Oxford, ME – Mike Rowe of Turner made a rare Oxford Plains Speedway Budweiser Championship Series appearance Saturday night and led wire-to-wire in the 50-lap Super Late Model main event to score career win 152 at the historic Route 26 oval track.
On the night before his 68th birthday Rowe, a seven-time Oxford track champion already enshrined into the Maine and New England Racing Halls of Fame, outran the current leader in the battle for the 2018 Budweiser Championship Series Super Late Model title, Gabe Brown of Center Conway, New Hampshire.
Brown, about a month shy of his 16th birthday and slightly more than a half-century younger than the race winner, earned runner-up honors in front of Timmy Brackett of Buckfield, a four-time track champion in the top class at OPS in a career spanning over four decades.
Another former track champion, and Oxford 250 titlist, Scott Robbins of Dixfield used the outside groove to race into fourth position, followed by two-time track champion TJ Brackett of Buckfield, who lost last year’s championship in a tiebreaker.
Only one race remains in the 2018 track championship battle. Brown, still only 15-years-old, will attempt to become the youngest premiere division champion in Oxford Plains Speedway history in the Budweiser Championship Series points finale, scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8. Only TJ Brackett has a realistic shot at overtaking Brown atop the rankings.
Gary Babineau of Hollis Center led wire-to-wire, claiming his first victory of the season in the 50-lap finale in the Honey Badger Restaurant Series for Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock racers. Babineau, who led 49.9 laps in an earlier 50-lapper won by Billy Childs, Jr., turned back dozens of challenges by Tyler King of Gray to claim victory.
King, four times a winner earlier in the season including a Honey Badger Series win at Speedway 95, claimed the series championship by a narrow margin over Matt Dufault of Turner, who finished third after passing most of his rivals twice or more in the extra-distance event. Dufault’s impressive drive helped him remain atop the season-long Oxford Plains Speedway track championship battle by a very slight margin.
Zach Bowie of Greene was the fourth-place finisher, with West Poland’s David Whittier rounding out the top five after leading the opening laps of the race. Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stocks race three times on Oxford 250 weekend August 24-26 before wrapping up their championship season on Saturday, September 8.
Jamie Heath of Waterford made a bold early move, passing competitors three and four-wide on the opening lap to race into contention, then outran all rivals to the checkered flag top earn his second 20-lap Bandits feature win of the year.
Minot’s Rob Crepeau was the best of the rest, holding off Buckfield’s hard-charging Chad Wills for runner-up honors. Wills had started the race from last position. Bandits division Championship points leader Dustin Salley was fourth across the finish line, followed by Travis ‘The Tornado’ Verrill of South Paris.
Kyle Kilgore of South Paris extended his championship points lead in the Figure 8 class with his second straight 20-lap victory, and seventh of the season. Kilgore outran second-place points man, and four-time 2018 winner Dale Lawrence of Lisbon to the checkered flag. Oxford’s Chachy Hall won a spirited battle for third position versus South Paris racer Greg Durgin. Lisbon’s Robert Morey filled out the top five rundown.
Thomas Brackett of Auburn drove to his eleventh victory of the season in the 15-lap Rookie division race. Brady Childs of Leeds, a relative newcomer to the division, nailed down his best finish, in second place. Brady Heath of Waterford remained the only racer with a trophy in every start with a third-place finish. Owen Stuart of Naples was a contender until sidelined late in the race.
The 45th Annual Oxford 250 weekend, presented by Clark’s Scrap Metals, kicks off Friday night, August 24 and continues through Oxford 250 Sunday, with $50,000-to-win possible for Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model competitors towing in from throughout the United States and Canada. Post times are 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 24; 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 25 and 1:30 p.m. on Oxford250 Sunday, the 26th. Oxford Plains Speedway is located at 877 Main Street, on State Route 26 in Oxford, Maine. For more information visit oxfordplains.com or call (207) 539-8865.
-Oxford Plains Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos
Budweiser Championship Series Unofficial Results
Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) – August 18, 2018
Budweiser Super Late Model (50 laps) 1 24 Mike Rowe,Turner; 2 47 Gabe Brown, Center Conway, NH; 3 60 Tim Brackett, Buckfield; 4 72 Scott Robbins, Dixfield; 5 61 TJ Brackett, Buckfield; 6 54 Ryan Deane, Winterport; 7 03 Scott Moore, Anson; 8 77 Bryce Mains, Bridgton; 9 8 Calvin Rose, Jr., Turner; 10 3 Travis Buzzell, Hollis Center; 11 75 Gary Smith, Bangor; 12 88 Brandon Barker, Windham.
Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Street Stock (50 laps); 1 2 Gary Babineau, Hollis Center; 2 11 Tyler King, Gray; 3 61 Matt Dufault, Turner; 4 21 Zach Bowie, Greene; 5 58 David Whittier, West Poland; 6 67 Michael Haynes, Livermore Falls; 7 36 Rick Spaulding, Lisbon; 8 62 Nick Stanley, Oxford; 9 12 John White, Auburn; 10 56 Addie McDaniel, Bridgton; 11 99 George Haskell, Casco; 12 52 Mike Nichols, Livermore Falls; 13 44 Kyle Treadwell, Buckfield; 14 1x Joey Isrealson, Scarborough; 15 59 Tyson Jordan, Oxford; 16 55 Kurt Hewins, Leeds; 17 34 David Vaughn, Naples; 18 22 Joe Hutter, Hebron; 19 27 Patrick Thorne, Standish; 20 4 Jordan Russell, Norway; 21 1 Billy Childs, Jr., Leeds.
Bandits (20 laps) 1 91 Jamie Heath, Waterford; 2 77 Rob Crepeau, Minot; 3 52 Chad Wills, Buckfield; 4 18 Dustin Salley, Poland; 5 24 Travis ‘Tornado’ Verrill, South Paris; 6 8 Jeremy Lauzier, Rumford; 7 69 Travis Dunbar, Auburn; 8 14 Brandon Caston, Casco; 9 08 Mike McKinney, Berlin, NH; 10 42 Nick Ogden, Mechanic Falls; 11 44 Jeff Libby, Auburn; 12 2 Shaun Hinkley, Oxford; 13 5 Jake Hall, Oxford.
Figure 8 (20 laps) 1 4 Kyle Kilgore, South Paris; 2 2 Dale Lawrence, Lisbon; 3 3 Charlie ‘Chachy’ Hall, Oxford; 4 41 Greg Durgin, South Paris; 5 40 Robert Morey, Lisbon; 6 97 Eric Hodgkins, Minot.
Rookie (10 laps) 1 3 Thomas Brackett, Auburn; 2 1 Brady Childs, Leeds; 3 91 Brady Heath, Waterford; 4 8 Owen Stuart, Naples.