In just his second race with the No. 37 RPM Motorsports team, veteran racer Scott Payea visited victory lane at Lee USA Speedway (NH) Sunday afternoon.
Payea of Milton, Vermont took the lead from Ray Parent on lap 117 of the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 and never looked back en route to his first American-Canadian Tour win since 2009.
“We’ve had a fast race car both weeks,” said Payea in victor lane. “I’ve got to thank Harrison Concrete, Goss Dodge, Lahey Press, this RPM team has worked hard to put a good car underneath me. It’s just amazing how fast we came together.”
Over the offseason, it was announced that Payea would be filling the void in the Rick Paya-owned car previously driven by eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar. The news was somewhat of a surprise after Payea announced he was stepping away from racing following the 2013 racing season.
Things didn’t get off to a tremendous start in the new pairing's first start together one week ago at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME). Payea was involved in an incident with another car early on before recording a 19th-place finish. But that finish set the team up to rebound in a big way on Sunday in Lee, New Hampshire.
Payea started the race from the third spot and stayed within the top three throughout the entire 150-lap distance. He took the lead for the first time on lap 50 before giving the lead up to Parent, who charged from the 11th starting spot.
Quinny Welch took over the top spot from Parent on lap 77 before giving the lead back to Parent on lap 104. Throughout the final 50 laps of the race, Payea closed in on Parent before taking over the lead for the final time on lap 117.
Two late-race restarts, one with Parent on his outside, would slow Payea’s path to victory but he was able to pull away each time on his way to scoring the win.
“We had a great race today,” said Payea. “Those late-race restarts had me worried. I know we had some good cars lined up behind us. This team worked hard, Rick (Paya) kept me patient on the radio and it paid off in the end.”
Helliwell nipped Parent at the line for the second spot, while Quebec driver Alex Labbe and former White Mountain Motorsports Park (NH) champion Quinny Welch completed the top five.
Full race highlights from Sunday’s race will be available Monday on the Speed51 Network.
On-demand lap-by-lap coverage can be seen by visiting 51’s Trackside Now presented by Race Parts NH and Larue.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
NH Governor's Cup 150 Unofficial Results
Lee USA Speedway (NH) - April 24, 2016
|2||27nh||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.|
|22||28me||Rowland Robinson, Jr.|