The American-Canadian Tour Late Model Championship stock cars will return to Scarborough, Maine’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 2009, ending a 16-year absence. The 1/3-mile, semi-banked oval outside Portland was pivotal in deciding the first-ever ACT Late Model Tour champion, as Dave Whitcomb of Essex Jct., VT spring-boarded from a Beech Ridge victory in September 1992 to secure the title. Pat Corbett won the Tour’s only other event at the track in July 1993.
The 150-lap event will be held on Saturday, July 25, 2009, on the weekend following the TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME.
“We are very excited to welcome ACT back after all these years,” said Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Promoter Andy Cusack. “Not only are we happy to have ACT back, we’re happy to welcome a whole new generation of talented young drivers to Beech Ridge; most of the drivers running with ACT right now have never raced at our facility, and it’s always fun to have new teams at our track.”
For the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway event, ACT will allow any unused tires that Late Model teams have remaining in their inventories from the TD Banknorth 250 to be used in competition. In addition, Oxford Plains Speedway Promoter Bill Ryan will close his track for the weekend to allow his local Late Model teams a chance to compete at Beech Ridge.
ACT President Tom Curley said that the return to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway is long overdue, and that he appreciates the support he has received from Cusack and Ryan.
“Andy Cusack and Bill Ryan understand as race track promoters the value and potential that this race has for not only the State of Maine, but northeastern Late Model racing in general,” said Curley. “Beech Ridge and Oxford Plains are the showplaces of Maine racing, and the fact that the two promoters are willing to work together to help this event is pretty special. We all feel that the one-race rollover tire rule will save teams a substantial amount of money while giving them a chance to race on tires that they otherwise may not be able to use.”
Curley said that in addition to the ACT Late Model Tour regulars and Oxford Plains Speedway teams expected for the race, he thinks there will be interest from other teams from tracks including Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire, Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Vermont, and Wiscasset Raceway in Maine.
The full 2009 ACT Late Model Tour schedule will be released in the coming days. Patrick Laperle of Montréal will be honored as the 2008 Champion at the annual ACT Banquet of Champions at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, VT on Saturday, January 10, 2009. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.acttour.com.
Sources: Justin St. Louis/ACT LM Tour PR