August 26, 2009
Stevens, Robertson, Morse make
3 more first-time Acceleration winners
OXFORD, Maine - Eleven years into its history, the Oxford
Acceleration Series still consistently churns out first-time feature
But what are the odds of it happening three times out of eight
features in one night? Twice in one summer?
Carey Robertson (Chimney Tech Outlaw 'C'), Jerry Stevens (Call of
the Wild RV Center Sport Truck) and Spencer Morse (Goulet Home
Inspections Renegade) put their varying degrees of racing experience
to use Wednesday night and carried the checkered flag at Oxford
Plains Speedway for the first time.
It matched the windfall of new winners from July 15, when Todd Hall,
Ryan Hewins and Gerard Cote each turned into victory lane for the
In all, 10 first-time winners have pulled into the Acceleration
winner's circle this season.
Familiar faces were well represented, too.
Jay Wilkins and Josh Childs joined Robertson as Outlaw feature
winners. Derek Cook and Zach Audet ruled Macdonald Motors Runnin'
Rebel action. Cathy Manchester added to her slim point lead with a
close Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy Ladies victory.
Robertson has competed as a teammate with his father, Bruce,
off-and-on for several seasons of midweek competition at OPS. He's
been in the top five at the end of all three races in his
abbreviated 2009 season to date. Never better, though, than
Wednesday, when he overtook Dottie Patria on lap 5 and held off a
late charge by Fred Clavet for the caution-free victory.
"It's very emotional right now," Robertson said. "It
feels like we've been trying forever."
Clavet cruised to the front after starting 13th in a 15-car grid.
Brian Picard, making only his second career start at OPS, was third,
holding off Gerry Richard for that distinction. Nik Stanley snagged
fifth for the third paycheck of his rookie campaign.
Stevens is considered an Oxford rookie, with his last competition
and only previous victories occurring in a Street Stock at Unity
Raceway two decades ago.
One previous top-three finish proved that he'd navigated the pickup
learning curve, and he was amply prepared for a last-lap pass of
Corey Williams to win an action-packed, 20-lap feature.
Williams wrestled the lead away from Stevens on lap 9 and held it
until the white-flag lap. As the leaders raced down the backstretch,
they sandwiched the lapped truck of Eugene Corson. Stevens took the
lower line and put a fender in front.
The leaders rubbed and drag raced through turns three and four, with
Stevens prevailing by a few feet. Williams was seeking his first OPS
victory in his own right, having competed consistently since the
"That was a little wild at times, but it worked out pretty
good," Stevens said.
More than half the 15-truck field spent time in the top five, with
Ross Spurling taking advantage of several other drivers' misfortune
to collect third. Duane Booth was fourth in his initial OPS
appearance of the season, followed by point leader Ryan Farrar.
Morse inherited his win at the technical inspection line when Bill
Grover's apparent sixth victory was taken away. But the
third-generation standout became one of the youngest OPS winners in
history by earning it, warding off defending champion Jason Hannigan
in a terrific tussle.
"I think Hannigan and I put on a good show," said Morse, a
former JARRacing Photography Go Kart Series champion who became
eligible to compete on the big track when he turned 16 on August 13.
"This is what I've wanted to do my whole life."
Morse's father, Richie, was a multi-time Limited Sportsman champion
at Oxford. His grandfather, Ken, was a Mini Stock feature winner.
Gerard Cote edged Bob Morey for third after a lengthy,
paint-swapping scrap, breaking their tie atop the point standings in
the process. Charlie Hall was fifth in his 2009 Renegade debut.
Wilkins and Manchester achieved the rare distinction of two
different drivers taking the same car to victory lane in one
In the third of four virtual photo finishes on the night, Wilkins
warded off former champion Glen Henderson out of the final turn,
with both cars turned sideways from the incidental contact.
Jonathan Baldwin led the first 14 laps before Wilkins forged to the
front. The hard-0luck Baldwin later spun out of contention as a
hungry pack converged.
The win was Wilkins' second of the summer. Henderson made his
initial start in Missy Morgan's #26. Michael Haynes drove around the
commotion surrounding the Baldwin spin to take third, backed by Josh
Paradis and Doug Degroat.
Manchester's sixth win of the season doubled her point lead over
runner-up Vanna Brackett from two to four entering the final two
races of the campaign.
The last 17 laps rolled Manchester's way, but not without two
caution flags in the second half of the event giving Brackett a shot
at the win. Brackett closed to Manchester's rear bumper in turns one
and three on the final lap, but Manchester snuck away and protected
the top spot.
"That was so much fun. We had some issues with our car last
week," Manchester said. "My husband and son worked all
week long to get it dialed back in."
Childs claimed the fifth win of an astounding rookie Outlaw season
in heart-pounding fashion, crossing the stripe with his front end
facing the infield after contact with Steve Brill in the final
The 19-year-old used the outside lane to complete the fifth lead
change of the race. Childs had a fender in front on lap 18 before
Brill reclaimed the advantage as the white flag appeared.
"I don't think he wanted me to get it," Childs said.
Josh's father David was third, followed by Jerry Goss and Jim Davis
Jr. John Patria and Tyler Belanger also led the
event in its early stages.
Cook's persistence after a rollover and numerous mechanical failures
this season paid off with his first win of the summer, again in
Bill Sprague passed teammate Jeff Hebert for second on the final lap
and used the momentum to make a run at Cook out of the final corner.
Cook nursed his ailing car across the stripe a quarter-panel ahead
"It's overheating bad. I can't believe I made it to the
finish," Cook said.
Former champion Derek Cairns was fourth, with high school student
Ryan Philbrick giving chase.
Audet inherited his second win of the season after Mark Childs Jr.'s
motor failed the post-race inspection.
Ryan Hewins continued his likely Rookie of the Year campaign and
late run at uncle Kyle Hewins' impending division title with a
strong second-place showing. Matt Dufault edged Kyle Hewins at the
line for what would become third, followed by Dustin Salley.
OPS crowns its six JARRacing Photography Go Kart Series champions
with a triple-feature program at 6 p.m. Friday. The Oxford
Championships Series returns with five divisions in action, topped
by a 100-lap Mini Stock feature, starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
CHIMNEY TECH OUTLAW 'A' (20 laps): 1. Josh Childs, Oxford; 2. Steve
Brill, Bridgton; 3. David Childs, Oxford; 4. Jerry Goss, Mechanic
Falls; 5. Jim Davis Jr., Sabattus; 6. Chris Burgess, Sabattus; 7.
Steve Moon, Gray; 8. Jim Drake, Hebron; 9. John Patria, Turner; 10.
Addison Bowie, Auburn; 11. Ryan Robbins, Dixfield; 12. Dan Brown,
Peru; 13. Tyler Belanger, Sumner; 14. Zach Bowie, Lisbon; 15. Chris
Coolidge, Norway; 16. Guy Childs, Turner.
CHIMNEY TECH OUTLAW 'B' (20 laps): 1. Jay Wilkins, Gray; 2. Glen
Henderson, Sabattus; 3. Michael Haynes, Livermore Falls; 4. Josh
Paradis, Sumner; 5. Doug Degroat, Oxford; 6. Keith Landry, Oxford;
7. Bob Ferguson, New Gloucester; 8. Jerry Freve, Buckfield; 9. Kyle
Curtis, Oxford; 10. Shannon Judd, Jay; 11. David Brown, Poland; 12.
Clint Sherwood, Poland; 13. Jonathan Baldwin, Auburn; 14. Scott
Hethcoat, Danville Junction; 15. John Spencer Jr., Farmington.
CHIMNEY TECH OUTLAW 'C' (20 laps): 1. Carey Robertson, Leeds; 2.
Fred Clavet, Buckfield; 3. Brian Picard, Gorham; 4. Gerry Richard,
Leeds; 5. Nic Stanley, Buckfield; 6. Chad Truman, South Paris; 7.
Dottie Patria, Turner; 8. Scott Jordan, Lewiston; 9. Phil Knowlton,
Poland; 10. Scott Veinott, Greene; 11. Dennis Morang, South Paris;
12. Justin Vining, Peru; 13. Bob Hogan, Wells; 14. Matt Weeks,
Greene; 15. Todd Bisbee, South Paris.
MACDONALD MOTORS RUNNIN' REBEL 'A' (20 laps): 1. Zach Audet, Wilton;
2. Ryan Hewins, Leeds; 3. Matt Dufault, Turner; 4. Kyle Hewins,
Leeds; 5. Dustin Salley, Auburn; 6. Jason Berry, Turner; 7. Jamie
Leavitt, Minot; 8. Troy Jordan, Turner; 9. Jim Hart, Turner; 10.
John Childs, Leeds; 11. Roger Bourgoin, Sabattus; 12. Brady Romano,
Livermore Falls; 13. Craig Bartlett, Denmark; 14. Craig Farrington,
Hebron; 15. Gerard Cote, Oxford; 16. Mike Ward, Harrison; 17. Jamie
Heath, Waterford; 18. Corey Beaulieu, Oxford. DQ: Mark Childs Jr.,
MACDONALD MOTORS RUNNIN' REBEL 'B' (20 laps): 1. Derek Cook,
Livermore Falls; 2. Bill Sprague, Minot; 3. Jeff Hebert, Auburn; 4.
Derek Cairns, Waterford; 5. Ryan Philbrick, Greenwood; 6. Michael
Carver, Durham; 7. Brian Nason, Lewiston; 8. Carl Conant, Lewiston;
9. Jonah Farrington, Hebron; 10. Todd Sawyer, Pownal; 11. Bob Lucas,
Peru; 12. Randy Desmarais, Auburn; 13. Cody Smith, Oxford; 14.
Charlie Hall, Oxford; 15. Eric Rowles, Lewiston; 16. Bob Danforth,
Stoneham; 17. Mikel Tabor, Auburn; 18. Gene White, Lisbon; 19. Chad
Wills, Mechanic Falls.
CALL OF THE WILD RV CENTER SPORT TRUCK (20 laps): 1. Jerry Stevens,
Searsport; 2. Corey Williams, Sumner; 3. Ross Spurling, New
Gloucester; 4. Duane Booth, Wells; 5. Ryan Farrar, Oxford; 6. Jeff
Schmidt, Mechanic Falls; 7. Opie Allard, Harpswell; 8. Kevin Oliver,
Gray; 9. Yogi Hiscock, Jay; 10. John Lizotte, Mechanic Falls; 11.
Eugene Corson, Sumner; 12. John Reynolds, Wells; 13. Laurette
Theriault, South Casco; 14. Herb Farrar, Sumner; 15. Nathan Merrill,
ALLEN'S COFFEE FLAVORED BRANDY LADIES (20 laps): 1. Cathy
Manchester, Gray; 2. Vanna Brackett, Buckfield; 3. Missy Morgan,
Lewiston; 4. Christina Spaulding, Lewiston; 5. Tori Burgess,
Sabattus; 6. Debbie Marston, Hartford; 7. Dottie Patria, Turner; 8.
Shannon Wheeler, Auburn; 9. Lisa Brooks, Auburn; 10. Sue Veinott,
Sabattus; 11. Kristen Brown, Poland; 12. Annie Chartier, Mexico; 13.
Missy Blash, Oxford.
GOULET HOME INSPECTIONS RENEGADE (10 laps): 1. Spencer Morse,
Waterford; 2. Jason Hannigan, Greene; 3. Gerard Cote, Oxford; 4. Bob
Morey, Lisbon; 5. Charlie Hall, Oxford. DQ: Bill Grover, Topsham.
Go to the
web site for today's complete photo gallery.
all OPS divisions!