The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) resumes its 2015 championship chase this Saturday, July 25 at Oxford, ME’s Oxford Plains Speedway. The Oxford Plains 150 is the eighth on the ACT Tour’s 13-race schedule and their second visit of the season to the 3/8-mile oval. The event was previously scheduled for June 27 before being postponed.
The second half of the year will see the continued championship battle between New Hampshire veterans Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Two-time ACT Tour Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. holds a 17-point lead over defending Champion “Joey Pole” with each driver recording three wins to date.
While Helliwell earned a third-place finish in this past Sunday’s ACT International at Airborne Park Speedway, Pole spun twice en route to a 13th-place result. Pole led every lap of the Tour’s season opener at Oxford in April and is eager to get the title chase started again.
“It seems like it’s been a long time since White Mountain,” Pole said. “We’ve done some racing in between, and just haven’t had the best of luck; it’s been kind of a rough month so far. Hopefully we can get back to Oxford and get things going back in the right direction.”
Despite rough days in both the ACT and PASS events at Airborne, Pole is confident that his team still has what it takes to chase a second consecutive title.
“The way we’re looking at the International is that everything that happened in both races was out of our control,” he said. “We got a flat tire with the PASS car, and then another flat tire with the ACT car, and then ran into some trouble with a lapped car. Hopefully that’s all the bad luck we’re going to have and we got it out of the way then. In racing you really can’t control everything that happens.”
An enticing battle is shaping up behind the two ACT Tour leaders as well, as just 56 points separate third-place Jeff White from ninth-place Kyle Welch. Winthrop, ME’s White returns to the track where he won the 2011 Late Model Championship and recorded his first ACT Tour win with a chance to widen the gap over the rest of the field.
Fourth-place point driver Travis Stearns also considers Oxford his home track and believes his Richard Green Racing team is better than their seventh-place result in April, while Brad Babb is looking for his second win of the season after being felled by a flat tire in the first Oxford event. Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet is riding the wave of his nearly $11,000 triumph in the ACT International and aims for his first point-counting Tour win of 2015.
Fellow Vermonter Emily Packard finished a season-best fourth in the Oxford opener after starting 20th and hopes to do even better the second time around. Brandon Atkins earned a season-best fifth-place result in the International and is looking for redemption after getting spun out of the lead in the Tour’s most recent event at White Mountain Motorsports Park. A win would also be an early birthday present for Atkins, who turns 19 on July 30.
The Oxford Plains 150 for the ACT Tour is this Saturday, July 25 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME. Post time is 7:00pm. The pits open at 2:00pm with practice beginning at 3:30pm. The event will also feature the Northeast Mini Stock Tour along with Oxford’s Super Late Models, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Bandits, and Figure 8s. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/military, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and $45 for a family four-pack (2 adults, 2 kids).