Story By: MARK THOMAS / OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY – OXFORD, ME – Bubba Pollard showed New England race fans that the reputation preceding him to the 45th Annual Clark’s Scrap Metal Oxford 250 was much more than hype, winning the biggest one-day short track Super Late Model race in his first attempt Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway. Pollard, from Senoia, Georgia, got his first look at the Speedway on Friday.
The definition of a true Super Late Model racing outlaw, Pollard, 31, convinced New England race fans that he’s clearly among the best short track racers in North America, conquering the unique Oxford Plains Speedway racetrack in his first attempt. Pollard took the lead away from Travis Benjamin of Belfast, a two-time Oxford 250 champion in his own right, then outran another former 250 champion, Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, New Hampshire to the checkered flag.
Reid Lanpher of Manchester made a late charge into third position during the closing laps. Scarborough’s Garrett Hall ended up in fourth place after dominating more than half the race from his pole starting position, earning some $20,00-plus with lap leader bonuses included. Berwick’s Joey Doiron, a former PASS Super Late Model National Champion, rounded out the top five.
Pollard overcame a bad draw – he started dead last in the final of five heat races – and needed to run a second-round 20-lap qualifying race to earn 29th starting position in the 42-car starting field. Dealing with a field of unfamiliar foes in a race with traffic rivaled by few, if any, big Super Late Model races, Pollard made all of the right moves as he methodically moved into contention for the win.
A racer’s racer, Pollard was impressive from the drop of the green flag, working his way into the top five during the long green flag stretch that opened the 250. Seemingly making all of the right moves in traffic as the Super Late Models frequently raced three-wide, the appreciative Maine crowd soon realized the third-generation Peach State racer was going to be a contender to pick up the big check at the end of the annual Maine classic.
In victory lane, Pollard expressed his appreciation to the crowd, as clearly he was jacked up and ready to perform before the full grandstand, increasingly rare in the smartphone age. The crowd returned the love, clearly appreciating the successful effort of the first-time OPS invader.
Polewarczyk, a winner during the brief Late Model era of the 250 and no stranger to victory lane in a Super Late Model at Oxford Plains Speedway, looked like a contender in the early stages and put together an impressive late charge into the runner-up position. Lanpher, twice a runner-up in the 250, claimed his third podium finish and 250 trophy.
Hall was the story for more than half of the race, leading all but a few laps for more than the first half of the 250, occasionally battling and swapping the lead with seven-time OPS track champion Jeff Taylor of Fairfield, making his first Super Late Model start of the year. The young Scarborough racer scored his best-ever racing payday, despite just missing out on a trophy, posting a fourth-place finish.
Doiron, an infrequent competitor on the region’s top Super Late Model circuit this season, rounded out the top-five. Current Pro All Stars Series North championship points leader DJ Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire was sixth under the checkered flag, one spot better than his closest rival in the standings, Benjamin.
Mike Hopkins of Hermon raced among the leader throughout the 250-lapper and earned an eight-place finish. Brandon Barker of Windham ended up in ninth position , with the top ten rundown filled out by Ben Rowe of Turner, who claimed some lap leader bonus money and battled up front with winner Pollard for several laps.
Ben Tinker of New Gloucester padded his advantage atop the championship points standings in the PASS Mods ranks, winning his fifth 40-lap feature race of the year in an eventful race. Bruce Helmuth of Wales was the runner-up, followed by Milford, New Hampshire’s Steve Dickey, Jr. The three podium finishers were also in those same spots at last year’s Oxford 250 program.
Saturday night winner Spencer Morse of Waterford was fourth, followed by second-ranked points man Gary Shackford of Center Conway, New Hampshire. The Mods race next along with the PASS North Super Late Models at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine on Saturday, September 23 before wrapping up their championship season back at Oxford Plains Speedway on October 13.
Zach Audet of Norridgewock surprised virtually no one with his victory in the North East Mini Stock Tour’s 50-lap race. Audet, the king of four-cylinder racing in Central Maine and beyond, outran Kodi Sabens of Windsor, Vermont to the checkered flag. Jimmy Childs of Leeds, survived several days of practice and a crash earlier in the afternoon to claim the third-place trophy. Michael Viens of Seekonk, Massachusetts and Sidney’s Matt Glidden rounded out the top five.
Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock points leader Matt Dufault of Turner charged past Skip Tripp on the final lap to win the 30-lap main event for The Taste of Maine division, just barely edging the division’s all-time wins leader at the finish line by .017-seconds, mere inches.
Tripp, hopping into John White’s 12 car for the weekend, kept five-time winner and defending track champion Billy Childs, Jr., who had won on the previous night, at bay but couldn’t keep Dufault out of victory lane before the healthy crowd. Championship contender Tyler King of Gray made a late charge into third position. Childs and fellow Leeds racer Kyle Hewins rounded out the top five.
John Childs of Leeds cruised up the outside lane and into the lead, then outran all rivals to score his first-ever Oxford 250 Sunday win in the Rebel class. Travis Lovejoy of Waterboro was closest to Childs as the checkered flag wavedWaterford’s Jamie Heath, Oxford’s Gerard Cote and Rick Montminy from Auburn filled out the top-five rundown.
The next Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model race is scheduled for Saturday, September 15 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. Next on the Oxford Plains Speedway is Motor Mayhem 4, featuring the Oxford Acceleration Series divisions along with an endure race and other interesting motorized entertainment. Championship Day and Night for all weekly Oxford Plains Speedway Budweiser Championship Series and Oxford Acceleration Series divisions is scheduled for Saturday, September 8 at 4:00 p.m. Oxford Plains Speedway is located on State Route 26 at 877 Main Street in Oxford, Maine. For more information visit proallstarsseries.com, oxfordplains.com or call (207) 539-8865.
Unofficial results from the Sunday, August 26 Clark’s Scrap Metal 45th Annual Oxford 250 Pro All Stars Series National Championship Series Super Late Model racing program, showing starting position, car number, driver’s name and driver’s hometown:
45th Annual Oxford 250 by Clark’s Scrap Metals Pro All Stars Series National Championship Race (250 laps) 1 26 Bubba Pollard, Senoia, GA; 2 97 Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH; 3 59 Reid Lanpher, Manchester, ME; 4 94 Garrett Hall, Scarborough, ME; 5 73 Joey Doiron, Berwick, ME; 6 60 DJ Shaw, Center Conway, NH; 7 7 Travis Benjamin, Belfast, ME; 8 15 Mike Hopkins, Hermon, ME; 9 88 Brandon Barker, Windham, ME; 10 4 Ben Rowe, Turner, ME; 11 17 Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA; 12 96 Wyatt Alexander, Charlotte, NC; 13 93 Ray Christian III, Uncasville, CT; 14 23 Dave Farrington, Jr., Jay, ME; 15 03 Joe Squeglia, Derry, NH; 16 8 Calvin Rose, Jr., Turner, ME; 17 47 Kelly Moore, Scarborough, ME; 18 27 Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, NH; 19 40 Nick Sweet, Barre, VT; 20 94 Shawn Martin, Turner, ME; 21 12 Derek Griffith, Hudson, NH; 22 54 Johnny Clark, Farmingdale, ME; 23 60 Tim Brackett, Buckfield, ME; 24 42 Kyle Reid, Cape Breton, NS, Canada; 25 00 Bryan Kruczek, Newmarket, NH; 26 53 Cole Butcher, Dartmouth, NS, Canada; 27 14 Scott McDaniel, Livermore, ME; 28 41 Tracy Gordon, Strong, ME; 29 24 Mike Rowe, Turner, ME; 30 57 Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, ME; 31 23 Lonnie Sommerville, Barnesville, NB, Canada; 32 88 Jeff Taylor, Fairfield, ME; 33 47 Gabe Brown, Center Conway, NH; 34 29 Austin Teras, Gray, ME; 35 7 Glen Luce, Turner, ME; 36 13 Cassius Clark, Farmington, ME; 37 7 Curtis Gerry, Waterboro, ME; 38 45 Kodie Connor, Kannapolis, NC; 39 72 Scott Robbins, Dixfield, ME; 40 36 Ryan Robbins, Dixfield, ME; 41 61 TJ Brackett, Buckfield, ME; 42 9 Alan Tardiff, Goodwins Mills, ME.
PASS Super Late Model Last Chance Race (50 laps) 1 7 Curtis Gerry, Waterboro, ME; 2 78 Ivan Kaffel, Raymond, ME; 3 72 Scott Robbins, Dixfield, ME; 4 94 Shawn Martin, Turner, ME; 5 44 Rusty Poland, Windham, ME; 6 00 Jeremy Davis, Tamworth, NH; 7 46 Dennis Spencer, Jr., Oxford, ME; 8 90 Derek Kneeland, Sebago, ME; 9 9 Zach Emerson, Sabattus, ME; 10 16 Travis Stearns, Auburn, ME; 11 0 Scott Luce, Strong, ME; 12 63 John Salemi, Nashua, NH; 13 42 Kyle Reid, Cape Breton, NS, Canada; 14 09 Justin Drake, Burnham, ME; 15 16 Adam Gray, Belchertown, MA; 16 51 John Peters, Westbrook, ME; 17 18 Wayne Parritt, Steuben, ME; DNS 29 Trevor Sanborn, East Parsonsfield, ME.
North East Mini Stock Tour (50 laps) 1 19 Zach Audet, Norridgewock, ME; 2 36 Kodi Sabens, Windsor, VT; 3 10 Jimmy Childs, Leeds, ME; 4 85 Michael Viens, Seekonk, MA; 5 20 Matt Glidden, Sidney, ME; 6 7 Cody Leblanc, Waterville, ME; 7 71 Matt Boucher, Andover, NH; 8 23 Devin Guy, Dublin, NH; 9 14 Justin Faford, Westminster, MA; 10 43 Dana Shepard, Putney, VT; 11 56 Jamie Heath, Waterford, ME; 12 52 Jeremy Carter, East Andover, NH; 13 55 Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 14 84 William Schoeler, Warwick, RI; 15 48 Justin King, Derry, NH; 16 88 Emerson Cayer, Contoocook, NH; 17 9 George Fortin, Leeds, ME; 18 18 Jake Rheaume, Rochester, NH; 19 90 Desmond Skillings, Antrim, NH; 20 97 Becky Elston-Burns, Carmel, ME.
PASS Mods (40 laps) 1 19 Ben Tinker, New Gloucester, ME; 2 25 Bruce Helmuth, Wales, ME; 3 12 Steve Dickey, Jr., Milford, NH; 4 34 Spencer Morse, Waterford, ME; 5 60 Gary Shackford, Center Conway, NH; 6 14 Mark Napolitano, North Yarmouth, ME; 7 21 Mark Lucas, Harpswell, ME; 8 60 Adam Gray, Belchertown, MA; 9 85 Jariet Harrison, Freeport, ME; 10 48 Brian Treadwell, Hancock, ME; 11 2 Matty Sanborn, Windham, ME; 12 7 Spencer Vaughan, Canton, ME; 13 15 Wayne Allard, Stetson, ME; 14 33 Billy Dixon, Waterboro, ME; 15 35 Kristina Nadeau, Buxton, ME; 16 16 Patrick Sullivan, Poland, ME; 17 10 Kate Re, Lovell, ME.
Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock (30 laps) 1 61 Matt Dufault, Turner, ME; 2 12 Skip Tripp, Norway, ME; 3 11 Tyler King, Gray, ME; 4 1 Billy Childs, Jr., Leeds, ME; 5 51 Kyle Hewins, Leeds, ME; 6 2 Gary Babineau, Hollis Center, ME; 7 62 Nick Stanley, Oxford, ME; 8 21 Zach Bowie, Turner, ME; 9 36 Rick Spaulding, Lisbon, ME; 10 3 Jordan Pearson, Thorndike, ME; 11 4 Jordan Russell, Norway, ME; 12 67 Michael Haynes, Livermore Falls, ME; 13 09 Mark Turner, Norway, ME; 14 52 Mike Nichols, Livermore Falls, ME; 15 27 Patrick Thorne, Standish, ME; 16 99 George Haskell, Casco, ME; 17 77 Jon Brill, Bridgton, ME; 18 5 Guy Childs, Lewiston, ME; 19 56 Addie McDaniel, Bridgton, ME; 20 53 Matt Brill, Bridgton, ME; 21 1x Joey Isrealson, Scarborough, ME; 22 24 Jonathan Emerson, Sabattus, ME; 23 22 Joe Hutter, Hebron, ME; 24 05 Brett Osmond, Wiscasset, ME.
Rebels (20 laps) 1 69 John Childs, Leeds, ME; 2 79 Travis Lovejoy, Waterboro, ME; 3 91 Jamie Heath, Waterford, ME; 4 05 Gerard Cote, Oxford, ME; 5 44 Rick Montminy, Auburn, ME; 6 14 Adam O’Neil, Lewiston, ME; 7 69x Adam Warnoch, Buxton, ME; 8 24 Travis ‘Tornado’ Verrill, South Paris, ME; 9 56 Addie McDaniel, Bridgton, ME; 10 21 Ralph Green, Auburn, ME; 11 50 AJ Smith III, South Paris, ME; 12 12 Chris Lavanway, Auburn, ME; 13 04 Caleb Proctor, Casco, ME; 14 5 Matt Thibeault, Mechanic Falls, ME; 15 10 Corey Roussel, South Paris, ME; 16 55 Dean Jordan, Jay, ME; 17 4 Dave Brannon, Monmouth, ME; 18 8 Jeremy Lauzier, Rumford, ME; 19 95 Cody Childs, Auburn, ME; 20 55 Kyle Gray, Carmel, ME; 21 11 Cam Childs, Leeds, ME; 22 1 Brandon Varney, Mechanic Falls, ME; 23 12 Adam sanborn, West Paris, ME; 24 4 Calab Emerson-Mains, Richmond, ME.