Waterbury, VT – The American Candian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road International Speedbowl have announced the nominees for the special awards to be handed out this Saturday, January 22 during the 2010 Banquet of Champions ceremony at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington. Over 400 teams, fans and officials will be in attendance for the celebration.

As in years past, the Most Improved Driver Award and the Sportsmanship Award winners will be selected by votes from their fellow drivers and ACT/Thunder Road officials. The top four nominees for each award have been determined. Also the top five finalists for the Dr. Gordon R. “Doc” Nielsen Rookie Award have been selected.

The “Doc” Nielsen Rookie Award is presented to the most outstanding rookie competitor each year. Past winners include Thunder Road Late Model Champions Jamie Fisher and Nick Sweet, as well as former Street Stock Champion and current Tiger Sportsmen competitor Bobby Therrien.

This year’s finalists include ACT Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year Brad Babb of Windham, Maine, and fellow ACT rookie Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine. All three Thunder Road Rookie of the Year winners have also been nominated. Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen and former Street Stock Champion Jason Corliss of Danville, is joined by Street Stocker Thomas Placey of Bradford, and in the Late Models second generation driver from Barre, Cody Blake.

The ACT Late Model Tour Sportsmanship Award nominees include three veterans: Brent Dragon of Milton, Randy Potter of Groveton, New Hampshire and Mark Lamberton of Mooers Forks, New York, as well as second year driver Jeff Zuidema of North Brookfield, Massachusetts. The ACT Most Improved Driver Award has come down to rookie Dave Paya of Milton, first time ACT winner in 2010 Mark Hayward of Newport, New Hampshire, and 2010 full-time competitor Mark Hudson of Norton, Massachusetts. They will be joined by Zuidema who was also among the top nominees.

Finalists for the Thunder Road Late Model Sportsmanship Award are 2010 Champion Nick Sweet of Barre, former “King of the Road” Dave Pembroke of Montpelier, veteran Rich Lowrey from Charlotte, and Fayston’s Brooks Clark, who earned the 2009 Sportsmanship Award. The Late Model Most Improved Driver Award will be decided between Northfield’s Matt White, Barre’s Mike Bailey, former Tiger Champion Reno Gervais of Island Pond and Brooks Clark.

The Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen Sportsmanship Award finalists are Milton’s Eric Badore, Williamstown’s Mike Ziter, Barre’s Dave Finck and former champion Shawn Fleury of Middlesex. They have also elected Eric Badore for the Most Improved Driver finalists, as well as Barre’s George May, Worcester’s Jeff Bousquet, and Nielsen Award nominee Jason Corliss.

The Allen Lumber Street Stocks have selected West Topsham’s Tim Campbell, Hardwick’s Greg Adams, Montpelier’s Donny Yates, and Wolcott’s Jamie Davis as their Sportsmanship finalists.

The top vote getters in the Junkyard Warriors Sportsmanship Award running are Kevin Wheatley of Williamstown, Barre’s Kevin Dodge, Northfield’s George Sanders, and the 2010 Champion Ken Christman of Cabot.

The 2010 ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions is this Saturday, January 22 at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, Vermont.