Story By: MARK THOMAS / OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY – OXFORD, ME – TJ Brackett of Buckfield rocketed into the race lead on the first lap and held on to post his first victory of the season in Sunday’s 50-lap Budweiser Championship Series Super Late Model main event at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Brackett, a two-time track champion in the top class at OPS, needed all of his veteran savvy and track position to hold off a determined challenge by 15-year-old newcomer Gabe Brown of Center Conway, New Hampshire. Brown’s last-lap challenge from the outside groove fell short by inches, and just .012-seconds.
Scott Robbins of Dixfield appeared to more than earn his third-place trophy, racing from well back on the starting grid through occasionally uncooperative traffic, needing to get by a couple of his rivals two or three times to cross the line in third position, only to fail post-race inspection.
Likewise, Ryan Robbins of Dixfield made his fair share of forward progress to earn an official third-place run. Defending track Super Late Model champion Alan Tardiff of Lyman was the fourth-place finisher, followed by Justin Drake of Burnham.
Rick Spaulding of Lisbon led all of the way through the 50-lap Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock feature, part of a special series of extra-distance, extra-purse races presented by the Honey Badger Bar & Grill located next to the Speedway.
While Spaulding was never seriously challenged for the lead, Turner’s Matt Dufault nailed down his second straight second-place finish, less than a second behind the winner at the checkered flag. Jordan Russell claimed third-place spoils after a good duel with Zach Bowie of Greene. Tyler King of Gray rounded out the top-five after winning the two previous races.
Dustin Salley of Poland cruised to victory in the 20-lap main event for the Bandits class, with Rob Crepeau able to claim runner-up honors after emerging from a wild pack in the entry-level, four-cylinder racing class. Salley and Crepeau left a wildly-entertaining race in their wake, with Cam Childs of Leeds able to survive and thrive, posting a third-place finish in front of Buckfield’s Chad Wills and Jamie Heath of Waterford.
Minot’s Eric Hodgkins prevailed in a very-competitive 20-lap race for the Figure 8 class, picking up his first win of the year. Hodgkins took the lead away from Dale Lawrence of Lisbon, who led the first half of the race, then held off the previous week’s winner, Kyle Kilgore of South Paris, to earn the runner-up trophy. Poland’s Larry Lizotte and David Smith of South Paris filled out the top-five rundown.
Thomas Brackett of Auburn outran Waterford’s Brady Heath in the 15-lap Rookie division race, the first event in a new class formed for under-16 competitors at the Speedway.
The Budweiser Championship Series at Oxford Plains Speedway moves to its’ traditional Saturday night racing schedule beginning May 12. Post time is 7:00 p.m. For more information please visit oxfordplains.com or call (207) 539-8865.
Budweiser Super Late Model (50 laps) 1 61 TJ Brackett, Buckfield; 2 47 Gabe Brown, Center Conway, NH; 336 Ryan Robbins, Dixfield; 4 9 Alan Tardiff, Lyman; 5 09 Justin Drake, Burnham; 6 01 Andy Saunders, Ellsworth; 7 94 Shawn Martin, Turner; 8 78 Ivan Kaffel, Raymond; 9 03 Scott Moore, Anson; 10 60 Timmy Brackett, Buckfield; 11 8 Calvin Rose, Jr., Turner; 12 96 Justin Gibbons, Bridgton; 13 11 Steve Chicoine, Portland; 14 54 Ryan Deane, Winterport; DQ 72 Scott Robbins, Dixfield.
Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock (50 laps) 1 36 Rick Spaulding, Lisbon; 2 61 Matt Dufault, Turner; 3 4 Jordan Russell, Norway; 4 21 Zach Bowie, Turner; 5 11 Tyler King, Gray; 6 74 Rick Thompson, Naples; 7 56 Addie McDaniel, Bridgton; 8 12 John White, Auburn; 9 33 Andrew Breton, Greene; 10 2 Gary Babineau, Hollis Center; 11 52 Mike Nichols, Livermore Falls; 12 09 Mark Turner, Norway; 13 27 Patrick Thorne, Standish.
Bandits (20 laps) 1 18 Dustin Salley, Poland; 2 77 Rob Crepeau, Minot; 3 11 Can Childs, Leeds; 4 52 Chad Wills, Buckfield; 5 91 Jamie Heath, Waterford; 6 71 Chris Foster, Lisbon; 7 1 Brandon Varney, Mechanic Falls; 8 51 Kyle Hewins, Leeds; 9 2x Butch Keene, Turner; 10 08 Mike McKinney, Berlin, NH; 11 4 Tyler Libby, Auburn; 12 8 Josh Knoll, Wells; 13 44 Jeff Libby, Auburn; 14 24 Travis Verrill, South Paris; 15 3 Charlie ‘Chachy’ Hall, Oxford; 16 2 Shaun Hinkley, Oxford; 17 55 Dean Jordan, Jay; 18 12 Adam Sanborn, West Paris; 19 6 Cody White, South Paris.
Figure 8 (20 laps) 1 97 Eric Hodgkins, Minot, 2 2 Dale Lawrence, Lisbon; 3 4 Kyle Kilgore, South Paris; 4 00 Larry Lizotte, Poland; 5 54 David Smith, South Paris; 6 41 Greg Durgin, South Paris.
Rookie (15 laps) 1 3 Thomas Brackett, Auburn; 2 91 Brady Heath, Waterford.