Vanna Brackett of Buckfield will attempt Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway to join the few women ever to run in an American Canadian Tour race.

Brackett, 25, will make her first appearance in a Late Model race car in the qualifying heats of the ACT Armed Forces Day 150.

“We’re excited about Vanna,” said the ACT vice president, Darla Hart. “We’ve seen her a number of times and she certainly comes from good (racing) stock.”

Brackett is the daughter of Tim Brackett, who won Oxford Plains championships in 2005 and 2010, and the younger sister of T.J. Brackett, a regular competitor in the track’s Late Model division.

“She is a good little race car driver,” Tim Brackett said. “She’s as determined as any guy out there.

Last season, Brackett moved up to Strictly Stocks at Oxford Plains after winning four championships in the Ladies Division, including a record 35 feature wins. In her first full season racing against men, she finished fifth in the division.

“It’s quite a step from going to what she’s raced to this,” Tim Brackett said. “She’s going to take some lumps along the way but she’ll come through it.”

Vanna Brackett doesn’t see it as a big step.

“When we put the helmet on, we’re all the same,” she said. “We’re all the same in the car.”

Hart said relatively few women have run in an ACT race, including Tracy Belerose of Gorham, N.H., the track champ at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vt, in 2000, Damariscotta native Katie Hagar and Katrina Canney of Barrington, N.H.

In Sunday’s race, Brackett will drive a car owned by Gene Hatch and Kevin Burgess, both of Winthrop.

“They bought it last year and I was going to run it last year but we had motor problems,” she said.

This season, Brackett intends to run for points in the Late Model Division at Oxford Plains and will try to qualify for the TD Bank 250 on July 22. She has no plans for another ACT race.

“We want to get a solid year under our belts,” she said.

All three Bracketts will compete for spots on the starting grid in Sunday’s race.

“I hope we look out for each other a little bit,” Tim Brackett said, “but we’re there to beat each other, too.”

TOMMY STILPHEN learned a lot in his first race in the Pro All-Star Series mod division Saturday night at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H.

Stilphen, a 14-year-old from Arundel in his first season on the regional tour, started his first race in the eight-cylinder, open-wheeled racer at the back of a 19-car field.

He worked his way up to fifth place going into the final lap of the 40-lap feature before losing his cool.

After spinning out, he recovered to finish 13th.

“I learned I have to calm down a little bit and just take what I have,” he said.

On June 2, Stilphen will race in the new four-cylinder mods division at Star Speedway. On June 3, he will compete in the PASS North mods race at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H.

AFTER TWO RACES, Joey Doiron, a 20-year-old from Berwick, is the point’s leader among PASS North’s Super Late Model drivers.

“I knew we would run well but I didn’t know whether the finishes would be there,” said Doiron, a 2010 graduate of Noble High in North Berwick.

“I don’t think we can start off any better.”

Last Saturday night, Doiron, in his third PASS season, finished fourth among 22 cars in the regional tour’s 150-lap event at Star Speedway.

A week earlier, Doiron finished first in the circuit’s 150-lap season opener held at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

“I didn’t think we would start off this good,” he said. “I knew we were a good team and had good cars, but luck hasn’t always been there over the last couple of years.”

Last season, after competing in 10 of 12 events, Doiron ranked 10th in the points, finishing among the top 10 in eight races.

CHRIS COOLIDGE of Norway and Travis Stearns of Auburn, both competitors in the Late Model Division at Oxford Plains Speedway, will show off their cars between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today in Monument Square in downtown Portland.

Both drivers will attempt to qualify Sunday for ACT’s Armed Forces Day 150.

Racing also will start Sunday in the Oxford Plains Renegade, Ladies, Truck, Runnin’ Rebels, Outlaws, Mini-Stocks and Strictly Stocks divisions.

THE RACING schedule will move to Saturday nights this weekend at Unity Raceway.

Except for a Sunday afternoon card set for Memorial Day weekend, racing will continue every Saturday night at the central Maine track.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH