Helliwell Takes Advantage To Top Oxford 150

Wayne Helliwell Jr., seen here in this file photo, captured the Oxford 150 on Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway. (Daniel Holben photo)
Wayne Helliwell Jr., seen here in this file photo, captured the Oxford 150 on Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway. (Daniel Holben photo)

OXFORD, Maine – Wayne Helliwell Jr. took full advantage of a late incident involving then-leader Joey Polewarczyk Jr. to snag the victory American-Canadian Tour victory in the Oxford 150 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday.

It was the 13th career point-counting ACT win for the three-time champion and continued his strong start after a runner-up in the season opener.

Helliwell was inside Polewarczyk for the lead with seven laps to go as both were attempting to get around defending ACT champion Rich Dubeau, who was fighting to stay on the lead lap while running in the sixth spot. With Polewarczyk going to the outside entering turn three and Helliwell looking inside, Dubeau lost grip and slid up the track into the leader.

The contact sent Polewarczyk for a spin to bring out the sixth and final caution. Helliwell inherited the top spot with several lapped cars between him and second-place D.J. Shaw, allowing him to cruise to the win.

Prior to the late tangle, Polewarczyk had been in his own area code for much of the event. The 2014 ACT Champion started on the front row and hounded polesitter Stephen Donahue for the first 20 laps. When the race’s second caution came out on lap 20 for Walter Sutcliffe’s spin, Polewarczyk got the jump over Donahue on the restart.

As Polewarczyk ran away and hid from the field, Helliwell and Bryan Kruczek both got around Donahue as well and began going back-and-forth for the second spot. The duo swapped the position multiple times over a span of nearly 50 laps before Kruczek fell off the pace with a broken axle and eventually spun to bring out the fourth caution on lap 84.

One circuit later, Donahue and the lapped car of Tyler Tomassi got together entering turn three, collecting Dillon Moltz as well for another yellow. Helliwell was at Polewarczyk’s door for the restart, but Polewarczyk easily got away on the restart and maintained a steady lead during another long green-flag run.

The duo easily sliced through the rest of the field, eventually putting all but six cars at least one lap in arrears. As Polewarczyk began working on the sixth-place car of Dubeau with the laps winding down, Helliwell mustered one final charge, getting to Polwarczyk’s inside and setting up the final dramatic confrontation that put Helliwell in front for the first time.

Shaw, a multi-time Pro All Stars Series champion, was solid all day and ended up with a second-place finish for car owner Arnie Hill. Opening day winner Jimmy Hebert steadily worked his way forward from the 17th starting position to end the day in third.

Polewarczyk recovered from his heartbreaking tangle to take fourth while defending ACT Rookie of the Year Ryan Kuhn rounded out the top-five.

The finish:

Wayne Helliwell Jr., D.J. Shaw, Jimmy Hebert, Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Ryan Kuhn, Rich Dubeau, Dillon Moltz, Marcel J. Gravel, Dylan Payea, Derek Gluchacki, Alby Ovitt, Jesse Switser, Tom Carey III, Bobby Therrien, Christopher Pelkey, Trenton Goodrow, Ryan Olsen, Tyler Tomassi, Matt Anderson, Walter Sutcliffe, David MacDonald, Stephen Donahue, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Bryan Kruczek, Joey Laguerre, Reilly Lanphear.