Waterbury, VT –Lee USA Speedway 2009 Champion, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. is looking to get a head start on the other ACT Ford team members in the 2010 season-long campaign. It was announced today by car owner Bruce Bernhardt that the team will head to Waterford Speedbowl for the opening event at the ‘Bowl’ over the weekend of March 27-28.

“We are definitely planning to go to Waterford for the practice on Friday, and if things go as we hope they will, we will plan to run the 50-lap Late Model feature,” said Bernhardt. Waterford is an affiliate track of the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model program. With the ACT system of universal rules, it allows teams from throughout the northeastern United States and Canada to travel to a large number of tracks in the region.

“We are trying to get ready for our season at Lee USA, and we are really looking forward to the opening event when the ACT touring teams begin their season in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150. As defending champions of our home track, we want to try and give the Tour guys all we can. We are also trying to get a head start on the Ford Blue Oval Cup Challenge point fund,” concluded Bernhardt.

The recently announced $35,000 Ford contingency program for 2010 is designed for those ACT and weekly teams who have converted their ACT power plants over to the Ford-powered S347JR ACT crate engine. Part of the program is a year-long championship point fund that will take place among the Ford team members at all the ACT touring events in the US and Canada, as well as the 10 weekly affiliate tracks. Points will be compiled for every event a Ford team member competes in during the 2010 season. The best 20 finishes, regardless of the number of events a team decides to attend, will determine the year-end Ford Blue Oval Cup Challenge standings.

The Bernhardt team, with Wayne Helliwell, Jr. as the driver, certainly is one of the early favorites to win the initial Ford Blue Oval Cup. “We are kind of looking at the opener as a test race, but if we can get a solid finish, we are thinking of it as kind of an “insurance race” for the Ford Cup Challenge when the final standings are tabulated,” said the Dracut, MA driver.

Other teams that will be looking to compete for the Blue Oval team at the ACT approved races this season include three-time Thunder Road Champion, Cris Michaud, a previous winner of the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup, who will begin his quest for the Ford title at the opening Lee event on April 18th. The Michaud race team was selected to do all the research and development of the Ford crate program for ACT in 2009. Other strong Ford team members who will begin their campaigns to be the first winner of the Blue Oval Cup Challenge are previous Governor’s Cup winner in both New Hampshire and Vermont, Joey Polewarcyzk, Jr. of Hudson, NH, and veteran racer Glen Luce from Turner, Maine. Both are full-time competitors on the American Canadian Tour.

Waterford Speedbowl will have an open practice on Friday, March 26th from 1:00pm until 6:00pm. Qualifying for the Late Model 50-lap feature will be on Saturday, March 27th and the opening day will be Sunday, March 28th. The Modified Racing Series will highlight the racing program to open the seacoast speed plant’s season.