OXFORD – Doug Coombs survived a three-lap sprint to the finish and held off a late charge from Tommy Ricker to win the Memorial Day Trophy Dash for the Late Model division Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

The Livermore native took the lead from Ricker for the final time on lap 27 and drove on to Victory Lane. Defending Late Model champion Travis Adams came from 15th on the grid to finish third, which unofficially gave him the points lead.

Part-time NASCAR Busch East series driver Eddie MacDonald ran near the front all night and came home fourth, while Jon Brill of Bridgton completed the top five.

Matt Williams, Jim Childs, Rodney Englehaupt Sr. and Rich Spaulding were also feature winners on an absolutely beautiful night for racing in western Maine.

“I have to thank my crew chief, Kevin McDaniel, for getting this car running so well,” said Coombs. “It’s a joy to drive when the car handles like it did tonight. My team deserves all the credit, I just went out and steered the thing in the right direction and won.”

Ricker was pleased with his performance, despite coming up short after leading the first 24 circuits.

“This is a new car and a new division for me,” he said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but nights like this make it all worthwhile. We bought the car from Scott King, and Freddy (crew chief) has it running very well right now.”

Adams, always full of optimism and never short on enthusiam, expressed his feelings on finishing third for the second straight week.

“Doug was hooked up pretty well tonight, we had to start deep in the field and couldn’t quite get to him,” said the Canton racer. “I’m more than happy with this run, my crew works hard on the car and it’s paying dividends again this year. We hope to keep this up and contend for the title again.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature was Zach Emerson, Carey Martin, Glen Luce, Ricky Rolfe and Shawn Martin.

In earlier feature action, Englehaupt battled side-by-side with Steve Brill before claiming the first 20-lap feature for the Outlaw division. The Oxford driver held steady in the low groove while Brill worked the outside lap after lap. For all 20 circuits, the top six cars were seperated by mere inches. Peru’s Tom Averill came home third while Jacob Heathcoat and Brill completed the top five in a caution-free affair.

Spaulding held off a hard-charging Kevin Lawrence to claim the second Outlaw feature. The Lewiston driver jumped out to an early lead and hung on for top honors. Steve Moon of Gray ran close to the leaders to come home third, while David Childs and Ron Abbott Jr. filled out the top five.

Williams won a thrilling caution-free feature for the Strictly Stock division. The driver from Brownfield hadn’t won at Oxford since 2003, but had what it took on this night. Skip Tripp made a big charge in the late stages and finished second, while Tommy Tompkins was third. Scott Belskis fought his way to fourth, while points leader Sumner Sessions was fifth.

“It seems like forever since I was up here,” said Williams. “It takes a lot of hard work to win one of these things. This year the competition has been tough. It’s hard to run up front with guys like Sumner and Skip. We were hooked up tonight, and it feels pretty awesome.”

Childs recorded his second straight Mini Stock feature victory with a fast car and some good luck. Early leader Ashley Marshall got together with Chris Varney and tagged the frontstretch wall on lap six, putting Childs at the point for the restart. The defending class champion from Leeds survived two restarts and held off sophomore sensation Adam Polvinen for top honors. Rich Sirois was never far off the leaders’ pace and finished third, while Justin Karkos and former champion Butch Keene of Turner completed the top five. Only two cautions slowed the pace, neither for serious incidents.

“The car is going pretty good now,” said Childs. “It was kind of fun starting out behind Justin (Karkos), I know he’s been wanting to race me pretty hard. I hoped he liked that one, he’s a good guy and a good racer. I’m glad to see more cars in this class now, it’s a lot more fun.”

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