Three Stars Awarded for ACT Beech Ridge 150
The American Racer Three Star program is designed to recognize three teams in no particular order of performance that had outstanding races at American-Canadian Tour (ACT) U.S. Tour events. There are no specific criteria for deciding who might receive the award of a free American Racer Tire (value $125.00), but a special effort by a team, exceptional race, just plain old hard luck, or any other accepted reason is used to decide the award recipients.
The Three Stars are chosen by ACT officials and will receive certificates for use of a free American Racer tire at a race of their choosing during the 2015 season.
BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
BEECH RIDGE 150
ACT continued its midsummer Maine swing this past Saturday, August 8 with its annual visit to Scarborough’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. A diverse field of 31 cars attempted to qualify for the event, including weekly racers from Vermont’s Thunder Road and New Hampshire’s Claremont Speedway, local drivers such as Dave Farrington Jr., and three competitors – Dave Langlais, Ryan Olsen, and Mark Jenison – making their first appearance with ACT.
In the 150-lap main event, 2012 Beech Ridge Pro Series Champion Brad Babb picked up his second win of the season, powering past Wayne Helliwell Jr. with four laps remaining after Helliwell beat him on the race’s final restart. If another caution had come out, both may have fallen into the clutches of Eddie “The Outlaw” MacDonald, who started 22nd after a spin in qualifying but raced his way to a third-place finish. Great stories could be found throughout the field, as numerous drivers posted their best finishes of the season or showed heart in rebounding from in-race mishaps. The winners of the American Race Three Stars are as follows:
*Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH - #97NH – Defending ACT Tour Champion “Joey Pole” came into Beech Ridge carrying the weight of controversy after an incident fighting with Brad Babb for the lead at Oxford Plains Speedway two weeks prior. Pole started 11th and sliced through the field, assuming the second position on lap 127 and setting himself up for a potential rematch with Babb.
However, with 10 laps to go, lapped cars made contact on the backstretch, sending Emily Packard spinning right into Pole’s path. Despite Joey’s best efforts, he struck Packard with his right front, forcing him to pit with a flat tire during the ensuing caution. Despite the setback, the #97NH team continued fighting and brought home an eighth-place finish. Although Pole lost the points lead to Helliwell, he managed to keep the deficit to just eight points. A big part of being a championship team is minimizing the damage when potential disaster strikes, and the Pole’s Automotive crew did that at Beech Ridge. The team receives a Star Award for their efforts, and the free American Racer tire will come in handy to replace the one that went flat.
*Travis Stearns, Auburn, ME - #16ME – Stearns arrived at Beech Ridge looking to dodge spins, mechanical failures, and other bad racing luck that had plagued him at recent ACT events. The Maine native earned the pole with a +5 in his heat and led until the race’s second caution came out at lap 60. Brad Babb got the edge on the restart, but Stearns refused to give up, keeping the #16ME’s nose to the inside for nearly 20 laps before Babb finally secured the spot.
Stearns put up even more of a fight with Joey Pole for second, resulting in one of the best and longest battles of the night. Using the outside line, Stearns kept Pole at bay for nearly 40 laps before Pole finally got by with 23 laps to go. Unfortunately for Stearns, Eddie MacDonald also passed him in the closing laps, leaving the Richard Green Trucking team without a trophy to show for their work. However, they showed once again that they have the equipment and talent to run with anyone on the ACT Tour, and they are more than deserving of a Star Award.
*Dave Farrington Jr., Jay, ME - #23ME – Farrington has competed periodically with the ACT Tour since 2010, but in recent years has found more success with weekly racing. He won the 2014 Pro Series Championship at Beech Ridge and currently ranks fifth in the 2015 standings. With ACT in town, the Kulwicki Driver Development Program member chose to do double-duty with the weekly and touring ranks.
Farrington started 18th after a mediocre performance in qualifying, but used his weekly knowledge to his advantage in the feature, steadily moving up through the field and remaining on the lead lap all night. The resulting sixth-place finish was Farrington’s best ACT effort since a third at Beech Ridge back in 2012 and mirrored his result in the Pro Series feature earlier that night. There’s no telling what the Hilltop Collision Center team could have done with a few more cautions to close the field up. Nonetheless, Farrington receives his first Star Award since the creation of the program in 2014.
The ACT Tour begins its Quebec swing on Saturday, August 22 with the sixth annual Can-Am 150 at St-Croix’s Circuit Riverside Speedway. The combination ACT U.S. and Série ACT event at the 5/8-mile oval will draw the best from both sides of the border, including point leaders Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Dany Trépanier along with former series Champions Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Alex Lábbe, and Jean-François Déry.