Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to practice his car Saturday afternoon, Curtis Gerry took full advantage of Friday’s Oxford 250 practice day at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME). The driver of the No. 7G Super Late Model set the overall fast time (15.402 seconds) during the three-hour practice session for Sunday’s 44th Annual Oxford 250.
“The car is really good, we unloaded really fast,” Gerry told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We had old practice tires on the first time out and we were happy with it. We put stickers on it and it was consistently fast all the way through all the runs we had. I’m really happy with the car, I can’t complain.”
Gerry will not be able to practice Saturday afternoon at Oxford Plains because he will be busy racing for a Pro Series championship down the road at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME). He enters Saturday night’s race trailing Reid Lanpher, who is also pulling double duty this weekend, by 12 points.
Being in a tight championship battle and only having one race car available for the two races made preparation for today’s practice even more important. Gerry said he couldn’t be happier with what his team accomplished and hopes to have that same speed when he returns on Sunday.
“We unloaded here a couple times at the beggining of the year and it was fast, but never been top of the charts multiple times like that,” Gerry stated. “We’re really happy with that. Tomorrow night we have to go run the Beech Ridge race, the race for the championship, and then we’ll be back Sunday.”
During the final hour of Friday’s practice session, Derek Griffith recorded the second fastest time of the day with a 15.436-second lap around the 3/8-mile speedway. That lap was also good for the fastest time during the final round of practice. At the end of the day, Griffith admitted that seeing his name at the top of the speed chart was somewhat of a shocker.
“It’s kind of funny, I was just telling the guys that I never thought that day would come when I would go P1 at Oxford Plains,” he joked. “We have a really good car, it’s a Dale Shaw race car. I think my other car is really good too; we just didn’t get any really good laps in. I think we’re in really good shape for tomorrow and Sunday. I’m really happy with the way it drives and obviously, it’s fast; it feels really racy.”
In just his fifth Super Late Model start, 14-year-old Gabe Brown gained the attention of many when he held the fastest lap late in the second practice session. Although he ended up seventh overall on the speed chart, the youngster was excited about his day.
“I’m really happy with the day. I’m just a rookie trying to follow his dream,” Brown said.
Brown’s current plans for the weekend only include Saturday’s 100-lap Granite State Pro Stock Series race. He’s hoping if all goes well he can earn a guaranteed starting spot in Sunday’s big race.
Brown’s car owner, two-time Pro All Star Series North champion DJ Shaw, wasn’t as excited with the performance of his own race cars. Shaw didn’t appear any higher than 20th on the practice charts throughout the day while testing both of his No. 60 Super Late Models.
“We tried each car one run there and they were pretty close on speed but one drove quite a bit better than the other,” Shaw explained. “We weren’t on much for tires, so I guess tomorrow we’ll see what we pick up and where we stack up and give it a better assessment. Don’t know what to think of where our speed stacks up right now, but we’ll see tomorrow. “
Super Late Models will have another two-and-a-half hour practice session on Saturday. Drivers competing in the Granite State Pro Stock Series race Saturday night will also have 55 minutes of practice throughout the afternoon.
On-demand info, results and photos from Friday can be found by visiting Speed51.com’s Trackside Now presented by Poland Spring and AP Racing Brakes.
Race fans unable to make it to Oxford, Maine on Sunday can watch the Oxford 250 live on Speed51.com via a pay-per-view broadcast.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com