OXFORD – Forty laps are enough time for most top drivers to get to the front of a crowded Late Model field at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Travis Adams typically needs about half that long. Adams completed one of his increasingly familiar climbs up the leader board by driving around Corey Morgan on the 20th circuit and cruising to his third feature win of the season Saturday night.
Adams, the current point leader and reigning track champion, is the only repeat winner in the top division this season.
“We had another great car for the feature,” said Adams. “We’ve just got to get our heat race program together.”
Struggling in the qualifier and starting 16th in the main event didn’t prove much of a handicap to Adams. He soared all the way to fifth on lap 7 and then picked off Carey Martin, Tommy Ricker and Dale Verrill in short order.
Once Adams put away early dominator Morgan, without a caution to slow his progress, the 29-year-old standout settled into an unbeatable rhythm and prevailed by a margin of more than two seconds.
He was the first to hit the stripe in a star-studded top three. Adams, runner-up Ricky Rolfe and third-place Tim Brackett have combined for five speedway championships and 87 victories in their respective careers.
Rolfe continued his recent custom of recovering from slight involvement in an early skirmish and snagged second.
“I know we passed the most cars again tonight,” said Rolfe. “It was the same last week. There were 24 cars in the race, and I think we passed 60 of ’em.”
Brackett made a triumphant return to his home track for only the second time this season, reeling in Dale Verrill down the stretch and making a daring outside pass to claim third out of the final corner.
“Oxford is home,” Brackett said. “Last Tuesday, this car was sitting around without even a body on it. We were trying to get it ready for Monday (Maine State Lottery Fireworks Night). Now we know we’ve got something to work with.”
Following Verrill across the line was Jeff White, fifth in his first start of the season.
It was a night of wild wrecks and repeat winners in the other two Championship Series divisions.
Glen Henderson posted his second Strictly Stock victory in the last three weeks, while Adam Polvinen took advantage of rival Jimmy Childs’ troubles on the next-to-last lap to score his second Mini Stock triumph of the campaign.
Bill Dunphy and Kyle Hewins captured the 20-lap Runnin’ Rebel sprints for the Acceleration Series.
The Mini top three put on an entertaining show and staged an even more colorful victory lane. Polvinen and Childs have experienced numerous close encounters this season, and Saturday was no different with Polvinen saying hello to Childs’ rear bumper on a couple of occasions after a lap 7 restart. Childs eventually pulled away to what seemed a comfortable margin, even with a piece of sheet metal dangling from the right side of his car and a thin plume of smoke occasionally showing from the rear of the ride.
As the leader entered the fourth turn to take the white flag, however, he drifted wide. When Childs tried to correct the over-steer, he cut down to the inside lane and made contact with Polvinen.
Polvinen nearly came to a stop, but he kept himself headed in the right direction and held off Justin Karkos for the wild win. Childs finished a distant third to set up the post-race chatter.
“It’s always fun to drive around Jimmy,” Polvinen jabbed.
“I don’t know what happened there at the end,” said Childs, who pointed at Polvinen before adding, “but that’s how you protect the inside, little man.”
Karkos seemed confused by the pre-holiday fireworks. “I guess these guys don’t want to race,” he said. “They would rather wreck the crap out of each other.”
Ashley Marshall and Don Frechette completed the top five.
Henderson’s encore win was tame by comparison. He led all 30 laps and beat Sumner Sessions to the checkers by almost a quarter of a lap.
“Ever since we rolled this car over (June 10), it’s just gotten better and better,” Henderson said.
Point leader Tommy Tompkins and Jeff Moon wound up third and fourth, with Skip Tripp taking advantage of Mark Bowie’s post-race disqualification for fifth.
Dunphy led the Rebel opener from wire-to-wire. Martin Krauter rallied from an off-course excursion to finish second, with rookie Darrell Moore running a career-best third.
In the second Rebel scrap, Hewins ran down early leader Doug Degroat and held off Josh Childs in a battle of teenagers. Tyson Jordan was third.