Saturday, June 19, 2010
Neither can I, but it's true my friends. And as Late Model teams from around the northeast start to think about what it will take to have a shot at "the big dance," a perfect opportunity to get 'dialed in for long distance' at Oxford is here.
Teams and officials from the Vermont-based American-Canadian Tour (ACT) are on their way to western Maine this morning. Pit gates open at 2 p.m. as teams file in to prepare for tonight's ACT 150 at the historic 3/8-mile oval. An amazing 53 cars showed up back on May 16 for the first ACT show (Oxford's season opener), and I'll bet the number will be pretty close to that today.
Almost two years ago to the day (June 21), ACT ran the Dunkin' Donuts 150 at Oxford and young Joey Polewarczyk Jr. drove to victory. Yet in 2010, the rising star from Hudson, N.H., is a bit off the pace. Polewarczyk failed to qualify for the feature on May 16, something I surely didn't expect to see. He was on hand last Saturday night to get a jump on tonight's race, but got stuck in traffic for much of the 40-lap feature and finished 11th.
Lachance in his corner. I don't believe the K&N Pro Series East (E-Mac's regular gig for Grimm Racing) runs again until Loudon, so expect the rocket-fast No. 17 NEMO Pontiac (not many teams still running the Grand Prix body) to be in the pits this afternoon and near the front this evening.
Any sensible list of possible winners would have to include "Two Lap" Tommy Ricker, the 54-year-old veteran from Poland, Maine. Ricker has been on a tear all season, starting with an incredible second-place finish behind MacDonald on May 16. Since then, old Two Lap (Oakes isn't sure if it was Bob Walker or Dave Moody that first called him that for his habit of having trouble two laps into the race) has two wins and a third place finish in three starts.
Ricker has been making using the often-tricky outside groove have brought back memories of watching Jeff Taylor do the same thing. It has really been fun to watch, except perhaps for the rest of Oxford's regulars. I'd have to include Tim and his son TJ Brackett, Ricky Rolfe and Jeff White on my list of Oxford weekly warriors who could challenge the ACT touring teams tonight.
As for a few ACT mainstays I expect to be strong tonight, look for Brian Hoar, Randy Potter, Brent Dragon and Scott Payea to run up front. All have excellent equipment and know there way around Bill Ryan's famed oval alongside Route 26. I know it's going to anybody's game - especially with today's blistering hot temps.