Three Maine racing teams were among the first group of 20 Late Model Sportsmen invited to the second ACT Invitational, which will be held Sept. 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

Two drivers from Oxford Plains Speedway — Dennis Spencer Jr. of Oxford and Ricky Rolfe of Albany Township — and American-Canadian Tour rookie points leader Austin Theriault of Fort Kent survived the first cut for the 60-lap event, which will be part of a tripleheader scheduled for the day before the Sylvania 300, the first leg of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

“The cool part is all the short-track guys get to go there for the whole weekend, and they go out and practice just before the Sprint Cup drivers Saturday,” said ACT President Tom Curley.

Curley expects 15 drivers will be added to the 43-car lineup on Monday and the final eight will be added Sept. 13.

Nine of the first 20 drivers invited to the event have won ACT races this season. The other 11 received invitations after participating last month in two testing sessions on the 1-mile NHMS oval.

“It’s not who was the fastest in the testing,” Curley said. “A lot of it came down to how they looked out there on that track and how they handled it.”

 

SHOULD HURRICANE Earl force cancellation of the final points races of the season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Saturday night, a contingency plan is in place.

“We don’t usually do rain dates,” said Beech Ridge owner Andy Cusack. “(But) we’ll make every effort we can to give them the final points race at the end of the season.”

If wet weather wipes out Saturday night’s schedule, the finals in the Pro Sports, Sports Series, Wildcats and Roadrunners will be held Sunday.

“In case of a rainout Saturday night, we (may) start racing Sunday at 10 in the morning or at 7:30 at night,” Cusack said. “It all depends on when the weather clears up.”

 

HURRICANE EARL isn’t expected to affect the final points races Sunday afternoon at Wiscasset Raceway.

“It looks like we’ll get our racing in on Sunday because the rain should be out of here by then,” said Steve Smith, track promoter.

Championships have been decided in all but one of the track’s five racing divisions.

Only 20 points separate the top three drivers in the Late Model Division.

Going into Sunday’s race, Rowland Robinson Jr. of Steuben has 692 points. Nick Hinkley of Wiscasset follows with 682 and Danny Smart of Bradley has 672.

Ryan Ripley of Waldoboro in Super Streets, Ian Bresnahan of Bath in Strictly Streets, Rob Greenleaf of West Bath in Mini-Stocks and David Childs of Oxford in Outlaws hold insurmountable leads.

 

FANS AT Oxford Plains will have to wait one more week to see what driver will win the hotly contested points race in the Late Model Sportsmen division.

With the final race scheduled for Sept. 11, Tim Brackett of Buckfield holds a seven-point lead over Shawn Martin of Turner.

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

[email protected]