Brian Hoar: ACT Late Model Tour
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Race Preview
Brian Hoar of Williston, Vt., looks to keep his momentum rolling when the ACT Late Model Tour visits Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., for the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 1. Hoar has won the last two ACT-sanctioned events, including a Goodyear Speedweeks Cup 100 in New Smyrna, Fla., in February and the ACT Tour season opener at Lee USA Speedway two weeks ago. Hoar is the owner of a record 29 career ACT victories and, as the early points leader, has a leg up in his quest for a third straight and eighth overall Tour title. Five of his ACT victories have come at Thunder Road, where he was also the 1999 track champion.
WHO: Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt.
TEAM: RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge
CREW CHIEF: Rick Paya, Georgia, Vt.
BEST CAREER THUNDER ROAD FINISH: 1st (5 times, most recent: September 1999)
LAST RACE AT THUNDER ROAD: 6th (September 2010)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Merchants Bank 150
WHERE: Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
WHEN: 1 p.m., Sunday, May 1
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: April 17, NH Governor’s Cup 150, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (1st)
NEXT RACE: May 15, The Big Jab 150, Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 1st
DID YOU KNOW?
While Brian Hoar has five career ACT Late Model Tour victories at Thunder Road, he also recorded a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at the track in 2003. Incidentally, that was the last time NASCAR held an event at the track.
Brian Hoar sat on the pole for the last ACT race contested at Thunder Road in September of 2010 and finished sixth in that race.
RPM Motorsports and Brian Hoar have not trailed in the ACT Late Model Tour standings since a winning at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl in August of 2009.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
BRIAN HOAR, Driver of the No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge, On heading to Thunder Road this weekend for the second race of the season: “I can’t wait to get to Thunder Road. I run good at Thunder Road, but more than that, it’s fun there. It’s a local home track that’s just 45 minutes away from us.
“Thunder Road is a special place, anyway. The fans are awesome. They really get into the race. These people are there all the time and big-time into the racing. It’s fun to race there, because if you put on a good show, they reward you. And then they’ll turn around and spank you if you don’t.”
On starting the 2010 season with the win at Lee USA Speedway: “It’s pretty big. We were talking before that race about how big it would be to have a good run there. It would be huge. But you just never know what’s going to happen until you get to the track.
“You go in with all your might to try and win the race, but anything can happen. But in retrospect, I’m pretty damned relieved to be where I’m at right now. It immediately puts pressure on everybody else. It is big, but only as long as we don’t rest on our laurels and stop working. We know that everyone else is going to step up their game now.”
On the unique challenge of racing at Thunder Road: “It’s such a tight little bullring. It’s got those high banks, so we get around there fast for its size. Things happen there very quickly. I know I can go there and be one of the fastest cars, a Top-5 car – but that doesn’t mean much. Anything can happen once you get out there with other cars.
“You’ve got to really drive heads-up. Qualifying is one of toughest things there. For being such a small track, the cars can run side-by-side, and guys can get racing two-by-two in front of you and sometimes you can just get trapped. Every year, one of best teams always doesn’t qualify because of that. Sometimes, there’s just nowhere to go.
“Some of it’s totally out of our control as drivers. But planning for that before you get there – planning ahead, strategizing for that – that’s a big part of having success there. That’s what we see at Thunder Road. It’s a place where (the contrast between) experienced-versus-inexperienced drivers really shows up.”
The ACT Late Model Tour heads to The Big Jab 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, May 15 for the third race of the season… Brian Hoar was the runner-up to two-time TD Bank Oxford 250 champion Eddie MacDonald in last year’s event, and Hoar also finished in the Top-5 in both points-paying ACT races at Oxford last season, too.