While there might have been little drama as Brian Hoar locked up his sixth career American-Canadian Tour (ACT) title Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway, the New England Dodge Dealers Fall 150 capped a strong 2009 season for the VT-based tour.
Eric Williams, who didn't know how often he would race this year after the loss of 2008 sponsor Unicel, notched the second win of 2009 and sixth of his ACT career with a brilliant drive. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. looked to have the car to beat inn the early laps, but his obsession with Oxford's often-slippery outside lane relegated him to a runner-up finish.
John Donahue was still on top of the world after winning the prestigious Chittenden Milk Bowl the previous week. The hotshoe from Graniteville led briefly and came home third in front of a cold, windburned crowd. A big atta-boy goes out to Buckfield's Timmy Brackett, who ran near the front all afternoon and brought the No. 60 machine home in fifth.
Fortunately, bright sun bathed the pit area and speedway all morning as teams rotated through practice and got ready to race. Joining the ACT warriors (53 strong in the season finale - with NO Canadian teams there) at Oxford Sunday were teams from every class that races at Oxford.
Somebody had the bright idea of combing the ACT 150, Little Guy 100s and the Acceleration Series Showdown into one rather lengthy show. In the defense of track owner Bill Ryan, time is rapidly running out this fall and temperatures are falling fast. Opportunities to race are about gone here in northern New England, so he rolled the dice and got it ALL in. I believe they completed the final 100-lap event around 8 p.m. last night, and keep in mind the pits opened at 8 a.m. THAT is one incredibly long day at the racetrack.
All in all, it was difficult to see it all end yesterday. I've enjoyed one of the best short track seasons in over a decade,. thanks to some great ACT racing and the company of Debbie Wilkinson. After 15+ years, she's still by my side at the track and I wouldn't have it any other way. Now, she carries a Nikon D40, and her digital images look fantastic. My sincere thanks to Deb, Bill Ryan and Kalle Oakes at OPS, and the entire ACT & T-Road staff for making my 2009 season so very special.
I hope all of my extended family in stock car racing can now enjoy a well-deserved break. Now I shift my focus to the upcoming season of Rock Maple Racing snocross. As I prepare for my seventh year with RMR, I ask all snowmobile enthusiasts and race fans to consider attending one of our shows this winter. It's the most exciting thing on snow - and bring your camera! I'll be posting my preseason competition preview in the coming weeks. Happy Holidays folks! They will be here before you know it...