OXFORD — Just as race teams from around the northeast are preparing to descend on western Maine for the season’s biggest short track event, the local track champion is hitting his stride.

Travis Adams powered around the outside of Ben Ashline on lap 29 and pulled away to record his third victory of the season Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

The four-time champion from Canton started 17th on the 21-car grid, and wasted little time moving up into the top five. Ashline settled for second, while Oxford veteran Donnie Wentworth finished third. Shawn Knight powered his way to fourth in the closing laps, while Timmy Brackett came from deep in the field to claim fifth.

John Lizotte, Tim Reynolds, Dana Cook, Jimmy Childs and Mike Short were also feature winners on a cloudy but fortunately dry evening for racing at the 3/8-mile oval.

“I kind of like it when the lights come on here,” Adams said, “because the night time is the right time. That was a fun race, I know Shawn (Martin) was trying to brag last week when he said he was out here running half throttle. Well, I wasn’t going to half-throttle it tonight, that was all she had. That right there is the fastest I’m going to be able to run for the 250, hopefully we’ll be able to get into the field. We’ll have the point leader’s provisional, which is nice to be able to fall back on. It would nice to race our way into the show, that’s an exciting event for us every year.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature was Travis Stearns, Al Hammond, Jeff White, Shawn Martin and Carey Martin. Only two cautions slowed the pace, neither for serious incident. Eighteen of the 21 starters completed all 40 laps, while Adams’ margin of victory was just 1.25 seconds over Ashline.

In earlier feature action, Lizotte went wire-to-wire to post his second career victory in an abbreviated 10-lap sprint for the Truck division. The driver from Mechanic Falls held off a hard-charging Jeff Schmidt at the finish, while Jeremy Wagner was third. Herb Farrar and Ryan Varney completed the top five.

Reynolds won a competitive 15-lap battle for the Wicked Good Vintage Racing series. This was the second and final visit to Oxford this year for the nostalgia group that loves to race their old machines. John Rice settled for second after fighting with Reynolds in the early laps, while Dennis Fish claimed third. Fourteen vintage cars were on hand, a good sign for those interested in preserving short track racing’s rich history.

Cook drove to victory in a wild affair for the Runnin’ Rebels. The Lewiston-based hotshoe took the lead from Jeff Hebert on lap two, survived a hectic restart just one lap later and hung on for top honors. Kyle Hewins was the man on the move, wheeling his way up from 16th on the grid to finish second. Defending champion Troy Jordan came from 13th on the 27-car grid to finish third, while Zach Audet and Scott Farrington rounded out the top five.

Childs picked up his second Mini Stock victory of the season with a thrilling last-lap pass over Jake Burns. The two-time champion from Leeds pulled underneath Burns coming through Turns 3 and 4 as the field approached the white flag. Burns was seeking his first win in this division after piling up 24 during his time in the Truck class. Defending champion Ashley Marshall snuck by to secure second in the closing laps, while Burns hung on for third. Justin Karkos finally seemed human with a fourth place run, while Lewiston’s Jeff Beaule completed the top five.

“Jake is doing a great job this year,” Childs said. “I’ll just chalk that one up to experience. I was in the right place at the right time, and was able to take advantage of the opportunity. It feels pretty good to be back here.”

Short was the beneficiary of contact and a spinout by Kim and Skip Tripp in the closing laps of the Strictly Stock feature. As the two drivers wheeled through Turns 3 and 4 on lap 24, they touched, with Kim spinning out of control after leading most of the race. Skip recovered to finish second, while B.J. Chapman claimed third. Chris Burgess and Jerry Harrison completed the top five, while only one caution slowed the pace.

“I guess I was in the right place at the right time tonight, just like Jimmy (Childs). Kim had a good car, but things didn’t work out for him. I’m happy we had a good enough car to capitalize and pick up another win.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.