DSC_8554story by Christopher Roy
Ben Lynch is all set for the 2013 American Canadian Tour (ACT) race season opener at Lee Speedway. “The car has been done for a while. We had a great end to last year so there wasn’t much to do this off season. We just worked on the little things we had problems with last year. I’m excited for Lee. I think we should have a great car, and its hopefully going to kick start another great year. It’s one of the closest tracks to us so we end up with a lot of fans there, so I really wanna do well for all of them.”

Though Ben has kept busy in the over the winter monthes, “This off season has been just school and work. I’m still at UNC Charlotte studying Mechanical Engineering. That takes up most of my time. But when I’m not doing school work, I work at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. I give fans rides around race tracks like Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s a great job and it keeps me behind the wheel of the of race cars all off season.”

The ACT Tour will have 14 points races at 11 different race tracks this season, “We are going to run the full season. We had planned on running the full season last year but ended up missing 3 races while building a new car. I was disappointed we had to miss so many races but it was worth it in the end. We had a strong finish to the season and I hope this season is going to start just as well. I’m going into this season with the same goals as last year: qualify well, run all the laps and finish top-10. We were doing that very productively last year and I think we can do it again this year. If we do, it’s going to lead to top 5’s and some wins, which I think we have the speed now to do, we just need to put the races together.”

Deciding which track on the ACT schedule is Bens favorite is a tough choice, “That’s a hard question. I haven’t been to them all yet but so far I like them all. Everyone has a unique challenge and its own atmospherics. WMMP is the track where I started racing late models so that always has a place in my heart. NHMS is the premier track in New England and to race there Cup weekend is huge. And Thunder Road has so much history and is a challenging track to drive and there are always so many fans there – it’s great to see that in short track racing. I loved Sanair this past year, it was a fun fast track, plus we had lots of speed there, I think it was the first time we had a legitimate chance at a top-3. I guess my favorite track though has to be the next place I get a win.”

New on the race schedule this season is the ACT International 500 at Airborne Speedway. “It’s an interesting concept. By making it a segment race and not 300 straight laps it’s going to bring a lot of teams that maybe don’t have the best long run setups but will bring good short run speed into play. This means there’s a good chance a local guy could win the money, all they do is short runs. It’s certainly going to be exciting for the fans because, with the invert, there is no way you can win without passing a lot of cars. I think it has potential to be a prestigious race someday. Any time you put that much money on the line it gets people around the country talking. I have already heard people down here in NC talking about it.”

One of the highlights on the ACT race schedule is the ACT Invitational at NHMS. Drivers can qualify for the race by winning a feature race during the season or by invitation. “Yes, we will go if we get invited. We had a strong run last year and finished 8th. The rain in practice and not going to the test hurt me last year. That was the first time we had a good car there, it took me a little ways into the race to really figure out how to get around that track. I think with a few changes we could have a good shot at it this year.”

Safety is always an issue when racing what would you do to improve the safety on the track or in the car. “I have always been big on safety. I have run a HANS and a full-containment seat sense I have gotten into cars. With the technology available today there is no excuse for not being safe. I think as a driver and as a team we need to take some of the responsibility for safety, its not the tracks or series falt if you not using them. Though racing is a dangerous sport, the safety aspects are there we just need to use them. I know i do, and that’s probably why i feel safe every time i strap into my race car.”