LEE, N.H. – Brian Hoar of Williston, Vt., held off a strong charge from a hometown driver over the final few laps on Sunday afternoon, and the eight-time series champion opened the ACT Late Model Tour season with a victory in the NH Governor's Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway.
The win was the second in a row for RPM Motorsports in this very race.
“(Former track champion Wayne Helliwell) was right on my rear bumper. Wayne was all over me,” said Hoar, who earned his 34th career ACT win. “He's very, very good. We had very equal cars, but I got into a real defensive mode. He got into me a couple of times, but overall he ran me clean. He was just trying to get me to make a mistake.
“I don't think I've ever heard (car owner and crew chief Rick Paya) so excited on the radio – he kept screaming to 'protect, protect, protect.' And that's what I was trying to do. There's nobody who knows Lee USA Speedway better than Wayne Helliwell, that's for sure.”
Hoar restarted eighth with less than 40 laps remaining, and he quickly worked his way to the front. When two cars tangled in front of him while racing for the lead late in the going, Hoar was able to capitalize and assume the lead.
“The pit stop deal changed everything,” Hoar said. “I'll tell you, when I was running eighth and felt like I was going backwards, I wondered if I was ever going to be a contender. But the guys did a really great job. Rick made the calls and Andrew (Hill) made sure it all got done down there on pit road.
“I'm really proud of all the guys.”
After winning the last three ACT titles in a row – RPM is already in championship form early in 2012.
“It's just momentum,” Hoar said. “Obviously, it's really great to win the first race of the year – but I've said it before and I'll say it again – the one thing we've got to do is just keep things in check and not get cocky. There were some really good race cars there today.”
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