GEORGIA, Vt. – Brian Hoar of Williston, Vt., begins his title defense in search of a fourth straight ACT Late Model Tour championship when the Tour kicks off 2012 with the NH Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., on Sunday, April 15. Hoar owns the ACT career records for both championships (8) and race wins (33), and he is the defending champion of the NH Governor's Cup 150. Rick Paya, crew chief on the RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge, also owns eight championships as a car owner – the last three of which he's won with Hoar in the driver's seat. New to this year's race, ACT will allow teams to change two tires during the event.
TEAM: RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge
CREW CHIEF: Rick Paya, Georgia, Vt.
BEST CAREER LEE USA SPEEDWAY FINISH: 1st (April 2011)
LAST RACE AT LEE USA SPEEDWAY: 1st (April 2011)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour NH Governor's Cup 150
WHERE: Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (.375-mile oval)
WHEN: 2 p.m., Sunday, April 15
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
NEXT RACE: Sunday, April 29, Merchants Bank 150, Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
FINAL 2011 POINTS POSITION: 1st
DID YOU KNOW?
- Brian Hoar won six races races in 2011 en route to the ACT Late Model Tour title.
- Brian Hoar has led the ACT Late Model Tour standings since midway through the 2010 season.
- Rick Paya has 26 career victories as owner and crew chief for RPM Motorsports.
- Brian Hoar spent the past winter training to run in the Vermont City Marathon over Memorial Day Weekend.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
BRIAN HOAR, Driver of the RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge, On returning to Lee USA Speedway to begin the 2012 season: “I'm looking forward to it. We've got a really good setup there, and we've always run well there in the past. I really enjoy that kind of track. It eats up tires and it makes multiple grooves as the race goes on, so you can pass people inside and outside and run two- and sometimes three-wide there.
“It's always a clean slate every time you go (back to a track). Winning there last year was cool, it was a great event, but it doesn't mean anything this time around. I know we'll have a good setup – I'm sure other guys will, too, but I believe we'll be better than most. The The pit stop strategy is really going to be a big thing. It will be interesting to see how it works. Sometimes Lee goes for long runs of green, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out (late in the race).”
On the importance of getting off to a good start to the season: “Every year you know you're going to have a bad event or two or three during your championship run, but I guess I'd rather always put those off to the end. It's kind of like an insurance policy. If you're going to have to use it, you want to be able to use it later on.
“I'd rather go and lose (a big points lead) at the end of the year than try to climb out of a hole every week. We haven't been in that position the last three years, but it's happened to me before. I'd rather start off strong and get the ball rolling – momentum, chemistry, all the guys staying positive. It's important for everybody to come out of the season-opening events really strong.”
On staying motivated to win another ACT championship: ““There's lots of guys that are going to try and knock us off the pedestal again this year, but that's part of what motivates us. It's a challenge, and we can't wait for it.
“You either have the passion for the sport, or you don't,” Hoar said. “It's that simple. You want to be part of the sport, or you don't. It seems like a silly question. It's not like I'm going to hang my hat up now.”
RICK PAYA, Owner and crew chief of the RPM Motorsports No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge, On the keys to winning the ACT Late Model Tour championship: “Really, it's all about consistency. I know we're consistent now, but you can always make yourselves better. Every time we go to the race track, we're always learning. Every race. We motivate ourselves to do better and better and better. Our motivation is to be better than we were last time out.”
The ACT Late Model Tour heads to its up at Thunder Road International Speedbowl for the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, April 29... RPM Motorsports won the final two events of the season at Thunder Road in 2011, with Nick Sweet winning the Labor Day Classic 200 and Brian Hoar winning the season-ending Milk Bowl.
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