Wayne Helliwell Jr.

History Repeats Itself


Wayne Helliwell Jr

History Repeats Itself

Its been nearly three years since the Bernhardt Motorsports Team left regular competition with the ACT Tour. Some by choose, some not. The age-old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” became the theme of their first start since 2016.

The Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway provided the background for a renewed rivalry; or at least another chapter the classic duel between fellow competitors.

Helliwell who piloted the Pole’s Automotive 97NH machine between 1997 and 2002; claiming two track championships at Lee USA Speedway during that stretch. Still remembers taking an 8-year-old Joey Pole to Londonderry Raceway to run his go cart.

“There’s a lot of history between us,” stated Helliwell. “Most people we race with today have no idea how far back we go; it seems like a life time ago. It’s a bit of brotherly love thing. We’ve all had our moments with each other over the years when battling for championships and wins; but we’re all friends. I mean when we won the [Oxford] 250 Joe Pole was one of the first people I saw in victory lane… He gave me a big-ole bear hug. Bruce and him talk all the time. We’ve had some epic battles over the years…; we can’t seem to get away from each other.”

The 65-lap landmark event provided a cat and mouse scenario of two different handling racecars. One where Helliwell needed long green runs to make his time up and complete passes.

Battling tire size issues much of the two days in Virginia, it took about five-laps for the car to come in; on a ¾-mile oval that was an eternity.

Once the tire pressures stabilized, the familiar bright orange 27NH turned into a rocket ship. Repeatedly clicking off the fastest lap times on the track.

Helliwell on two occasions chopped down a 2.5 second lead to about eight-car lengths. Only to get caught out by a yellow and the checkered flag at the end.

“I cleared him off four,” stated Helliwell. “But I think we would have wrecked if I had pushed the issue down the front stretch with how different we were entering the turn… Once we got rolling, I could really make time up in the center [of the turn] around the bottom. The car had great corner speed, I could carry that all the way out. It just took too long to get rolling. If it was 75 or even 70-laps, I think we would have put on a show; Oh-well…”

Ultimately coming-up one spot short behind the Hudson, NH driver known as Joey Pole. Helliwell brought home the Ekeys-4-Cars Unique Ford Fusion in the runner-up position.

The Team leaves Richmond Raceway with a renewed confidence headed into a familiar stretch of upcoming tracks. After a long winter and substantial changes to Helliwell’s self-built chassis, the event provided him the answers he was hoping for.

“Things have really changed with these cars in just a few years.” He stated. “We did a lot work on this chassis over the winter. We were really-happy to have it respond like it did.”

The Pelham, NH based Team will head back to the famed Oxford Plains Speedway in just a few short weeks for the official start of the ACT Tour season. Don’t be surprised to see the next chapter written between the 27 and 97 Teams on April 14th.

Next Event
What: The Oxford Plains 150
Where: Oxford Plains Speedway
When: Sunday April 14th, 2019 1:30pm

Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Bernhardt Motorsport's would like to thank their proud partners: • EKeys-4-Cars • Unique Ford • Bernhardt Automotive • Pro-Turf Landscaping • DTB Tax • C&M Distributing • Harpoon Brewery • Spectro Performance Oils • IICCEEE • Ford Racing • Schoenfeld Headers • Sunoco Race Fuels • Bassett Wheels • Joes Racing Products • Quarter Master • ARP Bodies • Welded Media • Mangus Racing Products • Coastal Candle Company • VDL Fuel Systems • PEM Racing Gears • KRC Power Steering • DRP Performance Products • Firestorm Graphics • Allstar Performance • Rouleau Racing Dynamics

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Cover Photo Troy Bregy - Speedway Photography

Victory Lane Photo - ACT Tour

Action Photo - Richmond Raceway

Article Credit: Jason Lubin

Submitted By: Jason Lubin

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Photo by: Daniel Holben PASS
Photo by: Daniel Holben PASS
Photo by: Daniel Holben PASS
Ekeys 4 Cars
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CM Distributing
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DRP Performance Products
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VDL Fuel Systems
PEM Racing
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