Right place, right time for Childs;
Luce gets to party like it's 1998
OXFORD, Maine – Jimmy Childs often wheels the dominant Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stock around Oxford Plains Speedway. When he doesn’t, Childs has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and winning, anyway.
Childs took advantage of cousin Rich Sirois' missed shift on a restart with six laps remaining to win the rescheduled Sun Journal 100 for the Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stocks on Saturday night.
he finish was a reverse of the outcome in the regularly scheduled 30-lapper on 99.9 The Wolf Fan Appreciation Night, with Sirois dominating runner-up Childs and the remainder of the field in that one.
Seven features and more than 300 green flag laps of competition entertained a large crowd that enjoyed major ticket discounts and hundreds of giveaways on Fan Appreciation Night
Glen Luce also was a central figure in the evening‘s festivities. Not long after his LaVallee Motorsports team gave away two children's bikes to a lucky boy and girl in the crowd, Luce picked up his first OPS feature win since 1998 and his first since joining the Oxford Networks Late Model division last season.
In other action, three-time Allen's Strictly Stock champion Larry Emerson joined Sumner Sessions and Tommy Tompkins as a repeat winner on the season. Second-year Chimney Tech Outlaw driver Tyler Belanger collected his first career checkered flag in the first of twin 20-lap features for his Acceleration Series division. Addison Bowie hitched a ride and parlayed it into his first Outlaw victory of the season in round two.
Chris Seavey captured the 25-lap New England Legends Cars feature.
Childs shifts into gear, earns Mini Stock split
When a Mini Stock driver wins a feature by finishing almost nine seconds ahead of the runner-up, Jimmy Childs is usually the culprit. Instead, it was Rich Sirois setting that blistering pace in the 30-lap Allen’s Mini opener.
Bill Thibeault led the first seven circuits, but Sirois roared to the front and didn’t have to deal with any caution flags to slow his progress. Running his fastest lap at 18 seconds flat, Sirois sliced his way through traffic and put two-thirds of the field a lap down at the finish in his Fayette Baptist Church/Worship Radio Network #1 Mopar.
Sirois missed the wildly entertaining fracas behind him, including a paint-swapping battle between rivals Childs and Polvinen for second. Childs won the battle before an intriguing winner’s circle exchange provided the teaser for the long-distance nightcap.
“Jimmy couldn’t drive around me, so he goes through me,” said Polvinen, who immediately climbed into his #73, drove to the garage area and skipped the post-race photo shoot.
Childs repeated a sound bite he used earlier in the season after a similar encounter.
“I just want to put on a good show for the fans. It is Fan Appreciation Night, after all,” he said. “When you’re out there and your is a little bit loose, you can’t expect everyone to give you room in both lanes.”
It all left Sirois chuckling about whatever he missed.
“Sounds like there was a whole lot of stuff going on behind me,” said Sirois. “I’m glad I got to the front when I did.”
Justin Karkos kept his streak of top-five finishes alive for one more race, finishing fourth ahead of rapidly improving rookie Bob Guptill.
Round two had all the earmarks of a re-run. Sirois blazed past Guptill on lap 12 and put everyone but the top four one lap in arrears before the first caution for third-place Karkos’ mechanical woes on lap 67.
Earlier, Guptill went a lap down when he and Polvinen got together in turn three. Polvinen never recovered from the tangle and later spent several laps on pit lane.
Al Roberti’s crash and the resulting second caution on lap 85 put Sirois in position for his bad break. By the time Sirois came up to speed on the restart, he watched Childs and Wal-Mart Rookie of the Year leader Bill Irving fly to the front.
While Sirois rallied to sneak second from Irving with two laps to go, Childs finished the event in his own zip code.
“I told you guys it was a going to be a great race,” said Childs, who survived the anticipated tough battle for second with Polvinen early in the encore. “The car was good at first. Then I didn’t think I had enough for Richard, but I cam promise you I would have given him a run.”
Sirois apologized for not holding up his end of the bargain for a dramatic finish. He also took advantage of a second chance to his wife a happy seventh anniversary.
Irving, last year’s champion in the Call of the Wild RV Center Sport Truck series, celebrated his first Championship Series trophy.
“Those guys are so fast,” Irving said. “I was just waiting for a few of them to drop out.”
Guptill held off Shane Kaherl for fourth. Both drivers were one lap down, but they rounded out a pack of three rookies in the top five.
Childs' solid evening gave the reigning division champion a huge break in the season championship chase. Karkos and Polvinen entered the night ahead of Childs in the point standings, but they finished 14th and 12th, respectively, in the nightcap.
Luce gives, then receives
After the pre-race bike giveaway, nobody pedaled harder than Glen Luce in a wild Oxford Networks Late Model 40-lap main event.
Tommy Ricker and Dale Verrill exchanged the lead four times in the first 13 laps before Ricker reclaimed the lead for himself and tried to draw away. Luce looked stout from the get-go in his climb from the 13th starting position, however.
Two separate restarts on lap 24 gave Luce an opportunity to take his shot on the outside, and he dropped the hammer en route to his first checkered flag since a Pro Stock triumph on September 6, 1998. That previous win ended a seven-year drought, itself. Luce won six races in the Charger division between 1989 and 1991.
“It feels like it’s been 12 years or something like that,” Luce said. “I almost don’t know what to say. We’ve struggled for a year-and-a-half with this chassis. This is the best race I’ve had in a long time.”
Despite an early escape from another driver’s aggressive maneuver that triggered a 10-car melee around him, reigning Late Model champion and current point leader Travis Adams nearly made one of his increasingly familiar runs to the front.
For the second time this season, Adams edged Ricker by a fender out of the final turn for second.
“This car was terrible in the heat race, as everybody could see,” said Adams, who finished 12th in his preliminary and started 19th in the 25-car feature lineup. “We had a carburetor go sour in practice. Then he put a new one in, and it was no better, so we spent most of the night trying to piecemeal a carburetor together. I’m more than happy with second.”
Ricker rebounded nicely after his car wouldn’t come up to speed for either start in last week’s double features.
“It’s always fun racing Travis,” Ricker said, “but I can’t believe he got me on the last lap again! I’m just happy we got in 40 laps without breaking anything.”
Zach Emerson posted his best-ever Late Model finish in fourth, with Shawn Martin running in the top five for the third consecutive race.
Emerson adds to Strictly story book
He has won in virtually every division that OPS has offered in his adult life, but Larry Emerson continues to build a case as the greatest Allen’s Strictly Stock driver in track history. The 2001, 2004 and 2005 track champion won for the second time in 13 days and the 36th time in his all-around career – a total that doesn’t include his many Enduro victories.
Emerson took advantage of three restarts that tightened the field, then made his winning move around early dominator Jeff Moon on lap 24.
“It looked like everybody was kind of bunched up back there,” Emerson said. “I got through pretty well. Everybody raced me clean.”
Nobody made a longer commute through the carnage than Skip Tripp, who was saddled with a starting spot at the rear of the field following a problem with his heat race technical inspection.
Tripp worked his way around division point leaders Tommy Tompkins and Larry Emerson to snag his third runner-up honor of the campaign.
“I guess there was something in a wheel they didn’t like. One-eighth of an inch off. I’m not sure how much difference that makes, but the car was good all night,” Tripp said.
Tompkins and Sessions put on their weekly, door-to-door display, with “Tommy Gun” emerging third to protect his narrow championship edge.
“We had a slow car tonight,” Tompkins said, “but we got lucky and got through some of the wrecks.”
Kim Tripp followed Sessions in fifth. Moon slipped to eighth at the finish.
Another new face Accelerates to glory
Eight of the first 14 race dates in this season’s Acceleration Series have produced a first-time winner at OPS. Tyler Belanger added his name to the list in the 20-lap Chimney Tech Outlaw ‘B’ feature.
Josh Morang, Leo Hatch-Auger, Scott Ellis and Tom Averill each led the race during the first six laps, but Belanger patiently moved in from his ninth starting spot and took over the point from Averill on the 12th circuit.
Averill also saw Steve Brill and Wednesday’s winner Keith Landry drive by in the closing stages, with Brill winning the battle for second. Averill held onto fourth in front of Hatch-Auger.
Addison Bowie is always fast in his familiar #38 Outlaw, and a switch to Stan “Sonny” Morgan’s #89.3 for Saturday’s ‘A’ feature didn’t change anything. Bowie led all 20 laps of a caution-free sprint, protecting the inside lane from David Childs’ many overtures for the lead in the late going.
“Sonny went camping this weekend,” Bowie said, “but he’s definitely going to get a phone call.”
Third through fifth also finished within close proximity of the lead. Bob Ferguson outran Mike Rainville and Jerry Freve for the final trophy.
Seavey shines in annual Legends dash
Chris Seavey put his seven years of New England Legends Car experience to work, swiping the lead from teenage rookie Nick Brown on lap 6 and cruising to a 25-lap NELCAR triumph.
“I think we should have more races here,” Seavey said. “I’ll bet we pull 80 miles per hour down the straightaway.”
Jacob Dore won his heat race and bolted from 13th to second in the main event at the helm of his reduced-scale replica of the vintage racing coupes. Brown, a multi-time champion of the JARRacing Photography Go Kart Series at Oxford, ran a strong third in his first experience on the big oval.
“These cars are fast. Last year I was putting around over here on a go kart, and now I’m standing here after driving one of these things,” Brown said. “It’s unbelievable to be here.”
Ed Getty and Dustin Reynolds completed the top five.
Wednesday’s Acceleration Series event at OPS begins a stretch of six oval track events in a dozen days. Also upcoming: The Championship Series on Saturday, June 30, and Maine State Lottery Fireworks Night on Monday, July 2. Racing each night starts at 6:30 p.m.
ALLEN'S MINI STOCK SUN JOURNAL 100 (100 laps): 1. Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 2. Rich Sirois, Leeds; 3. Bill Irving, New Gloucester; 4. Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls; 5. Shane Kaherl, Jay; 6. Ashley Marshall, Jay; 7. Jeff Prindall, Lisbon Falls; 8. Greg Watkins, Bridgton; 9. Dale Brackett, Oxford; 10. Dale Durgin, Norway; 11. Darick Barker, Jay; 12. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 13. Al Roberti, South Paris; 14. Justin Karkos, Jay; 15. Kevin Bishop, South Paris; 16. Jim Robbins, Dixfield; 17. Bill Thibeault, Oxford.
OXFORD NETWORKS LATE MODEL (40 laps): 1. Glen Luce, Turner; 2. Travis Adams, Canton; 3. Tommy Ricker, Poland; 4. Zach Emerson, Sabattus; 5. Shawn Martin, Turner; 6. Dale Verrill, Paris; 7. Don Wentworth, Bridgton; 8. Mike Ferguson, Rangeley; 9. Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township; 10. Billy Childs Jr., Leeds; 11. Travis Stearns, Gray; 12. Dennis Spencer Jr., Oxford; 13. Doug Coombs, Livermore; 14. Dave MacDonald, New Gloucester; 15. Neil Martin, Freeport; 16. Carey Martin, Denmark; 17. Ben Ashline, Pittston; 18. Scott Hodgdon, Minot; 19. Gary Chiasson, Peru; 20. Tim Pendergast, Swanville; 21. Corey Morgan, Lewiston; 22. Rick Valentine, Greene; 23. Scott King, Livermore Falls; 24. T.J. Watson, Harpswell; 25. Brad Hammond, Sabattus.
ALLEN'S STRICTLY STOCK (30 laps): 1. Larry Emerson, Durham; 2. Skip Tripp, Sabattus; 3. Tommy Tompkins, Dixfield; 4. Sumner Sessions, Norway; 5. Kim Tripp, Oxford; 6. Matt Williams, Brownfield; 7. B.J. Chapman, Bridgton; 8. Jeff Moon, Gray; 9. Zach Emerson, Sabattus; 10. Mike Short, Auburn; 11. Danny Smart, Buxton; 12. Rick Thompson, Naples; 13. Chris Burgess, Lewiston; 14. Glen Henderson, Sabattus; 15. Todd Hall, Auburn; 16. Ben Krauter, Raymond; 17. Bob DiPompo, Jay; 18. Chris Mosher, Litchfield; 19. Mike St. Germain, Auburn; 20. Reggie Houghton, Carthage; 21. Shawn Thompson, Wilton; 22. Scott Belskis, Dixfield; 23. Nick Coates, Turner; 24. Mark Bowie, Poland.
ALLEN'S MINI STOCK #1 (30 laps): 1. Rich Sirois, Leeds; 2. Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 3. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 4. Justin Karkos, Jay; 5. Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls; 6. Bill Irving, New Gloucester; 7. Bill Thibeault, Oxford; 8. Ashley Marshall, Jay; 9. Al Roberti, South Paris; 10. Jeff Prindall, Lisbon Falls; 11. Dale Brackett, Oxford; 12. Darick Barker, Jay; 13. Greg Watkins, Bridgton; 14. Shane Kaherl, Jay; 15. Rick Giguere, Auburn; 16. Don Frechette, Turner; 17. Kevin Bishop, South Paris; 18. Dale Durgin, Norway; 19. Dave Mooney, Wales; 20. Jim Robbins, Dixfield; 21. Ben Audet, Chesterville.
CHIMNEY TECH OUTLAW #1 (20 laps): 1. Tyler Belanger, Sumner; 2. Steve Brill, Bridgton; 3. Keith Landry, Oxford; 4. Tom Averill, Peru; 5. Leo Hatch-Auger, Norway; 6. Kevin Plummer, Oxford; 7. Jerry Goss, Mechanic Falls; 8. Scott Ellis, Lewiston; 9. Dan Brown, Peru; 10. Corey Williams, Sumner; 11. Roger Cousineau, Turner; 12. Dave Brown, Gray; 13. Scott Veinott, Lewiston; 14. Gerald Parlin, South Paris; 15. Josh Morang, Norway; 16. Donnie Wright, Kittery; 17. Justin Bubier, Greene; 18. Jonathan Baldwin, Auburn; 19. Dennis Morang, South Paris; 20. Justin Dennison, North Yarmouth; 21. Maurice Martel Jr., Greene.
CHIMNEY TECH OUTLAW #2 (20 laps): 1. Addison Bowie, Auburn; 2. David Childs, Oxford; 3. Bob Ferguson, New Gloucester; 4. Mike Rainville, Littleton, N.H.; 5. Jerry Freve, Buckfield; 6. Ron Abbott Jr., Lewiston; 7. Shannon Judd, Jay; 8. Guy Childs, Turner; 9. Bubba Collins, Lewiston; 10. Jim Archer, Chesterville; 11. Randy Robitaille, Norway; 12. Craig Coolidge, Auburn; 13. Kevin Lawrence, South Paris; 14. Rodney Englehaupt, Oxford; 15. Thom Bell, Minot; 16. Richard Spaulding, Lewiston; 17. Steve Moon, Gray; 18. John Patria, Turner; 19. Gerry Richard, Leeds; 20. John Spencer, Auburn.
NEW ENGLAND LEGENDS CARS (25 laps): 1. Chris Seavey, Windham; 2. Jacob Dore, Sanford; 3. Nick Brown, Topsham; 4. Ed Getty, Gray; 5. Dustin Reynolds, Westbrook; 6. Bob Weymouth, Topsham; 7. Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.; 8. Mike Fuchswanz, Vassalboro; 9. Josh Leach, Islesboro; 10. Terry Kirk, Durham; 11. Aaron Lewis, Scarborough; 12. Steve Fox, Falmouth; 13. Marc Fuchswanz, Vassalboro; 14. Wade Corkum, Canton, Mass.; 15. Anthony Pagliarulo, Groveland, Mass.; 16. Patrick Stewart, Beverly, Mass.