Waterbury, VT — The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) is coming to Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway this Saturday, August 28. Although the weather should finally cool off after recent scorching temperatures, the action on the track will remain red-hot with a stout field and eye-grabbing storylines.
The ACT Late Model Tour is part of the “Night Before the Oxford 250” program, which can be seen at Oxford Plains Speedway or live on Speed51.TV. Sunday is about the $25,000-to-win Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model showdown, but Saturday is for the Late Models. Several drivers such as ACT point leader D.J. Shaw, Ben Rowe, Mike Hopkins, and Derek Gluchacki are expected to run both shows, adding to the weekend’s intrigue. They’ll spend Saturday morning practicing their Super Late Models, then immediately turn their attention to getting the ACT car ready for 125 laps of green-flag racing.
These double-duty drivers are ones to watch beyond the challenge of trying to run 375 laps of feature action plus qualifying. All are stout Oxford racers who should be factors on the 3/8-mile oval. Hopkins went wire-to-wire in the July 11 race at Oxford to take his first career ACT win. The reigning PASS National Champion became the first driver since Jonathan Bouvrette at Thompson Speedway in 2019 to lead every lap of an ACT event.
Rowe and Shaw both are multi-time winners at Oxford in PASS competition with Rowe also owning two ACT victories at the track. Gluchacki finished second to Hopkins in the July event, which was his first ACT podium finish.
Furthermore, all three are part of the battle for the ACT championship. Another strong run Saturday would increase their chances of taking home the lion’s share of more than $50,000 in point fund money and contingency awards.
Center Conway, NH’s Shaw leads the standings by a single point over New Salem, MA’s Tom Carey III. Turner, ME’s Rowe is 13 points behind Shaw while North Dartmouth, MA’s Gluchacki sits 51 points back. Five point-counting events remain on the schedule, meaning that it is “hustle time” for the top four.
A win by Rowe or Gluchacki would tie a long-standing ACT record. The Tour is sitting on seven different winners in the first seven events, which is one away from the all-time mark. In 2007 and 2014, ACT witnessed eight different winners in a row to start the year.
There are plenty of other candidates that could also match the record. Former Oxford Plains Speedway winner Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT has filed an entry. So has part-time competitor Robby Gordon Douglas, who will travel all the way from Charlotte, NC.
Graniteville, VT’s Stephen Donahue; Groveton, NH’s Shawn Swallow; Derry, NH’s Erick Sands; and Franklin, NH’s Matt Anderson are full-time ACT racers who might keep the streak alive. So could part-timers like Dylan Payea, Trent Goodrow, Peyton Lanphear, and Reilly Lanphear. The Oxford events always draw a strong field with racers coming out of the woodwork to run on the legendary oval. That means a big pool of possible winners as well as potential big swings in the points chase.
Saturday sets the stage for a September and October that ACT Late Model fans will not want to miss. The Tour has a pair of $5,000-to-win events bookending the month of September. They’ll race for five grand up top at Vermont’s Thunder Road on Sunday, September 5 in the Optical Expressions Berlin Labor Day Classic. The same prize is up for grabs in the Fall Foliage 200 at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 26. In between is the non-point $10,000-to-win (CAD) Bacon Bowl 200 on Saturday, September 11 at Quebec’s Autodrome Chaudiere.
The non-point Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road is coming October 2 and 3 with $10,000 to the winner. ACT travels to Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway on October 9 for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, then wraps up the season October 23 with the Haunted Hundred at Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway. It makes for an enthralling two months of racing to conclude the ACT Late Model Tour’s 30th season.
The ACT Late Model Tour travels to Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway this Saturday, August 28 at 4:00pm for the Oxford Plains 125. The event is part of the “Night Before the Oxford 250” program that includes the Modified Racing Series, PASS Modifieds, Street Stock Triple Crown, Northeast Classic Lites, and Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association. Admission is $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6-12. A live pay-per-view of the Oxford Plains 125 will be available on Speed51.TV.