Cassius Clark held off Curtis Gerry and Derek Griffith to score his first career Oxford 250 win.
“Cash Money” first held off Derek Griffith, then 2017 race winner Curtis Gerry to the checkered to win his first-career Oxford 250. Not even damage to the right door of his No. 13 sustained avoiding an earlier incident could slow him down after taking the lead following a pit stop with 74 laps to go.
Clark would hold off Gerry by just .131 seconds at the line, one of the closest finishes at the Oxford 250 in recent years.
“He was right on us, he and the No.12 (Griffith). Thanks to my crew for an awesome pit stop, we came back out second on the racetrack,” Clark told Speed51. “We got through that melee, I mean we got a lot of damage on the right side. We thought it was right off the tires, it hit the rear wheel a little bit but the car was still fast. We just put it out of our mind and kept digging.”
You get the lead in the damn 250 and it’s whatever. I’ve seen that scoreboard with 25, 35 and it seemed to slip away. It’s nice to see the No. 13 and 250 there.
The win came in his 14th try, tying a record held by last year’s winner Johnny Clark for most starts before their first Oxford 250. In that time, he had scored three top-fives without a win. His father Billy had also made six starts in the late 80’s and early 90’s and started on the pole twice, but could only muster up a best finish of fifth under the Busch North banner.
For Clark, this win meant a whole lot more than just who was behind the wheel.
“I was (son Cale)’s age when I first came to this race. He didn’t win a lot, I think he ran five or six of them but was always a threat to win. This was his home track, he ran very well here in the short amount of time that he raced here. It’s awesome to get it done for him.”
The elder Clark was in victory lane celebrating with his son. The win held just a big of a meaning to him as it did to his son behind the wheel.
That means the world to me, I couldn’t quite do it. I kept thinking if he could get away we’d be in good shape,” said Billy Clark.” I don’t really know how to explain it, he’s my hero in a way.
Curtis Gerry set the tone during his heat race after driving from last to first in his heat race. He dominated the first half of the race and hung around the top-five all race, staying in contention until the checkered flag.
Despite finding a lane around Clark in the final laps, he could not fully capitalize on the opportunity and finished second, his best finish in the race since his win four years ago.
“I was faster than him on the bottom, I don’t think I had anything for him on the outside. He kept giving me little holes here and there but I didn’t want to move him for the win,” said Gerry. “I did bump him and get under him but I didn’t make the pass.”
Derek Griffith rounded out the podium after leading the middle stages of the race. Joey Doiron and 2020 race winner Johnny Clark rounded out the top-five.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
Oxford 250 Results:
|9||97||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.|
|16||23||Dave Farrington, Jr.|
|24||20||Rowland Robinson, Jr.|
|34||8||Calvin Rose, Jr.|