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


July 26, 2008 (complete story)

Spencer storms to Late Model victory; 
Daigle wins first in wild Mini finale

OXFORD, Maine - The reborn paint scheme of motion picture race car Lightning McQueen caught just about every fan's eye when Dennis Spencer Jr. rolled onto the track Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway. 

As for Spencer, he thought the prettiest sight of the evening was the one in his rear-view mirror. 

With Travis Stearns and Daren Ripley dicing it out side-by-side for some 20 laps and holding back Shawn Martin in the process, Spencer was untouchable on the way to his first 40-lap Oxford Networks Late Model victory of the season. 

It was Spencer's 25th career checkered flag at the track where he began racing as a high school student in the early 1990s. Only 33 drivers have achieved that milestone. 

“I could see them going side-by-side in my mirror, so I stayed on the bottom and took it easy,” said Spencer. 

Twin 30-lap features for the Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stock division provided the bookends for a busy program. 

The same top three of Justin Karkos, Kevin Bishop and Ken Daigle Jr. appeared on the victory podium in each race. Karkos led the trio in that order for his division-leading fourth win of the season in the opener. 

Daigle delivered his first career victory in the nightcap, one that met with a mixture of cheers and boos as he survived a run-in with Bill Childs Sr. and held off Karkos and Bishop in a late run to the finish. 

Mike Short continued his blistering mid-season pace with a hard-earned Allen’s Strictly Stock win, his fourth of the season. 

Jerry Goss and Steve Brill captured the 20-lap Chimney Tech Outlaw features. Vanna Brackett shared the Agren Appliance Saturday Showdown spotlight with a wire-to-wire win in the Allen’s Ladies division. 

Venerable Russ Nutting, whose last previous OPS win came in 1985, emerged victorious in a 20-lap exhibition for the Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association. 

Spencer's Late Model rivals race for second 

Spencer became the second different driver to win a Late Model feature for car owners Conrad and Kerrie Childs this season. Kurt Hewins accomplished the feat less than a month ago. 

Ripley, who purchased Dale Verrill’s racing operation lock, stock and barrel mere hours after both drivers competed in last Monday’s TD Banknorth 250, dominated his heat and led the first green-flag segment of the main event. 

The two leaders swapped the advantage on laps 9 and 10 before Spencer forged ahead to stay on lap 11. 

Back-to-back restarts on the 13th and 14th circuits brought Spencer back into the clutch of the hungry pack, but he soon set sail while Ripley (inside) and Stearns (outside) dueled over the second spot for the duration. 

“It makes it a little easier when you start near the front,” said Spencer, who took the green flag behind pole-sitter Ripley in the third spot. “I was hoping nobody broke open to catch me, because then I would’ve had to run hard.” 

Martin played the waiting game to perfection until Stearns finally fought off Ripley with about five laps remaining. 

The 2004 champion then wasted no time taking away third from Ripley and seizing second from Stearns in the Bombardier/Oxford Networks #94.

 “This car is awesome. I’ve got to hand it to my crew,” Martin said. “We’ve just hit on something. We had an awesome run in the 250 and had an awesome run tonight.

"I’m happy to be up here with Travis and Dennis, who are good friends of mine," Martin continued. "Man, I wish we had another 10 laps. It was just getting faster as it went on. We were a little slow on the short run but really fast on the long run.” 

Five days after a third-place finish in the last chance race kept him out of the TD Banknorth 250 in his second try, Stearns rebounded with one of his best runs in the headline division. 

“We’ve been wrecked about every other week. I wasn’t even going to race tonight,” Stearns said of his second trophy run of the season in the Pride Concrete Floors/C.L.H. & Son #85. 

“It was pretty good. We were just too tight and couldn’t do anything with (Spencer). The #70 (Ripley) ran me real clean. I’m pretty happy with that.” 

Spencer ran in the top 10 throughout the TD Banknorth 250, backing up last year’s fifth-place run in the Cole-Man’s Concrete #8 with a ninth in the #95. 

Several crew members were enjoying a well-earned night away from competition and were forced to hear about their driver’s return to victory lane second-hand. 

“My father couldn’t be here and Kenny Wills couldn’t be here,” Spencer said. “We’re working without a crew chief and a spotter, but we managed to pull it together. It‘s a lot of work in the pits.” 

Ripley held on for his best OPS finish, fourth in the Pave-Tek #70, trailed by Hewins.

Previous series point leader Ricky Rolfe, winner of five of his last six weekly starts in the top division, sat out the race. He is on a cross-country road trip with his family. 

Travis Adams reclaimed the division lead with an eighth-place finish. Martin is now second, a slim 24 points back. 

Same top three, two dramatically different Mini results 

Karkos continued his hot streak. After a roller-coaster month of June, the Polymer Repair Technologies #51 has finished first or second in his last four starts.

He kicked off the night with his division-leading fourth win of the season, breaking a tie with Don Mooney for the top spot in the Winner‘s Circle Challenge. 

"I had a little bit of luck starting up front, since I didn't race at the start of the season. I think it would have been a lot different if I‘d had to come from the back," said Karkos, whose points handicap was lowered by a myriad of mechanical problems in those early starts. “At least I’m getting noticed.=2 0I hear some people booing me.” 

Bishop charged to his best finish of the season in the Cole‘s Custom Auto #08, with Daigle notching the first trophy of his rookie campaign in third. 

“Can anybody tell I’m hungry tonight?” said Bishop, referring to his late pass of Daigle for the runner-up spot with four laps to go. 

Winless in Championship Series competition since his first stint as a Mini and Strictly driver in 1991-92, Bishop closed Karkos’ gap to just over two seconds but could only get a distant glance at his rear bumper as the checkers appeared. 

It inspired him to throw out another rhetorical question. 

“Where was my yellow when I needed it?” Bishop asked. “We’re going to keep going as far as we can go.” 

Butch Keene and Darrell Moore completed the top five. 

As for the yellow Bishop requested, it came with nine laps remaining in the encore. The details simply didn’t go his way. 

Daigle lost the lead to Bill Childs Sr. on a lap 20 restart. As the leaders raced out of turn four to complete the 22nd circuit, Daigle's front bumper brushed Childs from behind. 

Childs spun and collected a passing Bill Thibeault, heavily damaging both rides and sending Childs’ #10 back to the garage on the business end of a flatbed. 

"I feel bad about that," Daigle said. "He's been good to me all year long, and I definitely got into him and spun him. I didn't mean to do it. I'll take the win, but I'm sorry that happened." 

Because most of the field hadn't completed lap 22 when the caution flew, the scoring reverted back to lap 21. 

Daigle, who wasn't penalized for his role in the incident, crossed the line second on that circuit and thus was scored as the leader. 

“I thought he was involved, and that would mean he‘d go to the rear,” Bishop said of Daigle’s role in the incident. “But that’s race control’s decision, and I’ll stand by that if they’re willing to stand by it.” 

Bishop had the first shot at Daigle on the restart. 

Karkos closed to the leader’s back bumper over the final five laps, but the newcomer held on. 

"He did a great job," Karkos said. "I know what a big deal that first win is." 

Twice this season, Daigle surrendered the lead to Childs during the final 10 laps of a Mini main event. His victory is the first for car owner Wayne Parkin’s team since Parkin himself steered the Le Nationale/Little Joe’s #25 to the top spot on July 3, 2003. 

Moore finished fourth in front of Ashley Marshall as those two drivers continue to battle for the series point lead. Marshall now leads by four points, with Bishop third and within striking distance at 39 points off Marshall’s pace.

Another second-groove clinic by Short 

Short now leads all Allen's Strictly Stock drivers with four victories.

It took him five laps on the outside of Matt Williams to gain second and another five to dispatch David Tripp, finally picking up the point in the All-Purpose Builders #56 on lap 21. 

"That's harder than I had to work all of last weekend," said Short. “I have to thank Dave and Mr. Williams for some good, clean racing.” 

Tripp and the A.J. Levesque Excavation #20 topped Williams in the tussle for second, backed by B.J. Chapman and Larry Emerson. 

“It’s going pretty good,” said Tripp, who backed up his win earlier in the month with the runner-up trophy. “Those guys have been back there turning wrenches on it all day.” 

The same could be said for Williams’ crew, who have wrestled with the R.W. Plumbing #63 all season, helping their veteran driver to second in the series point standings. 

“Last weekend was a long weekend. I was glad it was over,” Williams said. “This is a shocker to me after the heat. It was just junk.” 

Skip Tripp maintained the division point lead, coupling his qualifying race win with a seventh-place feature finish. 

Short has won three of his last six starts since July 5. 

No looking back for Agren Showdown winners 

Steve Brill and Jerry Goss ruled two caution-free Chimney Tech Outlaw 20-lappers. 

Brill hoped to hand over his ride to son Jon for the night. When told that Jon was ineligible because he is a former Strictly Stock champion, Brill roared to the lead on lap 2 and stormed to the victory himself in the Dyer‘s Septic Service/Brill Lumber #53. 

"I thought it would20be a good idea to get up front and get the hell out of there," Brill said. 

Scott Ellis and Dennis Morang wound up at the front of a tight pack behind Brill, second and third, respectively, for their best finishes of the season. David Smith and Gerry Richard were next. 

Goss took over from John Patria on lap 5 and extended his lead while Rick Spaulding and David Childs worked the outside of early runner-up Guy Childs Sr. 

Spaulding crept within two car lengths but couldn't make the winning move. 

"It was a good night to get out there and lead as early as I could," said Goss, who posted his second triumph of the season in the Dad‘s Place #99. 

Guy Childs held off nephew David for third at the stripe. 

“This car is bent so bad,” Guy Childs said. “I’ve got a new car, and we’ve had all kinds of starter problems with it. I guess we had better luck last year.”

Patria picked up fifth, continuing his turnaround from a rough first half to the season. 

Reigning Allen's Ladies champion Brackett ran and hid from her pole starting position and cruised to her third victory of the season. 

"We never work on the car," claimed Brackett, who was chased to the line by another former champion, Lisa Vining. 

“I knew I didn’t have anything for her,” admitted Vining, seeking her first win since her 2004 championship season. 

Dottie Patria, currently the point leader on both Wednesday night and in the Agren Saturday Showdown, couldn't make up the lost early ground without a caution and settled for third. 

Lisa Brooks and Kimberly Sessions followed. 

OPS returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with the Acceleration Series. The New England Dodge Dealers Summer Celebration, featuring five divisions of racing and a gigantic fireworks display, is Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (3) #95 Dennis Spencer Jr., Oxford, 40
2. (13) #94 Shawn Martin, Turner, 40
3. (5) #85 Travis Stearns, Auburn, 40
4. (1) #70 Daren Ripley, Appleton, 40
5. (11) #96 Kurt Hewins, Leeds, 40
6. (16) #60 Tim Brackett, Buckfield, 40
7. (7) #10 Jimmy Childs, Leeds, 40
8. (15) #03E Travis Adams, Canton, 40
9. (8) #15 Ben Ashline, Pittston, 40
10. (17) #73 Joey Doiron, Berwick, 40
11. (14) #1 Billy Childs Jr., Leeds, 40
12. (6) #26 Corey Morgan, Lewiston, 40
13. (10) #63 Don Wentworth, Otisfield, 40
14. (12) #25 Shawn Knight, South Paris, 40
15. (4) #08 Gerald Parlin, South Paris, 40
16. (20) #9 Cecil Bryant, Wilton, 40
17. (9) #6 Tommy Ricker, Poland, 40
18. (19) #84 Matt Sanborn, West Baldwin, 40
19. (18) #44 Neil Martin, Freeport, 40
20. (2) #59 Tyson Jordan, Poland, 37
Lap leaders: Ripley 1-8, Spencer 9, Ripley 10, Spencer 11-40.
Cautions: 2 (laps 13, 14)
Time of race: 18 minutes, 25.186 seconds
Margin of victory: 1.421 seconds
Fast lap: Dennis Spencer Jr., 16.436 seconds

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (11) #56 Mike Short, Auburn, 30
2. (2) #20 David Tripp, Oxford, 30
3. (6) #63 Matt Williams, Brownfield, 30
4. (4) #81 B.J. Chapman, Bridgton, 30
5. (10) #24 Larry Emerson, Durham, 30
6. (8) #57 Glen Henderson, Sabattus, 30
7. (9) #12 Skip Tripp, Poland, 30
8. (14) #13 Chris Burgess, Lewiston, 30
9. (7) #23 Zach Emerson, Sabattus, 30
10. (12) #0 Sumner Sessions, Norway, 30
11. (3) #4 Michael Roe, West Paris, 30
12. (13) #42 Kim Tripp, Oxford, 24
13. (15) #1 Dean Coolidge, Oxford, 18
14. (1) #27 Shane Green, South Paris, 13
15. (5) #07 Rick Thompson, Naples, 8
Lap leaders: Green 1-2, D. Tripp 3-20, Short 21-30.
Cautions: 1 (lap 8)
Time of race: 14 minutes, 19.725 seconds
Margin of victory: 1.661 seconds
Fast lap: Mike Short, 18.498 seconds

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (5) #51 Justin Karkos, Jay, 30
2. (11) #08 Kevin Bishop, South Paris, 30
3. (3) #25 Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon, 30
4. (1) #2 Butch Keene. Turne, 30
5. (13) #12 Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls, 30
6. (15) #10 Bill Childs Sr., Leeds, 30
7. (14) #77 Ashley Marshall, Jay, 30
8. (9) #19 Shane Kaherl, Jay, 30
9. (12) #8 Bill Thibeault, Oxford, 30
10. (6) #7 Randy Kimball, Mechanic Falls, 30
11. (10) #9 Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls, 30
12. (18) #55 Steve Barker, Jay, 30
13. (16) #40 Curtis Fanjoy, Oxford, 28
14. (2) #28 Craig Moore, Woodstock, 25
15. (19) #22 Chuck Higgins, Lewiston, 20
16. (8) #29 Greg Watkins, Bridgton, 18
17. (17) #48 Wayne Titus, Minot, 9
18. (4) #65 Dave Mooney, Wale, 3
19. (20) #91 Brad Dwinal, Freeport, 2
20. (7) #14 Matt Moore, Mechanic Falls, 0
DNS #35 Brian Brackett, Oxford
DNS #16 Don Frechette, Turner
DNS #21 Rick Giguere, Auburn
Lap leaders: Keene 1-2, Karkos 3-30.
Cautions: None
Time of race: 9 minutes, 14.292 seconds
Margin of victory: 2.473 seconds
Fast lap: Shane Kaherl, 18.248 seconds

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (3) #25 Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon, 30
2. (13) #51 Justin Karkos, Jay, 30
3. (10) #08 Kevin Bishop, South Paris, 30
4. (11) #12 Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls, 30
5. (12) #77 Ashley Marshall, Jay, 30
6. (16) #55 Steve Barker, Jay, 30
7. (14) #9 Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls, 30
8. (5) #7 Randy Kimball, Mechanic Falls, 30
9. (20) #2 Butch Keene, Turner, 30
10. (6) #29 Greg Watkins, Bridgton, 30
11. (2) #28 Craig Moore, Woodstock, 29
12. (1) #40 Curtis Fanjoy, Oxford, 29
13. (21) #48 Wayne Titus, Minot, 29
14. (8) #10 Bill Childs Sr., Leeds, 21
15. (9) #8 Bill Thibeault, Oxford, 21
16. (4) #14 Matt Moore, Mechanic Falls, 21
17. (15) #73 Adam Polvinen, Oxford, 21
18. (7) #19 Shane Kaherl, Jay, 20
19. (18) #07 Al Roberti, South Paris, 19
20. (17) #65 Dave Mooney, Wales, 7
21. (19) #91 Brad Dwinal, Freeport, 1
DNS #22 Chuck Higgins, Lewiston
Lap leaders: Daigle 1-20, Childs Sr. 21, Daigle 22-30.
Cautions: 2 (laps 4, 21)
Time of race: 34 minutes, 30.189 seconds
Margin of victory: 0.208 seconds
Fast lap: Steve Barker, 18.393 seconds

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (4) #53 Steve Brill, Bridgton, 20
2. (6) #10 Scott Ellis, Lewiston, 20
3. (5) #112 Dennis Morang, South Paris, 20
4. (10) #65 David Smith, Norway, 20
5. (9) #57 Gerry Richard, Leeds, 20
6. (11) #89 Stan Morgan, Auburn, 20
7. (13) #71 Wayne Estes, Sumner, 20
8. (7) #52 Kevin Leighton, Minot, 20
9. (1) #124 Randy Nutter, Auburn, 20
10. (3) #30 Scott Veinott, Sabattus, 20
11. (8) #51 Zach Robitaille, Norway, 20
12. (12) #44 Arthur Chartier, Mexico, 19
13. (14) #73 Walter Connell III, South Paris, 19
14. (2) #116 Robert Lowe, Auburn, 5
DNS #33 Guy Childs Jr., Auburn
Lap leaders: Nutter 1, Brill 2-20.
Cautions: None
Time of race: 6 minutes, 40 seconds

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (3) #99 Jerry Goss, Mechanic Falls, 20
2. (6) #36 Rick Spaulding, Lewiston, 20
3. (2) #00 Guy Childs Sr., Turner, 20
4. (9) #5 David Childs, Oxford, 20
5. (1) #34 John Patria, Turner, 20
6. (5) #90 Keith Landry, Oxford, 20
7. (7) #19 Steve Moon, Gray, 20
8. (12) #83 Dan Brown, Peru, 20
9. (10) #18 Thom Bell, Minot, 20
10. (13) #38 Addison Bowie, Auburn, 20
11. (4) #12 Nik Coates, Lisbon, 30
12. (8) #04 Zach Bowie, Mechanic Falls, 30
13. (14) #3 Tom Averill, Peru, 30
14. (11) #97 Shannon Judd, Jay, 30
Lap leaders: Patria 1-4, Goss 5-20.
Cautions: None
Time of race: 6 minutes, 41 seconds.

Fin. (Start) No., driver, hometown, laps completed
1. (1) #23 Vanna Brackett, Buckfield, 20
2. (2) #139 Lisa Vining, Turner, 20
3. (7) #34 Dottie Patria, Turner, 20
4. (4) #30 Lisa Brooks, Auburn, 20
5. (6) #2 Kimberly Sessions, Auburn, 20
6. (8) #3 Deanna Robertson, South Paris, 20
7. (5) #92 Debbie Marston, Hartford, 20
8. (10) #89 Pam Morgan, Minot, 20
9. (3) #29 Shannon Wheeler, Auburn, 19
10. (9) #44 Annie Chartier, Mexico, 18
Lap leaders: Brackett 1-20.
Cautions: None
Time of race: 6 minutes, 47 seconds

1. Russ Nutting
2. John Rice
3. Haggie Pratt



fp_oxnet.jpg (6515 bytes)
Oxford Networks
Late Model

fp_allens.jpg (12045 bytes)
Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy
Strictly and Mini Stock

Photos by
Trudy Marshall

Click on photo
to enlarge

JAR.jpg (61160 bytes)

(207) 645-4571
Photos from 
all OPS divisions!

IMG_8267.jpg (59520 bytes)

IMG_8270.jpg (60882 bytes)

IMG_8271.jpg (61276 bytes)

IMG_8273.jpg (59821 bytes)

IMG_8276.jpg (59444 bytes)

IMG_8278.jpg (59579 bytes)

IMG_8280.jpg (61249 bytes)

IMG_8281.jpg (60799 bytes)

IMG_8285.jpg (61422 bytes)

IMG_8286.jpg (53514 bytes)

IMG_8288.jpg (60689 bytes)

IMG_8291.jpg (56372 bytes)

IMG_8293.jpg (61219 bytes)

IMG_8295.jpg (60773 bytes)

IMG_8298.jpg (59827 bytes)

IMG_8300.jpg (61337 bytes)

IMG_8302.jpg (60641 bytes)

IMG_8905.jpg (60176 bytes)

IMG_8910.jpg (60511 bytes)

IMG_8912.jpg (61243 bytes)

IMG_8913.jpg (61082 bytes)

IMG_8918.jpg (60871 bytes)

IMG_8920.jpg (60647 bytes)

IMG_8922.jpg (60451 bytes)

IMG_8924.jpg (58579 bytes)

IMG_8925.jpg (61007 bytes)

IMG_8929.jpg (53489 bytes)

IMG_8930.jpg (60853 bytes)

IMG_8933.jpg (60070 bytes)

IMG_8936.jpg (57663 bytes)

IMG_8938.jpg (61315 bytes)

IMG_8939.jpg (60231 bytes)

IMG_8941.jpg (61063 bytes)

IMG_8943.jpg (61108 bytes)

IMG_8945.jpg (61205 bytes)

IMG_8947.jpg (54137 bytes)