Woodard Comes Out on Top of Tiger Oxford Open
Oxford, ME – Waterbury Center, VT’s Jason Woodard put the capstone on a dream 2019 season by winning the inaugural American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Flying Tiger Oxford Open at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday, October 19. Woodard held off charges by Berlin, NH’s Cody LeBlanc and Graniteville, VT’s John Donahue to score his sixth Flying Tiger win of the season in the division’s first visit ever to the historic 3/8-mile oval.
While Woodard started on the pole of the 75-lap event under ACT’s “plus-minus” qualifying system, his road to victory was anything but smooth. The veteran held a small gap over the field in the race’s early stages as Leblanc, Boundary Creek, NB’s Dave O’Blenis, and Donahue duked it out for the second spot.
However, that lead evaporated once the leaders caught lapped traffic. As Woodard approached cars battling double-file for position in front of him, he attempted a three-wide move around the high side. LeBlanc saw an opportunity and went low, putting the nose of the Potter Racing machine out front on lap 34.
The two then went door-to-door in a thrilling battle over the next 10 circuits. Woodard was able to retake the lead on lap 37 before LeBlanc shot back out in front on lap 42. All the while, O’Blenis and Donahue were lurking just behind them. As the lead duo went into turn one on lap 45, Michael Potter got squirrely on the low side in front of them, and Woodard took advantage to shoot back in front.
Donahue and O’Blenis moved to second and third as LeBlanc was forced to lift to avoid an accident. Once Woodard got clear of the traffic, he pulled away from the field as Donahue did the same over second. With 19 laps to go, Colin Cornell spun on the backstretch to draw the race’s first caution, putting Donahue on Woodard’s outside for the restart.
Donahue would get that chance and three more over the next lap as a series of one- and two-car incidents slowed the pace, including one that took top-10 runner Sam Caron out of contention. Each time, Woodard held off Donahue. Once the field got settled down, the two gapped the field as Donahue looked time and again to the outside. However, he was unable to keep the momentum up long enough to draw alongside.
Donahue would get one more serious opportunity with four laps to go after his son Stephen came to a stop on the backstretch with a broken rear end. Once again, the inside lane was the place to be, as Woodard had enough to hold off Donahue and take the win. It capped a season for Woodard where he also won the Thunder Road Flying Tiger championship, Myers Container Service Triple Crown championship, White Mountain Motorsports Park Triple Crown title, and Flying Tiger Mini Milk Bowl.
LeBlanc was able to get back around O’Blenis and earn the final podium spot. O’Blenis finished fourth in his first time ever at the wheel of a Flying Tiger. Craftsbury, VT’s Michael Martin made a late charge to take fifth. Cooper Bouchard, Tucker Williams, Adam Maynard, Tyler Austin, and Brian Delphia rounded out the top-10. Stephen Donahue, Bouchard, and Eric Johnson captured heat-race wins.
The 2019 American-Canadian Tour racing season is now in the books. Information regarding the ACT Banquet of Champions and the 2020 racing schedules will be announced in the coming weeks.
ACT FLYING TIGERS
FLYING TIGER OXFORD OPEN
Pos., Start Pos., Driver. Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 1 ) Jason Woodard ( 68VT ) , Waterbury Ctr., VT , 75 Laps
2. ( 2 ) John Donahue ( 26VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 75 Laps
3. ( 3 ) Cody LeBlanc ( 55NH ) , Berlin, NH , 75 Laps
4. ( 6 ) Dave O’Blenis ( 15VT ) , Boundary Creek, NB , 75 Laps
5. ( 17 ) Michael Martin ( 17VT ) , Craftsbury, VT , 75 Laps
6. ( 9 ) Cooper Bouchard ( 7VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 75 Laps
7. ( 15 ) Tucker Williams ( 71VT ) , Hyde Park, VT , 75 Laps
8. ( 21 ) Adam Maynard ( 45VT ) , Milton, VT , 75 Laps
9. ( 19 ) Tyler Austin ( 5VT ) , East Calais, VT , 75 Laps
10. ( 7 ) Brian Delphia ( 25VT ) , Duxbury, VT , 75 Laps
11. ( 11 ) Eric Johnson ( 20NC ) , Randolph Center, VT , 75 Laps
12. ( 32 ) Michael Clark ( 2VT ) , Bethlehem, NH , 75 Laps
13. ( 12 ) Logan Powers ( 31VT ) , Middlesex, VT , 75 Laps
14. ( 5 ) Kevin Streeter ( 67VT ) , Waitsfield, VT , 75 Laps
15. ( 18 ) Kelsea Woodard ( 55VT ) , Waterbury Ctr., VT , 75 Laps
16. ( 13 ) Jason M. Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Barre, VT , 75 Laps
17. ( 23 ) Stephen Martin ( 01VT ) , Craftsbury, VT , 75 Laps
18. ( 25 ) Brad Bushey ( 52VT ) , Vergennes, VT , 75 Laps
19. ( 16 ) Shane Sicard ( 4NH ) , Barton, VT , 75 Laps
20. ( 31 ) Kevin Boutin Jr. ( 25NH ) , Fairfax, VT , 74 Laps
21. ( 28 ) Christian Laflamme ( 10NH ) , Whitefield, NH , 74 Laps
22. ( 22 ) Robert Gordon ( 20VT ) , Milton, VT , 74 Laps
23. ( 26 ) Craig Bushey ( 05VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 74 Laps
24. ( 29 ) Kyle Streeter ( 37VT ) , Waterbury Ctr., VT , 74 Laps
25. ( 30 ) Michael Potter ( 23NH ) , Plainfield, VT , 74 Laps
26. ( 27 ) Jon Boutin ( 21VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 74 Laps
27. ( 14 ) Colin Cornell ( 54VT ) , E. Burke, VT , 74 Laps
28. ( 24 ) Matthew Potter ( 23VT ) , Marshfield, VT , 74 Laps
29. ( 33 ) Kasey Beattie ( 45NH ) , St. Johnsbury Ctr, VT , 74 Laps
30. ( 20 ) Burt Spooner III ( 4VT ) , E. Montpelier, VT , 74 Laps
31. ( 10 ) Stephen Donahue ( 49VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 71 Laps
32. ( 8 ) Sam Caron ( 07VT ) , Milton, VT , 70 Laps
33. ( 4 ) Aaron Maynard ( 46VT ) , Lyndonville, VT , 58 Laps
Lap Leaders: Jason Woodard, 1-33; Cody LeBlanc, 34-36; Woodard, 37-41; LeBlanc, 42-44; Woodard, 45-75. (4 lead changes among 2 drivers)
Time of Race: 42:21 Margin of Victory: 0.327 seconds
Cautions: 5 (laps 56, 57, 57, 57, 71)
Heat Winners: Stephen Donahue, Cooper Bouchard, Eric Johnson