ACT Oxford 150 American Racer Three Stars Announced
Series Release/Eric LaFleche Photo
Waterbury, VT – The American Racer Three Star program has returned for the2015 season. The program is designed to recognize three teams in no particular order of performance who had outstanding races at American Canadian Tour (ACT) U.S. Tour events. There are no specific criteria for deciding who might receive the award of a free American Racer tire (value $125.00), but special effort by a team, an exceptional race, just plain old hard luck, or other accepted reason to give the award is used to determine the recipients.
The Three Stars are chosen by officials and will receive certificates for use of a free American Racer tire at a race of their choosing during 2015. The winners for the ACT Oxford 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway are:
*Rich Dubeau, Plainfield, NH – #30NH — An exceptional story developed during the opening weekend at Oxford. A young team from Plainfield, NH made their first ever ACT touring event start last weekend at the Oxford Plains Speedway doubleheader. They had never raced in an ACT event, had little experience on flat 3/8-mile race tracks, and seemed to struggle with set-up at the tricky Oxford oval during a day of practice on Friday afternoon. Furthermore, they missed the only chance to qualify after breaking a broken sway bar during the final practice on race day!
They fixed the car before the feature and started the race in dead last. In what appeared to be a very “quiet” ride, the #30NH team found a groove and headed forward from the very start of the race. It was a remarkable effort from a new young team that ended up finishing ninth after 150 laps. There were only three cautions, and that generally lends itself to becoming vulnerable to getting lapped, especially with the dominant performance of ACT defending Champion and race winner Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. For a truly outstanding effort in their first ever ACT touring race, the Rich Dubeau team earns a well-deserved American Racer Star of the Race award.
*Emily Packard, E. Montpelier, VT – #9ME — Emily Packard and her Neal Woodward–led team were all the talk at the end of the Oxford race. Emily won multiple “star” awards last season. She had a fourth place in overall points last year on Tour, and is certainly on top of her game coming into this season. At just 18 years old, Emily has already garnered the respect of veteran ACT drivers, as well as a fan base that appreciates the competitiveness of her driving and team preparation.
Packard’s drive from the 20th starting spot to a fourth-place finish on Sunday at Oxford made a statement that she plans to be a very serious title contender in 2015. This was her first time ever on the famous Oxford oval, a track unlike any other she has raced on, and her impressive run from 20th and eventual battle from mid-pack with Kyle Welch, Jeff White, Travis Stearns, Jonathan Bouvrette, and JR Robinson was the best racing of the day. Packard is well-deserving of starting out the season with another American Racer Star of the Race award.
*Mike Ziter, Barre, VT – #54VT — Mike Ziter is a Thunder Road Tiger Sportsmen division graduate. His decision in 2014 was to either run the 2014 ACT U.S. Tour or race weekly at Thunder Road. He chose to go Tour racing. Coming into an established series, which is deep with talent, can be both intimidating and at times frustrating to a new team. The Ziter team took a very steady journey in 2014 en route to a 14th-place finish in points. Visiting new tracks during the first half of the year and improving each week was the designed plan – and it worked. Finishing races and understanding the difference between weekly sprint racing and Tour long distance racing, while protecting earned territory, is essential for success.
Ziter and his team took what they earned at each event and completed a very successful rookie season. His competitive ride at Oxford Plains Speedway last Sunday earns him a Star Award, and confirms that his sophomore season is an extension of his outstanding Rookie year. He matched his best finish on the Tour from 2014 with a solid eighth-place finish last Sunday. His competitive ride in the same group Emily Packard contended with above had him in arguably the best-grouped competition of the event. He continued to move forward throughout the day. For his great start at Oxford, his team is awarded a Star of the Race award.
All the stars of the American Canadian Tour will be back in action on Sunday, April 26 for the 25th annual New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH. Post time is 1:00pm.