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home : features : strap in January 24, 2015

So Just How Much Fun Did You Have Oxford 250 Weekend?
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Brian Mason (10) was at first awarded the win over Jessie Switser (25) at Riverside Speedway, May 22. But after the officials got together, Switser was deemed the winner of the NAPA Spectacular/Bobby Shores Memorial/Caron Building Center Spring Fling.


Biggy Bigelow

If you decided against going to Oxford Plains (ME) Speedway last weekend you missed some great racing. The two tours (PASS and ACT) brought in 123 cars between them.

The Saturday night Pro All Star Series race started 34 of the 41 cars in the pits and the TD Bank 250 started 38 of the 82 cars who towed to Oxford.

I’ll never understand why race fans get all caught up in crap like engine size, tires, shocks, or personalities and like either PASS or ACT yet hate the other division. From where I was standing, both races were great shows with lots of passing and plenty of action. Why someone hates ACT because of the crate engine or Tom Curley I’ll just never understand.

I guess it’s like some people enjoy golf, bowling or curling. If you’re into it you love it and if not you think it’s dumb. I’m just glad I live where I can go and watch both PASS and ACT and would love to see them run more double-header weekends together. Next year maybe they can run twin 250s at Oxford.

TD Bank 250

Sadly, Cup millionaire, Kyle Busch, took the largest check ($31,900) of the day back home with him July 23. I’ll say it yet again – that cash would be better spent on the local race teams up here.

I will say Busch drove a respectful race and I never saw him run over anyone. Although I’m not sure but he may have jumped that last restart with only 16 laps to go. I wasn’t watching the flagman but it looked to me like he may have taken off before getting to the white line in turn four.

Before that last caution, it appeared Nick Sweet may have had a faster car but Busch was using the same line as Sweet was. Now I’m not saying he was blocking, he was not, he was just running the upper groove where Sweet was the fastest.

Unofficially Sweet pocketed $6,600 in lap money, plus his share of the purse, $7,500, for a payday just over 14 grand. Seventeen-year-old Austin Theriault, who was driving his own car and not the one out of Rick Paya’s shop, finished third.

• I do want to tip my hat to Jeff Marshall and his 32NH team. The Groveton, NH regular is second in points at Riverside Speedway. Marshall started sixth in the second heat and raced into third. He started the 250 in 14th and spent the entire race on the lead lap. He came home with prize money for 11th. Great job guys!

250 Facts and Figures

Eighty-two cars (four more than last year) attempted to qualify.

• They ran six heats and transferred the top four. They followed that up with three consis which qualified the top three. They then ran three last-chance races only taking the winner. Two provisionals, former 250 champ Jamie Aube and top Oxford regular Donnie Wentworth were added to the back of the field.

• Busch was one of the lucky ones and drew the outside pole for his heat. He won that and started the 250 fifth. Interestingly enough he was the only outside pole-sitter to qualify.

• All but one (Jeff Morgan) of the pole sitters started the 250.

• Three of the drivers who started third in their heat transferred although Ricky Rolfe failed tech for being too wide. It was my understanding one of his newly bought wheels didn’t measure up like it was supposed too.

• You would have thought the inside line was the place to be but only two of the guys who started fifth in their heats made it to the main event.

• Five of the six guys who started fourth made the main event.

• The first four heats started 14 cars while the last two saw 13 starters. Two guys, Brian Hoar and Jean-Paul Cyr started dead last in their heats and made the show.

• Fact is, of the 36 guys who qualified for the main event, 10 of them started 10th or worse in their heat. Of course those 10 could all be called heavy hitters: Hoar, Patrick Laperle, Brad Leighton, Eddie MacDonald, Wayne Helliwell, Eric Williams, Jeff Taylor, Randy Potter, Mark Lamberton and Cyr.

• Four of the top nine finishers in the 250 started 22nd or worse.

• 12 guys were on the lead lap when the checkers flew.

• 31 cars drove under the checkers.

• There were five cautions and the race took one hour and 43 minutes.

• Busch’s margin of victory over Sweet was just under a half-second.

• I chuckle when the ACT haters make a big deal about the fact the Oxford 250 isn’t an “official” ACT event. It is on their schedule as one of five non-point events. It’s not a Pro Stock race and it’s not for Modifieds. It’s for ACT-type Late Models. The cars might not be 100 ACT legal but those who run ACT cars don’t change much if anything to compete in this race.

• Forty-eight of the 82 guys who hauled into Oxford have started at least one the season’s point counting ACT Tour events. One hundred and six drivers have started at least one of the first six ACT Late Model tour events this season. Add those 106 guys to the 34 drivers who were at Oxford and the seven guys who made the trip to New Smyrna in February but were not at Oxford or have run one of the point races and you have a grand total of 157 cars that have attempted to qualify for at least one of the season’s first eight events.

• Two of the guys in the top 10 in ACT Tour points failed to qualify. They were Brent Dragon and Brad Babb.

• How many races do you know of that send home more cars then they start? The 250 started 38 cars while 44 guys didn’t make it.

• Those failing to make the main event, with their heat starting positions in parenthesis: Joey Doyon (2), Joey Laquerre (3), Doug Coombs (5), Brent Dragon (8), Ricky Morse (10), Russ Clark (11), Josh St. Clair (12), Derek Kneeland 20), Scott Dragon (5), Ben Lynch (7) and Jimmy Childs (8).

Also, Steve Minott (10), Jay Laquerre (11), Bruce Hailey (13), Calvin Rose Jr. (14), Nick Reno (2), Spencer MacPherson (3), Aaron Ricker (7), Willy Pelotte (9), Jean-Francois Dery (13), Corey Morgan (14), and Jeff Morgan (1).

Also, Chris Smith (2), Ricky Rolfe (3), Keith Rocco (5), Mark Cooper (6), Cris Michaud (7), Alex Labbe (10), Donnie Lashua (12), Bobby Pelland (14), Jason Palmer (3), Glen Luce (5) and James Linardy (7).

Also, Joey Becker (8), TJ Brackett (9), Kyle Gallant 11), Brett Wheeler (2), Gary Chiasson (6), Brad Babb (7), Chris Coolidge (8), Eric Chase (10), Matt Sanborn (11), Rowland Robinson Jr. (12), and Darren Ripley (13).

Results – 1. Kyle Busch, 2. Nick Sweet, 3. Austin Theriault, 4. Eddie MacDonald, 5. Brian Hoar, 6. Jeff Taylor, 7. John Donahue, 8. Shawn Martin, 9. Eric Williams, 10. Quinny Welch, 11. Jeff Marshall, 12. Randy Potter, 13. Dave Pembroke, 14. Larry Gelinas, 15. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 16. Wayne Helliwell Jr., 17. Tim Brackett, 18. Miles Chipman, 19. Scott Luce, 20. Dennis Spencer Jr., 21. Jean-Paul Cyr, 22. Shane Green, 23. Chip Grenier, 24. Patrick Laperle, 25. Mark Lamberton, 26. Dave Farrington Jr., 27. Brockton Davis, 28. Don Wentworth, 29. Travis Stearns, 30. Ben Ashline, 31. Tommy Ricker, 32. Craig Bushey, 33. Al Hammond, 34. T.J. Watson, 35. Jeff White, 36. Shawn Knight, 37. Jamie Aube, 38. Brad Leighton.

Pro All Star Series

Kyle Busch motored away from Patrick Laperle after the last restart on lap 112 and was never headed after that, in the PASS event run July 23. Cassius Clark made a late charge but had to settle for second, Lonnie Sommerville was third. Laperle fell to fourth with Johnny Clark, never a factor, finishing fifth.

The first 92 laps ran caution-free with Laperle out front. Busch and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. were never more than a couple of car lengths away.

Steve Legendre looked like he may have had a car capable of running down Busch, but cut a tire after Busch dove under Laperle as Legendre was looking to go by Laperle on the outside. Legendre was forced to pit and finished a disappointing 20th.

• I had to chuckle at the pit meeting when PASS president Tom Mayberry was telling the teams he’s sick and tired of the same few people always complaining about something on the race track and yelling and screaming at his officials.

He said something like, “You’re driving your cars in circles as fast as you can, on the edge most every lap. Stuff is going to happen. If you don’t think something is going to happen you’re nuts, you’re just nuts. If you don’t get that then maybe it’s time you went and did something else!” I applaud his thinking.

Results – 1. Kyle Busch, 2. Cassius Clark, 3. Lonnie Sommerville, 4. Patrick Laperle, 5. Johnny Clark, 6. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 7. Mike Rowe, 8. Brian Hoar, 9. Ben Rowe, 10. Joey Doiron, 11. Scott Mulkern, 12. Scott Chubbuck, 13. Donnie Whitten, 14. Jay Fogelman, 15. Gary Smith, 16. Alexander Gingras, 17. Travis Benjamin, 18. Scott Dragon, 19. Kirk Thibeau, 20. Steven Legendre, 21. Matt Frahm, 22. Brad Babb, 23. Billy Penfold, 24. Scott Alexander, 25. Kyle DeSouza, 26. Martin LaTulippe, 27. John Drabowski, 28. Kevin Roberge, 29. Matt Matheson, 30. Tracy Gordon. 31. Kelly Moore, 32. Jean-Francois Dery, 33. Alan Wilson, 34. David Oliver.

PASS takes a weekend off before traveling to the Seekonk (MA) Speedway on August 6.

Thunder Road

Hard to believe, but after last night (July 28) there are only three point-counting races left for the Late Models. Points before last night – 1. John Donahue 651, 2. Dave Pembroke 633, 3. Nick Sweet 608, 4. Scott Payea 588, 5. Phil Scott 580, 6. Cody Blake 562, 7. Jimmy Hebert and Jamie Fisher 548, 9. Jamie Aube 540, 10. Brett Wheeler 534.

Tiger Sportsman – 1. Derrick O’Donnell 690, 2. Bobby Therrien 648, 3. Eric Badore 632, 4. Shawn Fleury 627, 5. Mike Ziter 597, 6. Brendan Moodie 584, 7. Joe Steffen 562, 8. Scott Coburn 561, 9. Jason Allen 555, 10. Pete Ainsworth 527.

Street Stocks – 1. Nick Pilotte 635, 2. Greg Adams 633, 3. David Whitcomb 602, 4. Martin Ingram 595, 5. Troy Kingsbury 579, 6. Jamie Davis 568, 7. Bunker Hodgdon 552, 8. Sid Sweet 543, 9. Daniel Lathrop 541, 10. Ken Christman 536.

• August 4 – Safelite Auto Glass presents a night at the races. Always wanted to race your car around the high banks? You can if you enter the run-what-you-brung. Post time is 6:30 p.m.

American Canadian Tour

Points with six of 12 events in the record books – 1. Brian Hoar 582, 2. John Donahue 514, 3. Randy Potter 482, 4. Wayne Helliwell 450, 5. Brent Dragon 435, 6. Joey Pole 416, 7. Ben Ashline 413, 8. Brad Babb 411, 9. Mark Lamberton 399, 10. Austin Theriault 386.

• July 30 – Beech Ridge 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, ME. Pits open at noon, practice starts at 1 p.m. and the first heat rolls at 6 p.m.

White Mountain Motorsports Park

Points: Late Models – 1. Quinny Welch 402, 2. Stacy Cahoon 375, 3. Tyler Cahoon 366, 4. Travis Fadden 359, 5. Jeremy Welch 341, 6. Dan Colby 339, 7. Todd Aldrich 329, 8. Jeremy Harclerode 325, 9. Bernie Lantagne 321, 10. Oren Remick 307.

Strictly Stocks – 1. Elwin Sidney 401, 2. Brandon Bourne 399, 3. Lucas Wheeler 397, 4. Alex Kelley 393, 5. Jody Sicard 390, 6. Shane Sicard 387, 7. Brandon Allbee 360, 8. Alan Sicard 288, 9. Tom Keith 270, 10. Wade Willis 262.

Strictly Stock Minis – 1. Kyle Willis 431, 2. Lisa Hodgdon 390, 3. Jason Fallman 383, 4. Travis Dickinson 380, 5. Desirae Sicard 367.

• July 30 – A regular card of racing featuring all five regular divisions, plus the kid’s bike races. Sorry, due to an incorrect press release I told you last week there were bike races. Racing starts at 6 p.m.

Bear Ridge Speedway

July 30 – Perry’s Oil Service presents a full card for the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series, plus the WYKR Sprint Cars of New England and the Hornet Stinger youth division. Post time 6 p.m.

Riverside Speedway

Points: Late Models – 1. Jesse Switser 223, 2. Jeff Marshall 216, 3. Bryan Mason 210, 4. Luke Shannon 191, 5. Dylan Switser 184, 6. Brandon Lambert 179, 7. Brett Gervais 169, 8. Steve Patnaude 165, 9. Corey Mason 163, 10. Brian Greer 133.

Outlaw Sportsman – 1. Chandler Davis 217, 2. Sammy Gooden 212, 3. David Ofsuryk 199, 4. Mike Paquette 196, 5. Doug Laleme 189, 6. Matt LeBlanc and Jourdan Davis 183, 8. Aaron Smith 179, 9. Alex Rooney 156, 10. Bill Stebbins Jr. 144.

Super Stocks – 1. Matt Carbone 459, 2. Nick Gilcris 452, 3. David Allen 412, 4. Trevor Roy 407, 5. Allison Barney 354.

Street Stocks – 1. Ben Belanger 475, 2. Dean Switser 449, 3. Robert Isham 412 4. Cody LeBlanc and Tom Sokolis 405.

Dwarf cars – 1. Dave Gyger 426, 2. Dennis O’Brien 379, 3. Kevin Scott Hockman 372, 4. Bobby Riley and 5. Rod Knudson 334.

Cyclones – 1. Cole Kilby 413, 2. Jeff Ainsworth 386, 3. Travis Moulton 380, 4. Dana Graham 366, 5. Chris Ouellette 356.

Angels – 1. Shauna Randall 400, 2. Shawna Whitcomb 385, 3. Traci Nelson 375, 4. Vanessa Brown 346, 5. Tine Leveille 343.

• Double-header weekend – July 29 – Racing begins at 7 p.m. Heats for Street Stocks, Outlaw/Sportsman and Flying Tigers Race No. 1 (50 laps), Street Stock Consi, Angel Feature (40 laps) Late Model Race (75 laps), Jake McDowell 100-lap Street Stock $1,000-to-win. Monster Trucks – Aftershock and Crazy Train.

July 30 – Racing begins at 7 p.m. Dwarf Cars 25-lap Feature, Daredevil features, Outlaw/Sportsman and Flying Tigers Race Monza-style inversion from race Friday night. Dwarf Car race No. 2 Monza-style 25-laps inversion from race Friday night. Late Model Race No. 2, 75-laps Monza-style Inversion from Race No. 1. Cyclone/Warrior/Enduro 100. Monster Trucks – Aftershock and Crazy Train.

No Column Next Week

I’ll be away from my computer next week. So for only the third time since I started penning this column more than 13 years ago, I’m taking a week off. The last time I missed a week was in March of 2007.

Until Next Time

Get out and support a local short track. But remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”


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