Kruzcek Is An Oxford Plains Repeater

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Bryan Kruczek carries the checkered flag following his win in the Oxford Plains 150 on Saturday. (Ken MacIsaac Photo)
Bryan Kruczek carries the checkered flag following his win in the Oxford Plains 150 on Saturday. (Ken MacIsaac Photo)

OXFORD, Maine – Bryan Kruzcek became the first repeat winner of the American-Canadian Tour season by capturing the Oxford Plains 150 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday.

Kruczek took the lead from Jesse Switser just past the halfway mark and never gave up the top spot on his way to an ACT season sweep at the historic three-eighths-mile oval.

Cody LeBlanc earned the pole in qualifying and led the first eight laps while Kruczek rolled of the grid 13th. Bobby Therrien, a former ACT winner at Oxford, got inside LeBlanc coming off turn two and took the top spot away on the ninth circuit. Therrien held the point for the next 35 laps through two caution periods as Switser, Kruczek, Scott Payea, Rich Dubeau, and other top runners slowly worked their way through the field.

Switser found his way to Therrien’s bumper at the 40-lap mark, and two laps later, he dove low in the second turn. Although Therrien was able to keep his bumper ahead for one more lap, Switser overtook him on the following circuit.

Therrien began backsliding after getting hung outside on a lap-55 restart as Payea, Stephen Donahue, and Kruczek positioned themselves behind Switser. Following the fourth caution on lap 61 for Craig Bushey’s spin, Kruczek went to work in earnest, eventually getting underneath Donahue for the second spot on lap 72.

One lap later, Peyton Lanphear got turned around on the frontstretch and Scott Dragon ended up head-on in the wall in the aftermath. Switser was able to hold of Kruczek on the initial restart, but as the field completed the 76th lap, Kruczek got his nose below Switser entering turn one. When the field came back around to the start/finish line, Kruczek was out in front.

Switser continued to run second during a long green-flag stretch and kept Kruczek within striking distance. Following the seventh caution on lap 108 for tandem spins by Tom Carey III and Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Donahue moved into the second spot as Switser started to fade. Kruczek and Donahue drew away from the field as Scott Payea, Ryan Kuhn, Dubeau, Dylan Payea and others put on a thrilling duel for third on back.

Back-to-back cautions with 14 laps remaining – one for a spin by Rowland Robinson and another for a multi-car pile-up on the restart – gave the field one final crack at Kruczek. Donahue was able to keep the leader honest over the final sprint, but Kruczek proved too much to handle as he rolled to his second ACT win.

Donahue took the runner-up spot for the second straight event. Scott Payea completed the podium in third. Point leader Rich Dubeau came home fourth while Milton, VT’s Dylan Payea finished a career-best fifth after starting 26th.

The finish:

Bryan Kruczek, Stephen Donahue, Scotty Payea, Rich Dubeau, Dylan Payea, Jimmy Hebert, Alexandre Tardif, Ryan Kuhn, Trent Goodrow, Quinten Welch, Ryan Morgan, Danny Trepanier, Rowland Robinson Jr., Tom Carey III, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Dylan Turner, Joel Hodgdon, Cody LeBlanc, Jesse Switser, Mathieu Kingsbury, Christopher Pelkey, Jonathan Bouvrette, Claude Leclerc, Scott Coburn, Mike Benevides, Ryan Olsen, Bobby Therrien, Shawn Swallow, Craig Bushey, Steve Fisher, Brockton Davis, Peyton Lanphear, Scott Dragon, John Donahue, David MacDonald, Reilly Lanphear.