Contributed by: ACT Staff
Patrick Laperle of Montréal served notice on Saturday evening that he is ready to challenge Scott Payea for the 2008 American-Canadian Tour Late Model stock car championship, following a dominant victory in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway. Laperle’s Systèmes Intérieurs Descoste #91 Chevrolet charged from 16th starting position to take the lead from Turner, ME’s Glen Luce on lap 50, then blitzed the 36-car field for his second ACT championship event win of the year.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Laperle. “We started 16th and took the lead early, the car was awesome. We changed a lot of things just before the race, I knew we had to make the car tighter, and it was the right thing to do. We found something last week (in winning the non-points all-star ACT Showdown at Québec’s Autodrome Chaudière) and it’s working.”
Unofficially, Laperle cut his championship deficit to less than half behind leader Payea, of Milton, VT. Payea entered the New England Dodge Dealers 150 with a 42-point edge over Laperle, but now leads by just 19 points, 833-814, after finishing sixth. The series’ finale is in two weeks at the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre, VT. Both drivers are trying for their first-ever ACT Late Model Tour championship.
Rookie driver Nick Sweet of Barre, VT posted a career-best effort in second place. Sweet drew even with Laperle on the race’s third and final restart on lap 144 and nosed ahead on the backstretch following the green flag, but was unable to overtake Laperle. Sweet held off former Oxford Plains Speedway regular-turned-ACT Late Model Tour driver Luce at the finish. Luce earned his best-ever ACT finish in third place after leading 18 laps.
Nineteen year-old Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH finished fourth after a hectic – but successful – day. Polewarczyk made his super-speedway debut in the NASCAR Camping World East Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH earlier in the day, finishing sixth, then drove to Oxford, ME just in time to start the last-chance qualifying race. Polewarczyk started 29th in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 and finished in fourth place. Shawn Martin of Turner, ME finished fifth after an outstanding door-to-door battle with Polewarczyk. Martin led the race for 23 laps.
Payea finished sixth, unofficially, over Oxford Plains Speedway driver Corey Morgan of Lewiston, ME. Milton, VT’s Brent Dragon finished eighth, the final car on the lead lap. Oxford Plains Speedway track champion Travis Adams of Canton, ME lead the first eight laps from the pole position before finishing ninth, one lap down. Rowley, MA driver Eddie MacDonald, who won the Camping World Series event at NHMS earlier in the day, finished tenth. MacDonald also unofficially won the L/A Harley-Davidson Challenge Series championship, a four-race mini-series that included all three ACT Late Model Tour events and the TD Banknorth 250, after a tie-breaker with Martin.
Thirty-five of the 36 starters in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 were running at the finish; only Mark Hayward retired from the event after 15 laps with an ill-handling car. The race was completed in one hour and four minutes with just three caution periods. Qualifying heats were won by Ricky Rolfe, Sweet, and John Donahue. Laperle and Scott Luce won the consolation rounds, while Nick Brown won the last-chance “B” Feature race.
The ACT Late Model Tour championship season will come to a close on Sat./Sun., Sept. 27/28 at the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 1:30pm, with the Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl scheduled for a 1:30pm start on Sunday, Sept. 28. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.acttour.com.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – New England Dodge Dealers 150
American-Canadian Tour – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME
Saturday, Sept. 13, 2008
(# - denotes rookie)
1. (16) Patrick Laperle, St-Denis, QC, 150
2. (8) # Nick Sweet, Barre, VT, 150
3. (6) Glen Luce, Turner, ME, 150
4. (29) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH, 150
5. (3) Shawn Martin, Turner, ME, 150
6. (12) Scott Payea, Milton, VT, 150
7. (13) Corey Morgan, Lewiston, ME, 150
8. (14) Brent Dragon, Milton, VT, 150
9. (1) Travis Adams, Canton, ME, 149
10. (27) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA, 149
11. (23) Aaron Ricker, Tamworth, NH, 149
12. (20) Jeff White, Winthrop, ME, 149
13. (7) Ricky Rolfe, Albany Twp., ME, 149
14. (10) Ryan Nolin, Georgia, VT, 149
15. (24) Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, VT, 149
16. (15) Randy Potter, Groveton, NH, 149
17. (26) Nick Brown, Bath, ME, 148
18. (11) Travis Stearns, South Paris, ME, 148
19. (17) Steve Reny, Boothbay, ME, 148
20. (5) Eric Chase, Milton, VT, 148
21. (25) Jimmy Linardy, Malden, MA, 148
22. (2) John Donahue, Graniteville, VT, 148
23. (4) Scott Luce, Strong, ME, 148
24. (32) Ron Henry, New Gloucester, ME, 148
25. (22) Tommy Rowe, Turner, ME, 148
26. (18) # Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury, VT, 147
27. (33) Steve Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 147
28. (34) Shawn Knight, South Paris, ME, 146
29. (19) Joe Becker, Jeffersonville, VT, 146
30. (31) Mark Hudson, Norton, MA, 145
31. (21) Donald Theetge, Boischatel, QC, 144
32. (9) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 143
33. (36) Phil Scott, Montpelier, VT, 143
34. (28) Pete Potvin, III, Graniteville, VT, 142
35. (30) Gerald Parlin, South Paris, ME, 136
36. (35) Mark Hayward, Unity, NH, 15