Waterford, CT (June 8, 2009) – Late Model teams at Waterford Speedbowl will have Saturday June 13th off from NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. The ACT Late Model Tour visits the historic shoreline oval for a 100-lap event however, which some ‘Bowl competitors are hoping to provide some home cooking in.
The Speedbowl Late Model division is comprised of ACT-legal cars, giving the “home team” of drivers a leg up on the ACT Tour competition when it comes to experience and number of laps around the tricky three eighths mile Speedbowl. Waterford regulars Bruce Thomas Jr. and Tim Jordan will lead the charge for the locals. Others expected to defend their turf versus the Tour include Dennis Stampfl, Allen Coates, and Joe Curioso. Another driver looking to qualify is Howard Payne. Payne is just getting started in the division, but the multiple-time winner in the Truck Series has proven to be a quick learner in his racing career. Payne will be racing for a cause, donating any winnings from his effort to Racing Against Cancer.
“We’ve hoped our Late Model division would evolve towards this and our guys are ready” offered Speedbowl owner and promoter Terry Eames. “This should be a good one”.
A year ago, Bruce Thomas Jr. was impressive in the 100-lap event leading much of the race before succumbing to eventual winner Scott Payea during a restart in the middle stages of the race. Thomas finished the event second. Seven Speedbowl competitors in total qualified for the 30-car field last year. Many ran well and Ron Yuhas Jr. joined Thomas in the top-five finishers.
During NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model action this year, none have been quicker than Thomas or Jordan. The pair have captured the past three division championships and have routinely been clocked in the mid 15 second lap bracket during competition this year. Thomas, who hails from nearby Groton, turned in a blistering 15.202 second time-trial lap during qualifying for an event earlier in May. He’s found success claiming four of seven wins in the division this year and is the current points leader and two-time defending champion of the division.
Jordan on the other hand is looking to turn around a season mired with misfortune, with three hard wrecks sidelining the Plainfield, CT native. A strong showing in the ACT 100-lap event could be a turning point for the season. His outlook remains positive.
"Last year's race proved that the local guys can be fast and put up a fight” stated Jordan, a feature winner this season himself. “We will try to give the Tour guys a run for their money."
A big key to the potential success may lie with the ACT plus/minus qualifying system, where drivers earn points for number of cars passed in their qualifying race. “It’s all about the qualifying draw” according to Jordan. “It can make for an easy night or a tough one. The heats will dictate the outcome of the event. I don't think anyone can come from the back and have tires left at the end. Last year, the contenders came from within the top-ten starting spots."
The ACT heat races as well as consolation events are another treat for Speedbowl fans. Qualifying begins at 5:00pm Saturday for both the Speedbowl divisions and the ACT Tour, giving local fans the chance to root on their hometown heroes who try and make the show.
Leading the list of contenders for the ACT Tour is last year’s event winner Scott Payea. Payea leads the 2009 Tour points after five events, and has already reached Victory Lane. Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk Jr. has claimed a win and is tied for second in points with Brian Hoar. Brent Dragon, winner of an ACT race in 2003 at the ‘Bowl and Brad Leighton, winner at Lee USA Speedway earlier this year are other contenders and names Speedbowl fans should be familiar with.
Joining the ACT Tour will be NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action for the SK Modifieds with another 35-lap feature event, while the Street Stocks and Norwich Bulletin Mini Stocks will compete in 20-lap features. The Legends Cars also join the action with a 20-lapper of their own. Main events will follow qualifying and are set to begin at approximately 7:00pm. Admission is priced $25 for adult grandstands and $5 for youth ages 6 to 14, and free for children 5 and under. The Speedbowl offers acres of free parking. For more information about the 2009 Speedbowl season and calendar of events, please visit www.speedbowl.com or contact the track office at 860.442.1585.