WHITE MOUNTAIN Motorsports Park had itself a memorable event Saturday when the American Canadian Tour $10,000-to-win Mid-Summer 250 went down to the wire before one of the largest crowds in the track’s 26-year history.
When it was over, who was up on the roof of the EKeys4Cars Ford No. 27 waving the checkered flag? None other than Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, the same fellow who won the Governor’s Cup 150 at the North Woodstock oval the week before.
The race, as the saying goes, “came to” Helliwell, the three-time ACT champion and Oxford 250 winner who races infrequently these days because he has to cope with multiple sclerosis flare-ups.
Despite setting fast time in warm-ups, Helliwell had to qualify through a consi and started 15th. After pitting for four tires on lap 170, he came back out in eighth place and began turning some of the fastest laps of the race, but didn’t force anything.
With four laps left, a restart found Jimmy Hebert and Scott Payea on the front row and Stephen Donahue and Helliwell in row two. Hebert was still relying on the tires he started with. He led twice for a total of 26 laps. Payea held the point for laps 180-219. After two false starts, the pair went hot and heavy through turns one and two (they were racing for 10 grand) and collided. That brought out another caution and put the two of them on the rear. Enter Donahue and Helliwell for a repeat of their duel in the Governor’s Cup.
“The outside lane is the better one here,” Helliwell said. “We run bleeders on the tires and like long runs better than restarts, but it all worked out. We were fortunate both weeks because by White Mountain rules, the leader gets to choose their lane, but in ACT races, the leader starts on the inside. I was thinking that when Donahue got under me up to my numbers on the last lap, I might be in trouble, but I left the door open and to his credit, he raced me clean.”
“This means a lot to me,” Helliwell said. “I’m not racing as much anymore. At one point on a caution, I was a little woozy, but we got a long green run and I could relax and ride for a while and bide my time. I’m happy for my crew chief/owner Bruce Bernhardt, his wife Amanda, my wife, Jill, and my daughters, Brittany, Elizabeth and Brooke.
“Wayne is amazing,” Bernhardt said. “He was calm and it helped that it was a night race. I was thinking third or fourth there for a while and then we got lucky.”
In addition to EKeys4Cars, the Helliwell/Bernhardt team gets sponsor support from Unique Ford, C&M Distributing, Galloway Fleet Service, Ford Racing, Magnus Performance and Matt’s Racing Engines.
The victory was Helliwell’s 12th on the American Canadian Tour, placing him sixth on the all-time list. Brian Hoar has the most wins (42).
Jason Corliss of Barre, Vt., finished third, just ahead of Scott Dragon (fourth) and ACT points leader Rich Dubeau (fifth). Multi-time White Mountain champion Quinny Welch led a total of 89 laps and placed sixth.
The next ACT event is the $10,000-to-win (non-points) Bacon Bowl at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jct., Quebec, Saturday, Aug. 17.
ISMA Supermodifieds return to Lee USA
The high-flying ISMA Supermodifieds are at Lee USA Friday for the 19th Annual Ollie Silva Memorial Classic. Last year’s winner Mike Ordway Jr., a New Hampshire native now living in Maine, will try for a repeat in Clyde Booth‘s No. 61. Don’t count out Chris Perley aka the “Rowley Rocket.” He landed in victory lane earlier this season at Jukasa Speedway in Ontario. Four Lee USA classes, the Exit Realty Pro Trucks and Bentley Warren and his Benefit Bike Run for Kyle Petty’s Victory Junction will be on hand. Note the early start time of 6 p.m.
Another big Modified win for Ron Silk
Ron Silk won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway last Friday. That follows Silk’s Tri-Track Modified Series win at Star and his victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Eastern Propane & Oil 100. Doug Coby had the field covered when a late yellow and NASCAR’s one tire change per trip into the pits got the best of him and set the stage for Silk’s three-wide winning move. Jon McKennedy finished second, one spot ahead of Coby.
DJ Shaw won the Pro All Star Series (PASS) event at Spud Speedway in Bangor, Maine. Nick Sweet and Ben Rowe finished second-third. PASS races at Oxford Plains Sunday night.
Chase Curtis of Rutland, Mass., was declared the official winner of the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association Street Stock “Battle for the Belt” race at Claremont after Alby Ovitt and Aaron Fellows got the axe in the tech line.
Louis Maher of Orange, Mass., won Sunday’s Mini Stock “Battle for the Belt” event at Hudson after the apparent top two finishers were taken down off the board after post-race inspection.
Monadnock ran two 50-lap Sportsman Modified features. Todd Patnode extended his win streak to five in the first one. Ben Byrne of Greenfield, Mass., won the nightcap.
On Track This Weekend
Thunder Road (Vt.): Thursday, 7 p.m.
Lee USA: Friday, 6 p.m.
Claremont: Friday, 7 p.m.
Rumtown: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 5 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Speedway 51: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Hudson: Sunday, 5 p.m.
Oxford Plains: Sunday, 5 p.m.