Oxford, ME – Newmarket, NH’s Bryan Kruzcek became the first repeat winner in the 2019 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) championship season by capturing the Oxford Plains 150 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 24. Kruczek took the lead from West Burke, VT’s Jesse Switser just past the halfway mark and never gave up the top spot on his way to an ACT season sweep at the historic 3/8-mile oval.
Berlin, NH’s Cody LeBlanc earned the pole in qualifying and led the first eight laps while Kruczek rolled off the grid 13th. Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien, a former ACT winner at Oxford, got inside LeBlanc coming off turn two and took the top spot away on the ninth circuit. Therrien held the point for the next 35 laps through two caution periods as Switser, Kruczek, Scott Payea, Rich Dubeau, and other top runners slowly worked their way through the field.
Switser found his way to Therrien’s bumper at the 40-lap mark, and two laps later, he dove low in the second turn. Although Therrien was able to keep his bumper ahead for one more lap, Switser overtook him on the following circuit.
Therrien began backsliding after getting hung outside on a lap-55 restart as Payea, Stephen Donahue, and Kruczek positioned themselves behind Switser. Following the fourth caution on lap 61 for Craig Bushey’s spin, Kruczek went to work in earnest, eventually getting underneath Donahue for the second spot on lap 72.
One lap later, Peyton Lanphear got turned around on the frontstretch and Scott Dragon ended up head-on in the wall in the aftermath. Switser was able to hold of Kruczek on the initial restart, but as the field completed the 76th lap, Kruczek got his nose below Switser entering turn one. When the field came back around to the start/finish line, Kruczek was out in front.
Switser continued to run second during a long green-flag stretch and kept Kruczek within striking distance. Following the seventh caution on lap 108 for tandem spins by Tom Carey III and Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Graniteville, VT’s Donahue moved into the second spot as Switser started to fade. Kruczek and Donahue drew away from the field as Scott Payea, Ryan Kuhn, Dubeau, Dylan Payea, and others put on a thrilling duel for third on back.
Back-to-back cautions with 14 laps remaining – one for Rowland Robinson’s flat tire and another for a multi-car pile-up on the restart – gave the field one final crack at Kruczek. Donahue was able to keep the leader honest over the final sprint, but Kruczek proved too much to handle as he rolled to his second career ACT win.
Donahue took the runner-up spot for the second straight event. Colchester, VT’s Scott Payea completed the podium in third. Point leader Rich Dubeau of Plainfield, NH came home fourth while Milton, VT’s Dylan Payea finished a career-best fifth after starting 26th.
Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert kept pace with Dubeau in the championship chase by coming in sixth. Notre Dame des Pins, QC’s Alexendre Tardif came from 30th to seventh as the highest-finishing Quebec racer. Kuhn, Trent Goodrow, and Quinny Welch rounded out the top-10.
Kuhn, Renfrew, Mathieu Kingsbury, and Tom Carey III won qualifying heats. LeBlanc and Goodrow took victories in the consolation races.
The ACT Late Model Tour is right back in action Sunday, September 1 with the 41st Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Post time is 1:30pm for an event that also includes 50-lap features for the track’s Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
OXFORD PLAINS 150
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 13 ) Bryan Kruczek ( 19NH ) , Newmarket, NH , 150 Laps
2. ( 5 ) #Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 150 Laps
3. ( 10 ) Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Colchester, VT , 150 Laps
4. ( 16 ) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Plainfield, NH , 150 Laps
5. ( 26 ) Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 150 Laps
6. ( 20 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 150 Laps
7. ( 30 ) Alexendre Tardif ( 21BC ) , Notre Dame des Pins, QC , 150 Laps
8. ( 4 ) #Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , E. Bridgewater, MA , 150 Laps
9. ( 7 ) #Trent Goodrow ( 31MA ) , Carver, MA , 150 Laps
10. ( 23 ) Quinten Welch ( 78NH ) , Groveton, NH , 150 Laps
11. ( 28 ) Ryan Morgan ( 31CT ) , North Franklin, CT , 150 Laps
12. ( 29 ) Dany Trepanier ( 19QC ) , St-Edouard, QC , 150 Laps
13. ( 19 ) Rowland Robinson Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 150 Laps
14. ( 12 ) Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , Warwick, MA , 150 Laps
15. ( 9 ) Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ( 00NH ) , Candia, NH , 150 Laps
16. ( 32 ) Dylan Turner ( 73ME ) , Freedom, ME , 150 Laps
17. ( 34 ) Joel Hodgdon ( 36VT ) , Craftsbury Common, VT , 150 Laps
18. ( 1 ) Cody LeBlanc ( 55NH ) , Berlin, NH , 150 Laps
19. ( 6 ) Jesse Switser ( 25NH ) , West Burke, VT , 150 Laps
20. ( 11 ) Mathieu Kingsbury ( 9QC ) , Blainville, QC , 150 Laps
21. ( 18 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 150 Laps
22. ( 17 ) Jonathan Bouvrette ( 41QC ) , Blainville, QC , 149 Laps
23. ( 25 ) Claude Leclerc ( 11QC ) , Lanoraie, QC , 149 Laps
24. ( 2 ) Scott Coburn ( 72VT ) , Barre, VT , 148 Laps
25. ( 33 ) Mike Benevides ( 50RI ) , Westerly, RI , 146 Laps
26. ( 24 ) Ryan Olsen ( 61NH ) , N. Haverhill, NH , 137 Laps
27. ( 3 ) Bobby Therrien ( 04VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 136 Laps
28. ( 21 ) Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 136 Laps
29. ( 14 ) Craig Bushey ( 15VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 135 Laps
30. ( 27 ) Steve Fisher ( 24VT ) , S. Burlington, VT , 134 Laps
31. ( 15 ) Brockton Davis ( 47NH ) , Whitfield, NH , 89 Laps
32. ( 31 ) Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 78 Laps
33. ( 22 ) Scott Dragon ( 16VT ) , Milton, VT , 73 Laps
34. ( 8 ) John Donahue ( 26VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 22 Laps
35. ( 36 ) David MacDonald ( 69ME ) , New Gloucester, ME , 16 Laps
36. ( 35 ) Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 12 Laps
Lap Leaders: Cody LeBlanc, 1-8; Bobby Therrien, 9-43; Jesse Switser, 44-76; Bryan Kruczek, 77-150. (3 lead changes among 4 drivers)
Time of Race: 1:23:55 Margin of Victory: 0.714 seconds
Cautions: 9 (laps 18, 35, 55, 61, 73, 78, 108, 136, 136)
Heat Winners: Ryan Kuhn, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Mathieu Kingsubry, Tom Carey III
Consi Winners: Cody LeBlanc, Trent Goodrow