OXFORD — A poor performance or a crash in a heat can snuff out any driver’s dream of getting into the Oxford 250 – but last year’s champion, Cassius Clark – not only made the cut but won his heat at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday.

“We had a good draw and started on the pole,” said Clark, who was racing for the first time of the season. “I was able to maintain, so we will have a good start at the top of the feature.

“We were off a little bit from where we wanted to be, but it was a good run. We will make some adjustments for the race and we should be in good shape. Hopefully it will be a good race for the fans and a good race for us.”

Clark wasn’t as fortunate in the main event, however. He was near the front during most of the first half of the race but was forced to retire early because of transmission issues.

He was one of many former champions whose 250s were cut short. Travis Benjamin and Glen Luce failed to make the field, and Ben Rowe was taken out by a fuel cell issue. Curtis Gerry spun out soon after taking the lead and Eddie MacDonald had an early flat tire, but both battled back to the top three.

Tim Brackett of Buckfield made the cut, but his son, TJ, crashed and was knocked out of the race because of damage to his car.


“(Our race) wasn’t very good, but it was good enough,” Tim Brackett said. “The coming out of the sun changed the track. This track is really temperature sensitive, and when the sun comes out of the clouds, it ain’t good.”

Tim Brackett initially fell one spot short of qualifying – the top four in each of the five heats moved on – but he was bumped up to fourth with the heat’s runner-up, Mike Hopkins, failed the postrace technical inspection. He bowed out of the Oxford 250 after 83 laps and finished 40th of 42 cars.


This was 17-year-old Isaac Bevin’s first Oxford 250, and he was loving every minute of it.

Bevin is the son of Matt Bevin, who served as Kentucky governor from 2015-19, and their family enjoys spending time in Maine.

Isaac Bevin was smitten by cars as a child and hasn’t lost that passion.


“I have always loved cars,” Bevin said. “If there is any chance I could be around a car, I would be. One day, we went to a little car track for just recreational stuff and I got hooked ever since then. Then, January of 2020, I started racing legend cars. Then, 2021 was late-model stocks and legends, and here I am running supers in the Northeast.”

Bevin missed out on qualifying through the heats, consolation races and last chance qualifier.

Bevin, like Tim Brackett, said Oxford Plains Speedway is finicky and weather sensitive.

“Everything can change about it in an instant,” Bevin said during qualifying. “Everyone here is good. It is a difficult track to master. It will be hard to get in, but if we can make the show, that is the main part.”


Randy Millican and Dwayne Moore, fans from St. John, New Brunswick, were watching the races at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday when the lights went out.


“I have never been at a track when the power went out,” Millican said. “Thank God it was a yellow under caution so the cars were going slow. If they were going fast, it would have been a nightmare.”

The power went out at about 9:45 p.m. when a vehicle hit a utility pole on French Road in Oxford.

“It took about an hour get the power back on (at Oxford Plains),” Moore said,but the whole town was out.”


Palmyra’s Ben Ashline, who qualified for 250 feature in the consolation round, enjoyed the cooler weather but was no fan of the sun.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t mind some cloud cover just for a little grip on the racetrack, I guess,” he said. “Obviously, everybody has got to race in the same conditions, so it is a nice day. Obviously, we had to deal with a little bit of rain before the weekend, but for the most part, it has been an upbeat weekend.


“It is nice to be able to do this. There are people in the world that have to worry about a lot worse than us, and we get to enjoy one of the biggest stock car races in the country.”


Driver Derek Griffith of New Hampshire is doing all he can to to make it in the world of racing.

“It is a difficult road,” he said. “You’ve got to know the right people, make the right choices and got to have some luck on this side. It is a tough deal, but we are working at it.

“We finished third last year (at the Oxford 250), second in 2019. We’ve never missed the 250 since 2014, I think. We always like to run. It is a good way to learn and compete in some of the best races in the country.”

Griffith, who was driving Kate Re’s car Sunday, earned his spot in the 250 by finishing first in the first consolation heat. He finished 15th, one of 21 cars to finish on the lead lap.

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: