GEORGIA, VT – The two most dominant drivers in American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model stock car history will team up in 2009 under the RPM Motorsports banner for car owner and crew chief Rick Paya of Georgia, VT. Five-time ACT Late Model Tour Champion Brian Hoar has joined the team to race the full schedule, seeking his first Tour title in nine years. His teammate, on a limited basis, will be seven-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr.
“I am very excited to have this opportunity and to race for another ACT championship,” said Hoar, who won his first title in 1993 before taking four straight from 1997-2000. “Rick has been a very successful crew chief for a long time, and he’s already had a lot of success in a short amount of time as a car owner; I’m very confident in his team. And for me, it’s pretty cool that I get to be a teammate to Jean, somebody that I really have a lot of respect for.”
Paya has a new Late Model chassis under construction for Hoar at Race Basics in Maine. This will mark the first time in Hoar’s 18-year career that he has driven full-time for a team other than his family’s. Cyr will step back to a limited schedule for 2009, driving the same Race Basics car he drove to third-place overall in 2008.
“The biggest change for me is that I get to focus more on getting my job done behind the wheel, and I see that as a positive thing,” explained Hoar, noting that the pressures of being an owner/driver can be a distraction. “But at the same time,” he joked, “I now have to answer to someone if I put a dent in the fender.”
Hoar, of Williston, VT, is the all-time ACT Late Model Tour victory leader with 23 wins, while Cyr, of
Milton, VT, ranks second with 19. Between the two men, only five championships in the 17-year history of the series have been won by other drivers. Hoar also owns track championships at Thunder Road in Vermont, New York’s Airborne Speedway, and the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. He finished 10th at the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in his lone 2008 ACT appearance, and finishing sixth in ACT points with his own
team in 2007.
Cyr’s record with Paya as his crew chief includes five consecutive ACT Late Model Tour championships, from 2003-2007. Paya also served as car owner in 2007-08, and the pair scored a victory in the Spring Green 100 at Airborne Speedway before finishing third in points this season.
“I feel privileged to have the two best drivers in ACT history driving my race cars,” said Paya. “Brian
is a perfect fit for our team and the way we do things, and it’s just a great feeling to have him racing for us.” Paya said that in keeping with Hoar’s career-long affiliation, his car will run Dodge livery but will debut a new number, 37, changing from Hoar’s trademark #45.
“I’ve wanted to run for another ACT title for quite a while, and now I’ve got a great new team, a new car, a new number, and a new attitude,” said Hoar. “I already can’t wait for the season to start.”
“I’ve decided to scale back my racing some for next year, but I think that Brian and Rick will have a
strong year and it will be good for the team,” said Cyr. “They should certainly be front-runners together.”
ACT will honor its 2008 champion, Canadian Patrick Laperle, at the annual ACT Banquet of Champions in Burlington, VT in January 2009. Details will be made available in the coming weeks. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.acttour.com.