PLATTSBURGH — Eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar rose to the occasion and caught Jimmy of Williamstown, Vt. at the wire to win Saturday’s American Canadian Tour Late Model 100 by 0.02 seconds.
The two cars raced wheel-to-wheel, inches apart for the final 21 laps with Hoar in the low lane bottom and Hebert outside him. Hebert led laps 93-99. Hoar’s margin of victory was 0.02 seconds.
The two drivers raced one another cleanly, but the cars touched several times including a final bang and bounce exiting turn four on the last lap. A car-length further back, defending ACT champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. edged Ray Parent by two feet to finish third. Brent Dragon was a nearby fifth.
“That was awesome!” Hoar shouted in victory lane. “I was out of breath. That was a lot of fun. He got smart after the last time I passed him and he stuck to the outside.” The win was Hoar’s second of the season and the 39th of his ACT career.
“It’s very hard to beat a driver as good as he is,” Hebert said of Hoar. “We rubbed all the way to the finish line. That’s the most fun I’ve ever had.”
Hebert began the day with a 3-point lead over Hoar in the ACT Tour standings.
Hebert started on the outside pole in the Hebert Excavating No. 58 and led the first 54 laps under green, just ahead of Helliwell Jr. and Parent. Helliwell Jr. got the jump on Hebert on the first restart (lap 55) and led a lap before a second yellow was thrown one circuit later for Eddie MacDonald, who spun off the top of turn three.
Hoar started 13th in Goss Dodge No. 37. He was 5th by lap 28, 2nd by lap 56 and the race leader for the first time on lap 69.
Positions 6-10 went to Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Ben Lynch, Glen Luce, Rowland Robinson Jr. and Todd Davis. Hebert, Bobby Therrien and Hoar won the qualifying heats.
Andy Lindeman of Poestenkill tracked down Patrick Dupree, took the lead on lap 24 of the 30-lap Ernie’s Tools Modified feature and went on to his first career win in the Dawson’s Body No. 3.
Dupree started on the pole in the Labatt Blue No. 24 and led until Lindeman went by. He held off Kris Vernold for second. Point leader Todd Stone was fourth, a car-length ahead of Jessey Mueller in 5th.
“I was just biding my time when I saw that Patrick was getting a little loose,” Lindeman said. “My car stayed so consistent, it was awesome. To beat someone like him shows the kind of car I had.”
Richie Turner of Milton, Vt. came out on top of the Renegade feature after race leaders Don Franklin and Lance Rabtoy tangled with seven laps to go. Robert Gordon of Milton, Vt. was the runner-up.
Chris Sousie of Plattsburgh held off Nick Heywood to secure his first J&S Steel Sportsman Modified win. Travis Bruno finished third. Sousie gained the lead on lap 15 when leaders Keith Pelkey and Mike Phinney collided and swerved off the track into the backstretch barrier.
Dale O’Neil of Mooers won the Mini Modified feature.