PHOTO: Nick Sweet will return to the ACT Late Model Tour for the final four races of 2011 aboard the RPM Motorsports No. 57VT car. (VMM file photo)

LOUDON, N.H. — Nick Sweet is hitting the road.

The Barre driver has put deals together to complete the balance of the northeastern racing season with three different teams including his own. Sweet will begin his ride-hopping journey at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the American-Canadian Tour’s All-Star Late Model Challenge on Friday and Saturday, driving the No. 40VT Mansfield Heliflight Chevrolet for Eric Chase’s Milton-based Mad Dog Motorsports team.

After that, in a deal announced on Wednesday morning, Sweet will drive the No. 57VT RPM Racing Engines Ford for Rick Paya’s RPM Motorsports team based in Georgia, Vermont. Sweet will drive the car in the final four ACT Late Model Tour events at Oxford Plains (Me.) Speedway, Circuit Riverside Speedway in Ste-Croix, Que., the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, and the Fall Foliage 200 season finale at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, New York.

Sweet will pilot his own No. 88VT Saint J Auto/Packard Fuels Pontiac in regular weekly events at Thunder Road on August 18th and 25th, the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire in September, and the People’s United Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in October.

Sweet began his second-half stretch by finishing second to Kyle Busch at the TD Bank 250 at Oxford on July 24 with his own team, then posted a seventh-place finish in the Chase car at Beech Ridge (Me.) Motor Speedway one week later.

“We’ve got some cars to drive, so that’s good news,” Sweet said. “I really don’t know what to expect changing back and forth between the cars. As long as I’m behind the wheel and the car’s got four tires, I’ll drive it. I want to perform for [Chase and Paya]. These are good opportunities and the timing is right.”

Sweet took delivery of the Chase car earlier this week and has been preparing the car for New Hampshire in his own shop with his family team. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ace Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., will drive Paya’s car at New Hampshire before Sweet takes over.

“I watched [Sweet] come up through the ranks, from Street Stocks through [Tiger Sportsman cars] and Late Models the last few years,” Paya said in a press release. Paya, who has won seven ACT championships as a crew chief and team owner, most recently with driver Brian Hoar, said Sweet was on the short list of drivers to fill the seat of his No. 57VT car recently vacated by Austin Theriault.

“[Sweet] is an excellent driver. He was our first candidate,” Paya said. “I have a lot of respect for him. He takes care of equipment, and he gets the most out of it, too. That’s the part I like about him — I like how aggressive he is when he needs to be. He and his whole family are just super people. It’s a perfect fit for us, it really is.”

“I’ll admit that I didn’t know Rick that well until a few weeks ago, but he’s always been great to talk to when we’ve spoken over the last few years,” Sweet said. “He’s obviously very successful. Driving for him is way beyond any dreams I ever had when I first started racing. Eric is a phenomenal guy and a person I look up to. I don’t know if anything will come from these deals in the future, but I’m glad that I at least have their friendship and can work with them now.”

Sweet has two career victories on the ACT Late Model Tour, both at Thunder Road, including the Merchants Bank 150 in May. He was the 2008 Rookie of the Year in his only full season on the series, and was last year’s Thunder Road track champion.

Paya has fielded cars for Hoar and Theriault this year on the ACT Late Model Tour; Hoar’s No. 37VT leads the standings with three victories in seven starts. Theriault drove the RPM No. 57VT car to seventh in the owners’ standings before his departure after the most recent event at Beech Ridge.

Sweet will begin driving for RPM Motorsports on August 20 at Oxford.

Qualifying for the ACT All-Star Late Model Challenge at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., begins at 10:25am on Friday. The first leg of a two-segment main event starts Saturday at 10:30am.