ROWE RETURNS TO OXFORD - AND WINS THIS TIME
Maine Racer Scores His Fourth ACT Victory of the Season
This week's announcements regarding the future of Oxford Plains Speedway and the TD Banknorth 250 ensured that a few Pro Stock drivers will making the transition to Late Model specifications in 2007.

Scott machines seemed to handle the tempo change fairly well.  But then, Coombs’ car came back into its own and he again began to march toward the front as the final laps tickets off.

The win wasn't secure until Coombs lost control of his car and veered over the top of turn three while attempting to reclaim the top spot on the 148th circuit.

"If the people in the grandstands don't think that was great racing, I don't know what they would want," said Rowe, who won Oxford's crown jewel event in 2003 and 2004. He was also the first champion of the speedway's Agren Appliance Late Model division when it was founded in 1995.

Scott led the first 83 laps and finished one spot shy of his first ACT win since 2000. Jamie Fisher took advantage of Coombs' late-race misfortune to claim third ahead of Roger Brown.
They'll have some work to do to catch up with Ben Rowe. The Turner native is already a two-time TD Banknorth 250 champion, and now he's a four-time winner on the American-Canadian Tour (all in the last two months) after a thrilling victory in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).

Turner, Maine’s Rowe redeemed himself Saturday night before his hometown fans by winning the event.  Vermont drivers, Phil Scott from Middlesex was second and Shelburne’s Jamie Fisher was third.  Completing the top five were Roger Brown from Lancaster, NH and another local favorite, Shawn Martin, also from Turner.

Three weeks ago, when the Tour stopped at the Pine Tree State speedplant for the Maine-ly Action Sports
Ben Rowe displays the winning flag after securing the victory Saturday night at Oxford.  (Jamie Williams Photos)
100, Rowe was in the midst of a three-race win steak with the traveling Late Model Series, the longest in some 20 years.  A victory before a huge crowd at the track where he cut his racing teeth would be a nice notch on his belt.  But it was not to be.

Saturday night, it almost wasn’t, again for the second generation competitor.  While Rowe was the winner, the race truly belonged to Doug Coombs from Livermore, ME, who turned in a stellar performance.
Scott, a former ACT Tour Champion started on the pole and set a brisk pace.  He was chased by Martin, the Maine-ly Action Sports 100 winner for most of the first 83 laps he led.  Coombs, who started seventh in the 32 car field, worked his way into contention by powering up the outside rail in his Ford.
Coombs overtook Scott for the lead by using a lapped car as a “pick”.  He held the advantage through the first of three caution periods, which came out on the 97th circuit for Mark Anzalone’s spun car.  The 17 year-old rookie was able to rejoin the field.

The brisk pace set by the frontrunners forced them to carefully maneuver their way through lapped traffic.  A miscue by a slower car could spell disaster for the leaders.  It was this very scenario which allowed Rowe to take the lead.

The second restart of the 150-lap race came on the 128th circuit for a minor backstretch incident involving Dale Verrill and Jay Laquerre.   Coombs maintained the advantage when the green flew but Rowe was able to work the lapped cars to his advantage and got
by Coombs.  Scott, who had been lurking in the top five since losing the lead to Coombs earlier in the race, stole second.

Following the yellow flag, Coombs’ car did not return to form after it had cooled off.  Conversely, the Rowe and
Shawn Martin, who won the ACT Maine-Ly Action Sports 100 here on July 29, was the top finishing Agren Late Model regular in fifth.

Thirteen drivers finished on the lead lap in a race that was run under the constant threat of rain and was slowed by only three caution periods.

Finishing sixth was Steve Reny from Boothbay, ME, while Milton, Vermont’s Brent Dragon was seventh.  Rounding out the top ten was Joey Polewarczyk from Hudson, NH, in eighth, current ACT Tour point leader, Jean-Paul Cyr and 2005 Rookie of the Year, Scott Payea, both from Milton, VT Thirteen of the 27 cars running at the end of the New England Dodge 150 were
still on the lead lap when the checkers flew in a race that took just over 52 minutes to run.

The ACT competitors are back in action for their 10th race of the 2006 season on Sat/Sun, Sept 2-3 at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road.  The Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 is the second of three $10,000 to win ACTion Super Series races.  Post time on Sunday (Sept 3) is 1:00 pm.

NEW ENGLAND DODGE DEALERS ACT 150
Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed

1. (2) #10 Ben Rowe, Turner, 150
2. (1) #14 Phil Scott, Middlesex, Vt., 150
3. (17) #18 Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, Vt., 150
4. (6) #99 Roger Brown, Lancaster, N.H., 150
5. (3) #94 Shawn Martin, Turner, 150
6. (15) #12 Steve Reny, Boothbay, 150
7. (18) #55 Brent Dragon, Milton, Vt., 150
8. (8) #97 Joey Polewarczyk, Hudson, N.H., 150
9. (4) #32 Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, Vt., 150
10. (10) #89 Scott Payea, South Burlington, Vt., 150
11. (14) #05 Ron Henry, New Gloucester, 150
12. (13) #29 Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y., 150
13. (7) #57 Doug Coombs, Livermore, 150
14. (29) #52 Dave Pembroke, Montpelier, Vt., 149
15. (24) #15 Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier, Vt., 149
16. (26) #04 T.J. Watson, Harpswell, 149
17. (12) #11 Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, R.I., 149
18. (28) #24 Steve Fisher, Shelburne, Vt., 149
19. (23) #4 Katie Hagar, Damariscotta, 149
20. (18) #66 A.J .Begin, Merrimac, Mass., 149
21. (11) #77 Jon Brill, Bridgton, 148
22. (25) #60 Dan Colby, Lyman, N.H., 148
23. (5) #56 Dale Verrill, South Paris, 148
24. (31) #70 Gary Chiasson, Peru, 148
25. (9) #3 Frank Snow, Bridgton, 148
26. (30) #1 Mark Anzalone Jr., Malden, Mass., 148
27. (20) #50 Jay Laquerre, East Montpelier, Vt., 126
28. (32) #00 Bryan Kruczek; Newmarket, N.H., 71
29. (28) #82 Bobby Baillargeon, Nottingham, N.H., 67
30. (21) #8 Dennis Spencer Jr., Norway, 52
31. (27) #9 Greg Peters, Westbrook, 42
32. (25) #7 James Linardy, Somerville, Mass., 34

Lap leaders: Scott 1-83, Coombs 84-128, Rowe 129-150
Cautions: 3 (laps 97, 128, 131)
Time of race: 52 minutes, 34.54 seconds
Margin of victory: 1 car length





Rowe (#10) and Scott (#14) battle late in the race.
After some unplanned excitement early in the day, Doug Coombs' #57 was fast in the feature race.