Sweet Emerges as Title Favorite in Dominating Win at Beech Ridge
American-Canadian Tour (ACT) point leader Nick Sweet showed he’s still the man to beat in the 2016 championship chase, taking the lead from Eddie MacDonald just before the halfway point and motoring away to a dominating win in the Fall Foliage 150 at Scarborough, ME’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 17.
Barre, VT’s Sweet rode in the third position for the first stages of the penultimate event of the year as title challengers MacDonald and Scott Payea battled side-by-side for the top spot. Following the race’s second and final caution for Spencer Morse’s spin on lap 40, Sweet came to life, eventually going around the outside of MacDonald on lap 63 and never looking back. It was Sweet’s third ACT Late Model Tour win of the season and second of his career at Beech Ridge.
Rowley, MA’s MacDonald, the number-three point driver entering the day, started on the pole and led the first 18 laps before number-two point driver Payea got to his outside. The two proceed to fight side-by-side for nearly 20 laps, swapping the lead multiple times while at times separated by mere inches at the line.
The fight continued through the first caution on lap 31 when Rowland Robinson Jr. came to a stop entering turn four. MacDonald retook the lead from Payea on the restart, but once Sweet assumed the point, it became a race for second among the rest of the field, as Sweet eventually finished nearly three-quarters of a lap ahead of MacDonald.
Jason Corliss finished third in his first career start at Beech Ridge following a battle with Payea in the late stages. Dillon Moltz took fourth, with Bobby Therrien completing the top-five. Ryan Olsen extended his Rookie of the Year point lead with a sixth-place finish, while Payea faded to seventh. Rich Dubeau, Devin O’Connell, and Mike Ziter completed the top-10.
With the win, plus the bonus for leading the most laps, Sweet unofficially extends his point lead to 23 points over Payea heading into the ACT 2016 season finale at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway on October 15, as part of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing presented by XtraMart. MacDonald unofficially sits 26 points behind Sweet in third.
Sweet, MacDonald, Moltz, and the rest of the cars and stars of ACT head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24 for the Eighth Annual Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational as part of Tripleheader Saturday. Post time for the Invitational is 5:00pm. ACT then heads to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road for the 54th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2.
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
FALL FOLIAGE 150
Pos Start Pos Driver Car # Hometown Laps
1. ( 4 ) Nick Sweet ( 40VT ) , Barre, VT , 150 Laps
2. ( 1 ) Eddie MacDonald ( 17MA ) , Rowley, MA , 150 Laps
3. ( 13 ) Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT , 150 Laps
4. ( 9 ) Dillon Moltz ( 5CT ) , Waterford, CT , 150 Laps
5. ( 2 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 150 Laps
6. ( 5 ) #Ryan Olsen ( 61NH ) , N. Haverhill, NH , 150 Laps
7. ( 3 ) Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Miton, VT , 149 Laps
8. ( 8 ) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Lebanon, NH , 149 Laps
9. ( 12 ) #Devin O'Connell ( 1VT ) , Madison, CT , 148 Laps
10. ( 7 ) Mike Ziter ( 54VT ) , Barre, VT , 148 Laps
11. ( 14 ) Claude Leclerc ( 11QC ) , Lanoraie, QC , 147 Laps
12. ( 10 ) #Mark Jenison ( 22RI ) , Warwick, RI , 147 Laps
13. ( 6 ) Brad Babb ( 15NH ) , Windham, ME , 146 Laps
14. ( 16 ) Mark Hudson ( 82MA ) , Norton, MA , 146 Laps
15. ( 15 ) Spencer Morse ( 34ME ) , Waterford, ME , 145 Laps
16. ( 11 ) Rowland Robinson, Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 144 Laps
Lap Leaders: Eddie MacDonald, 1-18; Scott Payea, 19; MacDonald, 20; Payea, 21-41; MacDonald, 42-63; Nick Sweet, 64-150. (5 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Time of Race: 50:42 Margin of Victory: 11.214 seconds
Cautions: 2 (laps 31-34, 40-41)
Heat Winners: Ryan Olsen, Brad Babb