Cassius Clark climbs out of his car in victory lane after winning the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Aug. 29. Brewster Burns photo

Editor’s note: This is the second in a five-part series about the five biggest sports stories in the Sun Journal’s coverage area in 2021, as selected by our sports reporters and editors.

Cassius Clark has been around Oxford Plains Speedway his whole life, from growing up watching his father Billy compete at the track to turning laps — fast ones — during his own racing career.

But in four decades at the track, there was one place the Farmington driver had yet to visit — victory lane, as the winning driver, with the giant Oxford 250 trophy clenched in his sweaty hands. Clark finally felt that feeling in 2021, in what was probably his most longshot chance of the past decade.

Clark has often been among the favorites in the biggest race at this home track, but 2021 — and 2020, for that matter — was different than most years.

Driving for car owner Rollie MacDonald of Nova Scotia, Clark normally races throughout Canada while sprinkling in races at Oxford throughout the summer. There were few chances for Clark to race in 2020, and he didn’t compete in any races in 2021 until a Pro All Stars Series 150-lapper at Oxford two weeks before 250 weekend.

A victory in that race made a 250 win less of a longshot, but Clark still had his big-race demons to conquer.


He started the 250 in the middle of the pack and slowly-but-surely made his way toward the front. When he finally got there, he got into trouble while battling Eddie MacDonald for the lead. Clark was able to stay up front, but the right side of his No. 13 care was roughed up.

“(My crew members) were worried about it, but it’s the 250,” Clark said after the race. “It was win or die.”

The damage didn’t deter him, and neither did tough competition from eventual podium finishers Curtis Gerry and Derek Griffith, though both had their opportunities. Gerry, the 2017 race winner, even gave Clark a bump going through the final turns before begrudgingly settling for the runner-up spot.

The 48th Oxford 250 was Cassius Clark’s, and nobody was able to take it away from him.

“Cassius just did everything right,” Griffith said after the race. “You know, he had a tore-up race car and he still won, and he did a great job. So hats off to those guys.”

As the literal smoke settled in the moments following the race and again when the metaphorical dust settled the next day, Clark said that his victory was for more than just himself, or even his dad; it was for all of the great Franklin County drivers who fell short over the years — Jeff Taylor and Tracy Gordon, among others. He acknowledged that his win doesn’t take their sting away, but he felt pride in carrying the flag for all of them.

And, of course, there is the jubilation that Clark felt in winning, which he was able to share with his father, his car owner, and, perhaps most important, his young son Cale.

“Those were my fondest memories growing up, going to victory lane with my dad,” Clark said the day after winning the 250. “I can remember it like it was yesterday and I’m sure (Cale) will remember that for a lifetime. He’s my little good luck charm.”

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