PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Two weeks ago at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, eight-time American Canadian Tour Stock Car Champion Brian Hoar lost the race by .028 of a second — the closest margin of victory in ACT history.
The ACT 100 at Airborne Speedway on Saturday, May 18 was decided by the exact same margin, but this time it was all Hoar, earning the victory with an epic last lap pass of ACT Point Leader Jimmy Hebert, leaving rival Wayne Helliwell Jr. to round out the podium in third.
In the early going, Hebert muscled by polesitter Eric Chase in the outside lane to gain the lead, bringing Helliwell in tow along with Tiverton, RI’s Ray Parent. The trio split from the field, setting a blistering pace that sent the leaders into lap traffic before lap 30 of the 100-lap event. Meanwhile, Hoar quietly worked his way from his 13th starting position into the top five.
By lap 33, Helliwell was ready to launch his assault on Hebert’s back bumper for the lead, but Hebert held his ground, fighting tooth and nail to keep his position at the point. The first caution of the race came on lap 54, bringing the leaders back into the waiting arms of the field.
On the restart, Helliwell easily muscled ahead in the outside lane, taking the lead only for a lap when a caution came out for the spinning car of Rowley, MA native Eddie MacDonald. Hebert quickly learned from the ACT Champion.
When the race resumed, Hebert blasted to the point while Hoar closed in on the pair. Hoar quickly engaged in the battle for the lead, momentarily diving three wide in a battle for the ages as the laps waned on. As the former Champions swarmed him, Hebert only fought harder, holding the two off as they battled for the second position. By lap 64, Hoar had disposed of Helliwell and set his target on Hebert. Three laps later, he stripped the point leader of the top spot on the outside and looked to be on his way to victory.
A lap-78 caution setup Hebert on the outside of the eight-time champion, and with 22 laps to go, the sophomore driver dropped the gloves and powered his way back to the lead by a nose. While Hebert and Hoar clawed for the win, Parent began a second battle with Helliwell just behind the two for third.
Helliwell momentarily moved into third until a daring cross over move by Parent reignited the struggle, but with 10 laps to go Hebert and Hoar continued to trade the lead back and forth. The battle raged on until an expert move by Hebert pinned Hoar behind lap traffic with two laps remaining, handing Hebert the lead as they took the white flag.
In the final lap, Hoar drove deep into turns one and two, shocking Hebert and a packed Airborne crowd as he nosed up to the door of the point leader on the back stretch. The pair entered turns three and four side-by-side and powered to a drag race down the front stretch. When the dust settled, Hoar had won by the exact same margin he had lost by two weeks before: .028 of a second.
Helliwell claimed third over Parent by two hundredths of a second himself, with Brent Dragon following behind to round out the top five.
Brian Hoar, Jimmy Hebert, Wayne Helliwell Jr., Ray Parent, Brent Dragon, Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Ben Lynch, Glen Luce, Rowland Robinson Jr., Todd Davis, Jean-Paul Cyr, Dan McHattie, Bobby Therrien, Travis Stearns, Eric Chase, Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Jamie Fisher, Luke Hinkley, Jeff White, Chip Grenier, Brandon Atkins, Bucko Branham, Bryan Mercer, Joey M. Laquerre, David Whitcomb, Jimmy Linardy, Kevin Boutin Jr., Leo Poirier