Story By: AMERICAN-CANADIAN TOUR – OXFORD, ME – Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert snapped one of the driest spells of his racing career by winning the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Oxford Plains 125 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, August 28.
The reigning ACT champion dove underneath Turner, ME’s Ben Rowe on the backstretch with 27 laps to go and led the rest of the way to become the first repeat winner this season.
It was a welcome sight for Hebert, who had encountered nothing but misfortune since his victory in the season-opener at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Since that time, he’d posted only one top-10 result and failed to finish multiple times. For one night, though, all of that melted away as Hebert looked like his old self down the stretch to snag his ninth ACT victory.
Rowe showed the way for most of the event’s first half after polesitter Matthew Morrill led the first four circuits. A trio of cautions between laps 39 and 40, concluded by a four-car calamity in turn one, erased the margin Rowe had built up. When the race finally got rolling again, Rowe had Mike Hopkins, Hebert, and Derek Gluchacki breathing down his neck.
Hermon, ME’s Hopkins powered beneath Rowe entering turn one on the 63rd circuit, only for Dave MacDonald’s spin off turn four to bring out the yellow and negate the pass. On the restart, Hopkins then put the nose out front from the outside lane for three circuits before Rowe took back over.
Hopkins switched things back up and wheeled below Rowe on lap 73 to get the lead for a second time. Gluchacki followed him through the open lane, and as they navigated around a lapped car on the frontstretch three laps later, the teenager took advantage of a slight bobble by Hopkins to go inside him for the top spot.
The reigning Rookie of the Year was still out in front when the race’s sixth caution flew on lap 88 for debris in turn one. Gluchacki jumped ahead on the restart, but coming out of turn two a lap later, Hopkins tagged Gluchacki in the rear. The leader looped it with the whole field managing to dodge him, and both drivers went to the rear as a result.
That handed the lead back to Rowe with Hebert alongside. Hebert was content on the restart to tuck in line behind Rowe. But with 27 laps to go, Hebert timed his turn two exit perfectly and got a run to the low lane, riding the momentum to the lead. He then survived one more restart with seven laps remaining to win as part of the “Night Before the Oxford 250” program for the second straight year.
Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw slipped inside Rowe on the final run to take second. Despite dropping to third in the final rundown, Rowe still unofficially gained ground on Shaw in the championship chase thanks to his bonus points for leading the most laps. Candia, NH’s Jimmy Renfrew Jr. quietly worked his way from the 17th starting position to take fourth.
Hopkins roared back through the field after his incident for a fifth-place finish. Bobby Therrien, Gluchacki, Quinny Welch, Tom Carey III, and Trent Goodrow completed the top-10.
The ACT Late Model Tour heads to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, September 5 at 1:00pm for the Optical Expressions Berlin Labor Day Classic. They’ll take on many of the track’s top weekly Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model racers in a 200-lap, $5,000-to-win holiday weekend showdown. The card also includes double features for the RK Miles Street Stocks plus the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors.
Admission to the Labor Day Classic is $25 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under.
OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY — Oxford, ME
OXFORD PLAINS 125
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28, 2021
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 10 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 125 Laps
2. ( 13 ) D.J. Shaw ( 04VT ) , Center Conway, NH , 125 Laps
3. ( 4 ) Ben Rowe ( 4ME ) , Turner, ME , 125 Laps
4. ( 17 ) Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ( 00NH ) , Candia, NH , 125 Laps
5. ( 12 ) Mike Hopkins ( 15ME ) , Hermon, ME , 125 Laps
6. ( 15 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 125 Laps
7. ( 14 ) Derek Gluchacki ( 03MA ) , North Dartmouth, MA , 125 Laps
8. ( 9 ) Quinten Welch ( 78NH ) , Groveton, NH , 125 Laps
9. ( 11 ) Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , New Salem, MA , 125 Laps
10. ( 16 ) Trenton Goodrow ( 31MA ) , Carver, MA , 125 Laps
11. ( 22 ) Ryan Morgan ( 31CT ) , Franklin, CT , 125 Laps
12. ( 3 ) Kris Matchett ( 17ME ) , Skowhegon, ME , 125 Laps
13. ( 1 ) Matthew Morrill ( 9NH ) , Moultonborough, NH , 125 Laps
14. ( 21 ) #Erick Sands ( 36NH ) , Derry, NH , 125 Laps
15. ( 8 ) Jesse Switser ( 25NH ) , West Burke, VT , 125 Laps
16. ( 6 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 125 Laps
17. ( 7 ) Robby Gordon Douglas ( 27NC ) , Charlotte, NC , 125 Laps
18. ( 2 ) Cam Huntress ( 27ME ) , Rochester, NH , 124 Laps
19. ( 24 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Milan, NH , 124 Laps
20. ( 20 ) Alby Ovitt ( 35NH ) , Raymond, NH , 124 Laps
21. ( 5 ) #Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 123 Laps
22. ( 27 ) Mike Benevides ( 50RI ) , Westerly, RI , 123 Laps
23. ( 23 ) Matt Anderson ( 49NH ) , Franklin, NH , 114 Laps
24. ( 28 ) David MacDonald ( 69ME ) , New Gloucester, ME , 101 Laps
25. ( 26 ) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 55 Laps
26. ( 25 ) Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 53 Laps
27. ( 18 ) Jamie Swallow Jr. ( 4NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 49 Laps
28. ( 19 ) Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 2 Laps
Lap Leaders: Matthew Morrill, 1-4; Ben Rowe, 5-62; Mike Hopkins, 63-65; Rowe, 66-72; Hopkins, 73-75; Derek Gluchacki, 76-89; Rowe 90-98; Jimmy Hebert, 99-125. (7 lead changes among 5 drivers)
Time of Race: 1 hour, 9 minutes, 20 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.884 seconds
Cautions: 8 (laps 0, 39, 39, 40, 62, 88, 89, 118)
Heat Winners: Stephen Donahue, Robby Gordon Douglas, D.J. Shaw
Consi Winner: Matthew Morrill