The itch to return to racing in the State of Maine is about to come to a head this coming weekend, as short tracks open their gates for the first time in 2021. With Super Late Models on the schedule at Oxford Plains Speedway on both Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend, the eagerness to win is even higher, especially for 2019 Oxford Championship Series SLM champion and 2017 Oxford 250 winner Curtis Gerry.
The Waterboro, ME native may have come up just one spot short in the 2020 OCS title race to Dave Farrington Jr, but he finished the season off with a tremendous head of steam, especially after the title race had concluded. On back-to-back weeks last October, Gerry went on a tear winning two-straight 150-lap Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model events to cap off the year.
“We’re really excited to get the season kicked off, we’re optimistic and hopeful that we can start the season the way last year ended. The car was really good the last two PASS races there, so hopefully we can pick right up where we left off,” Gerry told Speed51.
After nearly stealing the title away last fall, Gerry is back once again to try for Oxford season title number on Saturday nights in 2021.
“That’s the plan right now, to run the full schedule there at Oxford regularly on Saturday nights.”
Gerry has become one of the Pine Tree State’s best in the past half decade, running mainly down the road at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway much of his career. But then in 2016 he first hit pay dirt, with the Beech Ridge SLM Pro Series title that year, with a second in 2018. Following the weekly switch to Oxford in 2019, it has been very rare that the No. 7G team has been off their game.
“We came from Beech Ridge and had good success there, I really liked that track. It drives a little different, but the setup is about the same. We’ve been really good ever since we started running Oxford. It’s just fun, I really like the track, you got a lot of room where you can run three-wide if you want to. But it’s tough to keep a setup, the track is very tricky. But, we just keep throwing a setup that works at it and most of the time we hit it.”
Both Saturday’s 50-lap OCS season opener, and Sunday’s Honey Badger Bar & Grill PASS 150 will be live on Speed51.TV. For race fans who have yet to witness either kind of race Oxford, Gerry gave a quick description of what to expect.
“PASS race on Sunday, people are going to be a little more patient, you have to pace yourself more. Saturday is a 50-lap shootout, so you have to pretty much go from Lap 1, especially if you draw in the back. 50 laps is quick, you can’t wait around.”
While track title number two is certainly a major goal, so is winning Oxford 250 number two come August 29. The feeling of that 2017 victory still resonates deep within Gerry and his team, and it is feeling they want to repeat in 2021.
“I was in shock, we didn’t go in there as somebody that we thought we could win. That race we just had a phenomenal car, and everything just clicked, except for the horrible pit stop. But, the car was good enough to get back to the lead. As a small team it was a huge accomplishment, it’s something we talk about all the time. It’s already on the radar, to try and do it again.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51