As many as 50 cars are expected to compete for spots on the starting grid in the American Canadian Tour’s Big Jab 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday.

Rain washed out three of the first four ACT events this spring, including last week’s race in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

The Sunday forecast calls for partly sunny skies with temperatures in the 60s.

“I think we will have close to 50 cars,” said the ACT president, Tom Curley. “I think everybody is very anxious to get out and race.”

Sunday’s season-opening race at OPS is expected to draw cars from throughout the region.

“It’s always a good way to kick off the season with an ACT race,” said the track owner, Bill Ryan. “It will give fans a chance to see how our drivers stack up against the top drivers from New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Canada.”

Among the Late Model drivers from outside Maine expected to compete are Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson, N.H., Brent Dragon of Milton, Vt., and Derek Lynch of Warkworth, Ontario.

Polewarczyk, 20, better known as “Joey Pole,” has two wins and four top-five finishes in six starts at Oxford Plains.

Last July, Dragon, a three-time track champion at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, won the pole for the TD Bank Oxford 250 and led for nearly 100 laps before finishing sixth.

Lynch, who returned to racing five years ago after spending several seasons working as a fabricator for some of NASCAR’s top teams, won the 250 in 1994.

Fans will be able to peek at some ACT cars Saturday.

Normally, drivers aren’t allowed to practice on a track hosting an ACT event during the week preceding it.

Because last Saturday’s practice session at OPS was rained out, that rule won’t be enforced for this race. Drivers can take any of the cars entered in this weekend’s race out on the track during Saturday’s practice session.

 

T.J. WATSON of Cundy’s Harbor was one of only four drivers from Maine to make the long haul to Barre, Vt., to run in ACT’s Merchants Bank 150 two weeks ago at the fabled quarter-mile banked oval at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt.

Watson, who won one of the four qualifying heats, dropped out 131 laps into the race after sustaining damage to the rear left side and hood of his Ford Fusion.

“I drove a lap and a half with the hood up in my windshield,” he said. “Then I decided to take the car off the track and put it on the trailer while it was still in one piece.”

Watson is entered in the Big Jab 150.

 

FANS WILL get a preview Sunday of what’s on tap when the weekly racing series starts May 22 at OPS.

In addition to the Big Jab 250, all of the track’s divisions will run.

The four-cylinder Mini-Stocks and eight-cylinder Strictly Stocks, which usually run on Saturday nights, will run in 10-lap heats and 30-lap features.

Also, the Truck and Ladies’ divisions, the Outlaws and Runnin’ Rebels, which normally run on Wednesday nights, will race in 20-lap features. The Renegades, another Wednesday night division, will race in a 10-lap feature.

The post time is 2 p.m.

 

OPS WILL start its 60th season Friday with a display of race cars in Monument Square in Portland.

“We are happy to be starting another great season and can think of no better way to start than to have race cars on display in Monument Square,” Ryan said.

The cars will be displayed from noon to 1 p.m.

 

RAIN WASHED out the first practice session of the season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway last Saturday, so it will try again this Saturday.

Practice will run from noon to 4 p.m. for all divisions.

The public is invited to watch from front grandstands free of charge. The fee to enter the pit area is $15 per person.

 

WISCASSET RACEWAY will hold its first practice session of the season from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The track is open to cars in Late Model, Strictly Street, Super Street, Mini-Stocks and Outlaw divisions, as well as the new Enduro Divisions for four-cylinder and six-cylinder cars, minivans and Powder Puff drivers. Racing in all divisions starts May 23.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]