Big Money & Bigger Names Coming to White Mountain for Midsummer Classic
Waterbury, VT — One of the largest and richest race weekends of the year in the Northeast is just around the corner. The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Star Series (PASS) are joining forces at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park for the Midsummer Classic this Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9.
For the ACT Late Model Tour, the 250-lap, $10,000-to-win Midsummer Classic is rapidly becoming a signature series event. Last year’s edition — the second running of the event and first as part of the ACT calendar — went down to the wire. After the leaders tangled on a restart with four laps to go, three-time ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. emerged as the winner, edging then-rookie Stephen Donahue for the five-figure prize.
The encore is anticipated to be another can’t-miss event. With well more than $40,000 in prize money and contingency awards, the Midsummer Classic is the richest ACT point-counting event of the year. The stars of Northeast Late Model racing will be out again to chase the $10,000 top prize, including Dover, NH’s Helliwell; multi-time PASS Champion and current ACT point leader D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, NH; Spring Green winner Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, VT; defending ACT Champion Rich Dubeau of Plainfield, NH; current Thunder Road Late Model point leader Marcel J. Gravel of Wolcott, VT; and 2014 ACT Champion Joey Polewarczyk of Hudson, NH.
“On the ACT side, we’ve taken it race by race this year, and so far it’s worked out,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping that my long-race experience (from PASS) plays into my favor, and if it does, I think we’ll have a shot. I consider (White Mountain) my home track, so anytime we go there, it’s close to home and familiar. Hopefully it’s a good weekend all around. We just have to get a little better than we’ve been, but we’ve been close, and we’re definitely optimistic to go back there and try it with the 04VT car.”
As the longest event of the year along with the best-paying, the Midsummer Classic winner needs to have a perfect night. Teams will have the option to change tires during the event, adding an element of strategy to the mix. In 2019, Hebert attempted to run the entire feature on the same set of tires — and was leading the event until he got together with Scott Payea on the fateful restart.
“It’s tough,” Shaw said of the strategy side. “You kind of have a strategy in your head, but if the cautions don’t fall when you want them to, then it doesn’t work that way. The ACT racing is also newer to me for the most part. Hebert not pitting to take tires last year and being in contention is something that could never happen where I usually race. There’s different strategies to consider and options to weigh, and we’ll just have to take it as it comes, I think.”
The combination of speed, stamina, and luck needed to win next Saturday makes the Midsummer Classic a throwback to the “test of man and machine” that stock car racing was built on. Whether Hebert gets redemption, Helliwell goes back-to-back, or an up-and-comer such as Christopher Pelkey or Dylan Payea pulls the upset, it will be a night to remember in the White Mountains.
Then, on Sunday, August 9, the PASS Super Late Models roll into town for the Midsummer Classic 150. Their fourth visit of the year to White Mountain Motorsports Park comes in the midst of a razor-close championship battle. Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet leads the standings on the strength of three wins in six events — with two of those wins coming at White Mountain. Sweet won the 2016 ACT championship and could become the first driver ever to capture both an ACT and a PASS crown.
However, he is just two points ahead of two-time PASS Champion Travis Benjamin of Belfast, ME. Multi-time champions D.J. Shaw, Johnny Clark, and Ben Rowe aren’t far behind. They’ll be joined by a variety of Super Late Model rising stars and reliable veterans for an afternoon of high-horsepower bullring action.
Six other divisions are on the card for the fourth doubleheader of the year at White Mountain. They include several of the track’s weekly divisions along with the PASS Modifieds and two four-cylinder divisions making the trip from Vermont’s Thunder Road. With something for every fan of asphalt short track racing, August 8 and 9 are must-see events whether in-person at the track or at home via pay-per-view on the Northeast Sports Network.
The ACT Late Model Tour returns to North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, August 8 at 5:30pm for the Midsummer Classic. The 250-lap, $10,000-to-win event comes on the front end of a doubleheader weekend in northern New Hampshire. ACT will be joined by White Mountain’s Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Mini’s, and Dads 4 By Tool & Supply Kids Trucks.
Midsummer Classic Weekend concludes Sunday, August 9 at 1:30pm with a card featuring a 150-lap event for the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models. They’ll be joined by the PASS Modifieds plus a Thunder Road four-cylinder invasion from the Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors.
Saturday admission is $25 for adults and $5 for kids ages 12 and under. Sunday is $20 for adults and $5 for kids ages 12 and under. Attendance is limited to 50% of capacity per state guidelines. Advance ticket sales and camping reservations are available now at https://happsnow.com/event/White-Mountain-Motorsports-Park. The Northeast Sports Network is also offering a live pay-per-view broadcast of both days at www.NSNsports.net/sponsors/racing. The pay-per-view is $30 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday — the price of one adult and one child ticket.
For more information, contact the ACT or Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.acttour.com or www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour or @ThunderRoadVT.
For more about the Northeast Sports Network, visit www.NSNsports.net or follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @NSNsports.