OXFORD — You knew once he figured it out, win No. 2 would come in just a matter of time.

Just three weeks time, as a matter of fact.

Nine-time track champion Jeff Taylor swapped the lead with Lewiston’s Corey Morgan a half-dozen times over the closing laps, then used superior horsepower and a smooth line to claim the feature event Saturday at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Morgan, one of the hottest drivers since the TD Bank 250 in July, settled for second, while championship contender Shawn Martin made a terrific late-race charge to third.

After a slow start to his season, this was Martin’s third consecutive podium finish.

Oxford veteran Ricky Rolfe started seventh, kept his focus and came home fourth. Point leader Timmy Brackett completed the top five as he strives to cement his second title since 2005.

Missy Morgan, Ron Abbott Jr., David Childs, Jimmy Childs and Kurt Hewins were also feature winners on the first night that rain threatened the racing program in many weeks at the western Maine oval.

“The car was actually a little loose tonight,” Taylor said. “I have to thank Corey. He ran me about as clean as anybody I’ve ever raced against. He could have won that race at any moment, and he chose not to. I applaud him for that. The car is pretty good, we just have to keep it that way.”

Morgan has taken a great deal of heat for his aggressive driving, but a Maine racing icon gave him a ton of praise Saturday.

“That was a nice change, I climbed out of the car and didn’t hear any booing,” Morgan said. “That was about as exciting as it gets in any division, racing side-by-side with Jeff like that. I’m glad we had a clean race. The car was fast and I wasn’t about to spin Jeff as strong as he was. When you battle for the lead all night and run second to Jeff Taylor, you’ve done a pretty good job.”

Finishing sixth through 10th in the Late Model feature were Scott Luce, T.J. Brackett, Jeff White, Carey Martin and Ben Ashline. Two cautions slowed the pace, neither for serious incident.

Only two point races remain in the 2010 campaign.

In earlier feature action, Missy Morgan went wire-to-wire in a 20-lap sprint for the Ladies’ division. The Lewiston driver held off a hard-charging Deanna Robertson the first 10 laps, survived a restart with six to go and hung on for top honors. Robertson was the benefactor of a late-race melee and came home second, while Missy Blash of Oxford was credited with third after Allison Moore failed post-race technical inspection. Tori Burgess and point leader Vannah Brackett completed the top five.

“That was a challenge,” Morgan said. “I was a little nervous when I looked over and saw Vannah starting fourth on the grid. I knew if I could just get out front, I could hold them off, and it worked out. It feels good to have the car dialed in this well.”

Abbott powered his way around the outside of John White Jr. on lap 10 and pulled away to claim the first of two 20-lap battles for the Outlaw division. The Sabattus driver held off Guy Childs, who tried to force a mistake. Scott Veinott settled for third, while Jake Hethcoat and Jim Davis rounded out the top five in this caution-free affair.

“It’s definitely been a rough season for us,” Abbott said. “We’ve had engine problems, transmission troubles, you name it. We even lost a bunch of oil in the first practice session today. We’ve got one week left in the Wednesday night program, hopefully now that we’ve got the car all rebuilt, we can cap things off with another win.”

Childs drove past Zach Bowie on lap nine and hung on to claim the second Outlaw tilt. Josh Childs made an impressive late-race charge up to second, while John Patria finished third. Pat Malloy and Jason Small completed the top five.

“The car has been running very well lately,” Childs said. “There are a lot of people who help me with this car. I couldn’t run so strong and win races without them. Sometimes you hit it right, and we definitely did that tonight. You don’t want it to end when the car is this good.”

Jimmy Childs recorded his third Mini Stock victory of the season and second in two weeks with a dominating performance. Childs wheeled around the outside of Jeff Moon and built a big lead. Matt Moore ran second until he headed into turn 3 on the final circuit, suffering problems in his car when he needed them least.

Calvin Rose Jr., currently second in points to Ashley Marshall, happily jumped into second when Moore faltered, while Darrell Moore drove from outside the top 10 to claim third. Marshall kept his championship hopes alive with a solid fourth-place run and Kevin Bishop was fifth.

“It’s been one problem after another,” a relieved Childs said in Victory Lane. “It did come together tonight, which feels great.”

Hewins notched his eighth feature victory of 2010 in a hotly-contested Strictly Stock battle. The veteran from Leeds drove around the outside of defending champion Skip Tripp on lap 10 and pulled away for top honors. Tripp finally got his season headed in the right direction, scoring his first podium finish in months. Mike St. Germain of Auburn came home fourth, while Zach Emerson completed the top five.

“The car loosened up at the end, when I saw Gene coming. I knew I had to keep hustling,” Hewins said. “The car held up, so here we are again. We sure can’t complain after winning eight of these things, everything has been going our way almost every weekend.”


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