WATERBURY - After what was by anyone's standards a disappointing 2010 season for long-time American Canadian Tour (ACT) veterans Jean-Paul Cyr and Brent Dragon, both from Milton, both expect the opening event of the season at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 17, 2011 to be a chance to get things turned into a positive change of direction.
Cyr is a seven-time ACT Champion and saw his long-standing championship record tied by Brian Hoar from Williston, Vt. in 2010. Cyr returned to ACT racing after taking a year to compete at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt. in 2009. He won the King of the Road title that season. He had a slow start coming back to the ACT at the beginning of 2010, and by his own admission was really never a contender.
"It was a very frustrating year of racing last season. We got off to a tough start and I made the decision to go back to owning my own team after a few races. I appreciated the support from various owners over the past seasons, which allowed me to do some pretty neat things like race in the Baja 500 and 1000 motorcycle races, but I am also pretty competitive and felt I might have lost a little of the competitive edge on the Tour," said Cyr.
"We have put together a very good team and have worked all winter changing things around on the new car we purchased a year ago. I hope the changes will give me a chance to win some races this year, and with some luck, maybe even get back to the championship. It is not going to be easy, but I am excited again and anxious to get started," concluded Cyr.
Brent Dragon has also made significant changes to his program during the off-season. Dragon decided to cut back so that he could be better prepared for the events he decided to enter in 2011.
"I just reached a point where competing for wins on the Tour had become so difficult over the past few years, I just didn't have the time or team to feel that we were always 100 percent capable of racing up front. That was a lousy feeling, so I decided to cut back to about half the schedule in hopes that I could compete better in fewer events by being better prepared," said Dragon.
In a surprise announcement two weeks ago, Dragon and the Avery race team announced a kind of merger of the two teams. The White Mountain Motorsport Park (WMMP) owners completed a deal to field their ACT Late Model car with Brent Dragon as driver for the other half of the events that make up the ACT schedule in 2011 that Dragon would have missed.
"This is really a great deal for us," said Dragon.
"Donnie, David and Teri Avery are very busy operating WMMP during the peak of the season, but they also love to be involved with some of the ACT races, so this is a win-win for both of our race teams. We can split up the preparation time. I have driven the Avery's Distance race car, which is very similar to my car, so that should work out well. We are looking to be competitive and have a lot of fun with this arrangement."
Dragon will drive the Avery car, formerly driven by Ben Rowe of Turner, ME, at the Lee USA New Hampshire Governor's Cup traditional opener on Sunday, April 17. Over 40 Late Model teams from throughout New England, New York, and Quebec are expected to attempt qualifying for one of the 30 starting spots.