Tom Herzig's Trackside: ACT title in Helliwell’s hands as last race looms
Wayne Helliwell Jr., owner Bruce Bernhardt and the rest of the EKeys4Cars No. 27 team will hop the Lake Champlain ferry and head over to Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., this weekend for the American Canadian Tour’s final points race — the Fall Foliage 200.
Helliwell Jr., the defending tour champion, finished second to Eddie MacDonald in the ACT Invitational at NHMS. He holds a commanding if not bulletproof 41-point lead over Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Even if Polewarczyk Jr. wins the race — as he won a 300-lapper at Airborne in July — unofficially Helliwell retains the title with a 17th or better finish.
One week later, MacDonald and Helliwell will try for their first Milk Bowl win — worth $10,000 — at Thunder Road.Aaron Fellows of Croydon, a former Twin State champion and a regular at Canaan, had himself a day in the ACT Invitational with a fourth-place run.
Travis Fadden of North Haverhill tries to close out the 2013 Late Model championship at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday.
It’s double points championship night Saturday at Star Speedway. Jacob Dore has already won the Modified crown. This week the Outlaws, Strictlys and Roadrunners go at it. Billy Osborne of Plaistow is the Roadrunner point leader. Joe Squeglia of Derry is the Outlaw point leader with Ron Bolduc of Plaistow second and Joe Ventrillo of Methuen, Mass., third.
The Strictlys have the closest battle going at Star. Charlie Baldwin of Dracut, Mass., leads Slammin’ Sam Peabody of Sanford, Maine, with Chris Augevich third.
Peabody led the point parade much of the year. Even if he can’t overtake Baldwin, he’s a contender for a “Most Sponsors for a Strictly (ever!) Award.” The list includes his buddy Dave Damphousse’s business, Ward’s Woodworking, Kingston, Arrow Auto Repair, Lakeside Sport and Marine of Shapleigh, Maine, Seacoast Property Repair, Matthew’s Auto Body, Blackstone Paving of Manchester, M&W Auto Repair of Hooksett, Shorey Racing and Sanford Sign & Graphics. Peabody’s girlfriend, Katy Simpson, works on the car, too.
Baldwin’s No. 2 is sponsored by Richwin Motorsports, Checkered Flag Indoor Karting of Haverhill, Mass., and Morey Bros. Construction of Westford, Mass.
As Baldwin and Peabody are likely aware, Augevich has gone into the final double points race in third place each of the last two years and came out as the champion.
Star’s card also includes the Ed Skofield Memorial Twin 25’s for Dwarf Cars and the New England Mini Stock Tour. Skofield drove the No. 18 at The Pines Speedway and at Star back in the Ollie Silva/Don McClaren/Art Rousseau era.
It’s down to Sunday’s 30-lap double points race for Hudson’s Outlaw title. Todd Warren holds a six-point lead over Kevin Kephardt.Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn., won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 after getting into race leader Donny Lia in the third turn of the final lap at NHMS and then took to the podium to proclaim, “as everyone knows, I don’t drive like that. I don’t knock guys out of the way to get victories. But I needed this win really bad.”
Lia, predictably, was not that impressed. “You make your bed and then you have to lay in it,” he said. “I thought we’d race that last corner and just race that last corner out rather than just do what he did. I gave him the benefit doubt and you live and learn. I just won’t ever give that benefit of the doubt again no matter who it is. He’s a friend of mine. You live and learn, that’s it.”
The Valenti Modifieds return to action next Saturday, Oct. 5 at Seekonk Speedway.
Monadnock’s season finale, with eight divisions in action, goes Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.