FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 5.15.12
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Teams Ready Themselves For ACT Armed Forces Day 150
OXFORD, Maine – The ACT Late Model Tour championship wars are settled among established race teams with the resources to lock horns against the northeast's best for six grueling months each year. But the battles on the road to that championship are fought by the Saturday night short-trackers defending their home turf whenever the Tour rolls into their town.
Oxford Plains Speedway offers one of the most compelling stops on the ACT Late Model Tour each season, with a full field of weekly Late Model competitors racing against the Tour's full-time teams on a track notoriously known as one of New England's most difficult to master. Some of those weekly competitors at Oxford got a jumpstart on the season last weekend during a pre-season practice day at the track.
“I've been doing this 23 years, and I've yet to bring home the big trophy,” said Donnie Wentworth, the runner-up in the final Late Model standings at Oxford in 2011. “I've been second three, four, five times now. We were trying some different stuff at practice day. We have nothing to lose – we're going to try and find the magic setup.”
Wentworth hopes to hit on that “magic setup” for the ACT Armed Forces Day 150 this Sunday afternoon at OPS. Qualifying begins at 2 p.m., following a full morning of practice.
Other veteran Late Model drivers at Oxford, including Travis Stearns and Scott Luce, were also on hand to turn some practice laps at the track last Saturday. Stearns plans to join Wentworth on a weekly basis at Oxford this season, while Luce will continue to run selected weekly events at Oxford and a partial ACT Late Model Tour schedule.
Luce said he couldn't be successful at picking and choosing the events that appeal to him without enlisting the help of Crazy Horse Racing and car builder Mitch Green.
“For us, we don't really have that go-to guy, and we really rely on Mitch than maybe some other teams do,” Luce said. “Mitch has forgotten more about racing than I'll ever know. He's definitely the guy to come to. He built the car, and he knows why we make the changes that we're making. Every move counts when you talk to Mitch.”
Luce's No. 07 Rodney's Repair Chevrolet was built by Crazy Horse Racing in 2010. Wentworth's Crazy Horse chassis was built prior to last season, and because of a perpetual battle with rain-outs in 2011, it only has six weekly events and the TD Bank Oxford 250 on it.
“This was a brand new car last year,” Wentworth said. “It performed awesome. It came out of the trailer fast, stayed fast all year, and we didn't have to do a heck of a lot to it to keep it fast.”
Travis Stearns will roll out his brand new ride for the Armed Forces Day 150, a car he helped build while it was housed at Crazy Horse Racing's headquarters this winter. Like Luce, Wentworth and others, Stearns has a full-time job and time commitments that add up and make preparing and maintaining race cars difficult – particularly ones that can compete on the ACT Late Model Tour level.
Without Crazy Horse, Stearns said he wouldn't even be able to make it to races.
“Honestly, I don't know if Mitch sleeps,” Stearns said. “It seems like he's always there (at the shop). He's there at six in the morning; he's there at nine at night. I don't know how he does it, but he's doing it every night and every week.
“He's second to none in my mind.”
And by the end of the day on Sunday, that's exactly where the likes of Luce, Stearns and Wentworth hope to be: Second to none.
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