OXFORD — When race fans look back on the 2016 auto racing season in northern New England, they could easily refer to it as “the year of the veterans.”

One of western Maine’s most accomplished and respected short-track drivers added another title to his already impressive resume Saturday, as Buckfield’s Tim Brackett locked up the 2016 Super Late Model points championship at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Brackett finished 10th in Saturday evening’s 50-lap Trophy Dash, enough to secure his second straight and fourth overall crown over runner-up Scott Robbins of Dixfield. Brackett won a Pro Stock title in 2005, a Late Model championship in 2010 and claimed last year’s Super Late Model title.

Third-generation driver TJ Brackett blasted to his third Super Late Model feature win of the season, holding off Oxford’s Shawn Knight by a mere .111 seconds at the stripe. Dave Farrington Jr., of Jay, finished third at his home track after another impressive performance at Beech Ridge this year.

Anson’s Scott Moore and Garrett Hall of Scarborough completed the top five. Fourteen of the 23 cars finished on the lead lap, while only one caution slowed the pace. Finishing sixth through ninth in the final SLM race of 2016 was Reid Lanpher, Shawn Martin, Scott Robbins and Dennis Spencer.

In Street Stock action, longtime Oxford veteran Skip Tripp held off Bryce Mains to claim the season finale. Turner’s Calvin Rose Jr. filled out the podium in third, enough to wrap up the championship. Rose and points runner-up Matt Dufault (who suffered mechanical issues and finished 15th) redefined speed and consistency in 2016, raising the bar to new heights in a highly competitive class.

Waterford veteran Jamie Heath capped an almost-unimaginable season in the Bandit class Saturday evening. Heath won his fifth straight feature and seventh overall to seal the 2016 championship. Gerard Cote chased Heath across the stripe in second, while Turner’s Tyler Green came home third. Charlie Hall of Oxford and Mechanic Falls native Josh Knoll rounded out the top five.

With nothing left to prove at Oxford, Heath will compete on the Northeast Mini Stock Tour in 2017.

Hall of Fame member Jon Lizotte capped another stellar season of Figure 8 racing on Saturday. The Maine short track legend prevailed over Josh Varney and Greg Durgin in the season finale, locking up his second straight title. Lizotte won his first championship in the old Charger division back in 1976, and 40 years later, is still on top. 

Teams from the Wednesday night Acceleration Series also ran their season finales and crowned new champions Saturday. Ron Moon of North Yarmouth held off George “The Rascal'” Haskell to win the feature, and Portland’s Andy King powered his way to third. Guy Childs Sr. wheeled his way to fourth at the line, while Biddeford’s Gary Babineau locked up the title with a solid fifth-place run.

Dustin Salley of Poland finished fourth in the finale for Runnin’ Rebels, enough to secure his second straight class championship in what is easily the most entertaining and competitive classes in the state. Auburn native and former Edward Little standout athlete Brandon Varney won the feature, with Cody Childs on his back bumper in second.

Matt Mahar of Buckfield finished third, while Cam Childs followed Salley across the line in fifth.

Other feature winners and class champions from Oxford on Saturday include Adrianna McDaniel (Cruiser class winner); Michael McKinney (Cruiser champion); Ryan Farrar (Sport Trucks winner); Ajay Cates (Sport Trucks champion); Kathryn Childs (Ladies winner); and Maggie Ferland (Ladies champion).

All that remains on the 2016 schedule at Oxford is the PASS North season finale on Sat., Oct. 15.

Saunders powers to victory at Wiscasset

Ellsworth veteran Andy Saunders kept his winning tradition alive on Saturday evening, powering his way to victory in the 40-lap Pro Stock feature at Wiscasset Speedway.

Scott Chubbuck, another legend in Downeast racing circles, finished second, while Topsham’s Mike Moody filled out the podium in third. Joe Decker of Chesterville came home fourth. Woolwich driver Thomas True completed the top five.

Kenny Harrison of Pownal blasted his way to victory in a hotly contested Super Street feature. Harpswell’s Mark Lucas chased Harrison throughout yet settled for second, while hometown favorite Josh Bailey brought his machine across the stripe in third. Jason Oakes (Boothbay) and Cody Buzzell (Madison) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

As a bonus for fans, the always-thrilling Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) Midgets and NEMA Lites spiced up Saturday night’s program at Wiscasset. Todd Bertrand, of Danielson, Connecticut, drove to victory in the 25-lap Midgets feature, with Massachusetts native John Zych second and Randy Cabral third.

PJ Stergios claimed the 25-lap sprint for NEMA Lites, holding off Dan Cugini for top honors. Jim Chambers, of Atkinson, New Hampshire, filled out the podium in third. NEMA has been sanctioning races throughout the northeast since 1953.

Jeff Prindall of Lisbon claimed Saturday’s feature for the New England 4-Cylinder Pro Stock class. Kamren Knowles powered his way to second, with Connor Wenners filling out the podim in third.

Michael Golding capped the list of feature winners at Wiscasset with a victory in Thunder 4 Minis.

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