–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Eddie MacDonald put an end to Scott Payea’s win streak on Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
The Rowley, Mass. driver took the lead from Payea on lap 41 of the 100-lap event and kept him at bay during the caution-free event.
The win for MacDonald was his eighth career ACT Late Model Tour point-counting win. It also earned an automatic invitation to the ACT Invitational held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which comes with an additional bonus for series race winners.
“It’s nice to get a win before the New Hampshire race,” MacDonald said. “It’s nice to get that qualifier and get a little more money at New Hampshire. And hopefully, we’ll be able to get a win there.”
MacDonald started in the third position and moved into the second position just before lap 25. From there, MacDonald began to reel Payea in.
The previous Beech Ridge race winner would pull to Payea’s rear bumper on lap 37 and move to his outside on lap 40. MacDonald made quick work of it and took the lead on lap 41.
Payea would keep close to MacDonald over the next 59 laps, trailing at most by a few car lengths. However, as the race began to reach its conclusion, MacDonald would slowly extend that gap.
“It had that feeling that it would go green the whole way,” MacDonald said. “When you get out to the lead, you want it to go green the rest of the way so you don’t have to deal with any restarts.
“It was fun just to be able to go on the outside and get by (Payea). I wasn’t sure if he was saving or what it was. It’s always fun to race (Payea).”
MacDonald’s win was his third at Beech Ridge and his first point win since June of last year. MacDonald also claimed the win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.
MacDonald competed in two prior ACT Late Model Tour races this season, but was disappointed with the results. The Rollie Lachance-led team returned to form at Beech Ridge.
“This car was really good,” MacDonald said. “It was definitely nice. We’re trying something new and it definitely worked. We’re happy that we have a good feel for the car.
“We were kind of off in the beginning of the year. It feels nice to get things straightened out.”
Payea, of Milton, Vt., settled for second after he led the first 40 laps of the event.
“We just needed a little bit more car,” Payea said. “Or maybe a yellow or two. We had a good car and had track position and we were just waiting for the race to play out. And then it was like ‘oh man, it’s really going to go green.’
“Eddie (MacDonald) wanted to get racy early and I was like ‘alright, I’ll follow him for a while and then we’ll wait for the yellow and then make a run at him.’ But that didn’t happen.”
Despite seeing his four race win streak ending, Payea was happy with his second place finish, which allowed him to extend his point lead.
“You can’t be disappointed with second,” Payea said. “Sure, we won four in a row. But, this series is tough. Anytime you can finish up front, you take it. It’s a good day.
“It was another good night. We get another one in the book, a solid finish. We can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vt. finished third after he started in the seventh position. Quebec driver Jean-Francois Dery came out on top of a five-car battle for the fourth position with Rowland Robinson Jr., fifth.
Oren Remick ran inside the top-five for nearly the entire event and finished sixth with Rich Dubeau seventh. Miles Chipman finished eighth while second place point driver Dillon Moltz was ninth. Polesitter Shawn Swallow completed the top-ten finishers.
The 100-lap event took just under 30 minutes to complete. Heat races wins went to Chipman, Josh Masterson, and Payea.
Unofficially, Payea stretched his point lead from 36 points to 59 points.
The ACT Late Model Tour will continue their 2017 season on Saturday, August 19 at White Mountain Motorsports Park.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Coastal 100
ACT Late Model Tour
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine
Saturday, August 12, 2017
1. (3) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
2. (2) Scott Payea, Milton, Vt.
3. (7) Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, Vt.
4. (11) Jean-Francois Dery, Quebec, Que.
5. (13) Rowland Robinson Jr., Steuben, Maine
6. (4) Oren Remick, Warner, N.H.
7. (5) Rich Dubeau, Lebanon, N.H.
8. (8) Miles Chipman Nottingham, N.H.
9. (17) Dillon Moltz, Waterford, Conn.
10. (1) Shawn Swallow, Stark, N.H.
11. (6) Jason Corliss, Barre, Vt.
12. (10) Kyle Welch, Newport, N.H.
13. (21) Mike Ziter, Barre, Vt.
14. (9) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
15. (16) Claude Leclerc, Lanoarie, Que.
16. (20) Jimmy Linardy, Somerville, Mass.
17. (18) T.J. Morsehead, Seekonk, Mass.
18. (19) Mark Hudson, Norton, Mass.
19. (15) Ray Christian, Norwich, Conn.
20. (14) Spencer Morse, Waterford, Maine
21. (12) Mark Jenison, Warwick R.I.
PHOTO: Eddie MacDonald celebrates his ACT Late Model Tour win on Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)