Racing fans at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will see plenty of a father-son team this season.

Bobby and Brad Babb have plans. After racing Late Models on the American Canadian Tour, Brad Babb, who graduated from Windham High last June, is returning to his home track to race in the Pro Stocks division, and Bobby Babb is ending a two-year hiatus to compete in the same division.

Brad, the ACT 2010 rookie of the year, said the expense was the major reason he was dropping out of the regional tour.

“It got too expensive to do the traveling. If we had more money to spend on the car and finish up front most of the time, it wouldn’t be that bad,” he said.

He also said it’s difficult to make up traveling expenses with prize money when a driver is unable to consistently finish among the top 10. “Racing at Beech Ridge, you pretty much cut out the cost of traveling. It’s just 15 miles from the house.”

Brad Babb got to run his Super Late Model last Saturday night at Beech Ridge in the PASS North’s season-opening Maine MotorsMaine.com 150. He finished 10th while racing against 32 of the top SLM drivers in the Northeast. After starting 16th, Babb worked his way up to third before experiencing tire problems.

“The right-side tire shrunk and it tightened the car up a lot,” he said.

David Oliver of Standish finished seventh. He was the only Beech Ridge regular to finish ahead of Babb.

While Brad Babb will no longer race in ACT events, Oliver will enter his car in a few PASS North events this season.

Brad Babb said his father decided to get back into racing after driving his Super Late Model last summer in a race at Beech Ridge.

“He started last and he finished third with it, and he said the car went too good and he’d get back into (racing) if he could get (a car) to go that good.”

The Babbs spent the winter converting a Late Model car they owned into a Super Late Model.

“We take everything out of it during the winter anyway,” he said, “and we just bolted everything back in in a different spot and changed the motor.” 

TRACK OWNER Bill Ryan is close to finalizing a deal with a Sprint Cup driver to compete in the 39th TD Bank 250, scheduled for July 22 at Oxford Plains Speedway.

“We should be making an announcement by the end of this month,” Ryan said.

Last July, Kyle Busch became the second Sprint Cup driver to win the 250-lap event for Late Models after Kevin Harvick won in 2008.

Practice sessions for all divisions will start Saturday on the three-eighths mile oval. Oxford Plains will open for the season May 20 with the Armed Forces Day American Canadian Tour 150 for Late Models. 

TOMMY STILPHEN, a seventh-grader at Saco Middle School, makes his debut in the Pro All-Stars Series’ Mod Division on Saturday night at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H.

For the past three seasons, Stilphen, 14, ran in the now-defunct Maine Mod Series, a four-cylinder version of the open-wheeled racers.

This season, Stilphen will share the ride with Gary Norris Jr., a veteran driver from West Gardiner.

Stilphen is a year away from racing at Beech Ridge or Oxford Plains, so Norris will drive in the five PASS Mod races scheduled for those tracks. 

PRACTICE SESSIONS are scheduled for the next two Saturdays at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

Weekly racing will start May 26 at the Scarborough oval in the Pro Stocks, Super Sports, Wildcat and Roadrunner divisions.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH