OXFORD — He waited until it really counted.

After several years away from Victory Lane, former champion Shawn Martin was ready to end the slump. The 2004 Late Model king powered his way around the outside of multi-time champion Travis Adams on lap 49, and hung on to prevail in the Maine State Lottery Trophy Dash for the Late Model division Sunday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Adams settled for second after leading 26 laps, while Carey Martin claimed third in his first race of the season. Ricky Rolfe and Donnie Wentworth completed the top five.

All three of Oxford’s championship series divisions ran 50-lap features, originally scheduled for last Thursday night but washed away by rain.

Dottie Patria, Josh Childs, Chris Burgess, Justin Karkos and Skip Tripp were also feature winners on an absolutely perfect summer evening for racing.

“We’ve been struggling the last couple of years,” Martin said. “We usually peak a little before the 250, so we’re right on track. That was such a fun race, watching Ricky and Travis battle it out, while I rode around in third. The car kept getting better as the race went on, and I felt we could get a run on them in the closing laps. I can’t thank my crew enough; they’ve worked hard and been patient, while we got back on track. This feels great to be back in Victory Lane.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature was Tim Brackett, Scott Robbins, Corey Morgan, Wayne Helliwell Jr. and ageless Al Hammond. Nineteen of the 25 starters finished on the lead lap, while Martin’s margin of victory was just .156 seconds. Rolfe led the first 21 circuits before Adams took control. Only two cautions slowed the pace, neither for serious incident.

In earlier feature action, Patria drove around Christina Spaulding on lap 10 and pulled steadily away to claim the 20-lap Ladies division tilt. Spaulding followed the defending class champion across the line, while Vannah Brackett powered her way from fifth on the grid to third. Lewiston’s Missy Morgan posted her best finish of the season in fourth, while Deanna Robertson completed the top five.

Childs drove underneath two drivers coming through Turns 3 and 4 on lap four and hung on to claim the first of two 20-lap affairs for the Outlaw division. The 18-year-old from Oxford held off a strong charge from early leader Ryan Robbins, who settled for second. Todd Hall started on the pole but faded to third at the finish, while Gerry Richard and Jonathan Baldwin completed the top five.

Burgess dominated the second Outlaw feature once he got by two small hurdles. Dennis Morang led the first couple of laps before Mike Haynes took control. His time at the point was brief, as Burgess sailed by at lap seven and hung on for his first victory of 2009. Addison Bowie drove up from ninth on the grid to claim second, while Shannon Judd of Jay was third. Jerry Goss crossed the line in fourth with a hard-charging Guy Childs on his back bumper.

Karkos picked up his fourth victory of 2009 with a dominant performance in the Mini Stock feature. The young hotshoe from Jay led all 50 laps, and only had to survive one restart in the early going. Multi-time champion Jimmy Childs wasted little time in driving from fifth on the grid to second, but he had nothing for Karkos on this night. Larry Melcher started second on the 19-car grid and managed to hang on for a third place finish, while Calvin Rose Jr. and Darrell Moore rounded out the top five. Only one caution slowed the pace when Jeff Beaule and Jeff Moon spun on the front stretch.

“I was a little bit nervous when I couldn’t pull away from Jimmy,” Karkos said. “I think I got up into him at one point, and I sure didn’t mean to do that. We’ve been working on the car all day. I’ve got engine problems, but we’ll get that fixed. This has been a great season to this point.”

Tripp survived a five-lap shootout with Mike Short to record his third Strictly Stock victory of the season. The driver from Poland took the lead from Jeff Merrill on lap 15, held on through two restarts and kept Short at bay in the closing laps. Merrill followed Short across the line in third, while Jim Duguay and Larry Emerson completed the top five. Only two cautions slowed the pace, neither for serious incident.

Short all but tore the rear bumper off of Tripp’s car trying to find an opening.

“I had the spot filled, and Mike did everything he could to get by,” Tripp said. “I knew he was there, but I wasn’t about to pull up and let him go. I wasn’t too happy to get roughed up, but the roles might be reversed some day.”


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