WATERBURY, VT – A select group of stock car drivers has been nominated for the “Sportsmanship” and “Most Improved” awards in four racing divisions for the American-Canadian Tour and Barre’s Thunder Road.  Competitors and race officials and have selected nominees for the special awards, with the winners to be announced at the annual ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions on Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in South Burlington, VT.

      Thunder Road Rookie of the Year Chip Grenier of Northfield heads the list for the ACT Late Model division, receiving votes in both categories.  Joining him on the list of top nominees for Sportsmanship are Vermonters Brent Dragon, Jamie Fisher, and Shawn Fleury, and ACT Late Model Tour regular Donald Theetge of Boischatel, QC. Grenier is joined on the Most Improved ballot by Rusty Berger, Mike Bailey, Marcel Gravel, and Tour racer Ron Henry of New Gloucester, ME.  A.J. Begin was the 2006 Sportsmanship Award winner, while Joey Polewarczyk was the Most Improved Driver.

      Plainfield brothers Matt and Tim Potter each received nominating votes in Thunder Road’s NAPA Tiger Sportsman division.  Younger brother Tim is on the Sportsmanship ballot, while Matt has earned a nomination for Most Improved.  Tim Potter is joined on the Sportsmanship ballot by fellow young guns Justin Hart and Tom Therrien, and former division champions Chuck Beede and Joey Laquerre.  Brendan Moodie won last year’s Sportsmanship Award.  Matt Potter is up for Most Improved honors with second-year racer Chris Chambers, veteran Brian Delphia, and rookies Joel Hodgdon of and James Hebert.  Matt White was the 2006 Most Improved driver, while Delphia won the award in 2005.

       Drivers in the Allen Lumber Street Stock and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior classes have also chosen nominees for Sportsmanship awards in their respective divisions.  Nominated for the Ed Carroll Memorial Street Stock Sportsmanship Award are Greg Adams, Jr., Mike Martin, Shawn Powell, Patrick Underwood, and Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien, the 2007 Street Stock Champion and Rookie of the Year.  Shawn Sicard won the Ed Carroll Memorial Warrior division has selected five nominees for its first-ever
Sportsmanship award.  Dale Bickford, Neal Foster, Mark LaFleche, Lenny Sanborn, and Warrior Champion Bunker Hodgdon of Hardwick will vie for the honors.

       The Sportsmanship and Most Improved Driver award winners will be named at the ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions on Saturday, Jan. 12.  The honored drivers and Top 10 point finishers from each division will also share the stage with ACT Late Model Tour Champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, and Thunder Road Champions Dave Pembroke of Montpelier (Late Model), Nick Sweet of Barre (Tiger Sportsman), Bobby Therrien, and Bunker Hodgdon.

       Three prestigious “surprise” awards will also be handed out.  The Dr. Gordon R. Nielsen Rookie Achievement Award, in its 10th year, will recognize the top-performing freshman driver across all ACT divisions.  The Ken Squier Award, now in its 20th year, will be given to the person or group who has elevated stock car racing through exceptional service.  The Don MacTavish Award, the highest honor in ACT/Thunder Road stock car racing, has been given each year since 1969 to a person or group who has made a significant and lasting contribution to regional short track racing.  ACT Director of Competition Dean Gallison was honored with the award last year.

       For more information on the American-Canadian Tour and Thunder Road, call (802) 244-6963, or visit www.acttour.com and www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com.