August 26, 2018
Bubba Slam Dunks!
Thirty one year-old third generation race driver, Bubba Pollard from Senoia, Georgia made his Oxford Plains Speedway debut count by winning the 45th Annual Oxford 250 and collecting $28,300. Joey Polewarczyk Jr, Hudson, New Hampshire finished second followed by Manchester’s Reid Lanpher in third.
Garrett Hall, Scarborough lead early in the race for a total of 166 laps and earned $20,600 as a result of leading and finishing 4th.
Rounding out the top five was Joey Doiron, Berwick.
Washburn’s Jere Humphrey commented, “Good race. Fast at first with few to no cautions. Was opposite of norm. Usually cautions are at start and long green at the end. Today was green until lap 100 or so, then 8 cautions. Only two race lap leaders until lap 173.”
My eyes at the race track and race historian, Gary Saucier, Fort Fairfield, described the race like this, “Just a completely impressive performance by Bubba Pollard, coming to Oxford Plains for the very first time, adapting to the track quickly and showing the patience needed to take home the win, especially considering that he had to go to the consolation round to get in.”
“Pollard looked great to me, again patience was the key. He seemed to be hitting the rev limiter a bit going into the corners but it didn’t affect his lap times or performance.”
Saucier observed, “My surprise of the race was the fact Cassius Clark was never a factor, nor were Austin Theriault or Curtis Gerry. Gerry got taken out in a late crash. Austin never found the handle at all.”
“My only disappointment, ” said Saucier, “was the car count. Fifty-six tried and they were talking seventy, but I think it’s getting expensive to do 250 weekend now and many teams seem to not have the heavy sponsorship that the front-running guys have.”
Alexander has a great race
The Wyatt Alexander Racing team was encouraged a few weeks ago when Wyatt was named the Valvoline Fast track To Fame winner. That seemed to ramp their effort up considerably with assistance from Valvoline on marketing and parts. They unveiled a throwback paint scheme reflective of Bob Alexander’s #96 when he raced in the 90’s.
Bob Alexander was surprised at the unveiling which can be seen here:
Alexander made the feature race following a fourth place finish in heat race number two. This meant he would start 17th in the race. Despite starting 17th, the team heaved a big sigh of relief since the finally made the race.
Crew chief Bob Alexander gives an insiders look at the race. “The car was well-balanced all day,” said Alexander. “We got down a lap mid race and had to wait for a ‘lucky dog’ pass to get back on the lead lap. We were up to 9th early on but a 12th place finish is awesome.”
When asked about pit strategy and tire usage he replied, “We stopped at lap 59 for rights and fuel. Worked up to 9th and pitted around lap 170 for four tires and a splash of fuel.”
“Our pit spot was perfect at second spot on the front stretch. We got a lap down to the leaders but as he worked traffic we were sometimes 2 to 3 tenths faster than the leaders. Pretty happy with the performance and results.”
“Wyatt was pretty relaxed after the race. When a car handles as well as we were tonight, it allows the driver to pace himself.”
School starts next week at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte thus shifting Wyatt’s attention from racing toward academics. The team hopes to race at Orange County Speedway in September.
St. John Valley racers have tough day at the track
Frenchville native Shawn Martin, now living in Auburn seemed to have a tough road to follow this Sunday. He drew last in his first heat for the second year in a row. He had to start the race in last position (42). He wound up finishing 20th a couple of laps down.
ARCA Champion Austin Theriault seemed to struggle with the handling and pit strategy which put him 2 laps down in 30th position. The post race video gives his reaction to the race. https://www.facebook.com/austintheriaultracing/videos/1825639980877341/
Speed Trials at Loring next weekend
The Loring Timing Associations Harvest Event for land speed racers will be August 29-September 2nd. The staff expects to see a typical Harvest Event turnout with plenty of opportunity for racers to make as many runs as they desire.
Information about the Harvest Event:
August 29th – September 2nd – Gates are open around the clock for racers and crews
Wednesday Aug 29th. Setup and tech day. Tech and registration will open approximately at 1:00 and will run until 5:00.
Thursday Aug 30th registration/tech will open at 8:00 with racing from 1:00 until 5:00. Rookie meeting at noon
Friday Aug 31 Registration, tech, and racing from 9-5:00
Saturday Sept 1 Registration, tech, and racing from 9-5:00
Sunday Sept 2 Registration, tech, and racing from 8-1:30
For more information check out the Loring Timing Association website:
Speedweekend at Speedway 660 Labor Day weekend
Speedway 660 , Geary Woods, New Brunswick will be holding their largest race event of the season, Speedweekend 2018, September 1st and 2nd. I compare the races to the Oxford 250 since Speedway 660 will be having their McLaughlin Roof Trusses Pro Stock division racing for $15,000 to win and $50 for each lap led on Sunday.
Prior to the Sunday Pro Stock race, the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman 150 with a $7500 first prize will be run Saturday evening.
Expected to enter the race from the U.S. side of the Border will be Presque Isle’s Kirk Thibeau, Johnny Clark, Hallowell, Austin Teras, Gray, and Cassius Clark, Farmington.
For more information about the Speedweekend events check out Speedway 660 website. http://www.speedway660.com
Comments from crew chief of the #1 RYAN Motorsports Pro Stock, Robb Messer. ” Our day did not go as we had planned and turned out to be one of the more aggravating days we’ve had,” said Messer. “Unfortunately our tire strategy to put two right side tires on for the last points race was derailed as there were no appropriately sized tires available. So we were forced to instead put left side tires on and the car did not respond well.”
“We fought this all day and started to make it better by the heat. However, in the feature we were collected in a couple unnecessary cautions that did not help our cause. In the end, we finished 5th and tied for the season points lead but came second on a tie breaker.”
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria