OXFORD — Travis Adams held off a hard-charging Shawn Knight and hung on to claim the 75-lap Late Model feature in Round 3 of the 2009 Triple Crown Series Thursday evening at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Knight gave it all he had in the closing laps but settled for second, while Donnie Wentworth was a distant third. Tommy Ricker and Ricky Rolfe rounded out the top five in a caution-free sprint for Oxford’s top division.
In fact, the yellow flew only once in three 75-lap contests, and the entire program was completed in just two hours.
Skip Tripp (Strictly Stock) and Justin Karkos (Mini Stock) also earned feature victories on an absolutely beautiful night for racing at the 3/8-mile paved oval.
Adams became the fourth different leader of the race when he drove around the outside of Wentworth on lap 29 coming through turns 3 and 4. Brackett, Shawn Martin and Wentworth all took turns up front before the defending and four-time champion asserted himself.
“I gave up my 40-lap chassis setup to go for 75 circuits,” Adams explained after wrapping up the Late Model portion of the Triple Crown. “I was only running third at lap 35, but the thing came alive as the race progressed. I have to thank my sponsors and team for their efforts, I wouldn’t be able to win without them. We’ve been busy doing a lot of work to the car for next Wednesday’s test at New Hampshire, and I can’t wait to get down there.”
Adams will most likely be competing in the first-ever American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19. All drivers who won an ACT Late Model tour event in 2009, along with those in the points lead as of Sept. 17 (as Adams will be at Oxford) at an ACT-affiliated track, will be invited to Loudon.
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature was Tim Brackett, Scott Luce, Jason Larrabee, Corey Morgan and Ben Ashline. Seven of the 16 starters finished on the lead lap, while Adams’ margin of victory was less than a half second over Knight.
Tripp made easy work of the Strictly Stock feature, leading every lap to claim his portion of the 2009 Triple Crown Series. The defending champion from Poland earned the pole in earlier qualifying, then checked out on the field as soon as the green flag waved. With his 19th career victory, Tripp now stands alone atop the list of all-time feature winners in Oxford’s Strictly Stock division.
As Tripp built as much as a half-track lead, Larry Emerson fought to keep Matt Williams and Mike Short in his rear view mirror. While the two veterans kept up the pressure throughout, Emerson hung on for a distant second, while Williams settled for third. Short and Mike St. Germain completed the top five in this fast-paced, caution-free affair.
“I really wanted to get that 19th victory,” Tripp said. “That’s why I checked out early. I want to wish my Mom a happy birthday, I hope this is a good present. This whole team is just right on every week, and that’s why we keep winning races. Now I hope we can hang on for a few more races and nail down another championship.”
Nick Hoyt followed St. Germain across the line in sixth, while Zach Emerson, BJ Chapman, Rick Spaulding and Derek Farrington completed the top five. Six of the 10 starters finished on the lead lap, while Tripp’s margin of victory was just over seven seconds.
Karkos claimed the Mini Stock feature with a dominant performance. The young hotshoe from Jay led every lap and had only one restart to endure. That came out when Turner veteran Butch Keene spun off the top of Turn 4, and did little to slow Karkos’ drive to Victory Lane. Jimmy Childs, the other factor in most of these extra-distance Mini Stock battles, worked his way from ninth on the grid to second in the closing laps. Rookie sensation Calvin Rose Jr. ran a smart race to come home third, while Adam Polvinen claimed fourth in just his second start of the season. Kevin Bishop completed the top five with a solid run.
“I don’t ever give up,” Karkos said. “This is the same engine I’ve had in the car since opening day. I pulled it out a couple of weeks ago to have it rebuilt, and it was a smart decision. I have to thank Rich Sirois for all his help. He’s here with me tonight and we finally got the car figured out in practice.”
Lewiston’s Jeff Beaule followed Bishop across the strip in sixth, while Darrell Moore, Danny Morris, Matt Moore and Jake Burns completed the top five. Only five of the 15 starters completed 75 laps, while Karkos’ margin of victory was almost eight seconds.


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