The American-Canadian Tour Late Model Championship is set to make its first of three 2022 appearances at White Mountain Motorsports Park this Saturday June 11, with each race at the North Woodstock, NH quarter-mile oval representing a major round of the 12-race season calendar. As usual, WMMP’s Saturday-night Late Model stars will also be on the action, hoping home track experience will match up.
This past Saturday, an ACT regular crashed the weekly party with the hopes of getting a wheel-up on both groups.
Derek Gluchacki has become one of the Northeast’s rising stars in the full-fender ranks. He has thrown down the gauntlet early in 2022, winning the ACT season opener at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and overcoming a tough outing at Thunder Road to lead the points heading into Round 3 this weekend.
In an effort to prepare for the upcoming ACT Spring Green, Gluchacki and No. 03MA team made a trip to WMMP over the past weekend, participating in the 100-lap special for the three-race Wall’s Ford Platinum Late Model Series. The Massachusetts driver stormed to the front, holding off Alby Ovitt and Jesse Switser in the later laps.
“The car was really good, I could move it around a lot. I wasn’t sure on the restarts what lane I should pick because we were really good on the bottom early, but it turned out we were good up top too. Controlling Turn 1 is the biggest thing that needed to happen. I probably should’ve taken the bottom those last few restarts but I was comfortable up top and it worked out,” Gluchacki told Racing America.
It’s the first win for Gluchacki at White Mountain, and he hopes he can collect his first ACT win at the track, adding to his ACT victories at NHMS in April and Thompson Speedway last fall.
“I like it; it’s a tight track but it’s fast with all that banking. You can move around, you don’t run the bottom unless you’re in traffic. It’s a cool track. We’ve always been decent, but the last two races we’ve really stepped it up and seem to be headed in the right direction.”
Of course, Gluchacki knows that with the rest of the ACT field on property Saturday night, it will be a much tougher task to go back-to-back up in the White Mountains.
“That was our first win up there, so it really boosts the confidence being able to check that one off the list. We know what we have when we unload, so hopefully we can just keep improving on it. The ACT field brings a whole different field of guys, we know we’re about even with the weekly guys, but once the rest of the Tour is there everything resets. We’ll see what we got against everyone else.”
The 2022 season is Gluchacki’s third full-time on the ACT Tour. After racing Legend Cars, mostly at Seekonk Speedway; the North Dartmouth native moved to Late Models running Seekonk and Thompson to start off in 2019. It has been one accomplishment after another, winning ACT Rookie of the Year in 2020, then scoring his first feature win in 2021 at Thompson.
Also putting time in PASS and GSPSS competition with Rollie Lindblad this season, Gluchacki’s biggest goal for now is to keep improving that Late Model game, big enough to be able to win the title at season’s end.
“We want to keep improving everywhere, we want to race as much as we can because the more we race the more notes you got and the more stuff you can try. Leading the points is good, we got out of Thunder Road with it which was a goal after some struggles we’ve had there recently. That’s on our to do list and hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have it figured out.”
Of course, Gluchacki wants to win races, including those with some very big checks. This includes the $10,000-to-win ACT Midsummer Classic 250 which will be held at White Mountain on July 30.
“It’s one we got our eyes on for sure, we really want to win. There’s a pit stop, so it gets the team more involved. They play a big factor in it because when you go backwards at White Mountain it’s not easy to get back through the field. I feel like we got a good group of people. If we can stay fast this weekend and improve on it even more, we’ll have a real shot at the 250.”
See the ACT Spring Green 122 live from White Mountain Motorsports Park on Racing America this Saturday night at 6pm ET.