Eddie MacDonald drives off Turn 4 on Sunday during qualifying at Oxford Plains Speedway. The former Oxford 250 winner claimed the first of three Summer Showdown Series races for the Vermont-based American-Canadian Tour, taking home $5,000 for his efforts. (Phil Whipple/Sun Journal)

Waterboro native Curtis Gerry powers off Turn 4 at Oxford Plains Speedway during qualifying for the PASS North Honey Badger 150. Gerry won his fourth straight PASS race at the western Maine oval on Sunday over Travis Benjamin. (Phil Whipple/Sun Journal)

OXFORD — Short track veterans Eddie MacDonald and Curtis Gerry each won features in their respective classes, as a pair of 150-lap contests for the Vermont-based American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models were run Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway.

MacDonald, of Rowley, Massachusetts, drove past early leader Nick Sweet on lap 77 of the ACT 150, survived a pair of restarts on lap 132 and cruised home to record his 10th career series victory. Vermont veteran Jimmy Hebert made a strong late-race charge but settled for second, while Sweet filled out the podium in third.

New Hampshire-based Corey Mason crossed the line in fourth, while defending ACT champion Scott Payea of Colchester, VT, completed the top five. MacDonald earned $5,000 for his efforts in the first of three races in ACT’s ‘Summer Showdown Series’ for 2018.

“We had a really strong car all day,” MacDonald said. “Nick was fast up front early, but I caught a break in traffic and was able to get by him. I knew Jimmy was coming there at the end, but we had a car capable of holding him off. It always feels great to be in Victory Lane at Oxford.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in Sunday’s ACT 150 were Bobby Therrien, Miles Chipman, Mike Ziter, Rich Dubeau and Chip Grenier. Only two quick cautions at lap 132 slowed the pace, with the race being run in under 55 minutes. Only four of the 30 starters finished on the lead lap.

Other notable finishers in the ACT 150 include third-generation driver Ryan Olsen, of North Haverhill, N.H., (15th, son of former NASCAR regular Mike Olsen); East Montpelier, VT-based Hall of Famer Joey Laquerre, still racing at over 70 years old (18th); Quebec Iron Man Claude Leclerc (20th); and Seekonk, Massachusetts, native T.J. Moreshead (28th).

MacDonald’s margin of victory was a scant .032 seconds over Hebert, an indication of just how close ACT-style racing often is at Oxford. The Vermont-based tour thrilled the crowd with three-wide racing throughout most of Sunday’s 150-lap tilt.

Gerry, of Waterboro, won his fourth straight PASS race at Oxford with his now-patented strategy of flipping the switch at just the right time. The 2017 Oxford 250 winner and former Beech Ridge points champion took the lead from Manchester’s Reid Lanpher for the final time on lap 69 and survived three restarts to claim top honors.

Two-time 250 winner and PASS champion Travis Benjamin drove from 11th on the 25-car grid to finish second, while two-time Oxford Pro Late Model champion (2013-14) TJ Brackett of Buckfield claimed third. Scarborough’s Garrett Hall and Lanpher completed the top five.

“I had to be patient out there today,” Gerry said. “I knew we had a good car, so I just let them go and waited until I had the right opportunity. We’ve been good here since last August. We won the finale in October, the opener here in April, and to win one again today is a blessing. I have to thank this race team and our supportive sponsors for making this kind of success possible.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in Sunday’s PASS Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150 were Burnham’s Justin Drake (a Saturday night regular at Oxford), Gabe Brown, of Center Conway, N.H., Westbrook’s John Peters, former PASS North champion DJ Shaw, and former Legends car standout Austin Teras.

Fifteen of the 25 starters finished on the lead lap, while seven cautions slowed the pace. Other notable finishers in the PASS 150 include Eddie MacDonald (one of two drivers doing double duty on Sunday, 11th), multi-time PASS winner Derek Griffith (12th); Nick Sweet (the other driver in both races, 13th), and former NASCAR Busch North Series champion Kelly Moore, of Scarborough (14th).

Car counts were strong for both tours on Sunday, with 30 ACT Late Models on hand and 26 PASS Super Late Models attempting the race. The PASS Modifieds filled out the three-tour card, with Gary Shackford claiming the 40-lap feature. 

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Drivers Bobby Therrien (5VT), Adam Gray (97Ma) and Jean-Francois Dery (21QC) run three-wide off Turn 2 during Sunday’s ACT 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway. (Phil Whipple/Sun Journal)The open-wheeled PASS Modifieds get set to take the green flag during Sunday’s Twin 150s at Oxford Plains Speedway. New Hampshire’s Gary Shackford won the feature. (Phil Whipple/Sun Journal)


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