LOUDON, N.H. – Brian Hoar finally has the one thing he wanted. A win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Hoar blistered his way through the field in the second segment on Saturday evening, charging from 35th to first and taking the victory in the inaugural ACT All-Star Challenge. Hoar finished second in the morning's 25-lap segment and won the second 50-lap segment for a low total score of three points in claiming his record 32nd career ACT Late Model Tour win.
"Finally, I got one at New Hampshire," said Hoar, of Williston, Vt. "This is unbelievable. I've been after this thing for 10 years or so, first with (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) cars and now with these ACT cars. This is just awesome."
Hoar benefitted most when Eddie MacDonald, who won the first segment, stopped on the apron of Turn 1 while leading under caution with 14 laps remaining in the second segment. MacDonald's ignition system gave out – putting him in the garage for the remainder of the afternoon.
"We were fast, too," MacDonald said. "It just went. I went to warm up the tires and the car shut off, and my first thought was, 'There's no way we're out of fuel.'"
"I have to say, I really was looking forward to that last restart with Eddie," Hoar said. "I thought he and I were the class of the field, and it would have been a lot of fun to line up on the outside of him like that and get after it."
With MacDonald out, Hoar had the front to himself – at least until the closing laps. 17-year-old ACT sophomore Austin Theriault came charging over the final two circuits, closing to within half a car length to finish second in the segment and second overall.
"What an incredible day," said Theriault, of Fort Kent, Maine. "We did pass some cars in the second segment, and the car was fast... I'm kind of surprised, but we'll take it. I don't know how hard Brian was pushing it, but we were coming."
Patrick Laperle recorded finishes of 12th and fourth to finished third in the first-ever ACT points race at the track.
The day belonged to Hoar, a fitting finish for the driver who has seven Tour championships and more race wins than any driver in series history. It was his fifth win of the season.
"We had a hot rod all weekend," Hoar said. "The boys worked hard and they turned it up a notch."