Wayne Helliwell Jr. and the Bruce Bernhardt owned Ekeys-4-Cars, Unique Ford team headed to White Mountain Motorsports park Saturday night after more than a month off from the traveling American Canadian Tour series. The last event at Oxford Plains Speedway saw Helliwell’s only finish outside the top 10 in 18 races in the 2012 season. A faulty radiator cap caused an engine failure and relegated the team to a 30th place finish.
Carrying the momentum from Canaan Fair Speedway were they have reeled off 9 consecutive wins; Helliwell rolled from the 3rd position in heat #3. Wasting no time he would take the lead from Ben Ashline in less than a half a lap and go on to take the win with a +2 to his credit. That half a lap would be the only time Helliwell would not be out front for the remainder of the night.
Battling thunderstorms in the area and a delay from rain showers the +2 in passing points and a win in the heat would sit Helliwell on the front row of the 150 lap event. Starting from the 2nd position in the 31 car field Helliwell wasted no time at the drop of the green flag and rocketing by Ricky Rolf on the outside as the field headed into turn 3 on lap 1.
In a matter of a few laps the distant sit of a black rear bumper cover is all the field would see. At times through out the event Helliwell held more than straightaway advantage.
Eight caution flags that included a mistake from the flag man when he inadvertently turned the caution lights on just after halfway were no problem for the Dover, NH driver as he repeatedly pulled away from the field on restarts. Using lap cars as a buffer, as many as 7 cars would separate the 27NH from the rest of the top five during one of the caution periods.
Helliwell dominated by leading all 150 laps of the event. Runner up would go to Hudson New Hampshire’s Joey Pole followed by Eric Chase, Austin Theriault with Brian Hoar rounding out the top five.
Helliwell’s biggest challenge on the night was himself as he and his crew taked repeatedly on how hard to push the car through very heavy lap traffic.
“It’s a very different situation when your out front like that, said Helliwell. “i’m not sure i’ve ever had to race like that in long distance event… Trying to figure out how hard to push through those lap cars. We talked about using the cars as a buffer so that i could get a rhythm after restarts and not have to worry about running to hard.” The teams strategy more than payed off as he would eventually lap all but 11 cars and cruse to victory lane. “This is a just an awesome win… I could have gone another 100 laps in this thing… We are riding this wave right now and its on the upward swing, Helliwell said. Everyone is working really hard and are super focused on what they are doing. It certainly makes all the hard work not seem like work after all.”
Removing the 30th place finish at Oxford, Helliwell has 2 wins and 2 second places on the year in American Canadian Tour action in 2012. “We already used our mulligan, said Helliwell. “There is a long way to in this thing and we have some good tracks for us coming up. Joey [Polewarczyk, Jr.] has been right there with us. Same thing with Austin [Theriault] and Brian [Hoar]. This will be a battle to the end.”
Helliwell continues to hold a slight advantage over Pole in the overall point standings as the series once again takes a month long break before heading to Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarbough, ME. A track in which Helliwell waged war with Jeff Taylor in 2011 settling for the runner up position. “We had a great race there last year. We need to better our finish by just one.”
The Bernhardt Motorsports team heads back to Canaan Fair Speedway next Saturday night as they turn their attention back to the other goal at hand; winning a NASCAR Whelen All-American National championship. As they try and continue their streak of 9 straight trips to victory lane.
Information for Canaan’s upcoming event can be found at,http://www.canaanspeedways.com/home.html
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