WATERBURY, Vt. – American-Canadian Tour teams, staff, and officials honored 2015 ACT Late Model Tour champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. at the ACT Banquet of Champions at the Elks Club in Barre, Vt. on Saturday.
Helliwell and car owner Bruce Bernhardt captured their third ACT title in the past four seasons, earning a $10,000 check from a total point fund of more than $35,000.
Helliwell began competing full-time on the ACT Tour in 2011 after winning numerous races and track championships in New Hampshire. His team quickly became contenders on the Tour and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and ’13. After running a partial schedule in 2014, they returned in full form in 2015, winning four times and finishing in the top 10 in all 13 events to come out on top of a season-long duel with 2014 ACT Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. Helliwell’s average finish of 3.2 ranks as one of the best in ACT history.
Each of the top 10 finishers in the 2015 ACT final standings was also honored along with several special awards. Bobby Babb, crew chief for his son Brad Babb and the Laquerre Motorsports team, received the 2015 ACT Crew Chief of the Year Award. The Babbs, whose family has been involved in racing for nearly 60 years, returned to full-time ACT competition in 2015 after an absence of several years. They immediately emerged as one of the top teams on the Tour, winning two races and finishing third in the final standings.
Speedway Safety Service received the prestigious MacTavish Award, which recognizes contributions to stock car racing in the Northeast. The company specializes in emergency care and fire suppression and has been a longtime supporter of ACT and race tracks throughout the region.
Rich Dubeau was honored as the 2015 ACT Rookie of the Year. The former Claremont Speedway Late Model champion finished 10th in the ACT Tour standings in his first full year while visiting 12 new tracks. Sophomore competitor Brandon Atkins was recognized with the ACT Three Star Award. The 19-year old received a series-high four Star Awards throughout the 2015 season.
ACT President Tom Curley received the Northeast Motorsports Expo Award of Excellence for his contributions to Northeast auto racing. Previous winners of the award include Bob Bahre, Ricky Craven, and June and Gardiner Leavitt.