Forty ACT Teams Ready to Tackle New Hampshire's Magic Mile
Apr 14, 2022
The 2nd Northeast Classic this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will not only feature the return of the American-Canadian Tour Late Models for their new season, it will also see the return of one of the more recent ACT champions. After a nearly two-year hiatus, 2019 ACT champion Rich Dubeau is set to make his comeback to racing after an extremely difficult period of time for him and his family.
The unexpected passing of his brother David Dubeau in the summer of 2020 struck to Rich’s very core. It was the same for the family run No. 30NH team, where David served as crew chief and had been named ACT Crew Chief of the Year in 2018. Now, Rich feels that the time is right to return to the track and race in David’s memory.
“The time I took off was due to my brother passing away. Getting back into it the timing was right, when I felt, and comfortable to give it a try. To be perfectly honest, I was not sure if I would get back to it. But, I decided that my brother would want me to do what I enjoy again, and luckily everyone has been very patient with me. Everyone let me get back to it at my own pace to when I could say the time was right again.” Rich Dubeau told Racing America.
On the racing side looking ahead to ‘The Magic Mile’, Dubeau is looking to turn around some bad fortune that had plagued him in the past at Loudon. Despite this, he is looking forward to get a shot once again at a track that he enjoys running on.
“We haven’t had any luck at Loudon, but it’s a fun track to race, there’s great competition at this race in particular, it draws in a 30 to 40 car field. The last time we were there we got caught in a wreck, we slowing up for another wreck and someone got into us, ended our day pretty quick. We’ve shown speed there, especially in the corners, but just never been able to put it all together yet.”
A major goal of the weekend will be strong performance is Saturday morning’s heat races, where under ACT rules the drivers who pass the most amount of cars get the higher starting position for the 50-lap feature in the afternoon. But, the New Hampshire driver will still need the benefit of drawing a starting spot in his heat where there will be plenty of cars in front to overtake.
“Luckily, Loudon is a pretty wide track compared to where we usually race. So if you got a fast car, there’s a good opportunity to get a good plus in your heat, and get that good starting spot for the feature to minimize the chances of getting caught in a wreck.”
Being realistic, Dubeau knows full well that achieving victory after being out of the mix for over a year will be difficult. Of course the racer in him isn’t prepared to write off the effort one bit. He is also thankful to everyone that has been wanting to see him in action once again.
“We’ll see, I am recognizing also that we have been out of it for two years. ACT cars are all so even, there are so many good teams. I think it’s really cool that we get mentioned as one of the front running teams as well. But being out of it all this time, it’s hard to say where we’ll stack up. One of those things where a lot of guys have improved, again we’ll see,” Dubeau explained.
Putting together a strong performance is a big goal, but he also hopes to be able to get back in the groove of things and have some fun.
“I’m going to go up with everybody and try to have fun with it, but don’t get me wrong. When I strap in and get the helmet on, I’m going to be doing everything in my power to get to the front, and try to win this thing.”