Payea becomes first driver to win four straight ACT Late Model Tour races
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
SEEKONK, Mass. – Scott Payea did something no other driver has done in the 25-year history of the ACT Late Model Tour on Saturday night at Seekonk Speedway – win four straight races.
The Milton, Vt. driver took the lead for good on lap 61 and held on through two late race restarts to claim his fourth straight ACT Late Model Tour win.
“It’s awesome now, now that we did it,” Payea said. “We come every week and try to win the race; we weren’t really thinking about any sort of record. We just came in with the same game plan.
“This team just gave me an awesome race car.”
Payea started the 100-lap event in the eighth spot and wasted no time moving toward the front as he moved into the fourth position by lap five. From there, Payea moved into the second position by lap 18 and first took the lead on lap 25 from Seekonk point leader Ryan Lineham.
“We got up front earlier than we have in the past and we just wanted to hold on to it,” Payea said. “All of those yellows had me sweating a little bit.
“Everybody was taking their shots at trying to take the lead from us. (But) the car was going on oth lanes and I was real confident that we had the car to win tonight.”
Payea’s only tough challenge came when Jimmy Hebert moved to his inside and took the lead at the midway point of the event. An ensuing restart put Payea on the outside with Hebert and Corliss to his inside, but Payea held tough on the outside and was able to regain the lead on lap 61.
“On the highside, it took a couple of laps to come in,” Payea explained. “I don’t know how everyone else was doing, but the outside was pretty tricky. We made it work after a couple of laps.”
The win for Payea will unofficially extend his ACT Late Model Tour point lead from eight points to 36 over nearest competitor Dillon Moltz. Payea had been the fourth driver to win three straight races, joining Gary Caron, Ben Rowe, and Joey Polewarczyk Jr., prior to his fourth win.
“(Car owner) Rick (Paya) and this RPM (Motorsports) team work hard,” Payea said. “We had success last year and we’ve just built upon that.
“This team is an unbelievable group of guys and girls.”
Payea’s win was the 12th of his ACT Late Model Tour career, which puts him sole possession of fifth on the all-time series wins list. It was his second straight ACT Late Model Tour win at Seekonk.
Barre, Vt. driver Jason Corliss put forth an impressive run in his first race at the one-third mile oval with a runner-up showing with Rich Dubeau of Lebanon, N.H. equally as impressive as he raced to the checkered flag on the final spot on the podium. Ray Parent of Tiverton, R.I. raced from a seventh-place starting spot to finish fourth at his hometrack while Rowland Robinson Jr. ran inside the top-five for much of the event and completed the top-five finishers.
Moltz ran from a 15th place starting spot to finish sixth with Hebert seventh. Seekonk regular Vinnie Arrenegado Jr., and multi-time Seekonk champions Ryan Vanasse and Grry Degasparre Jr. completed the top-ten finishers.
The 100-lap event took just under one hour to complete and was slowed by eight cautions. Parent, Payea, and Dubeau earned the heat race wins.
For Payea, he did a bit of reflection of his ACT Late Model Tour career after he stepped out of his family-owned car a few seasons ago.
“I’m speechless,” Payea said. “You step away from running really well in a top-notch car and you believe you’re never going to get behind the wheel of a Late Model again.
“And then you come back and set a record. It’s amazing.”
The ACT Late Model Tour will travel to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for its sixth event of the 2017 season on Saturday, August 5.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from Seekonk Speedway soon.
UNOFFICIAL REUSLTS – Seekonk Late Model 100
ACT Late Model Tour
Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Mass.
Saturday, July 15, 2017
(# — denotes rookie)
1. (8) Scott Payea, Milton, Vt.
2. (10) Jason Corliss, Barre, Vt.
3. (9) Rich Dubeau, Lebanon, N.H.
4. (7) Ray Parent, Tiverton, R.I.
5. (4) Rowland Robinson Jr., Steuben, Maine
6. (15) Dillon Moltz, Waterford, Conn.
7. (6) Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, Vt.
8. (21) Vinnie Arrenegado Jr., Warren, R.I.
9. (20) Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, R.I.
10. (16) Gerry Degasparre Jr., Pawtucket, R.I.
11. (14) Ryan Kuhn, East Bridgewater, Mass.
12. (2) Ryan Lineham, Hope Valley, R.I.
13. (11) Mark Jenison, Warwick, R.I.
14. (27) Walter Sutcliffe, East Haven, Conn.
15. (18) Miles Chipman, Nottingham, N.H.
16. (17) Mark Hudson, Norton, Mass.
17. (12) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
18. (22) T.J. Moreshead, Seekonk, Mass.
19. (1) Bobby Pelland, Cranston, R.I.
20. (5) Kyle Welch, Newport, N.H.
21. (24) Nick Uhrig, Warwick, R.I.
22. (26) Mike Mitchell, Cumberland, R.I.
23. (19) Ron Barboza, Cumberland, R.I.
24. (25) Jimmy Linardy, Somerville, Mass.
25. (23) Mike Ziter, Barre, Vt.
26. (13) Charlie Rose, Tiverton, R.I.
27. (3) Nick Johnson, Rehoboth, Mass.
PHOTO: Scott Payea (left), his wife Katrina, and their two children celebrate the fourth straight ACT Late Model Tour win for their Rick Paya-led RPM Motorsports team on Saturday night at Seekonk Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)