PHOTO: Bucko Branham will return to ACT Late Model competition in this car at Airborne Speedway on Saturday. (Branham team photo)

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The field for the American-Canadian Tour season finale will have a bit of different look to it on Saturday.

Touring series stars Eddie MacDonald, Ben Rowe, and D.J. Shaw have made plans to compete in the 40th annual Rent-A-Wreck Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., as well as hometown favorite Bucko Branham.

Already expected to be one of the most diverse competitive fields of the season, the race is the final championship event for the U.S.-based ACT Late Model Tour and the Quebec-based ACT Castrol Series.

MacDonald, of Rowley, Mass., ranked seventh overall in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings this season and finished fourth in the series’ finale at Dover (Del.) International Speedway last week. Also an occasional ACT competitor, MacDonald won the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway two weeks ago and has three career ACT Late Model Tour wins.

MacDonald will be driving a No. 17MA Hancock Electric Chevrolet built by Dale Shaw Race Cars that he acquired last winter. He says the plan is to build a notebook in anticipation of expanding his ACT schedule in 2012.

“We’re going to bring the new car over to try to work the bugs out of it,” MacDonald told Vermont Motorsports Magazine. “We’re looking forward to racing more with that car next year.”

MacDonald drove the car in a pair of non-championship ACT races at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in February and another non-ACT race at Canaan (N.H.) Fair Speedway in June. MacDonald hinted that he may attempt to compete in the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday as well.

Branham, of Plattsburgh, is a two-time Sportsman track champion at Airborne who claimed six victories this season. Branham will drive a No. 20NY Chevrolet owned by Mike Thompson of Bolton, Vt., with sponsorship from Liquor & Wine Warehouse, Northline Utilities, KAS Environmental, and Lisa’s Playhouse.

Branham was a regular competitor in Airborne’s weekly Late Model division in the 1990s and 2000s, but hasn’t raced an ACT-type car since 2003. Between Airborne’s Sportsman, Late Model, and open-wheel Modified divisions, Branham has 40 victories in the last ten seasons.

“I told my wife that I’m actually a little nervous,” Branham admitted. “The butterflies are back. It’s a good thing. I’m eager to see if I can run with those [ACT] guys again.”

Branham took delivery of the car two weeks ago and has a test session under his belt.

“The test went pretty good, but I’m still getting used to the tires and shocks these cars use,” Branham said. “The goal right now is to qualify and get a top-15 finish, but hopefully we can raise the goals after we see how practice goes on Saturday.”

Turner, Me., driver Rowe owns a total of six Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model titles including the 2009 PASS National Championship and will make his Airborne Speedway debut after reuniting with the New Hampshire-based Avery Motorsports team. Rowe and the Avery family won four ACT races together in 2006 and have competed sporadically since; the Averys have fielded entries for Brent Dragon on several occasions this year.

Shaw, of Center Conway, N.H., won the most recent PASS National Championship race at White Mountain (N.H.) Motorsports Park two weeks ago. He’ll drive a Subway-sponsored No. 55NH Chevrolet recently purchased by Dave Parker and Pete Duto. The 21 year-old also ran a majority of the events on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season.

“I’m excited to go to Airborne,” Shaw said. “I ran with [Duto’s team at Oxford Plains Speedway] a couple of years ago and almost won that race, so I know we’ll be ready this weekend.”

The car Shaw is driving was purchased from longtime team owner David Storey of New Hampshire, who won ACT races with drivers Dave Pembroke, Miles Chipman, and Dale Shaw, D.J.’s father; Storey also owned the car when Robbie Crouch drove it to a 50-lap weekly series victory at Thunder Road in 2008. Derrick O’Donnell of Bradford finished third in the car in a weekly race at White Mountain last month.

Qualifying for the Fall Foliage 200 begins at 1:00pm on Saturday.