Rhode Island's Ray Parent battled through an intense final six laps to claim his first career American Canadian Tour point counting event victory in the Airborne 100 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY on Saturday, May 17. Parent edged Quebec's Jonathan Bouvrette by half a car length at the checkered flag and New Hampshire's Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. took third. It was the ACT Late Model Tour's 250th event since its inception in 1992.
Parent started on the pole of the 100 lap event after earning a plus three on his way to his heat race win. He led through the first caution of the event on lap six, but relinquished the lead to Bobby Therrien following the ensuing restart. Several laps later Parent returned to the point and built a giant lead over an 88 lap green flag run. It looked like Parent would ride to an easy win before the second caution flag flew on lap 94.
That set up the battle between Parent and Bouvrette. After another quick caution on lap 94, the race got back under way with Bouvrette in the outside lane and Parent on the low side. The duo stayed door-to-door swapping the lead four times at the line and multiple times around the track over the final six laps. Every time it appeared Bouvrette was getting the edge on the outside, Parent would come clawing back. Bouvrette led lap 99 and the pair stayed even until turn four coming to the finish. They swapped paint as they drag raced to the line and Parent came away with the win by .041 seconds.
Parent, Bouvrette and Polewarczyk were followed to the line by Quebec's Stephane Descoste and Vermont's Bobby Therrien in the top five. Rookie Brandon Atkins, Travis Stearns, Jeff White, Rowland Robinson, Jr., and Jimmy Hebert completed the top ten.
Parent claimed the $1,000 Bond Auto ACT Invitational qualifier bonus with his win and will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 20. Parent is a previous winner of the prestigious event back in 2012.
The 100 lap race was completed in 43 minutes and 23 seconds with just three cautions. A total of 31 cars took the green flag in the feature. Overall 32 cars were in attendance but Lance Allen had motor issues in practice that ended his day.
The American Canadian Tour has several weeks off before heading to Riverside Speedway in Groveton, NH for their fourth event of the season on Saturday, June 7.
The sister tour to the ACT Late Models, the Série ACT begins its 2014 next Saturday, May 24 at Autodrome St-Eustache in St-Eustache, QC.
Next Sunday, May 25, Thunder Road International Speedbowl opens its doors for their second event of the season with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. The event will be the first Thunder Road Late Model event of the season and the first Vermont State Late Model Championship event. The day will also feature the Devil's Bowl and Airborne Modifieds for a 50 lap event.