THOMPSON, Conn. – Jonathan Bouvrette earned his first American-Canadian Tour win on U.S. soil at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday in the World Series 75.
Bouvrette, a multi-time Serié ACT winner, grabbed the lead from John Donahue after an opening-lap incident and went wire-to-wire for the win at the 57th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing.
Meanwhile, Rich Dubeau clinched his first ACT championship with a 12th-place finish.
Bouvrette started sixth in the main event but was the beneficiary of a wild and wooly first two turns that set the tone for the early laps. First, fifth-place starter Jean-Francois Dery slowed entering the first turn after losing his clutch. Then, in the second turn, front-row starters Ryan Morgan and Tom Carey III got together. Morgan spun while Carey, Ryan Lineham, and Michael Benevides all ended up in the wall to bring out the caution.
Third-place starter Stephen Donahue also sustained damage in the incident and had to pit for repairs. As a result, Donahue’s father John and Bouvrette inherited the front row for the restart. Bouvrette got the jump off the outside, going from sixth to first in one lap.
The lead was exactly the right place for Bouvrette to be as he was out in front of five more cautions that flew over the first nine laps. Several potential contenders were hobbled along the way with Jimmy Hebert, Ryan Kuhn, and Derek Gluchacki all caught up in incidents.
The carnage culminated with a pile-up on a lap-nine restart that forced out Stephen Donahue, Chris Pelkey, Jake Johnson, Paul Newcomb Jr. and Joshua Hedges. Dubeau was also caught up in the lap-9 incident but was able to continue after repairs during the lengthy yellow.
Following the clean-up from the second lap nine caution, race control made the decision to go with single-file restarts for the remainder of the event. On the first extended green-flag run, Bouvrette gradually asserted himself over the field. Mark Jenison was able to hang with Bouvrette for a spell but eventually fell back as well.
The field was bunched back together following the seventh caution on lap 30 for Brandon Lindahl’s spin. When the race resumed, the most thrilling battle of the event developed. While Bouvrette pulled out to a straightaway lead, the duel for second reached six cars. Jenison headed the pack while Scott Payea, Woody Pitkat, Bryan Kruczek, Kuhn, and Dylan Payea all taking turns trying to make a run.
The back-and-forth came to a head with 10 laps to go when Kruczek got into the back of Scott Payea coming off turn two. Payea ended up in the inside backstretch wall to bring out the eight and final caution while Kruczek was sent to the rear for his involvement. When the green flag flew again, both Jenison and Pitkat were able to stay with Bouvrette. However, Pitkat got underneath Jenison with four laps remaining, and the side-by-side racing allowed Bouvrette to get away from both for the win.
Pitkat cleared Jenison with two laps to go to finish second, matching his result from the June ACT race at Thompson. Jenison’s third-place effort was his best-ever with ACT. Kuhn and Dylan Payea completed the top-five. Gluchacki recovered from his early spin to finish sixth after starting 33rd. John Donahue, Michael Mitchell, Ryan Morgan, and Kruczek rounded out the top-10.
Meanwhile, Dubeau was able to work his way back up to 12th at the checkered flag. The result was more than enough to give him the ACT championship in his fifth year of Tour competition, It capped a dream season for Dubeau where he won two races and posted eight top-five finishes in the 10-race point-counting schedule.
Jonathan Bouvrette, Woody Pitkat, Mark Jenison, Ryan Kuhn, Dylan Payea, Derek Gluchacki, John Donahue, Michael Mitchell, Ryan Morgan, Bryan Kruczek, Glenn Boss, Rich Dubeau, Jimmy Hebert, Mathieu Kingsbury, Alexendre Tardif, Jason Larivee Jr., Frank Dumichich Jr., Remi Perreault, Allan King, Scott Payea, Lance Jenison, Brandon Lindahl, Michael Wray, Jake Johnson, Christopher Pelkey, Paul Newcomb Jr., Joshua Hedges, Stephen Donahue, Peyton Lanphear, Reilly Lanphear, Tom Carey III, Jean-Francois Dery, Ryan Lineham, Mike Benevides.