Story By: AMERICAN-CANADIAN TOUR – BARRE, VT – The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Barre’s Thunder Road have announced the 43rd Berlin Optical Expressions Labor Day Classic on Sunday, September 5 will pay $5,000 to the winner.
The 200-lap showdown instantly becomes one of the richest point-counting events of the year on the ACT Late Model Tour schedule. It will be broadcast live on FloRacing as part of the track’s live streaming agreement with Thunder Road.
With the announcement, there are now four ACT-sanctioned Late Model events in a 29-day span that pay least $5,000 to win. The Labor Day Classic is followed by the non-point Bacon Bowl 200 at Quebec’s Autodrome Chaudiere on Saturday, September 11, which pays $10,000 CAN to the winner. After a week of, the point-counting schedule resumes with the $5,000-to-win Fall Foliage 200 at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 26.
The big money continues into the first weekend of October with the non-point $10,000-to-win Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road. All told, there are now six events on the 2021 ACT schedule paying at least at $5,000 winner’s purse.
The non-point Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road (October 3) and Bacon Bowl 200 at Quebec’s Autodrome Chaudiere (September 11) have top prizes of $10,000 USD and $10,000 CAN, respectively. With the announcement, all three ACT-sanctioned Late Model events in the month of September now are paying at least $5,000 to win.
More than $30,000 in total awards have been posted for this year’s Berlin Optical Expressions Labor Day Classic. In addition to the $5,000 winner’s purse, the feature will pay $2,500 for second, $1,500 for third, and $500 to take the green flag. There are also 13 different contingency prizes, a last-chance qualifier payout, and a portion of the $40,000-plus ACT point fund. The entry form for the event is available now at www.acttour.com/forms.
To encourage participation across the ACT Late Model spectrum, the Labor Day Classic entry includes three provisional starting spots. One provisional each has been posted for ACT 100% competitors, Thunder Road Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model 100% competitors, and Canadian Late Model competitors.
The Canadian provisional has been posted in anticipation of the announced reopening of the USA-Canada border for non-essential travel on August 9, which would allow Quebec-based teams and others to compete in USA-based events. For the Thunder Road Late Model and Canadian Late Model provisionals to be awarded, at least five eligible drivers each must attempt to qualify for the Labor Day Classic.
“We wanted to go all-out for this year’s Labor Day Classic,” Thunder Road managing partner Cris Michaud said. “Even with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen great support this year for the ACT Tour and weekly Late Model racing from both teams and fans. We also know Canadian teams are as anxious to finally compete in ACT events again as we are to see them there. The Labor Day Classic is both a ‘thank you’ for those who’ve supported us all year and an unofficial ‘welcome back’ for our Canadian friends. It’s also the start of a huge month for Northeast ACT Late Model teams.”
The Berlin Optical Expression Labor Day Classic debuted in Thunder Road’s inaugural 1960 season. It was held every year from 1960 to 1977 for the track’s premier division at the time. Following a 20-year hiatus, the Labor Day Classic returned in 1997 and has been run annually ever since. Previous Labor Day Classic winners include Northeast racing legends Dave Dion, Jean-Paul Cabana, Nick Sweet, Larry Demar, Bobby Dragon, and Brian Hoar. Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien won the 2020 edition.
The ACT Late Model Tour hits the track at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 28 for the Oxford Plains 125. The event is part of the “Night Before the Oxford 250” program which also includes the PASS Modifieds, Street Stock Triple Crown Series, Northeast Classic Lites, and Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association. Post time is to be announced. Admission is $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6-12.
Thunder Road’s next event is Cody Chevrolet-Cadillac Night this Thursday, August 5 at 7:00pm. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers are going 75 laps in the season finale of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series. There is also a full card of racing for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Modes, RK Miles Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and $30 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). Advance tickets are available at www.happsnow.com/event/Thunder-Road-Speedbowl.