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Buzz Already Building for Midsummer 250 at White Mountain

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White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 31 has become a must-watch for fans and a must-attend for top Late Model racers
The Midsummer Classic 250 is the longest and richest point-counting event on the ACT schedule with $10,000 to win and more than $47,000 in posted awards. (Daniel Holben photo)

Buzz Already Building for Midsummer 250 at White Mountain

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza

American-Canadian Tour

Waterbury, VT — One of the biggest American-Canadian Tour (ACT) races of the year is just around the corner. The $10,000-to-win Midsummer Classic 250 at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 31 has become a must-watch for fans and a must-attend for top Late Model racers.

White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 31 has become a must-watch for fans and a must-attend for top Late Model racers
Several White Mountain Late Model locals are expected to take on the ACT Tour regulars and renegade racers at their home track. (John Raper photo)

Tom Carey III, Mike Hopkins, Jimmy Hebert, Quinny, Welch, Ben Rowe, and Wayne Helliwell Jr. are just a few of the stars gearing up for the Midsummer Classic 250. The longest, richest point-counting event on the schedule has more than $47,000 in posted awards up for grabs. It’s taking place at a track that gains popularity every year among both weekly and touring drivers.

“White Mountain is one of my favorite places to race,” Hermon, ME’s Hopkins said. “It’s like a mini-Bristol — you get to race it. At (some tracks), you’ve got to slow down to go fast. But at White Mountain, you go fast to go fast. It has the banking, and it’s racy, and it’s just an all-around cool place.”

In just four ACT-sanctioned starts, Hopkins has established himself as a contender every time out. The reigning Pro All Stars Series (PASS) National Champion is in his first year driving the “house car” part-time for Port City Racecars. At each event, he has started fast and stayed fast.

A wire-to-wire win at Oxford Plains Speedway last Sunday was the exclamation point. Hopkins also finished runner-up in the Caron Fabrication Spring Green at White Mountain and posted a pair of top-five finishes in non-point events at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.

“Those guys work their tails off,” Hopkins said of his Port City team. “Their technology and their production down there (in North Carolina) is second to none — it’s as good as anybody’s. Going into any race, the preparation is top-notch and as good as anything you could ever ask for. Communication between me and the guys has been key. Gary (Crooks) is a racer at heart, so he knows what he’s got to do and what he wants to do right from the start.”

Hopkins will have to out-prepare, out-race, out-strategize, and outlast ACT’s best. Point leader Tom Carey III of New Salem, MA and defending champion Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, VT are the last two Spring Green winners. They’ll both be tough to beat with $10,000 on the line. Turner, ME’s Ben Rowe and Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw have each turned thousands of laps at White Mountain between Super Late Models and Late Models. They’re part of a fierce ACT championship battle as the season’s second half starts.

Locals such as eight-time track champion Quinny Welch of Groveton, NH will try to keep the big check local. No weekly Late Model racer has ever won an ACT Tour race at White Mountain, and a driver like Welch is the perfect person to change that. Dover, NH’s Wayne Helliwell Jr., the 2019 Midsummer 250 winner, is planning to take his crown back after an illness forced him to withdraw from last year’s race. Barre’s Jason Corliss, who has finished third in both Midsummer 250s, will try to bring home a first-place trophy this time around.

Fourth-generation racer Ryan Olsen of North Haverhill, the opening night winner at White Mountain this year, has also filed an entry. These drivers will go up against Tour stars Derek Gluchacki, Stephen Donahue, Shawn Swallow, Dylan Payea, and the Lanphear sisters in a Late Model epic that has become a crown jewel of the ACT schedule.

“I always tell everybody that it doesn’t matter if it’s in a wheelbarrow or a racecar — winning never gets old,” Hopkins said. “The ACT Tour is very well-established. It’s fun, they’ve got a lot of good incentives to race, the purses are good, and there’s a great caliber of drivers and cars. We had 29 cars at Oxford, and there was probably 15 of them that could have won that race at any given point. It shows that what they’re doing is obviously working.”

The ACT Late Model Tour storms into North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 31 at 5:30pm for the Midsummer Classic 250. Both local and regional stars are chasing a $10,000 winner’s purse with more than $47,000 in total prizes. The track’s Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Mini’s, and Dads 4 By Tool & Supply Kids Trucks complete the card. Admission is $25 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and $50 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).

For more information about ACT, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

Photo Credit: Daniel Holben photo, John Raper photo

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza | American-Canadian Tour

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