Lee, NH – Defending American Canadian Tour (ACT) champion Brian Hoar took down his second consecutive win in the season-opening New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday afternoon, holding off multi-time track champ Wayne Helliwell, Jr. to score the victory.
A field of 41 entries representing six states and two Canadian provinces battled through four heats, two consis, and a “B” main to set the 28-car field for the 150-lap main event. Farmington, Me veteran Jeff Taylor set the pace for the first nine circuits, but Helliwell moved past at that point to take over.
The reigning Small Block Super modified champion at Lee, Helliwell maintained the top spot for the next 62 laps before losing out to Ben Rowe, who held serve until lap 119, when hometown favorite and K & N Pro Series East regular Eddie MacDonald took his turn out front.
MacDonald only led the way for 10 laps before a tangle with challenger Joey Pole cost both a shot at victory just 20 laps shy of the checkers. Defending race winner Hoar picked up the lead for the first time on the restart, and he survived a string of late-race cautions to hold on for the win in the Rick Paya entry.
Helliwell followed in Hoar’s tire tracks over the final 20 circuits, but he couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for runner-up honors in his familiar Bruce Bernhardt-owned machine, with Austin Theriault joining them
on the podium after a third place run, the same way the trio had finished in the 2011 championship standings.
Pole rebounded from his trip to the rear with a solid fourth place finish, followed by 2011 ACT Rookie of the Year Ben Ashline, Taylor, MacDonald Jean-Paul Cyr, longtime Lee USA regular Jeffrey Labrecque, Jr. of nearby Rochester, and Ray Parent.
The PASS Sportsman turned out in full force for the 75-lap main event that highlighted their portion of the program, with another Lee regular grabbing the headlines. J.R. Baril led the race from green-to-checker, adding yet
another win trophy to his ever-growing collection.
The former Pro Stock and Late Model champion guided the Brian House-owned machine to another dominating win, holding off a tough race-long challenge from Carey Martin to take down the win. Joe Pastore, Craig Smith, and Rusty
Poland rounded out the top five.
Patrick Tanguay and Mike Williams opened up the 2012 Hobby Stock season by taking down the two heat race wins, but neither driver was a factor in the main event. That one was all Chris Jacobson, as he led flag-to-flag to pick
up his first career Hobby Stock win.
Veteran Jim Piaseczny had a strong run to finish in the second spot, with former Roadrunner champ Niko Maniatis, Eric Hoffman, Brian Thompson, Jack Victoria, Troy Washburn, Kyle Sawyer, Christin Burns, and Paul Palen finishing in the third through tenth spots.
The Ironman division ran their first race of the 2012 season as well, with Jake Rheaume finally breaking the ice and taking down the checkered flag. Justin Dawalga grabbed second place honors, with Danielle Simoneau rounding out the podium in third.