A Different Brackett Tames Oxford Plains
OXFORD, Maine – Tim Brackett topped the card of winners in Oxford Championship Series competition Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Brackett scored his victory in the 50-lap main event for Budweiser Pro Late Models, wheeling his NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored car into victory lane on Dave’s Small Engines/Walker Mowers Night.
Brackett’s win snapped a two-race win streak posted by his son, T.J. Brackett. The elder Brackett, a former champion in the top class at OPS, worked his way into contention and took the lead away from Quinny Welch late in the headline event on the card. Welch managed to outrun the balance of the field to the checkered flag to post a well-earned second-place finish.
While T.J. Brackett saw his two-race Pro Late Model win streak halted, he managed gained ground in his quest for the 2014 track title with a third-place finish, two spots better than his chief title rival, Shawn Martin. Unofficially, Martin hold a two-point advantage over the junior Brackett, with two scheduled events remaining on the OCS schedule.
Chris Coolidge claimed fourth-place honors in the top class finale. Shane Green, the elder Brackett and Kyle DeSouza were heat race winners in the premier weekly class at OPS.
Kurt Hewins prevailed in the 35-lap Allen’s Coffee-Flavored Brandy Street Stock division main event, earning his trip to victory lane from only a row shy of dead last on the starting grid.
“It’s good to be back home,” Hewins said from victory lane, in his third race since rejoining the division after a disappointing effort in the top-tier Pro Late Model class. Admitting that he needed to drop back in order to have fun racing again, Hewins said “I’ve got to thank everyone who helped me with the Pro Stock. We were struggling.”
B.J. Chapman led the vast majority of the headlining event for the top Oxford Championship Series support division, which performed spectacularly for the enthusiastic crowd, appreciative of frequent three-wide attempts throughout the running order. Chapman was the best of the rest, with the podium filled out by the previous week’s winner, Ryan Hewins.
Zach Emerson raced among the leaders throughout the race, just missing out on a trophy. Corey Morgan logged the most miles in the outside grooves to earn the final top-five position. Spencer Morse and Chapman were heat race winners.
Neil Martin charged from the back of the pack to score a popular victory aboard his number 1 car replicating championship-winning cars for multi-time Oxford Plains Speedway champion and Maine Hall of Famer Al Hammond, who passed away prior to this season. Martin’s triumph came in a 20-lap race for Wicked Good Vintage Racing Ass’n competitiors.
“It’s a real tribute to Albert” said Martin, referring to his winning mount, reminiscent of Hammond’s championship-winning Chevrolets from the early seventies. “I’m proud to carry his colors tonight.”
Hal Clark romped to heat race and main event victories in Wicked Good Vintage Racing Ass’n Late Model/Modified/Hobby action. Nate Symonds, Mike Willette, Greg Inman and George Harding rounded out the top-five.
Troy Jordan certainly didn’t hurt his championship hopes in Ripley & Fletcher Ford Outlaw Sportsman competition. Jordan scored an impressive victory in the 30-lap main event, and maintains a healthy advantage in the title bout.
Guy Childs Sr. was the best of the rest, claiming runner-up honors in front of Dale Lawrence, who led the early portion of the race before Jordan took command for good. Steve Moon and Gerry Freve rounded out the top-five. Lawrence and Moon won 10-lap heats earlier in the evening.