Rolfe edges C. Martin by .001 of a second
in Oxford's second-closest finish ever

OXFORD, Maine – With the exception of an unforgettable ending that was ruled a dead heat between late Sportsman shoes Leland Kangas and Lee Day back in 1981, fans in Oxford Plains Speedway witnessed the closest top-division feature finish in the track's 58-year history Saturday night.

After two multi-time speedway champions swapped the lead seven times in a side-by-side battle that raged for more than 25 laps, Ricky Rolfe edged Carey Martin by one-thousandth of a second and unofficially reclaimed the Oxford Networks Late Model point lead in the process.

"If the fans don't think they got their money's worth after that," said Martin, "I don't know … I guess they'd better go watch horse racing."
Rolfe and Martin both led in the early stages of last Saturday's TD Banknorth 250, and they carried that momentum into a classic duel on Time Warner Cable Night.
Rolfe landed the lead from Dale Verrill on a lap 11 restart and used the outside lane to ward off an encroaching Martin, who finally inched in front on lap 23.
The leaders changed lanes on a lap 26 restart after Rolfe reclaimed the lead just prior to a spin by Mark Childs Sr. and Neil Martin. Martin thrived in the high line from laps 28 to 33 before Rolfe returned to the front by a fender on lap 34.
Martin led on the next pass, and he maintained that advantage by a fender until Rolfe made his fateful, final charge along the rail out of the last corner.
"It's just great to run with all these guys," Rolfe said. "Carey and I have raced thousands and thousands of times over the years coming up through the divisions, and it's always like that. He's just a great guy to race with."
Rolfe's second win of the season, coupled with Travis Adams' 20th place run after a lap 12 crash, gives the 2002 and 2003 speedway champion Rolfe a 13-point lead over the reigning champ and five-time feature winner Adams with four points races remaining.
Dale Verrill backed up his runner-up effort in the TD Banknorth 250 with a strong third-place showing. Shawn Martin and Zach Emerson completed the top five.
Adams wasn't alone. All three Oxford Championship Series point leaders were involved in wrecks, with Strictly Stock pacesetter Sumner Sessions also unofficially losing his advantage in the standings.
Those troubles opened the door for first-time feature winners. Skip Tripp held off a furious challenge from Tommy Tompkins for his first Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy Strictly Stock victory of the summer. Tompkins' second-place showing was enough to pocket the point lead.
Glen Henderson prevailed in a terrific tussle with Kim Tripp for third, with Chris Burgess fifth for the best run of his rookie campaign.
Acceleration Series graduate Bill Irving took advantage of a crash involving leaders Shane Kaherl and Jimmy Childs with 10 laps to go and proceeded to his first Allen's Mini Stock win. Irving won 10 checkered flags on his way to last year's Call of the Wild RV Sport Truck championship.
Ashley Marshall matched his best-ever run in second, with Bob Guptill making it two rookies on the podium in third. Dave Mooney and Bill Childs Sr. followed.
Kyle Hewins joined his father Larry and brother Kurt as an OPS champion when the 18-year-old finished second to sew up the Agren Appliance Grand Slam championship for the Macdonald Motors Runnin' Rebel division.
Gregg Norton and David Childs won the 20-lap twin features for the four-cylinder Acceleration divisions.
OPS revs up August with three races in five days. The Acceleration Series gets back into action Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. New Balance presents the annual Summer Celebration with fireworks and racing Saturday at 6:30 p.m. And Twin Enduro 100s highlight Motor Mayhem on Sunday at 1 p.m.

1. Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township; 2. Carey Martin, Denmark; 3. Dale Verrill, South Paris; 4. Shawn Martin, Turner; 5. Zach Emerson, Sabattus; 6. Ricky Morse, St. Albans; 7. D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.; 8. Jon Brill, Bridgton; 9. Tommy Ricker, Poland; 10. Neil Martin, Freeport; 11. Glen Luce, Turner; 12. Mark Childs Sr., Leeds; 13. Rick Valentine, Greene; 14. Travis Stearns, Gray; 15. Leon Heckbert, Wilton; 16. Corey Morgan, Lewiston; 17. T.J. Watson, Harpswell; 18. Gary Chiasson, Peru; 19. Dave MacDonald, New Gloucester; 20. Travis Adams, Canton; 21. Scott Hodgdon, Minot. DNS: Ben Ashline, Pittston.

ALLEN'S COFFEE FLAVORED BRANDY STRICTLY STOCK (30 laps): 1. Skip Tripp, Sabattus; 2. Tommy Tompkins, Dixfield; 3. Glen Henderson, Sabattus; 4. Kim Tripp, Oxford; 5. Chris Burgess, Lewiston; 6. Matt Williams, Brownfield; 7. David Vaughn, Naples; 8. Mike Short, Auburn; 9. Bob Crocker, Freeport; 10. Mark Bowie, Poland; 11. Rick Thompson, Naples; 12. Zach Emerson, Sabattus; 13. Ben Krauter, Raymond; 14. Reggie Houghton, Carthage; 15. Shawn Thompson, Wilton; 16. Danny Smart, Buxton; 17. Larry Emerson, Durham; 18. Sumner Sessions, Norway; 19. Todd Hall, Auburn.

ALLEN'S COFFEE FLAVORED BRANDY MINI STOCK (30 laps): 1. Bill Irving, New Gloucester; 2. Ashley Marshall, Jay; 3. Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls; 4. David Mooney, Wales; 5. Bill Childs Sr., Leeds; 6. Kevin Bishop, South Paris; 7. Bill Thibeault, Oxford; 8. Don Frechette, Turner; 9. Dale Durgin, Norway; 10. Greg Watkins, Bridgton; 11. Bob Mooney, Lewiston; 12. Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 13. Shane Kaherl, Jay; 14. Dale Brackett, Oxford; 15. Don Mooney, New Gloucester; 16. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 17. Darick Barker, Jay. DNS: Al Roberti, South Paris.

MACDONALD MOTORS RUNNIN' REBEL 'A' (20 laps): 1. Gregg Norton, Lewiston; 2. Kyle Hewins, Leeds; 3. Tyson Jordan, Poland; 4. Matt Dufault, Turner; 5. Scott Farrington, Oxford; 6. Todd Foss, Raymond; 7. Troy Jordan, Turner; 8. Nic Stanley, Buckfield; 9. Derek Cook, Livermore Falls; 10. Josh Childs, Oxford; 11. Nathan Guptill, North Turner; 12. Mark Childs Jr., Mechanic Falls; 13. Bill Dunphy, New Gloucester; 14. James Wood, New Gloucester; 15. Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls; 16. Martin Krauter, Raymond; 17. Doug Degroat, Oxford; 18. Jeff Hebert, Auburn; 19. Gene White, Lisbon; 20. Ryan Varney, Oxford; 21. George Tripp, Oxford.

MACDONALD MOTORS RUNNIN' REBEL 'B' (20 laps): 1. David Childs, Oxford; 2. Jamie Heath, Waterford; 3. Brady Romano, Livermore Falls; 4. Zach Audet, Chesterville; 5. Logan Melcher, Livermore Falls; 6. Jeff Beaule, Lewiston; 7. Calvin Rose Jr., Turner; 8. Josh Brown, Conway, N.H.; 9. Paul Cook, Mechanic Falls; 10. Brian Nason, Lewiston; 11. Nick Seames, Greenwood; 12. Gerard Cote, Oxford; 13. Josh Lovell, Oxford; 14. Charlie Webster, Auburn; 15. Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon; 16. Robert Lowe, Lewiston; 17. Patrick Elsman, Hebron; 18. Randy Nutter, Auburn.