Route 26, Oxford, ME 
Phone: (207) 539-8865 


May 17, 2008

Adams doesn't get cheated
in powerful performance

OXFORD, Maine - Keeping your sense of humor is an essential skill when you’re a parent. It probably doesn’t hurt to be able to smile and laugh when you’re the dominant driver at your local short track, either. 

Like Kyle Busch bowing to those who boo him lustily during NASCAR pre-race introductions, Adams doesn’t those who mutter about his snowballing success in the Oxford Networks Late Model division at Oxford Plains Speedway get to him. 

Consider this subtle dig at the disbelievers after he supplemented his title defense with a second straight season-opening win Saturday night, this one by a margin of more than five seconds over Carey Martin. 

“I have good traction on the restarts,” Adams said with a deadpan expression, surely for the benefit of those who anonymously question the validity of his grip on the historic, 3/8 mile oval. 

The win punctuated a week of celebration for Adams, whose wife, Becky, gave birth to the couple’s second son. Brayden Wesley Adams was born Monday, May 12. 

Adams recently ascribed his success on restarts to years of watching the unpredictable Dale Shaw snooker his rivals. His rule of the speedway where he’s won three of the last five championships is more reminiscent of Mike Rowe or Jeff Taylor, however. 

The win was his ninth overall in the last two years and the 26th of his OPS career, highlighting a competitive card that saw five other drivers make the commute to victory lane. 

Skip Tripp also captured his second straight victory in the Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Strictly Stock division. Don Mooney edged his brother, Dave, in the Allen’s Mini Stock encounter. Macdonald Motors Runnin’ Rebel and Call of the Wild RV Sport Truck drivers made their season debut in Agren Appliance Saturday Showdown competition. Gregg Norton and Charlie Webster captured the twin, 20-lap Rebel races, while reigning Truck champion Jake Burns launched his encore with an impressive triumph.

An inside job by the champ 
While spectators and overmatched opposition are accustomed to seeing Adams do most of his wowing work in the outside groove, much of Saturday’s progress from the 15th starting position came along the inside rail. 

Adams conducted a clinic downstairs, taking advantage of any ill-handling cars in front of him. Three caution flags and a red flag through the first 17 laps shook up the running order and played into his hands, too. 

The fateful moment was one of those textbook restarts three laps shy of the halfway point. Two-time Mini Stock champion and Late Model rookie Jimmy Childs owned the lead after overtaking Don Wentworth with a dramatic, three-wide pass two circuits earlier. 

Rather than take off and match wits with the newcomer on the initial resumption attempt, Adams held back as Childs accelerated and prompted chief starter Kenny Tripp to keep the clenched yellow flag in hand. Next time around, Adams went with the conventional, foot-to-the-floor approach and beat Childs to the first turn. 

“It’s just been a real privilege to drive this race car,” Adams said of the Dacata Repair/Canton Variety #03E maintained by his father, Don. “My dad built me a strong motor. It holds up really well.” 

Martin was another driver who took advantage of the misadventures that befell early top-five runners Wentworth, Ben Ashline, Scott Luce and Travis Stearns. He overtook Childs for the runner-up spot on lap 25 after a spirited, paint-swapping scrap. 

Without a second-half caution to help his cause, Martin didn’t get a chance to go to door-to-door with Adams down the stretch. Not that it probably would have mattered, considering how Adams sped away and sliced through lapped traffic like a pocket knife through duct tape. 

“We didn’t have that great a car, but everything went right. We followed the green car like we normally do,“ Martin said of his solid showing in the R.W. Plumbing/Seacoast Scaffolding/Western Maine Auto Body #18. “I thought Jimmy and I were going to wreck three or four different times, but that’s what racing is all about. That was an excellent run for Jimmy over there. What’s that, his third race in a Late Model? (Actually fifth.) Jeez, that could be trouble for the rest of us.” 

Childs won 30 features in a decade of Mini Stock competition. He is one of five members of his extended family competing in Oxford’s top class, four of them battling for Rookie of the Year honors. 

“I knew I was destined to be here. I wasn’t sure when,” said the pilot of the Buddy T‘s/Brown‘s Construction #10. “The car actually is pretty good. We just need to work on it a little bit.” 

Dale Verrill and Tommy Ricker ran fourth and fifth. 

The most serious incident of the race stopped the race on lap 17 when 2007 Rookie of the Year Stearns’ ride careened into the Turn 2 wall as he tried to steer clear of contact between Verrill and Luce. Stearns climbed from his car and walked to the ambulance for a mandatory checkup. 

Quick fix turns around Tripp's trouble 
Tripp’s crew gets a heaping helping of the credit for his seventh Strictly feature win in nine starts, dating back to last July. 

A tangle involving Tripp and Sumner Sessions in the qualifying race nearly sidelined the R.P.M. Racing Engines/Lemay’s Auto Body #12 for the main event. 

“John Patria came over and worked on the rear end with the rest of the guys. We had to change axles, shocks, they were all bent after the heat race,” Tripp said. “We just made it for the feature. We were going to use Joe Hutter’s car, but we got ours done.” 

Hutter, Glen Henderson and Mike Short swapped the lead throughout the first half of the 30-lap event. Tripp took a little longer than usual to charge from his starting position on the outside of the sixth row, but time is a relative concept the way he’s running these days. 

Larry Emerson and the third spot fell into Tripp’s clutches on lap 9. With Henderson and Short dicing it out for the top spot on the 20th lap, Tripp found enough daylight to make his move. 

It wasn’t over, with Short securing second and making several surges as close as Tripp’s back bumper over the final five laps. Tripp persisted, though, and maintains his grip on the series point lead. 

“A lapped car hurt us a little bit there,” Short said. “Skip’s fast, hard to beat.” 

Henderson’s car stalled and brought out the only caution of the race with seven laps remaining. That opened the door for B.J. Chapman to finish third after a runner-up showing on opening day. Chapman and his team have been plenty busy since then. 

“I’ve got to thank a lot of people. We blew up the motor last week. We put the spare motor in, and that one was no good,” said Chapman, who borrowed a third power plant from former Strictly Stock competitor Josh May to keep the Snow’s Excavation/Jon Richardson Construction #81 on track. 

Matt Williams and Sessions repeated their finishes of fourth and fifth, respectively, from one week ago. 

Oh, brother: Mooneys a one-two punch
You won’t find the strained sibling relationship between Don and Dave Mooney that seems to pervade brother combinations at the higher levels of racing. 

Throw in brothers Bob, Bill and Jim, and some equation of two to four Mooney brethren has been in the Mini Stock mix throughout almost the entire history of the division. 

The current standard-bearers of the family name share sponsor support from Reggie’s Sales and Service. When necessary, they even cooperate with spare parts.

“Dave let me borrow a couple of tires,” Don said. “I had a couple of flat ones earlier.” 
That spirit of cooperation paved the way to Don’s 20th career victory Allen’s Mini Stock victory Saturday night, helping him break a tie with Bob for most checkered flags in the family. 

Dave, who won on opening day, settled for second. “He’s real fast,” Don said of his teammate and closest pursuer. 

“I was hoping to get this thing to last 30 laps this time. That was nice. I have to thank my family, my brothers. They’re the only reason it’s up here.” 

Rookies Brad Dwinal and Randy Kimball occupied the lead for the first 12 laps before the Mooneys’ experience caught up with them. 

Don moved into the top spot on the lucky 13th circuit. Dave didn’t get past Kimball for the runner-up spot until only four laps remained. 

Kimball joined teammate Darrell Moore in winning a trophy early in his rookie season, coming home third after a dramatic save in turn four with five laps remaining. Bill Irving wound up smacking the front wall as a result of that mad scramble for position. Kimball’s work with the steering wheel earned him this week’s prize package for the Time Warner Cable Turbo High Speed Move of the Race. 

Backing up last week’s win, Bill Thibeault charged from deep in the field to finish fourth. Moore protected his surprising early-season point lead with a fifth-place run. 

20 and counting for Norton 
Gregg Norton became the first driver in the history of the Oxford Acceleration Series to hit the 20-win career plateau Saturday night. 

Norton achieved the milestone by winning the first of two 20-lap Runnin’ Rebel events. He has rolled up the impressive victory total in just over five full seasons. 

Five of those triumphs came last year, when Norton surprisingly wasn’t happy with the behavior of his Dad’s Auto Repair #119. Norton debuted a new mount but wasn’t sure at first that it would meet his standards. 

“I struggled with it in April in practice, and I thought I had a piece of you-know-what,“ Norton said. “I worked on it real late last night. I’ve got to thank my wife for that. I’ve spent a lot of time on this car lately.” 

Norton charged from the ninth starting position, powered from third to first on a lap 3 restart and faced no serious challenges thereafter. 

It didn’t hurt his cause that Kyle Hewins and Josh Childs were in the middle of a splendid duel in two almost identically painted cars. Hewins held the preferred inside line and used it to his advantage, matching his finish in last year’s season-long point standings by snagging second. 

“The funny thing is we didn’t even know what color the other one was painting their car,” Hewins said of the similarities between his Sign Store/Wolf’s Den #54 and Childs’ Remco Radiator/Landscape Design Concepts #3. 

Hewins and Childs ran second and third for the finally 17 laps. With the exception of a lap 6 burst that moved him into the runner-up spot, Childs spent the sprint a half-car length behind Hewins. 

“Good first race for us,” said Childs, a 17-year-old athlete at nearby Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. “It’s fun racing against all your friends.” 

Doug Degroat and Troy Jordan took fourth and fifth in front of early leader Zach Audet. Jordan gained the most positions during the race after starting next-to-last in the 16-car field. 

Webster took advantage of a bizarre exchange to win the second Rebel tangle. 

Seasoned NASCAR fans may remember Mark Martin heading to victory lane before the officially crossed the finish line under caution at a race in what was then the Busch Series in the mid-1990s. Scott Farrington made his own mistaken visit to the infield and lost out on a win Saturday night. 

After taking the lead with an aggressive pass of Webster with four laps to go, Farrington crossed the start-finish line to find flagman Vern Brown pointing a clenched black flag at him. Such a gesture is normally considered a warning for rough driving. Farrington interpreted it as a waving black flag, which would mean a stop-and-go penalty under green conditions. 

When Farrington obeyed what he thought was the command to stop, Webster re-inherited the lead and held off a hard charge from Derek Cook by less than a car length. 

“It only had two races on it from last year,“ Webster said of the primer-colored South Main Street Garage #7, “and I wasn’t sure how it was going to handle.” 

David Childs also dropped out of the top five after receiving an actual black flag, that one for jumping a restart. It was one of many plot twists that allowed Nathan Guptill to finish third in the United Sports/Rodney‘s Repair #106. 

Matt Dufault was fourth, followed by Mike Anderson in an OPS-career best fifth. 

Trucks, for the 11th time since July 2006, went to reigning champion Burns in the Portland Insulation/Gray Stone #74. 

He reeled in Marvin Hamilton and overtook the 2002 division champ with nine laps remaining in the caution-free scrap. 

“That’s a good way to start off the year. It’s going good. We’ll see,” Burns said of his impending title defense. 

Hamilton was second, with Lee Spurling third in a substitute role for son Ross, who was attending his high school prom. 

“I asked him if he was a man or a mouse,” Spurling joked. 

Ryan Farrar finished fourth in front of John Lizotte. 

OPS returns to action next Saturday, May 24, with Oxford Federal Credit Union Night. A full card of racing and a giant fireworks display are on the schedule. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m.

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 
1. (15) #03 Travis Adams, Canton, 40 
2. (6) #18 Carey Martin, Denmark, 40 
3. (5) #10 Jimmy Childs, Leeds, 40 
4. (12) #56 Dale Verrill, Paris, 40 
5. (3) #6 Tommy Ricker, Poland, 40 6. (14) #94 Shawn Martin, Turner, 40 
7. (7) #15 Ben Ashline, Pittston, 40 
8. (13) #1 Billy Childs Jr., Leeds, 40 
9. (8) #25 Shawn Knight, South Paris, 40 
10. (20) #51 Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township, 40 
11. (4) #63 Don Wentworth, Otisfield, 40 
12. (10) #2 Zach Emerson, Durham, 40 
13. (1) #55 Kurt Hewins, Leeds, 40 
14. (22) #50 Jeff White, Winthrop, 40 
15. (19) #52 Paul Bosse, Gray, 40 
16. (16) #22 Mark Childs Jr., Mechanic Falls, 40 
17. (8) #26 Corey Morgan, Lewiston, 39 
18. (17) #95 Conrad Childs, Auburn, 39 
19. (21) #84 Matt Sanborn, West Baldwin, 38 
20. (20 #08 Gerald Parlin, South Paris, 29 
21. (9) #07 Scott Luce, Strong, 19 
22. (11) #85 Travis Stearns, Auburn, 19 
DNS #59 Tyson Jordan, Poland 
Lap leaders: Hewins 1-6, Wentworth 7-14, J. Childs 15-17, Adams 18-40.
Cautions: 3 (laps 13, 14, 17) 
Red flags: 1 (lap 19) 
Margin of victory: 5.490 seconds 
Time of race: 29 minutes, 45.577 seconds 
Fast lap: Travis Adams, 16.202 seconds 

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 

1. (12) #12 Skip Tripp, South Paris, 30 
2. (3) #56 Mike Short, Auburn, 30 
3. (7) #81 B.J. Chapman, Bridgton, 30 
4. (11) #63 Matt Williams, Brownfield, 30 
5. (10) #0 Sumner Sessions, Norway, 30 
6. (4) #24 Larry Emerson, Durham, 30 
7. (9) #42 Kim Tripp, Oxford, 30 
8. (8) #07 Rick Thompson, Naples, 30 
9. (5) #77 Perry Tucker, Sumner, 30 
10. (13) #777 Mike St. Germain, Auburn, 30 
11. (14) #6 Jeff Prindall, Lisbon, 29 
12. (6) #57 Glen Henderson, Sabattus, 28 
13. (2) #4 Michael Roe, West Paris, 21 
14. (1) #2 Joe Hutter, Oxford, 16 
15. (15) #1 Dean Coolidge, Oxford, 5 
Lap leaders: Hutter 1-3, Henderson 4-19, Tripp 20-30. 
Cautions: 1 (lap 23) 
Margin of victory: 0.251 seconds 
Time of race: 12 minutes, 54.552 seconds 
Fast lap: Skip Tripp, 18.463 seconds 

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 

1. (8) #80 Don Mooney, New Gloucester, 30 
2. (10) #65 Dave Mooney, Wales, 30 
3. (3) #7 Randy Kimball, Mechanic Falls, 30 
4. (12) #8 Bill Thibeault, Oxford, 30 
5. (9) #12 Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls, 30 
6. (14) #10 Bill Childs Sr., Leeds, 30 
7. (11) #77 Ashley Marshall, Jay, 30 
8. (4) #35 Dale Brackett, Oxford, 30 
9. (6) #9 Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls, 30 
10. (7) #08 Kevin Bishop, Oxford, 30 
11. (13) #19 Shane Kaherl, Jay, 30 
12. (5) #28 Craig Moore, Woodstock, 30 
13. (2) #14 Matt Moore, South Paris, 30 
14. (16) #21 Rick Giguere, Auburn, 30 
15. (1) #91 Brad Dwinal, Freeport, 30 
16. (15) #74 Bill Irving, New Gloucester, 29 
17. (17) #25 Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon, 21 
18. (18) #48 Wayne Titus, Minot, 4 
DNS #36 Dana Cook, Lewiston 
Lap leaders: Dwinal 1, Kimball 2-12, Don Mooney 13-30. 
Cautions: 2 (laps 23, 26) 
Margin of victory: 0.208 seconds 
Time of race: 17 minutes, 46.494 seconds 
Fast lap: Darrell Moore, 18.311 seconds 

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 

1. (9) #119 Gregg Norton, Lewiston, 20 
2. (4) #54 Kyle Hewins, Leeds, 20 
3. (11) #3 Josh Childs, Oxford, 20 
4. (7) #84 Doug Degroat, Oxford, 20 
|5. (15) #6 Troy Jordan, Turner, 20 
6. (2) #19 Zach Audet, Wilton, 20 
7. (8) #15 David Cook, Wilton, 20 
8. (14) #31 Jeff Beaule, Lewiston, 20
9. (3) #41M Logan Melcher, Jay, 20
10. (6) #76 John Short, Auburn, 20 
11. (13) #12 Calvin Rose Jr., Turner, 17 
12. (5) #83 Brady Romano, Livermore Falls, 14 
13. (12) #95 Jim Richards, Auburn, 11 
14. (16) #4 Bill Dunphy, New Gloucester, 5 
15. (10) #69 John Childs, Leeds, 3 
16. (1) #41 James Wood, New Gloucester, 0 
Lap leaders: Audet 1-3, Norton 4-20. 
Cautions: 2 (laps 3, 6) 
Time of race: 12 minutes, 52 seconds 

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 

1. (4) #7 Charlie Webster, Auburn, 20 
2. (12) #88 Derek Cook, Livermore Falls, 20 
3. (7) #106 Nathan Guptill, North Turner, 20 
4. (6) #96 Matt Dufault, Turner, 20 
5. (2) #23 Mike Anderson, Lewiston, 20 
6. (5) #521 Scott Farrington, Oxford, 19 
7. (1) #14 Gene White, Lisbon, 19 
8. (10) #3x David Childs, Oxford, 17 
9. (9) #27 Archie Watt Jr., Auburn, 15 
10. (13) #82 Ben Krauter, Raymond, 13 
11. (14) #45 Ken Whittemore, Greene, 11 
12. (8) #555 Gerard Cote, Oxford, 10 
13. (11) #34 Perley Garland, Lewiston, 7 
DQ (3) #8 Sean Parritt, Windham 
DNS Jamie Leavitt, Minot 
DNS Craig Farrington, Hebron 
Lap leaders: Webster 1-15, S. Farrington 16, Webster 17-20. 
Cautions: 1 (lap 14) 
Time of race: 12 minutes, 2 seconds 

Fin. (Start) No., Driver, hometown, laps completed 

1. (4) #74 Jake Burns, Gray, 20
2. (1) #7 Marvin Hamilton, New Gloucester, 20 
3. (2) #17 Lee Spurling, New Gloucester, 20 
4. (8) #69 Ryan Farrar, Oxford, 20 
5. (5) #1 John Lizotte, Mechanic Falls, 20 
6. (6) #54 Devon Smith, Norway, 19 
7. (9) #22 Jeff Schmidt, Mechanic Falls, 19 
8. (3) #30 Ryan Varney, Oxford, 16 
9. (7) #34 Joe Farrar, Oxford, 10 
Lap leaders: Spurling 1, Hamilton 2-10, Burns 11-20. 
Cautions: None 
Time of race: 6 minutes, 39 seconds


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Oxford Networks
Late Model

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Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy
Strictly and Mini Stock

Photos by
Trudy Marshall

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(207) 645-4571
Photos from 
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