Dave Farrington Jr. shows off the checkered flag in victory lane after winning the Super Late Model feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Aug. 8. Oriana Lovell photo

Dave Farrington Jr. had his primary race car all ready for when the season started. He just needed a season to actually start.

The defending Pro Series champion at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway considered going for a repeat title at the Scarborough track, but Oxford Plains Speedway was the first local track to open so the Jay native — who now lives in Sabattus — took his car there instead.

“Coming off of our championship-winning season last year at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, our expectations were up in limbo due to COVID-19. While Beech Ridge was on our radar again this year, we had nowhere to race while everything was put on hold,” Farrington said. “We wanted to race somewhere and Oxford was able to make the move first to allow for competition.”

Farrington brought his car to Beech Ridge’s first practice session of the year on June 6, a week before Oxford Plains held an open practice of its own, but Oxford Plains ran its first races of the season June 27 — three weeks before Beech Ridge opened its racing season.

With only a few weeks between the Beech Ridge practice and the Oxford Plains opener, Farrington and his family-run racing team had to switch the car’s setup from Beech Ridge’s 1/3rd-mile layout to Oxford Plains’ 3/8ths-mile oval. They got the setup right as Farrington finished second to multi-time track champion Jeff Taylor in the first Super Late Model feature of the year.

Farrington’s car was built by Taylor’s Distance Racing Products.

Farrington finished 11th in a Pro All Stars Series 150-lap race the next day, then suffered his only DNF (did not finish) and a 17th-place showing the following week, but it’s been all top-10 finishes since.

There was third place in an open SLM race that Taylor won, a runner-up finish in another PASS 150-lap race that defending Oxford SLM champ Curtis Gerry won, and an eighth-place showing before back-to-back victories in his most recent weekly features.

“We’ve stuck to the basics of what makes our car, built by Distance Racing Products, go well. Not trying to reinvent the wheel with major wholesale changes if something doesn’t quite feel right. Log everything we do to the car and maintain it to ensure nothing is changing,” Farrington said. “We can certainly be thankful for a little luck as well, with the races falling into place for us with our lanes moving forward. And also getting the car to handle in every lane on the track to pass on the inside or outside as needed.”

Dave Farrington Jr. (23) drives the inside lane at Oxford Plains Speedway during Super Late Model action on Aug. 8. Oriana Lovell photo

With his most recent win, Farrington edged ahead of Gerry for the points lead, with 331 points to Gerry’s 330.

“Curtis Gerry and I have been friends on and off the track but we’ve been in some heated competitive battles for a number of years, and this year doesn’t look any different,” Farrington said. “Despite having a DNF with a 17th-place finish due to an electrical failure earlier in the year, we’ve been able to remain consistent week after week and brought ourselves back into this championship hunt. We just need to stay focused, maintain and remain consistent and we will be in good shape.”

Despite Oxford Plains being the closest track to him growing up, Farrington has never fully called Oxford his home track during his racing career. He had just one SLM win at the track prior to this season.

“Technically speaking, Oxford is geographically the closest track to our home and our race shop. For the 2020 season, it’s certainly been our home track. In previous years, one could certainly argue that Beech Ridge Motor Speedway was our home track,” said Farrington, who has also raced at Wiscasset Speedway, as well as throughout the Northeast competing in regional touring series.

Farrington said he’s found himself falling into a routine running the weekly races at Oxford Plains. That could help him with what he considers his No. 1 priority — the Oxford 250.

“We’ve certainly turned a lot more laps around Oxford this season compared to any other year,” Farrington said. “I feel we will be well-prepared for this year’s 250.”

The increased track time at Oxford Plains should “hopefully” improve Farrington’s chances in the biggest race of the year, he said, but he also cautioned that the 250-lap showcase event is a lot different than a 50-lap weekly feature.

“We want to get through this weekend (with a 50-lap weekly feature Saturday and 150-lap PASS race Sunday) as one of our last tune-up opportunities, you may call it, to help set our sights on the 250,” he said.

Farrington has qualified for all but one Oxford 250 since his debut in 2011, missing the feature in 2015. His best finish was sixth in 2012. He also has finishes of 26th, 20th, 25th, 24th, 18th, and most recently back-to-back 14th-place showings.

Beyond the big race, which is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 30, Farrington said he is “hoping to be racing right through the month of October, as long as Mother Nature allows us to.”

Oxford Plains’ championship night is scheduled for Oct. 10, with a 125-lap PASS race at the track a week later.

Dave Farrington Jr. gets out of his care in victory lane after winning the Super Late Model feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Aug. 8. Oriana Lovell photo

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