For much of his American-Canadian Tour Late Model career, the number two seemed to stick to Scott Payea at the end of each season once the final points were tallied up. Three runner-ups in 2007, 2008, and 2009. A stellar debut with the RPM Motorsports No. 37 team wielded yet another in 2016, but just one year later, Payea finally turned the dial to one with his first title in 2017.
Now at the end of 2018, the number two has new meaning for the Milton, VT driver, as he celebrates back to back ACT titles.
“It’s been awesome to celebrate another championship, we had a nice banquet, and it has been a nice offseason so far,” Payea told Speed51.com.
“As nice as it was to get it done the first time to get the pressure off of our shoulders, it was even better to just get to enjoy it this time around.”
After a dominating performance in 2017, when Payea won over half of the scheduled ACT Tour races, 2018 proved to be a close three-way fight with fellow veteran drivers Eddie MacDonald and Jimmy Hebert. Each of the three stars won a pair of races throughout 2018, while getting edged out by each other in other occurrences over the 10-race schedule.
‘We had strong finishes all year, but so did a couple of other guys. It was a battle to the end at Thompson. At the end of the race it seemed like we were always next to Jimmy or Eddie, so we didn’t get much separation from them, and it kept things close.”
As frustrating as some of those close second’s may have been, Payea is a driver that lives for a clean and hard race. Something that he believes fans can look forward to again in 2019.
“It was definitely enjoyable. I think we put on some really impressive shows, would’ve been nice to win some more of them. But I think we’ll see more of that in 2019 with the nice schedule ACT is putting out.”
Looking back on three stellar years with RPM, Payea can easily say that the team has achieved their goals and then some.
“I had been close to the championship before. To finally get that done, and just run up front contending for wins each race has been amazing. The team puts so much preparation into giving me the best car every time out.”
The winning combination of Payea along with team principle Rick Paya and his hand-picked employees is a force that has only gotten stronger over time, and Payea doesn’t see that changing in 2019.
“It just keeps getting better. We were very familiar with each other right from the start. We communicate on a level that sometimes doesn’t have to be verbal. He knows what I need, and all of the guys are ready to make it happen.”
In regards to 2019, there are still plenty of details to go over, but Payea anticipates being back for the full points slate to go for the ACT hattrick.
"We’ll be back. We’re still trying to sort out some of the details for 2019. We should know soon and we’ll have an announcement during the winter."
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com