OXFORD — Police cited alcohol as the culprit behind seven arrests at the Oxford Plains Speedway over the weekend. 

The 41st annual Oxford 250 race drew thousands to the Route 26 oval track, bringing extra police patrols as fans packed into hundreds of tents and campers across the grounds.

However, arrests at the event have declined in recent years, a trend Oxford Police Department Lt. Michael Ward said was positive. 

“Overall, it was one of the quietest years we’ve had,” Ward said.  

According to Sun Journal records, 17 people were either arrested or cited in 2009, 14 people were arrested in 2011 and nine people in 2013.  

Ward also noted that the majority of those arrested did not seem to have tickets for the race, but were there to party in the surrounding campsites. 

“In years past, we’ve been in the high 20s for arrests. Our goal is to have no arrests and have everyone enjoy the race.” 

On Friday night, Alex M. Heikkinen of Paris and Anthony Paul Hallock, both 19, were charged with criminal trespassing, according to Ward.

Hallock and Heikkinen were allegedly found to be in the restricted pit-stop area and told to leave the speedway. Sometime later, the two were found back at the track and arrested. 

Those charged Saturday include Jared J. Murray of Turner, 37, on a charge of disorderly conduct after he allegedly tried to start a fight with another camper; and Cynthia Shoaf, 37, of Rumford, who was charged with trespassing after an alleged argument with other campers.

On Sunday, charges included Jacoby Matthew Perry of Paris, 30, for driving to endanger after he allegedly did donuts in a pickup truck in the parking lot; Stephen Rivard, 26, Norway, who was charged with failure to disperse after he allegedly refused to leave a bonfire during an argument; and Ernest Tripp, 47 of Auburn, who was charged with disorderly conduct after he allegedly tried to start a fight with other campers around a bonfire.

Dick Therrien, General Manager at the Oxford Plains Speedway, said he’s not surprised the rate seems to be declining. 

“I think people are much more controlled,” he said. “It was a good weekend all around.” 

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