Top 3 drivers separated by just 20 points; race winner receives guaranteed ‘250’ starting spot

OXFORD, Maine – The ACT Late Model Tour has one of its hottest championship battles in recent memory as the series travels to one of the biggest racing weekends.

Nick Sweet holds a narrow 16-point lead over Scott Payea and 20-point lead over Eddie MacDonald as the series travels to Oxford Plains Speedway for a 100-lap event on Saturday, August 27.

The event will be part of the 43rd Annual H.P. Hood Oxford 250 weekend that will see 21 features races run over the three-day event with Sunday’s Oxford 250 paying $25,000 to the race winner.

Sweet maintained his advantage over Payea at Beech Ridge as Sweet finishes two spots ahead of Payea in the heat race while Payea’s third place finish was one better of Sweet in the 100-lap event.

MacDonald, however, continues to remove his deficit to Sweet, trimming 19 points in the last two races, including 13 points at Beech Ridge with his runner-up finish.

The three drivers have all posted successful finishes at Oxford in the past – MacDonald a two-time Oxford 250 champion, Sweet an Oxford 250 runner-up, and Payea an Oxford 250 third place finisher.

All three drives have near mirror statistics – each have three wins and have eight top-ten place finishes in ten starts. Payea has posted two additional top-five place finishes with eight while Sweet and MacDonald have six, each.

Fourth place point driver Wayne Helliwell Jr. and his Bruce Bernhardt-led team have decided to forgo a chance at a fourth ACT Late Model Tour championship down 72 points with four races remaining. The team will leave their No. 27 ACT Late Model at home as they search for the win in the Oxford 250 and have posted wins in the past two PASS North races at Oxford.

Fifth place point driver Dillon Moltz nearly stole a win one year ago at Oxford and sits 74 points back of Sweet while Oxford spring winner Bobby Therrien sits sixth in the standings, 28 points back of Moltz.

Brandon Atkins, Mike Ziter, Brad Babb, and Rich Dubeau complete the top-ten in the ACT Late Model Tour standings with Rowland Robinson Jr. in 11th, just nine points outside the top-ten and looking to repeat his runner-up performance from April.

Babb might have a tough road to Oxford, however, after his No. 15 car was involved in a heavy incident during the American-Canadian Tour test at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Wednesday. Babb walked away from the incident uninjured, but reports indicate the car was heavily damaged.

Saturday’s ACT Late Model Tour race winner will also receive a guaranteed starting spot in Sunday’s Oxford 250, a perk that might lend itself to some unique names competing in the prelude.

One of those names is Oxford Plains regular Spencer Morse, who has voiced his intentions to compete in the 100-lap ACT Late Model Tour event in the car previously piloted by Jeff White.

Post time for Saturday’s event is set for 5:00pm and will feature the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Wicked Good Vintage Racing Series, Northeast Classic Lites, Pro All Stars Series Modifieds, INEX US Legends Cars, and Oxford Street Stocks along with the ACT Late Model Tour.

(VMM file photo)