shoe Matt Anderson, multi-time Claremont Motorsports Park champion Ricky Bly, Milton CAT 250 champion Jesse Switser, Thunder Road standout Brooks Clark and Maine Pro Stock standout Nick Cusack are also making the trip. Local teamsters Michael Bennett, Tyler Tomassi, Walter Sutcliffe and Woody Pitkat are among those looking to defend the hometurf. With Waterford Speedbowl’s championship night postponed to Friday, October 20, it remains to be seen how many more may join in for one last turn at ‘The Bowl’ this year.
The American-Canadian Tour returns to New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the Haunted Hundred championship event alongside the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series, the Don Craddick Memorial SK Light Modified 50 and Open Street Stock 50 on Saturday, October 21. This will be THE can’t miss finale of the 2023 season with Post Time set for 2:30pm. Adult General Admission is $40, kids 12-6 for $15 and children 5 and under free for the epic end-of-the-year line-up!
For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.
Photo courtesy Erik Tavares