Newmarket, NH’s Bryan Kruczek grabbed his first career American-Canadian Tour (ACT) win at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, April 28 after a thrilling back-and-forth battle in the event’s late stages.
Kruczek took the lead for good from Hudson, NH’s Joey Polewarczyk for good on lap 107 of an event that was shortened to 125 laps after a rash of cautions. He then pulled away over the final 18 circuits to win the ACT Late Model Tour season opener.
The Late Model and Super Late Model veteran, who is in his first year driving for Bobby Webber Jr Racing, started third in the main event and got underneath polesitter Chip Grenier of Graniteville, VT on the eighth lap. Kruczek held the top spot through a series of yellows until the event’s sixth caution on lap 45 for Corey Mason’s spin.
While Kruczek lined up with Grenier on his outside for the restart, it was Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien who made a daring three-wide move into turn one from the third position to get the lead. Therrien would pace the field through several more cautions while a series of drivers diced for position behind him, including Kruczek; Polewarczk; St-Edourard, QC’s Dany Trepanier; Lebanon, NH’s Rich Dubeau; and Steuben, ME’s Rowland Robinson Jr.
Kruczek poked the bumper back out front for three circuits following a lap-85 restart. Therrien would get ahead once again on lap 89, but was barely in front of a four-way battle with Kruczek, Therrien, and Trepanier.
The 96th circuit would alter the complexion of the event. Lancaster, NH’s Shawn Swallow went for a spin to bring out the 12th caution of the event. On the restart, a five-car tangle happened in turn one involving Mason, Scott Coburn, Marc Begin, Peyton Lanphear, and Christopher Pelkey. At this point, the decision was made to shorten the event to 125 laps from the scheduled 150 due to the amount of yellows, setting up a 29-lap sprint to the finish.
On the restart, Therrien and Kruczek went toe-to-toe for the advantage. But on lap 99, the two slapped doors in turn 2 and slid up the track slightly. Polewarczyk, a four-time ACT winner at Oxford, saw his opportunity and darted three-wide underneath them to move into the lead.
However, the battle was far from over. Kruczek muscled his way beneath Polewarczyk off turn two a few laps later and led lap 105, only for Polewarczyk to return the favor a lap later. It was Kruczek making the final move, however, putting the crossover on Polewarzcyk on lap 107 for the ninth and final lead change of the event. He then drew away in lapped traffic in the closing stages to earn the victory.
Polwearczyk eventually settled for second. Therrien crossed the line third but was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for a wheelbase violation. This handed the final podium spot to Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert, who had come on strong late in the event.
Grenier inherited the fourth spot after falling back as far as 14th in the middle stages. Dubeau rounded out the top five. Robinson, Trepanier, Scott Payea, Quinny Welch, and Dylan Payea also earned top-10 finishes.
Heat race wins when to Ryan Kuhn, Kruczek, Scott Payea, and Polewarczyk. Dylan Payea and Wayne Helliwell Jr. won the consolation rounds.
The ACT Late Model Tour continues its fast early-season start at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road next Sunday, May 5 at 1:30pm for the 21st Community Bank 150. ACT will be joined by the stars of the track’s Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models as well as the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
- ( 3 ) Bryan Kruczek ( 19NH ) , Newmarket, NH , 125 Laps
- ( 11 ) Joey Polewarczyk ( 97NH ) , Hudson, NH , 125 Laps
- ( 17 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 125 Laps
- ( 1 ) Chip Grenier ( 9VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 125 Laps
- ( 7 ) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Plainfield, NH , 125 Laps
- ( 22 ) Rowland Robinson Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 125 Laps
- ( 2 ) Dany Trepanier ( 19QC ) , St-Edouard, QC , 125 Laps
- ( 10 ) Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Colchester, VT , 125 Laps
- ( 24 ) Quinten Welch ( 78NH ) , Groveton, NH , 125 Laps
- ( 6 ) Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 125 Laps
- ( 15 ) Jean-Francois Dery ( 21QC ) , Quebec, QC , 125 Laps
- ( 18 ) Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , New Salem, MA , 125 Laps
- ( 19 ) Mathiew Kingsbury ( 9QC ) , Blainville, QC , 125 Laps
- ( 4 ) #Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 125 Laps
- ( 8 ) Alexandre Tardif ( 21BC ) , Notre Dame des Pins, QC , 125 Laps
- ( 13 ) Wayne Helliwell Jr. ( 27NH ) , Dover, NH , 125 Laps
- ( 9 ) #Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , E. Bridgewater, MA , 125 Laps
- ( 16 ) Joshua Hedges ( 29MA ) , New Bedford, MA , 125 Laps
- ( 12 ) Marc Begin ( 37QC ) , St-Philibert, QC , 125 Laps
- ( 26 ) Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 124 Laps
- ( 29 ) Steve Fisher ( 24VT ) , S. Burlington, VT , 124 Laps
- ( 30 ) Claude Leclerc ( 11QC ) , Lanoraie, QC , 124 Laps
- ( 32 ) Corey Mason ( 1NH ) , Groveton, NH , 124 Laps
- ( 36 ) Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 124 Laps
- ( 27 ) Scott Coburn ( 72VT ) , Barre, VT , 123 Laps
- ( 14 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 122 Laps
- ( 34 ) Joel Hodgdon ( 36VT ) , Craftsbury Common, VT , 119 Laps
- ( 28 ) Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 96 Laps
- ( 35 ) Jason Larivee Jr. ( 70RI ) , West Greenwich, RI , 90 Laps
- ( 31 ) #Mike Foster ( 7VT ) , Williston, VT , 82 Laps
- ( 23 ) #Trent Goodrow ( 31MA ) , Carver, MA , 60 Laps
- ( 25 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Stark, NH , 55 Laps
- ( 20 ) Jonathan Bouvrette ( 41QC ) , Blainville, QC , 39 Laps
- ( 21 ) Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ( 00NH ) , Candia, NH , 14 Laps
- ( 33 ) Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 12 Laps