April 14, 2014

ACT racing season opens

MacDonald steals ACT opener at Lee

LEE, N.H. — Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass., opened the 2014 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) season with a victory in the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway Sunday.

MacDonald’s race-winning pass occurred on lap 146 when he slipped past Tiverton, R.I., native Ray Parent on the outside of turn two.

MacDonald, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitor whose parents own Lee, held off Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Wayne Helliwell Jr., Alex Labbe and Stephane Descoste on a lap-146 restart.

Jimmy Hebert, Ben Ashline, Ben Lynch, Bobby Therrien and Rowland Robinson Jr. finished sixth through tenth, respectively.

The race featured three caution periods on laps 63, 71 and 146. The 150-lap event was completed in 56 minutes and 26 seconds. The margin of victory was .984 seconds.

Thirty-nine drivers attempted to qualify for the 30-car field.

Ray Parent, the wheelman behind the Amtrol-sponsored No. 17RI, led a race-high 113 laps.

After battling for the lead with Eddie MacDonald, Parent spun out of the top spot with four laps remaining.

Parent recovered for a 13th-place finish. He was one of 16 drivers to complete all 150 green-flag laps.

Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vt., the defending race winner, started last in the 30-car field. Hebert, who entered the top 10 by the halfway mark, advanced 24 positions for a sixth-place result.

The 22-year-old driver finished third in the ACT standings a season ago with two wins and six top-five finishes in 14 starts. He plans to compete full-time on the nine-race series in 2014.

After being sidelined for 18 months following rotator cuff surgery, Ben Ashline of Pittston, Maine, made his comeback at the historic three-eighths mile track Sunday.

Ashline started 24th and made his way inside the top 10 with 125 laps showing on the leaderboard. The 23 year old finished in the seventh spot.

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