–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
WOODSTOCK, N.H. – A tight championship battle is brewing as the ACT Late Model Tour heads to White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 17.
Connecticut’s Dillon Moltz leads Vermont’s Scott Payea by a slim five points as the series heads to its fourth race of the season at the quarter mile oval nestled into the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The two drivers have won all three ACT Late Model Tour events this season, with Payea the victor of the last two at Devil’s Bowl Speedway and Thunder Road Speedbowl. Moltz won the season opener at Lee USA Speedway in April.
Despite not winning, Moltz has finished on the podium in the two races won by Payea, keeping the championship standings tight at the top.
“We just need to keep chipping away at (the points),” Moltz said. “I think it’s going to be a grind between me and (Payea) all year long.
“They’re championship contenders and I think we’re too.”
The defending White Mountain race winner is looking forward to Saturday’s ACT Late Model Tour return to White Mountain.
“I’m very excited,” Moltz said. “I was bummed when their (150-lap Late Model event) got rained out (two weeks ago).
“I can’t wait to roll in there on Saturday.”
Joining the top two drivers near the top of the standings is Bobby Therrien, who appeared to be on his way to victory last Sunday at Thunder Road until a tire failure with 22 laps remaining ended his day. Therrien, backed by multi-time championship driver Derrick O’Donnell and multi-time championship crew chief Pete Duto, earned his first career ACT Late Model Tour win at White Mountain in 2013 and will look to close the gap as he sits just 43 points back of Moltz.
New Hampshire driver Rich Dubeau sits fourth in the standings, two points back of Therrien. Dubeau has been impressive this season and earned a career best finish at Devil’s Bowl Speedway and has combined that with two top-ten place finishes this season. ACT Late Model Tour newcomer Jason Corliss sits fifth in the standings, 20 points back of Dubeau, and will look to grab his first Tour win at White Mountain.
Multi-time ACT Late Model Tour race winner Jimmy Hebert sits sixth in the standings with Kyle Welch seventh. Another ACT Late Model Tour newcomer, two-time Devil’s Bowl Late Model champion Josh Masterson, is eighth while Mike Ziter ninth. Defending Thunder Road Late Model champion Scott Dragon sits tenth in the standings.
Multi-time White Mountain champion Quinny Welch leads the home track drivers into the White Mountain 150 on Saturday.
The Lancaster, N.H. driver is undefeated in competition this season with four wins in four feature starts.
Second place White Mountain point driver Jeff Marshall is expected to challenge for the win, as is multi-time White Mountain champion Stacy Cahoon. Jesse Switser and Jonathan Lemay sit fourth and fifth in the White Mountain standings and are expected to contend for the ACT Late Model Tour win on Saturday.
The White Mountain 150 will also be the first race of the White Mountain Triple Crown series where the top-ten finishing drivers from the ACT Late Model Tour race and the Foley Oil 150 scheduled for Saturday, July 1 will have a chance for a $3,000 bonus should they win the ACT Late Model Tour race in August. A driver has to compete in all three races to be eligible.
The ACT Late Model Tour will be joined by White Mountain’s Tiger Sportsman, Dwarf Cars, and Mini Stock divisions. Post time is set for 5:00pm.
1 – Dillon Moltz earned the season opening win at Lee USA Speedway and has carried that win into the ACT Late Model Tour point standings lead. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Scott Payea has earned back-to-back ACT Late Model Tour wins and sits second in the standings. (Alan Ward photo)
3 – Quinny Welch has gone a perfect four-for-four in feature wins this season at White Mountain. (LinMat photo)