OXFORD – You knew it had to happen sooner or later.

After three years away from Victory Lane, Timmy Brackett returned to the place he’s visited so many times.

Brackett drove around the outside of Billy Childs on lap 12, then held off multi-time and defending champion Travis Adams to prevail in the Q97.9 Late Model Trophy Dash on Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Brackett, of Buckfield, had been close on several occasions earlier in the season, but would not be denied on this night. Adams gave all he had in the closing laps, but settled for second after wheeling his way up from 15th on the 20-car grid.

Tommy Ricker had one of his best nights in quite some time, running up front the entire distance and coming home third at the finish. Billy Childs led six laps in the early going and wound up fourth ahead of Scott Robbins.

With more than 40 feature wins in his career, Brackett ranks among the most consistent in Oxford’s rich history.

“This one wasn’t easy, that’s for sure,” Brackett said in Victory Lane. “I knew Travis was right there in the closing laps. I’m just so glad to have this over with. It’s been a few years since we’ve been here. I’ve run good, but could never quite get it done. This feels as good as ever to win in a division full of strong cars.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the late model feature was Shawn Martin, Donnie Wentworth, Shawn Knight, Corey Morgan and Travis Stearns. Eighteen of the 20 starters finished on the lead lap, while Brackett’s margin of victory was .158 seconds. Two cautions slowed the pace, the only times flagman Kenny Tripp needed the yellow flag all evening.

Ryan Farrar, Bobby Turner, Kyle Hewins, Tommy Tompkins and Steve Barker were also feature winners on a cloudy but dry night at the western Maine oval.

In earlier feature action, Farrar notched his third straight victory in a 10-lap sprint for the Sport Trucks. The driver from Oxford led every lap, while second-generation driver Jon Lizotte followed him across the line. Kevin Oliver finished right where he started in third, while Ross Spurling and Jeff Schmidt completed the top five.

Turner gave the fans reason to cheer with his victory in a 15-lap run for the visiting Senior Tour Auto Racers. The driver from Waterboro held off a host of vintage modifieds and coupes in a high-speed glimpse into short track history.

Hewins earned his fourth victory of the season in a caution-free battle for the Runnin’ Rebels. The Leeds-based driver took the lead from Zach Audet on lap 15 and easily hung on for top honors. Audet hung on for second, while Troy Jordan came all the way from 13th on the grid to finish third. John Childs and Matt Dufault completed the top five in a another smooth run for this entry-level division.

Tompkins recorded his first victory of 2009 for the Strictly Stock division. The former champion from Dixfield drove around the outside of Kim Tripp on lap 12 and pulled steadily away to the finish. Tripp started eighth and worked his way up to second, while Skip Tripp claimed third. Oxford veterans B.J. Chapman and Jerry Harrison completed the top five in a trouble-free run for the Strictlys.

Barker picked up his first Mini Stock victory of the season in a caution-free 30-lap tilt. The driver from Jay took the lead from Jeff Moon on lap four and drove away from the field. Calvin Rose Jr. wheeled his way from ninth to second at the line, while Justin Karkos was third. Karkos had claimed three of the previous four features, but with no caution to help him gain track position, was unable to challenge for the lead. Darrell Moore finished fourth ahead of veteran Larry Melcher.

“When you have people like Justin (Karkos), Jimmy (Childs) and Calvin (Rose), all these really good drivers, you’ve got to step it up,” Barker said. “The car handled really well tonight. I’ve got to thank my son James, he’s doing all the work on this car. It feels great to finally have it all come together for us.”


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