Thomas M. Curley, co-founder of the popular ACT auto racing tour and former owner of the famed Thunder Road International SpeedBowl in Barre, Vermont, has died. He was 73.

Curley’s daughter, Cait Lynch, announced his passing in a Facebook post at about 10:30 Friday night, just two days before his ACT Tour was set to race at Devil’s Bowl in West Haven, Vermont.

Curley, alongside journalist Ken Squier, founded the NASCAR North Tour for Late Model Sportsman cars in 1979, and quickly built that tour into a force in the Northeast. In 1986, he and Squier formed the independent American-Canadian Tour, changing over to the Super Late Model and Pro Stock cars used more widely across the country at the time.

The tour has reinvented itself over the years, but always, seemingly, successfully.

For many years, the ACT had stops at Oxford Plains Speedway, and he worked often with former OPS owner Bill Ryan Jr. to bring races to the Oxford oval. The most recent ACT race in Oxford was in mid-August of 2016.

In 1982, Curley and Squier also purchased Thunder Road in Barre together. The pair announced they sold the track to Cris Michaud and Pat Malone on April 18 of this year, but Curley said at the time he intended to remain the president of the ACT.

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