Waterbury, VT – On Sunday, May 6 Brian Hoar of Williston, VT relinquished the American Canadian Tour point lead to Dover, NH’s Wayne Helliwell, Jr. Helliwell dominated the second half of the Spring 112 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on his way to his first ever ACT victory, while Hoar struggled early and came home 11th. The finish seemed uncharacteristic of Hoar, known for his eight American Canadian Tour Championships and “ice cold” driving style, but uncharacteristic hardly describes the historic run that was shattered on Sunday.
Hoar’s 11th place finish marked just the third time he has finished outside the top ten in a point-counting event in his last 35 ACT starts. More impressive than that was the streak in which Hoar sat atop the points list.
Helliwell’s win ended a jaw-dropping 973-day stretch during which Hoar had led the points on the American Canadian Tour. Hoar took over the point lead after the Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road on September 6, 2009, and went on to win his sixth championship. In 2010, Nick Sweet won the season opener, but Brian Hoar outgained him in the standings through bonus points. He then led through every event of the season in 2010, as well as in 2011, after claiming the win at the season opener at Lee USA Speedway. He started off 2012 with two more wins to continue the streak, but it all came to a screeching halt on Sunday at the hands of Helliwell.
The previous point lead record had been set by seven-time ACT Champion Jean Paul Cyr who, during a stretch of four championships in a row, set the record of 637 days between July 30th, 2005 and April 28th, 2007. Hoar trumped that record by nearly a year.
Hoar has set the bar on the American Canadian Tour for most of his career. He sits atop the all-time win list with 35 wins, 16 more than any other driver, but the last three seasons may have been the most impressive. In his points lead reign, he claimed 10 feature victories and 25 top five finishes in 29 starts. Hoar’s historic point lead run, though snapped, will remain in the American Canadian Tour history books forever.
The battle for the American Tour Championship, however, is far from over. Helliwell now has the task of protecting his 30-point lead from eager former champs Hoar and Cyr, but also from rising young stars Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., and Austin Theriault as they head to Oxford Plains Speedway for the Oxford 150 on Sunday, May 20. Post time is 2:00pm.
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