8-Time ACT Champion Eyes Win In Inaugural International 500
GEORGIA, Vt – It’s been two months since Brian Hoar was last in a race car, but when he gets back behind the wheel of the RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge Charger he’s hoping to recreate some of the excitement of his last ride.
Hoar matched the closest margin of victory in ACT Late Model Tour history when he won the ACT 100 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., in mid-May – and he’d gladly take a similar victory this weekend in the inaugural $140,000 ACT International 500 at Airborne on Sunday, July 21. The unique segmented race featuring three 100-lap sprints on the .500-mile track carries a guaranteed winner’s share of $25,000.
Nearly 60 ACT Late Model Tour teams are expected to attempt to qualify on one of the series’ most popular tracks.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s been a while now, so I’m ready,” said Hoar, who is running a partial schedule this season. “I’m chomping at the bit a bit, so to speak. Of course I love Airborne, anyway. The last race we ran over there, we won. It was a great race, and we really had a great race car. I expect to have a great race car this time, too.”
Hoar, of Williston, Vt., began his racing career at Airborne Speedway. The all-time winningest driver in ACT history with 39 career victories in points races has recorded eight of those wins at Airborne – including his thrilling .027-second win back in May.
But Hoar hasn’t been in competition since that victory, part of a game plan for this season that allowed him to focus on spending more time with his family.
“For me, it’s a little like starting season over, and I know I’ve got to knock the rust off a bit,” Hoar said. “We haven’t worked together in a couple of months, so the team is not in that flow of working together. We’ll see how it goes. There’s going to be some pressure there, because there’s a lot to get done in that one day. Not wearing ourselves out, too, will be important. We’ll see if we can’t get the car where we needed it (in practice) Saturday and be ready for the race.”
Though the International 500 doesn’t yet have any history to speak of, Hoar wants to be the first to put his name in the record books. Each finish in one of the 100-lap races will be recorded as a point total, and the driver with the lowest overall score after the three segments will be the winner.
It’s a lot of racing, presumably a lot of passing in traffic, and a lot of prestige on the line.
“It’s a new event, but it doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity in front of us,” Hoar said. “Everyone wants to win the first one.
“It’s a big purse. The Plattsburgh and Vermont region has been really promoting the heck out of it. The track races out really well with our Late Models. It’s not like we’re going to a track people don’t like. The fans like it, and Airborne has a good fan base. I think it’s going to be a big event.”
A big event Hoar is confident he’ll have a shot at winning come Sunday afternoon.
“I think we’ll be really fast.,” he said. “Do I think we’re good enough out of the box to have a chance to win? Yes. If I didn’t feel like we had a chance to win, I probably wouldn’t be going.”
Asked how it would feel to win the inaugural International 500, Hoar stole a line from a memorable trip to Victory Lane last time out at Airborne.
“It would be…. awesome to win it,” Hoar said.