Calvin Rose Jr., left, Kyle Desouza, center, and Dennis Spencer are among the weekly leaders in the Super Late Model division at Oxford Plains Speedway this year. Adam Robinson/Sun Journal

While a lot can go wrong at the Oxford 250, a driver must have maximum confidence to have a chance of pulling off a victory. 

That isn’t a problem heading into Sunday’s race for many of the top-five drivers in Oxford Plains Speedway’s weekly Super Late Models division.

Dave Farrington Jr., the 2020 weekly points champion and the current 2021 leader with 883 points, knows things can change quickly at the Oxford 250, but he and his team are boosted by their success this season.

“Our confidence is pretty high,” Farrington said at Oxford 250 media day Tuesday. “Obviously, with the four wins here this year we’ve been consistent top-five, week in and week out. We had one slip up in July in a hot race, and we did one thing wrong and it hurt us. We know we’ve been there and we’re in a pretty good spot. Confidence has to be as high as it can be, we just need to make sure we don’t leave any stones unturned and don’t miss anything, and make sure we don’t regret anything at the end of the night.”

Farrington is followed in the weekly standings by Kyle Desouza, in second place with 827 points, then Curtis Gerry (821), Calvin Rose Jr. (759) and Dennis Spencer (713). 

The competition at the top of the points standings has helped the weekly drivers prepare for the unpredictable nature of the Oxford 250 usually throws.

“I’d like to say I’m pretty confident but there are a lot of big names coming up and big teams coming up,” Rose said. “Running here weekly helps you, but you can’t be too confident. You get a lot of notes on how the track changes when you drive here often.”

“It’s probably the most confident I’ve been going into a 250,” Desouza said. “There are 25 cars probably capable of winning and five of those cars probably won’t even make the race. It’s impressive, but it’s probably the most confident I’ve been going into it, having run here all year.”

Spencer — who said that he has “the best car I’ve ever had” — said that along with confidence a driver needs several breaks to go their way, including favorable placement and heat draws.

“You’ve got to have a good draw to start with in your heat and hopefully make it out,” Spencer said. “If you don’t, you have to make it in the last-chance race. It changes quickly. It’s a long race, and as long as you get in the show, you have a

Farrington said he feels good about his car and used last week’s open weekend to tune it up for this coming week, while Desouza didn’t race in the Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150 to give himself more time to inspect his car. Farrington said he has probably put in more laps at Oxford Plains than anyone else in the past two years, but that experience only goes so far at the Oxford 250.

“We try not to tie into the weekly success because circumstances are different,” Farrington said. “In the weekly series we are running on two new tires a night, but here at the 250 we are running on four new tires. The setup and handling is a little bit different in that circumstance. We are trying to break the spell of no previous winners from an Oxford weekly competition, hopefully.”

But, he adds, the best way to prepare for the speedway’s 3/8-mile track is to go around it as much as possible.

“Those guys down south,” Farrington said, “they’re going to get up here early and get hundreds of laps in because you can forget how to go around here in a hurry if you’re not used to it or up to speed with it. I am sure some of the guys that do the iRacing deal — I don’t care for that, it’s just never the same — I’m sure guys have been playing on their race simulators, but there’s no other track in the country like it.”

Farrington, a Jay native who lives in Sabattus, also hopes that either he or Farmington residents Cassius Clark and Jeff Taylor become the first driver to win from Franklin County this year.

Cassius came out here and won pretty handedly last week, and we were in that same boat last year when we won the race before the 250, but it didn’t matter come 250 time,” Farrington said. “I would certainly like to bring a win back home to Franklin County. We’ve been shut out here in 47 races. Between myself, Cassius and Jeff Taylor there are some pretty good odds for the trophy going back to Franklin County, hopefully in our hands.”

Having packed stands at Oxford Plains Speedway to cheer on the winner will be a welcome addition after the number of fans was limited at last year’s race due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you’re racing you don’t really notice the fans, but if you get to victory lane it’s a lot better to have the fans out there cheering for you,” Spencer said. “Also driver introductions, things like that, it’s definitely a lot more fun.”

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