Windham, Maine’s Brad Babb currently sits atop the ACT Late Model Tour Rookie Standings and will look to stretch his lead with a solid finish this Saturday, July 24 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, the track where he cut his racing teeth. The seventeen year old holds a slim five point lead over fellow Maine youngster Austin Theriault of Fort Kent.
Babb has had a solid first half to his rookie season by qualifying for five of the first six races on the ACT Tour which is no small feat considering the Tour has been averaging well over 40 cars for each event. He has finished on the lead lap in four of these events with his only DNF (Did Not Finish) occurring at White Mountain Motorsports Park due to mechanical problems.
Babb has picked up a couple top 15 place finishes to help his Sallie Bolduc team lead the Rookie chase at the halfway mark. It has been his first time visiting most of the tracks. In his first career ACT Late Model Tour start in last season’s Oxford Plains Speedway finale in October he earned a sixth place finish.
Car owner Sallie Bolduc is very pleased with the first half of Babb’s rookie season, “He’s having a very good rookie season, qualifying for all but one event. He was even running in the top ten at White Mountain before his swaybar broke and caused his only DNF so far.” She continued about his chances at Beech Ridge, “I think he will do well at his hometrack. He won a 50 lapper there earlier this month in the Pro Series and he’s really excited to be heading back.”
Bobby Babb is Brad’s father and crew chief and had experience touring on the old ACT Pro Stock Series. “When I started racing in the 80’s I was 19 and didn’t know what I was getting into. Now I know what we’re getting into. He’s 17 and has that advantage and while he hasn’t raced at most of the tracks we’ve been to he has seen them as Joey’s (Doiron, 2009 ACT Late Model Rookie of the Year) spotter last year.”
The team is looking for a solid run at Beech Ridge to bounce back after a mediocre Oxford 250 finish (28th) last weekend. “We plan on redeeming ourselves after the 250. We want to be right up front. I think we can run up front and we are aiming for nothing less than a top five,” continued Bobby.
This weekend’s 150 lap event at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will be Babb’s best chance at cracking the top five this season. He finished 6th in the Pro Series at the 1/3 mile speedway in 2009, his rookie season, and already has a win there this month as he took the Pro Series checkers in the Miller Lite 50 on Saturday, July 3.
Sixteen year old Austin Theriault has also been impressive in his rookie season. He sits just five points out of the lead in the rookie standings and has already earned his first two career top tens at Lee USA Speedway and Oxford Plains Speedway this season. He also earned a seventh in his first career start at Thunder Road International Speedbowl’s Governor’s Cup 100, although it was not an ACT Late Model Tour event.
The top four in the ACT Tour Rookie Standings are separated by just ten points heading into the second half of the season. Milton, Vermont’s Rick Paya and Ascutney, Vermont’s Chris Riendeau still can’t be counted out of the 2010 ACT Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year hunt and the $1,000 check that goes with it.
The seventh event on the 2010 ACT Late Model Tour schedule is set for this Saturday, July 24 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, ME. Qualifying for the 150 lap event is scheduled to roll at 6:00pm.
Sources: ACT PR