Contributed by: ACT Staff
fifth," said Mike Collins with a lot of confidence.
He's really worked hard to get where he is right now. Collins spent four seasons at the Lee Speedway in NH racing in that track's various classes and then moving into the Late Model division in 2004. He's proud of the fact that he wound up eighth overall in the year-end point chase at that southern NH oval. Mike also pulled off Rookie Of The Year honors that year.
At 26-years old he's looking to make his mark on tour racing and is committed to the entire ACT schedule this year. After the June 25 Canaan(NH) event there's been a five week break in the ACT schedule. But, it resumes on Saturday night, July 30. That's when the ACT crowd pulls into Oxford Plains in Maine for the rescheduled Sun-Journal 100 due to a rainout back in late May.
The rain washed out the program on May 21 just after the race teams drew for the qualifying heats. So that means the entire program, including qualifying, will take place and will determine the starting lineup for the 100 lap feature. Teams that didn't show up for the original date will run in an additional qualifying heat in order to transfer into the feature.
Collins, like a lot of other Late Model teams on the ACT Tour, is by no means over confident going into Oxford. "You earn everything you get racing with ACT. You run the heat, hopefully you qualify and your crew works on the car for the main event and you pump yourself up for the feature. The heats are just a warm-up for the main," said Mike. He went on, "The 100 lappers are long enough that you have to plan a strategy. That is get to the front and then stay out of trouble and hope that everything you and your crew did will keep the car together for the entire race. If you have trouble and have to pit that's just the end of it." And speaking of the pits, Collins' support in that area comes from his dad and former driver "Fast" Eddie Collins and other family members.
Mike has never raced at Oxford previously and plans to get their early in the day and take full advantage of the practice session which will get underway at 2:30 p.m. "It's important to get the car dialed in before the qualifying heats. So doing that is a top priority," he said.
Collins took possession of brand new car prior to the 2005 season opening and committed to the entire ACT ten race schedule for the 2005 season. The southern NH driver is among the new crop of competitors from NH, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut who are making major efforts this year on the ACT Tour. The series is currently dominated by a hard core cadre of Vermont drivers.
Considering all that, the heat on the American Canadian Tour will be turned up on Saturday night, July 30 at the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. The track gates will open at 1 p.m. with a very important and critical practice session set for 2:30 p.m. Qualifying rounds for the Sun-Journal 100 will get underway at 6:30 p.m.