OXFORD — Vermont veteran Scott Payea powered his way under Brad Babb on lap 82 and survived a late-race restart challenge from Eddie MacDonald to win the Dave’s Small Engine 100 for American-Canadian Tour Late Models on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Payea was one of four drivers to lead the event that featured an impressive 13 lead changes. MacDonald settled for second after a valiant effort to win, while Connecticut native Dillon Moltz filled out the podium in third. Babb faded to fourth in the closing laps, while Barre, Vermont’s Nick Sweet completed the top five. 

“That was one of the best battles we’ve had all season,” Payea said. “We went back and forth all race long. Brad was tough, but he raced me clean the whole way. I had to earn this one and it feels great. I’m proud of this whole RPM team; winning on 250 weekend at Oxford is about as good as it gets.” 

Finishing sixth through tenth in the ACT 100 was Ryan Olsen, Rowland Robinson Jr., Emily Packard, Scott Dragon and Rich Dubeau. Five cautions slowed the pace, none for serious incidents. Bobby Therrien and Dubeau each led the race early, yet faded from contention after halfway. 

Payea’s margin of victory was a scant .714 seconds, indicative of just how close ACT-style racing can be on the wide, roomy Oxford oval. The Vermont-based Late Model tour has staged some thrilling events here at Oxford, and Saturday night was no exception. 

Other notable finishers in the ACT feature include Dave Farrington Jr., of Jay (12th); Bobby Therrien, who won the most recent ACT event at Oxford in April (15th); Spencer Morse, who drove Jeff White’s No. 50 machine (16th); and Quebec ironman Claude Leclerc, who finished a disappointing 18th in a 26-car field. 

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In the night’s other big feature, Anthony Nocella drove to victory in the Valenti Modified Series 100-lap tilt. Nocella held off a hard-charging Jon Mckennedy for top honors, while Todd Patnode, of Richmond, NH, filled out the podium in third.

Northport, New York’s Dave Schnieder stayed within sight of the leaders for much of the event and came home fourth, while George Gernhard, of Bozrah, CT, completed the top five. 

“That was one heck of a race out there tonight,” Nocella said in Victory Lane. “I knew John had a fast car here and he showed that all race long. We worked on this thing after practice, and it really came around,. This team works until I’m happy with the car, and I sure am happy with it here at Oxford tonight.”

Saturday night’s Twin 100s provided the perfect buildup for Sunday’s 43rd annual HP Hood Oxford 250. More than 60 cars practiced on Saturday, with the top 40 separated by a mere one second. 

Qualifying races for the Oxford 250 and support classes begins at 1:30 p.m. 

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Brad Babb (15) of Windham and Rowland Robinson Jr. of Steuben race during one of three ACT heat races at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday. Babb won the heat and Robinson took second. 

Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay races down the front stretch during one of three ACT heat races at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday. 

Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont, races down the front stretch during one of three ACT heat races at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday. 

Mike Ziter of Barre, Vermont, races down the front stretch during one of three ACT heat races at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday. Ziter won the heat and qualified for the 100 lap main event. 


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