OXFORD — Billy Childs Jr. fought side-by-side for at least a dozen laps with rising star Dave Farrington Jr., then nipped a hard-charging Timmy Brackett by inches at the line to claim the Late Model Trophy Dash on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Jerry Freve, Guy Childs, Jimmy Childs and Matt Williams were also feature winners on a muggy yet dry evening at the paved oval.
Matt Sanborn led a snarling pack of Late Models to the green flag, with aspiring rookie Vanna Brackett in tow. After an early caution for Doug Coombs’ spin to the inside of turn 2, Sanborn set sail once again. Childs powered his way inside of Sanborn on lap four and took command, as Farrington worked his way up into contention.
Brackett was amazing in the closing laps, yet fell just shy of a win. Farrington settled for third, while Shawn Knight drove his way to fourth. TJ Brackett brought his No. 61 entry home in fifth.
“That was kind of a stressful race,” Childs said. “That is the kind of racing we all love to do. I have to thank both David and Tim for racing so clean. I don’t think we ever made contact and that’s the way it should be. My car was fast on the bottom, and once Tim got under me I knew it would be tough to hold him off. Yet we pulled out a real close one, which makes it even more special. These guys run hard, I’m thrilled to be standing in Victory Lane tonight after that intense battle.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature were Donnie Wentworth, former champion Shawn Martin, Vanna Brackett, points leader Travis Stearns and Coombs. With only one caution to slow the pace, the race was over in short order.
In earlier feature action, Freve powered his way around the outside of Missy Morgan on lap 15 and pulled away to claim the first of two 20-lap Outlaw battles. The veteran from Buckfield got knocked a little sideways when Morgan slid up the track, yet he was able to continue with no troubles.
Bryce Mains started third and hustled to a solid second place finish, while Scott Veinott came from eighth on the grid to finish third. Rachel Dubois put in a strong effort to claim fourth, while Morgan salvaged a top-five after her spin.
Guy Childs drove to the outside of former Ladies division champion Dottie Patria on lap seven and checked out on the field to claim the second Outlaw feature. The veteran from Turner was at least five car lengths ahead of Matt Dufault at the finish, while Mike Haynes was the real story here.
Haynes started 10th and wheeled his way up through traffic with ease and landed on the podium in third. Deanna Bisbee hung close to the front throughout and came home fourth, while Pat Maloy completed the top five.
Jimmy Childs made history in the Mini Stock division, tying Cliff Libby on the all-time win list with his fourth of the season and 46th career victory. The aggressive and hard-nosed veteran from Leeds powered his way around the outside of Calvin Rose Jr. on lap seven and built a huge lead en route to his record-tying win.
The only battle in this one, and perhaps one of the evening’s best, was the fight for second between Rose and Pete McCollett. Rose fought tooth-and-nail in the closing laps to secure second, while “Pistol” Pete settled for third. Lewiston’s Jeff Beaule put in a solid effort to claim fourth, while Jamie Heath came home fifth.
“That was definitely fun tonight,” Childs said. “I’ve been shooting for that mark (46 wins) for what seems like forever. I hope I can surpass Cliff’s number before the year is done; we’re going to be gunning for it in these last few shows. It’s been an incredible season.”
Williams has had the best chassis setup for the outside lane in the Strictly Stock division, and he put that to good use once again Saturday night. The hard-charging driver from Brownfield drove around Rick Spaulding on lap 19 and pulled steadily away for top honors. Spaulding managed to hold off defending champion Kurt Hewins for second, while Zach Bowie finished fourth behind Hewins. David Tripp edged former champion Skip Tripp by inches for fifth in one of the closest battles for position all night.
“I came back to the front just to prove a point,” Williams explained. “The engine in this car was built by Billy Childs Jr. last year for an Outlaw car. It has about 75 less horsepower than most cars in this class, but this win proves it’s not all about horsepower. It takes a good handling car to win, and I’ve got one.”