If he has the chance to ring up $25,000 in the final five laps this time around, you can bet he’ll have no qualms about using a little muscle to win, the same way he admittedly did Friday night in a 30-lap Street Stock feature at Oxford Plains Speedway.

After nearly a lap of on-and-off contact in a tense battle with B.J. Chapman, Morgan, of Lewiston, scraped by him to the low side with about a mile remaining in the sprint.

“Yeah, I got under him. It is what it is,” Morgan said. “I’m sure he’s mad, and I’m sure I would be, too.”

Chapman led from the get-go before fading to fourth after his sideways voyage on laps 27 and 28.

Spencer Morse rallied from an early-race pit stop under caution to claim second, with Richard Spaulding third and Tyson Jordan trailing Chapman in an under-a-blanket finish that had the substantial crowd on its feet.

That throng saw plenty of action on the first night of Maine’s most eagerly anticipated annual race weekend. Twelve heat races preceded eight features on a bang-for-the-buck program.

In the two touring divisions at the top of the card, Dan McKeage of Gorham survived a late bid by runner-up Nate Leavitt and Joe Pastore Jr. to win the 50-lap PASS Sportsman event, and Harpswell’s Mark Lucas won in a wild finish to the PASS Modified 40-lap finale.

Andy Shaw’s attempted crossover move on leader J.R. Baril sent both cars spinning in the first turn of the final lap. Scott McDaniel of Livermore followed Lucas through the skirmish to snag second, followed by J.T. Thurlow, Mitch Miller and Ryan Robbins.

“I’ll take any help I can get at this point,” Lucas said.

Morgan’s wife, Missy, made it a household sweep with her Ladies victory. Other winners were Jamie Heath in Runnin’ Rebel, Gerry McKenna in Sport Truck, Cody Chiasson in Outlaw and Will Dunphy in Cruiser.

Chiasson’s father, Gary, was the most recent feature winner in Oxford’s Budweiser Pro Late Model division and will be attempting to qualify for the 250.

Cody cranked up the Peru family’s race weekend in style, taking the lead from Joe Morey on a lap 17 restart and holding off point leader and past champion Chris Burgess and Deanna Bisbee for his initial victory in the eight-cylinder class.

“It feels great. It’s been a struggle this year stepping up from Rebel to Outlaw,” the younger Chiasson said. “I’m finally catching up. My dad has put in a lot of time on this car.”

Heath’s domination of the Runnin’ Rebel class continued with his sixth consecutive win, although he was tested by a pair of out-of-town visitors.

Shawn Swallow topped Waterford’s Heath in the qualifying round, and it was Beech Ridge Thursday Thunder competitor Jeff Walker applying the pressure in the 20-lap main event.

“It was pretty quick. I think 11 (Walker) was just as quick if not quicker,” Heath said. “I’ve got to thank Troy Jordan. We had problems in practice, and we wouldn’t even be here tonight without his help.”

Walker stayed glued to Heath’s back bumper after the lone restart with six circuits remaining and fell short by a car length. Swallow staved off Ben Krauter for third, with Gerard Cote edging Derek Cairns for fifth.

Morgan led the Ladies race from wire-to-wire. Shelby Lawrence stayed within two-car-length striking distance after a mid-race caution flag, but the division point leader made no mistakes en route to a comeback triumph.

“I finished the last five laps Wednesday with a broken spindle, and the rear end caved right in,” Morgan said.

Michele Bisbee was third, followed by Shannon Wheeler and Melissa Ferland.

Milton’s McKenna took advantage of Brian Darling’s misadventure in lapped traffic to take the Sport Truck lead on lap 11 of 20. Darling was forced to hit the brakes and drift high in turn one to avoid contact, and McKenna dove low for the top spot.

The race wasn’t over. Darling needed only three laps to reel in McKenna, and he closed to the leader’s tailgate at the white flag. McKenna slipped up the track slightly out of the final corner, but Darling couldn’t quite fill the void.

Dunphy also used a slower car as a pick to wheel around James Record and pad his division point lead with the Cruiser victory.


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