Waterbury, VT – Center Harbor, New Hampshire’s Brad Leighton, defending Champion of the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup has entered the opening event for the American Canadian Tour (ACT) at the Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 18, 2010. Leighton won the 2009 event after holding off the 2008 Governor’s Cup winner, Joey Polewarczyk, from nearby Hudson, NH.

Over fifty cars attempted to qualify for the event that saw nine different leaders before Leighton took over on lap 132 of the 150 lap grind. There were only five cautions in the event that saw one of the largest opening day crowds at Lee USA in many years.

“I am happy to get this first win of the season here at Lee Speedway, and I am really happy that in a few months I will be able to head about 30 minutes up the road to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) for the first ACT Invitational,” said an excited Leighton in victory lane.

Leighton was a former ACT Pro Stock Champion in 1995, and he is a two-time NASCAR Busch East Champion, winning in 1999 and 2000. He also has accumulated 8 wins at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“I hope I can repeat and get my invitation back to ACT II at NHMS this coming September. I finished the race last year, and I know I want to give our team a win there, but first you have to get a qualified spot,” continued Leighton. The Lee opener is the first opportunity to get an invitation to what has become one of the region’s most anticipated events at NHMS.

The opening event of 2010 will have one of the best fields of Late Model competitors to attend an opening ACT event. Over 50 of the best in the region are again expected to try to grab one of the 30 starting spots in this year’s NH Governor’s Cup. A championship field of ACT teams will join a host of talented Lee regular competitors for the spring ritual. Former opening day winners Leighton and Polewarczyk will be joined by 2005 winner Cris Michaud, a three-time Thunder Road Champion, at this year’s opener.

The traditional opening event marks the beginning of the 25th season of American Canadian Tour racing. “I think it is just great that we are back to opening our season at the Lee facility,” said Tom Curley, President of ACT. “Red and Judy MacDonald have long supported ACT racing and some of the wildest events we have seen over the past 25 years were the old ACT Pro Stock events. This group of Late Model racers is just as exciting and just as talented. I am glad we get to show them off at such a great facility.”

Teams will practice on Saturday, April 17 and post time for the Governor’s Cup is 12 noon Sunday, April 18.