Late Model Challenge Cup Ready for 2021 Debut on Grand Scale
Nine New England Tracks Registered with Point Fund That Could Exceed $20,000
Waterbury, VT — After a one-year delay, The New England Late Model Challenge Cup (NELMCC) is finally debuting in 2021 — and it will be even bigger than originally planned. American-Canadian Tour (ACT) officials confirmed today that nine tracks have signed up for the first season of the series that will pit weekly Late Model racers from across the region in a summer-long battle for pride, glory, and some serious prize money.
The inaugural Challenge Cup was originally slated for the 2020 season before being pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The basic format remains the same, with registered drivers taking their 10 best eligible finishes at participating tracks towards the season-long point standings.
However, the scope of the program has grown tremendously during the one-year hiatus. Nine tracks from four New England states have signed up, nearly double the amount that were originally registered for 2020.
The increase in tracks also means an increase in the season-ending awards. A guaranteed minimum point fund of $14,000 has been posted for the Challenge Cup. The $100 registration fee for each driver will also be added to the point fund in full. For example, if 40 drivers sign up for the series, another $4,000 would be added to the point fund for a total of $18,000.
Should registration be on pace with the 2020 pre-pandemic numbers, the total point fund could exceed $20,000. A minimum prize of $3,000 goes to the overall winner. At least the top-10 drivers in the final standings will receive payouts.
Several big contingency and raffle awards have been posted, adding even more value to the program for racer. A Port City Chassis by Crazy Horse Racing will be raffled off at season’s end. To qualify for the chassis raffle, drivers must register by the deadline and attempt to qualify for at least 10 point-counting events.
ARBodies and Five Star Bodies are each awarding a $500 product certificate. Drivers who finish in the overall top-10 and have declared they are running an AR or Five Star body will be eligible for these raffles.
Drivers who register by the early-entry deadline of March 1 will also be entered into a Hoosier Tire raffle. Two randomly chosen entrants each receive two free ACT Late Model tires from Hoosier. ACT will also honor the tire awards of the 2020 pre-pandemic raffle winners if they register for this year’s Challenge Cup.
“This program is a huge step forward for weekly Late Model racing in New England,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “The Challenge Cup was one of the things we were most excited about in 2020 before the pandemic. Now, with nearly twice as many tracks on board plus some great contingency partners, it’s going to be even bigger for teams and fans.”
“Weekly racers are the backbone of the sport, and it’s important to reward them for their efforts,” Michaud went on. “We’ve come up with a program that does so and which we think will boost car counts and action throughout the region.”
Four tracks from the original 2020 slate will return for the 2021 debut: Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Speedbowl; North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park; Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; and Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway.
Five other tracks have joined the Challenge Cup. Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl will be the second Connecticut track. Furthermore, four tracks from the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association (NHSTRA) have signed up: Monadnock Speedway, Lee USA Speedway, Hudson Speedway, and Claremont Motorsports Park.
Any competitor at the four NHSTRA tracks must use the ACT Late Model rules option the organization has introduced for the 2021 season. In other words, cars need to be 100% ACT legal for drivers to earn Challenge Cup points.
All weekly Late Model features at participating tracks will be eligible for the Challenge Cup. Registered drivers can earn Challenge Cup points at any of the nine tracks. For example, a Thunder Road Late Model regular can also earn points at White Mountain, and a Thompson Speedway regular can also earn points at New London-Waterford Speedbowl or Monadnock Speedway.
A driver’s 10 best performances across all tracks count towards their NELMCC total. Points will be awarded based on finishing position, car count, and cars passed. The full system is available at www.acttour.com/NELMCC.
Participating tracks are responsible for reporting results to the ACT offices. ACT Late Model Tour events and “open events” at these tracks are not eligible for Challenge Cup points.
To register for the New England Late Model Challenge Cup, drivers must submit the entry form along with a $100 registration fee by Monday, April 5. Entries postmarked by Monday, March 1 will be eligible for the Hoosier tire drawing. The entry form and point system outline are available at www.acttour.com/NELMCC and on participating track websites.
For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.