photo by Norm Marx
By: Dick Casey
Second Place ACT Finish for Eddie MacDonald at Oxford Plains Speedway
For the fourth time this season Eddie MacDonald has posted a second place finish, this time in the American Canadian Tour’s Dave’s Small Engines/Ferris Mowers 100 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 27. The action was relentless from green flag to checkered flag as Eddie Mac battled eventual winner Scott Payea and Brad Babb for much of the race.
The Exit Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy posted fast times in the three brief practices and scored a plus two for his second place run in the heat after starting fifth. Eddie Mac started in the sixth position for the 100 lap feature as part of the Oxford 250 weekend. It did not take the Rowley, Mass veteran long to move into contention when the green flag waved over the 26 car field. The Freddie Peterson owned ride jumped to third place as a result of some heads-up driving by the veteran shoe.
EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. – Frustrated with contact from a lapped car late in the race and being sent to the rear of the pack for the restart, Emily Packard was able to channel that frustration and drive her 9x Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels car back up through the field to finish in eighth place at Oxford Plains Speedway this weekend. “We were just clearing a pack (of cars) and headed for the leaders,” said the 19-year old driver, “when a lapped car just drove right through us and spun us out. Unfortunately, ACT didn’t punish see the need to punish him, but instead I was sent to the back for the restart. Luckily there were enough laps for me to recover and get a top-10 finish.”
Earlier in the day, Packard and the team spent the morning preparing the car for practice, reviewing notes from their test and changing the car back from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway test. It was obvious when she hit the track for the first practice that the team had made all the right changes as Packard was the 6th fastest car on the track. “We were ok during practice, pretty quick actually” said Packard. “We ran some very consistent laps, within a tenth of each other every lap, whereas other guys were going out and running a fast lap and then would drop right off.” Packard would continue to get faster each practice, with her fastest lap in final practice when she went out to scuff in new tires.
Oxford, ME – Colchester, VT’s Scott Payea emerged as the victor in a heavyweight thriller at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 27, beating out Eddie MacDonald, Dillon Moltz, and Brad Babb for his third American-Canadian Tour (ACT) win of the season in the Dave’s Small Engines/Ferris Mowers 100.
Payea, Babb, and MacDonald had engaged in a three-way battle for more than half the race, with Payea and Babb swapping the lead numerous times while MacDonald lurked in the wings. Payea finally gained the edge for good shortly after a lap-79 caution for Emily Packard’s spin, sweeping around the outside of Babb for the event’s 13th lead change. The title contender then held on through two more restarts for his eighth career ACT Late Model Tour victory and first at Oxford.
Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien, the winner at Oxford in the ACT season opener, led the first five laps from the pole before Rich Dubeau got around him following a hard duel to lead his first laps ever in ACT competition. Babb followed Dubeau up the outside line, then swung to the outside himself to nab the point on lap 18.
Jason Allen of Barre shows off his trophy in Victory Lane after claiming victory in the Late Model feature on Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing Night at Thunder Road. (Alan Ward photo)
Barre, VT – Jason Allen of Barre ran down pole-sitter David Whitcomb of Essex Jct. halfway through the race and stayed on top the rest of the way to claim victory in the Thunder Road Late Models on Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing Night on the final Thursday night event of the season.
Allen started fifth in the 24-car main event field, moved into second on the eighth lap, and erased Whitcomb’s 15-car length lead grab first place on the 24th lap. Whitcomb couldn’t catch back up to Allen, but was able to maintain his position and finished the caution-free race in second place. The victory was Allen’s first of the season, and the second of his Late Model career at Thunder Road.
Marcel Gravel of Wolcott finished in third place. Tyler Cahoon of Danville, who won his heat and semi-feature and would have earned a $1300 bonus from Maplewood for the Triple Crown with a feature victory, was fourth. Cody Blake of Barre finished fifth, and was followed in the top 10 by Kyle Pembroke of Montpelier, Matt White of Northfield, Nick Sweet of Barre, Scott Dragon of Milton, and Jason Corliss of Barre.
EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. – After missing the last two American Canadian Tour races, Emily Packard and the 9x Northstar Fireworks/Packard Fuels team are set to return this weekend to Oxford Plains Speedway for the ACT 100. “I am very excited to go back to Oxford this weekend,” said the 19 year old racer. “I really like the track, and we have had some really decent finishes there, so I am looking forward to this weekend, hopefully there will be a good turnout of cars.” This weekend the American Canadian Tour revisits Oxford Plains Speedway as part of the 43rd HP Hood Oxford 250 weekend, with their 100 lap feature race on Saturday night.
“We tested there last week, and it felt pretty good,” said Emily. “We haven’t been there since April, so obviously the track is completely different now than it was back then, but I feel pretty good about our test and that we will have a decent car this weekend.” In the spring race this season at OPS, Packard restarted in seventh place, finding herself stuck behind lapped cars on what would be the final restart of the race. Losing several positions in the closing laps she would eventually crossing the line in 13the place. “We had a really good car and should have had a better finish,” said Packard, “we just got stuck in the wrong line on that restart.” The East Montpelier native is hoping to better that finish this weekend and build some momentum to take through the remainder of the season. “The last couple of races have been really hard races,” Packard said, “so I really want to go and have a good run. The last race at Seekonk was awful, the car just wouldn’t respond to any adjustments that were made, so the test was really important to getting the car set up for this race.”
Eric Badore celebrates his victory in the Thunder Road Late Model Feature on Fairpoint Communications Night. (Alan Ward photo)
Barre, VT – Scott Dragon of Milton literally caught Nick Sweet of Barre at the finish line to capture the makeup of the rained-out Governor’s Cup, and Eric Badore of Milton took advantage of rookie Marcel Gravel’s late-race misfortune to earn the Thunder Road Late Model feature on Fairpoint Communications Night.
Sweet dominated for most of the Governor’s Cup, running away from the 29-car field from the pole position at the green flag to take the lead, which he held for the first 136 laps of the 150-lap event. Dragon got better as the race went on, moving into the top 3 on lap 115, then claiming second place on the 128th lap, then moving in front on a lap 141 restart.
Sweet went back in front three laps after that restart following the fourth caution of the race. Dragon continued the chase, caught Sweet coming out of turn 4 on the final lap, then finished 1/100th of a second in front of Sweet as the two drivers made contact at the finish line.