Blanchette, Brown beat the rain in JARRacing Go Karts

OXFORD, Maine – .For the fourth time in as many weeks to start the season, Friday night produced a first-time winner in the JARRacing Photography Go Kart Series at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Wade Blanchette led from wire-to-wire, holding off the stern challenge of point leader and past champion Brandon Varney to capture the 20-lap Box Stock feature.
The series also produced its fourth consecutive different winner in the Gold Plate division, with Josh Brown returning to victory lane for the initial time in 2008.
Evan Armington (Purple Plate) and Stephen Beattie (Star Champ) each prevailed for third straight week on a night that was sandwiched on both ends by rain.
After a one-hour delay wiped out most of practice, a second series of showers just after sunset scrubbed the final two features of the night. Next week's card will begin with the Blue Plate and Unrestricted make-up races, followed by a full card of heats and features. The Friday, May 30 program will start at the customary time of 6:30 p.m.
Blanchette worked feverishly for his win, as Varney twice brushed the safety tire at the entrance to the front stretch in his bid to pass Blanchette on the inside.
It wasn't enough to change the result, however, with Blanchette prevailing by a car length. Ethan Brown was a career-best third for the first trophy of his rookie campaign.
Brown claimed his checkers by a similar one-car length margin over defending division champion Spencer Morse. 
Kyle Metivier was solidly entrenched in third throughout the second half of the event. Dave Blackwell and Brady Smith, both among the early-season feature winners in the class, ran fourth and fifth.
Beattie led the final nine laps of the Star Champ heat and every circuit of the feature with Mike Ricker closely in tow.
The Purple Plate finale proved the best race of the night, with Armington and triple-threat Varney dicing it out throughout the opening laps. Varney yielded the top spot on lap 7 before taking it back two trips later.
Armington claimed the advantage just before a caution flag on lap 10, and having the preferred inside line gave him the edge on the ensuing restart. He settled into a comfortable margin of victory over Varney and Zachary Rich. Owen Poisson was fourth, with Dylan Haskell fifth.
Racing resumes at OPS Saturday with five divisions of racing and a huge holiday weekend fireworks display on Oxford Federal Credit Union Night. The green flag flies at 6:30 p.m.

STAR CHAMP (20 laps):
1. Stephen Beattie, Conway, N.H.; 2. Mike Ricker, Sebago.
Lap leaders: Beattie 1-20. 
Heat winner: Beattie.

GOLD PLATE (20 laps): 1. Josh Brown, South Paris; 2. Spencer Morse, Waterford; 3. Kyle Metivier, Lisbon; 4. Dave Blackwell, Brunswick; 5. Brady Smith, Porter; 6. Ethan Roubo, Saco; 7. Katrina Bright, Wilton; 8. Neil Bernier, Minot; 9. Zach Harmon, Buxton..
Lap leaders: Brown 1-20.
Heat winner: Brown.

PURPLE PLATE (20 laps): 1. Evan Armington, Lovell; 2. Brandon Varney, Lewiston; 3. Zachary Rich, Casco; 4. Owen Poisson, Brunswick; 5. Dylan Haskell, West Baldwin.
Lap leaders:
Varney 1-6, Armington 7-8, Varney 9, Armington 10-20.
Heat winner: Varney. 

BOX STOCK (20 laps): 1. Wade Blanchette, Buxton; 2. Brandon Varney, Lewiston; 3. Ethan Brown, South Paris; 4. Kyle Mooney, New Gloucester; 5. Chase Staples, Durham; 6. Ethan Matot, Casco; 7. Matthew Mason, Groveton, N.H.; 8. Brodie Morse, Waterford.
Lap leaders: Blanchette 1-20.
Heat winner: Varney.

UNRESTRICTED: Rained out to May 30.
Heat winner: Evan Beaulieu, Durham.

BLUE PLATE: Rained out to May 30.
Heat winner: Jacob Hendsbee, Whitefield.