Local auto racing: Farrington earns first SLM win at Oxford

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OXFORD — For Jay native Dave Farrington Jr., the 2017 short track season has already produced some very memorable runs.

The 2014 point champion in the NASCAR-sanctioned Pro Series division at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway has a lot on his plate this year, running the PASS South schedule with North Carolina-based Woodman Racing and the North series with his familiar, family-owned No. 23 Super Late Model.

Farrington added another highlight to his resume Saturday night, wheeling outside of Scott McDaniel on lap 44 and pulling away to record his first SLM win at Oxford Plains Speedway. Farrington started 13th on the 22-car grid and was up into contention shortly after halfway. 

“It certainly feels like a large weight has been lifted off our shoulders after trying for seven years to get a victory here,” Farrington said. ” My father has been going to Oxford for nearly three decades, and had never won there as a driver, crew chief or crew member before tonight. This win meant so very much to all of us.” 

Four-time Oxford champion Tim Brackett of Buckfield drove from eighth on the grid to finish second, while 2015 Oxford 250 winner Glen Luce of Turner filled out the podium in third. McDaniel faded to fourth at the finish, while 2002 Oxford 250 winner Scott Robbins (Dixfield) completed the top five.

In one of the most hotly-contested Street Stock features in years, Leeds veteran Billy Childs Jr. muscled his way to a second win of 2017 after a spirited, yet respectful battle with Lisbon’s Richard Spaulding. The two short track aces fought side-by-side for 10 laps until Childs finally took control for good.

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Poland’s David Whittier backed up his victory the previous week with a runner-up finish, while up-and-comer Jordan Russell filled out the podium in third. Turner’s Matt Dufault and Tyler King of Livermore rounded out the top five.

Waterford veteran Jamie Heath dropped by Oxford on Saturday evening to put on another clinic on the science of front-wheel-drive racing. Heath outclassed the field in a wild, caution-filled Bandit feature, with Oxford’s Jake Hall crossing the line in second.

Defending class champion Shaun Hinkley of Oxford powered his way to third, while Milan, New Hampshire’s Chris Ouellette and South Paris native Eric Stoddard completed the top five. New Gloucester veteran Ben Tinker continued his strong start to PASS Modified action on Saturday, wheeling his No. 19 rocket to victory over Mike Carignan (Lebanon) and Windham’s Matty Sanborn.

Dixfield-based veteran Tommy Tompkins earned his third Figure 8 win of 2017 on Saturday, while Kyle Kilgore (South Paris) and Dale Lawrence (Lisbon) finished second and third, respectively.

Ducks in a Rowe at Beech Ridge

When it was first announced that Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Famer Mike Rowe would be seeking another Pro Series title at Beech ridge this year driving for Caruso-Fowler Racing (CFR), most knew the team had the potential to achieve that goal.

The owner of 151 wins at Oxford Plains Speedway (including three Oxford 250s) took a step towards realizing that goal Saturday night, powering his way to victory in the 40-lap Pro Series feature. Defending track champion Curt Gerry of Waterboro chased Rowe across the stripe in second, while Westbrook’s rising star John Peters (Runtal/Kulwicki Driver Development Program Ford) was third.

Bangor’s Gary Smith, who already has a feature win at Oxford to his credit in 2017, finished fourth, while the young man who started the season on fire with two PASS North wins and more, Reid Lanpher, completed the top five.

It would now seem as if on-a-roll Lanpher and his highly-skilled crew chief Jason Ricker are human after all.

Local favorite Charlie Sanborn of Scarborough won the Sport Series feature on Saturday, holding off a hard-charging Chad Munro of North Waterboro for top honors. Defending champion Frank Wear of Buxton finished third, while Clyde Hennessey (Windham) and Sally Gherardi (Gorham) completed the top five.

In the Wildcat division, it was a good night to be from the town of Alfred. Adam Lovejoy prevailed in an emotional win over fellow resident Dave Cameron, while Granite State native Zach Nicholson (Center Ossipee) filled out the podium in third. Defending class champion Lewis Anderson of Hollis finished fourth, while Buxton’s Ray Letellier crossed the stripe in fifth.

Richardson on top at Wiscasset

Hermon native Phil Richardson managed to tame the high-speed oval at Wiscasset on Saturday, wheeling his No. 5 entry to victory in a 50-lap tilt for the headline Pro Stock division.

With the win, Richardson earned a provisional starting spot in the $10,000-to-win Pro Stock Nationals in Seekonk, Massachusetts, on July 12.

Nate Tribbett came through the caution-filled feature relatively unscathed to finish second, while Newcastle’s Charlie Colby put in a solid run to claim third. With the PASS North event in New Brunswick canceled, two-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin filled the void at Wiscasset and came home fourth, while Bowdoin veteran Scott Chubbuck completed the top five in a 16-car field.

Jay native and second-generation racer Logan Melcher wheeled the No. 41 entry to his second victory of 2017 in the Thunder 4 Minis, with Dan Trask (Richmond) and Brian Sweatt second and third, respectively. Dave Greenleaf (Brunswick) and Noah Haggett (Wiscasset) rounded out the top five.

Other feature winners on Saturday at Wiscasset include 2016 MVRCA Maine Driver-of-the-Year Marc Lucas, of Harpswell (Super Street); and Canton’s Spencer Vaughn, who notched his first career win in the New England 4-Cylinder Pro class. 

Theriault wins, OPS gains a race

In other Maine-related racing news, Fort Kent native Austin Theriault won the Shore Lunch 250 at Elko (Minnesota) Speedway on Saturday night in the ARCA Racing Series, presented by Menards. Theriault won the season opener in Daytona and leads the ARCA point standings driving for Ken Schrader Racing.

The PASS North points race originally scheduled for last Saturday night at Speedway 660 in New Brunswick will now be made up at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, June 11. Post time is 2 p.m.

pwhipple@sunjournal.com

Dave Farrington & Alan Tardiff
Alan Tardiff leads Dave Farrington off Turn 4 during practice for the June 3 points races at Oxford Plains Speedway. Farrington, of Jay, earned his first career Super Late Model victory in the 50-lap feature. 
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