With only one top-five to his name through the first seven races on the American-Canadian Tour this season, Ray Parent didn’t set his expectations very high as the series made its annual stop at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But thanks to a hard-working crew and a smartly run race, Parent picked up one of the biggest victories of his career at Saturday’s fourth annual Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational.
“I can’t say enough about how hard my guys work,” said Parent, a native of Tiverton, R.I. “This is just unbelievable. This feels so good and it’s so great to see all that hard work pay off with us standing here in Victory Lane at New Hampshire.”
The caution-filled 50-lap affair came down to the final 15 laps at “The Magic Mile.” Parent battled Joey Polewarczyk of Hudson, N.H., for several laps before sprinting ahead to take a lead he’d never relinquish for the final six circuits.
Polewarczyk finished third behind Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, Quebec and ahead of Wayne Helliwell Jr. (Dover, N.H.) and Ricky Rolfe (Albany Township, Maine), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Eddie MacDonald (Rowley, Mass.), the defending champion, had mechanical issues and finished 39th.
Forty-two ACT competitors randomly drew numbers for their positions in the starting lineup.
“I didn’t think with 50 laps we could come from 33rd and challenge for the lead, but we did,” said Polewarczyk, who won the 2010 ACT Invitational at NHMS. “We just got tight at the end and I couldn’t come off the corners, and that is where Ray was really strong.”
“Me and Joey battling for the lead, clean, you don’t get that in too many places,” said Parent.
The American-Canadian Tour is the premier late model series on the northern East Coast and southeastern Canada. The Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational features only the best of the series’ best, and drivers race all season for the opportunity to get an invitation to the tour’s most prestigious race.
For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or to purchase tickets to Sunday’s SYLVANIA 300, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call our Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.