SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The two drivers at the top of the ACT Late Model Tour standings will enter Beech Ridge Motor Speedway with the same goal, but for different reasons.
Scott Payea, fresh off his record breaking fourth straight ACT Late Model Tour win three weeks ago, will seek to extend his own record and nail down his first win at the one-third mile oval.
Beech Ridge, however, has been one of Payea’s most difficult tracks despite posting a podium finish there one year ago. Payea has finished inside the top-ten in three of his four starts at the track with an average finish of tenth.
For Payea, however, the ultimate goal may be to leave Beech Ridge with a larger point lead then he entered. The Milton, Vt. driver holds a 36-point advantage over Dillon Moltz at the midway point of the 2017 season.
Moltz earned the season opening win at Lee and posted three podium finishes since, with his worst finish — a sixth — in the series’ last outing at Seekonk Speedway.
For Moltz, the ultimate goal is to close the gap to Payea and make his second visit to victory lane in 2017. The Waterford, Conn. driver posted finishes of sixth and fourth one year ago at Beech Ridge.
While the fight for the championship sees Payea and Moltz in the spotlight, a tight battle for the third spot in the standings has emerged as three drivers –Rich Dubeau, Jason Corliss, and Jimmy Hebert — sit just 25 points apart from each other.
Dubeau posted an impressive third place finish at Seekonk and sits third in the standings. Corliss, who runs double duty on the ACT Late Model Tour and at Thunder Road Speedbowl, finished second at Seekonk and sits fourth in the standings while Jimmy Hebert is fifth after running a part-time schedule one year ago.
Multi-time Devil’s Bowl Speedway Late Model champion and ACT Late Model Tour newcomer Josh Masterson sits sixth in the standings while Kyle Welch is seventh. Rowland Robinson Jr., Mike Ziter, and Miles Chipman complete the top-ten in the championship standings.
Former Beech Ridge ACT race winner Eddie MacDonald is an expected entrant, according to the American-Canadian Tour, and will be among the drivers who will look to end Payea’s streak.
The ACT Late Model Tour will join Beech Ridge’s NASCAR Nite racing events, which includes the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Pro Series, Sport Series, and Wildcat divisions.
In the Pro Series, defending champion Curtis Gerry holds a slim four-point lead over former champion Reid Lanpher, with veteran Mike Rowe in third. Corey Bubar and Gary Smith complete the top-five.
Racing is set to begin at 7:00pm at Beech Ridge on Saturday, August 5.
PHOTO: Scott Payea (37) and Dillon Moltz (5) sit at the top of the ACT Late Model Tour standings and the duo have won all five races this season. (LinMat photo)