OXFORD, Maine – Ricky Rolfe tuned up for next weekend's TD Banknorth 250 Presented By New England Dodge Dealers by essentially qualifying for the race eight days early.

With another convincing Oxford Networks Late Model win Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway, his fifth in the last six races, Rolfe wrestled the division point lead away from Travis Adams.
That entitles Rolfe to a spot at the rear of the starting grid for next Sunday's 35th annual summer classic, in what seems the unlikely event that he doesn't qualify on his race-day merits.
"Those were the longest seven laps of the year right there," Rolfe said of a late-race run of three caution flags after he took the lead from Daren Ripley on lap 26 of the 40-lap showdown.
Rolfe’s victory highlighted a packed, 16-race card that included nine features.
Justin Karkos and Bill Childs Sr. each sped to their second victory of the year in twin, 30-lap Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stock encounters.
David Tripp ran and hid from the Allen’s Strictly Stock field for his first victory of the season in a caution-free sprint.
With 30 cars registered in the Macdonald Motors Runnin Rebel division and a makeup race on the docket, the four-cylinder cars waged three Agren Appliance Summer Showdown races. Troy Jordan, Josh Childs and Jamie Leavitt prevailed in the 20-lap skirmishes.
Jake Burns extended his lead over all OPS competitors this season with his seventh Call of the Wild RV Sport Truck checkered flag of the campaign, while Max Zachem made the long and costly haul from Connecticut pay off with his second straight victory in New England Legends Cars competition.
Thirty-three laps of the Late Model showcase unfolded without incident. During that time, Rolfe raced from the rear of the field, overtook Jimmy Childs for the runner-up spot on lap 25 and took advantage of traffic (although it didn’t appear he needed the help) to swipe the lead from Daren Ripley on the next circuit.
Later, Rolfe steered clear of the confusion while closest pursuers Ripley, Childs, Tyson Jordan and Shawn Knight fell victim to the late-race attrition on Q97.9 Night.
Ripley spun in the first turn while battling to stay in the top three on lap 33. Next up, Childs and Jordan tangled in Turn 4 while dicing it out for second, with Knight’s attempt to avoid the incident sending him into the concrete barrier near the start-finish line.
While hoping not to get the Rev It Up Sports/Swasey Excavation #51 caught up in anyone’s mess and be faced with expensive repairs during 250 week, Rolfe mostly had his mind fixed on a certain green car deep in his mirror.
“All I wanted tonight was to finish two spots ahead of Travis in the feature and take the point lead, so as long as I’m able to run all the qualifying races next weekend we should be in the 250 no matter what happens.”
Dominant as he has been throughout June and July, Rolfe remembered that just last year, then-point leader Adams used the automatic berth after never recovering from an unfavorable draw in three rounds of qualifying.
Shawn Martin snuck through the melees to claim second in the Bombardier/Oxford Networks #94, followed by Billy Childs Jr.
“The car was a little bit tight tonight, but it’s a great feeling to be back up here going into the 250,” Martin said. “We'll free up the car a little bit next week and see what happens.”
Childs was almost apologetic for making his way to the front after running off the leader board for most of the event.
“I picked the third groove and for the first time this year it worked for me. I was able to pass a bunch of cars,“ said Childs. “That car just has a bad attitude. No matter what I do to it, it doesn’t want to compromise. It‘s been horrible lately.”
Other than Rolfe, just about anyone in the field would take Childs’ self-proclaimed struggles in the Lucas Oil/Brown‘s Construction #1. He has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts, strengthening his grip on third in the season standings.
Kurt Hewins, the only driver to defeat Rolfe in weekly competition since May, charged from the rear of the field to fourth in a ride borrowed from teammate Dennis Spencer Jr. Carey Martin claimed fifth. Adams ran eighth.
Karkos, Childs Sr. shake off the gremlins
Two Allen's Mini Stock features book-ended the program and produced six different faces on the podium.
Karkos picked up his second win of the season in round one, running away from Shane Kaherl and point leader Ashley Marshall as drivers from the town of Jay comprised the top three.
Mechanical problems knocked Karkos from the last four races, including last week while leading.
"I changed my number this week (to Kyle Busch and Ricky Rolfe's #51) for luck purposes," Karkos said.
Karkos needed only eight laps to wheel the newly numbered Polymer Repair Technology/Roy’s All-Steak Hamburgers Dodge to the front and overtake Don Frechette for the lead.
A lack of practice time didn’t deny Kaherl his third consecutive top-five showing as his midseason rally continued.
“I got here last minute because we had some problems on the way to the track,” Kaherl said of the Wood Pellet Warehouse/Mayo‘s Firewood #19. “We barely got the car out of the trailer in time to get it li ned up.”
Marshall heads into next weekend‘s Mini tripleheader still atop the division point standings thanks to his third-place run in the opener. That countered a spin and only his second result of the season outside the top-10 in the nightcap. His opening round was eventful, too.
“I got a little tangled up with the #21 car (Rick Giguere), and I think the car’s probably toed in about two feet because she just wouldn’t turn,” Marshall said after his third straight podium performance. “I held in there the best I could. (The car) was getting pretty warm.”
Bill Childs Sr. and leading rookie Darrell Moore completed the top five under daylight conditions.
When the sun went down, it was Childs reeling in another rookie, Ken Daigle Jr., nine laps from the finish. It marked the second time this season that Daigle has led a feature in the final one-third of the scheduled distance before Childs played the spoiler.
Childs’ 42nd career win moved him into a tie with some fast company — Carey Martin and Tim Brackett — for No. 14 on Oxford’s all-time, all-division list.
“My sons Billy, Jimmy and John work on this darn thing,” said Childs, who has endured an up-and-down season by his standards, as well, in the C.B. Converters #10.
Matt Moore dogged Childs down the stretch and settled for a career-best second. He dedicated the20performance to friend Kevin Benson, who recently returned home from deployment in Iraq.
Butch Keene ended his season of miserable luck and snuck past Daigle in the late going for third.
Finishes of any kind have been rare for former champion Keene, who has bagged a few qualifying race wins in the Levesque Electric/Danny’s Powersports #2 but celebrated his first feature trophy of the season with the enthusiasm of a child at the go-kart track.
“I wasn’t even going to run this thing. I was loading (the trailer) because I was sick of it, sick of it, sick of it! And I got a third. Nice,” Keene clamored. “I’ve got to thank Rodney’s Repair for giving me that motor with 138,000 miles on it. She’s still turning, but she’s spitting a lot of oil and anti-freeze and everything out of it.”
Adam Polvinen, who swept last weekend's two holiday features, was fifth to back up his second-place showing in the earlier Legends race.
Tripp-le double in Strictly showdown
It took Tripp four races to get the right foot back in form, but he registered his first Strictly Stock win since June 2005 with ease in the Brownie’s Custom Cycles/A.J. Levesque Excavation #20.
Tripp won multiple features in the final season of Limited Sportsman competition at OPS in 2006.
“This one’s for all the guys out back tu rning the wrenches,” Tripp said. “I wouldn’t be out here if it weren’t for them.”
Kim Tripp registered another runner-up run in a MEI Excavation/Cole-Man’s Concrete #42 with heavy cosmetic damage after a practice crash. He wrestled the second spot away from Chris Burgess on lap 11.
“A lot of guys came over to help me out after that,” the driver known as ‘Kim Dog’ said. “I appreciate that very much.”
Even with a mirror full of Larry Emerson and Tommy Tompkins, boasting four division championships between them, sophomore driver Burgess stayed strong and took home third.
“It’s been a long time that I’ve been trying to get this one,” said Burgess, who reached the top three for the first time after capturing last season’s Lampron Energy Rookie of the Year honors.
Three times the excitement for Rebels
Josh Childs chased Jordan’s Lawn Guard/Rodney’s Repair #6 across the line in a Macdonald Motors Runnin' Rebel race held over from a rainout two weeks ago.
It was the second win of the season for Jordan, who also left Kyle Hewins (third), Ben Krauter (fourth) and teammate Matt Dufault (fifth) in his rear-view mirror. Jordan squeezed past cousins Josh and John Childs when they briefly ran out of real estate while scrambling for the lead on lap 9.
“I wa s pretty lucky to get through that mess,” said Jordan.
Childs was unstoppable in the high-point half of the regularly scheduled Agren Appliance Saturday Showdown features, finding a seam to the low side of early leader Zach Audet in the closing laps to notch his third win of the campaign.
“Right at the beginning I tried to go around Zach and couldn’t do it,” Childs said. “but somehow I got underneath him.”
Derek Cook dealt with Jordan in his mirror throughout the event before locking up third, with Scott Farrington in tow.
Leavitt led every lap of the Rebel 'B' main from the pole.
“I could get used to starting there. It’s been a while since I did that,” said Leavitt, who prevailed for the sixth time in his career in the Able Power Rooter #93.
David Cook and Larry Melcher settled into a distant second and third. Josh Brown rallied late for his best finish of the season in fourth, with Mike Kyllonen making his first start since the early 1990s good for fifth.
Burns now enjoys seven Call of the Wild RV Center Sport Truck wins in 10 starts, the most of any driver in all eight speedway divisions this season.
“It went really well tonight. Awesome day for racing,” said Burns.
The Portland Insulation/Gray Stone #74 took the lead on lap 6 and established a safe distance over rookie standout Ross Spurling.
Ryan Farrar recovered from an early spin to take third, with Tom Libby a best-ever fourth and Brian Farrar fifth.
Connecticut's Max Zachem posted his second straight OPS win in New England Legends Cars competition, with Polvinen second and ageless Russ Nutting third.
New England Dodge Dealers Speedweek is here, with full cards of racing Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in advance of the TD Banknorth 250 on Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (207) 539-8865 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

LATE MODEL (40 laps): 1. Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township; 2. Shawn Martin, Turner; 3. Billy Childs Jr., Leeds; 4. Kurt Hewins, Leeds; 5. Carey Martin, Denmark; 6. Tommy Ricker, Poland; 7. Matt Sanborn, West Baldwin; 8. Travis Adams, Canton; 9. Don Wentworth, Otisfield; 10. Travis Stearns, Auburn; 11. Corey Morgan, Lewiston; 12. Ben Ashline, Pittston; 13. Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 14. Neil Martin, Freeport; 15. Nick Brown, Bath; 16. Tim Pendergast, Hermon; 17. Dave MacDonald, New Gloucester; 18. Gerald Parlin, South Paris; 19. Tyson Jordan, Poland; 20. Shawn Knight, South Paris; 21. Daren Ripley, Appleton. DNS: Dennis Spencer Jr., Oxford.


1. David Tripp, Oxford; 2. Kim Tripp, Oxford; 3. Chris Burgess, Lewiston; 4. Larry Emerson, Durham; 5. Tommy Tompkins, Carthage; 6. Mike Short, Auburn; 7. Joe Hutter, Leeds; 8. Skip Tripp, Poland; 9. G len Henderson, Sabattus; 10. Shane Green, South Paris; 11. Zach Emerson, Durham; 12. Gerry Burgess, Sabattus; 13. Matt Williams, Brownfield; 14. Rick Thompson, Naples; 15. Sumner Sessions, Norway; 16. Dean Coolidge, Oxford; 17. Brian Hughes, Otisfield; 18. Michael Roe, West Paris. DNS: Perry Tucker, Sumner; Randy Heath, Casco.
MINI STOCK #1 (30 laps): 1. Justin Karkos, Jay; 2. Shane Kaherl, Jay; 3. Ashley Marshall, Jay; 4. Bill Childs Sr., Leeds; 5. Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls; 6. Matt Moore, South Paris; 7. Randy Kimball, Mechanic Falls; 8. Kevin Bishop, South Paris; 9. Don Frechette, Turner; 10. Bill Thibeault, Oxford; 11. Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon; 12. Brad Dwinal, Freeport; 13. David Giasson, Wales; 14. Wayne Titus, Minot; 15. Dale Brackett, Oxford; 16. Butch Keene, Turner; 17. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 18. Dave Mooney, Wales; 19. Rick Giguere, Auburn; 20. Chuck Higgins, Lewiston; 21. Don Mooney, New Gloucester; 22. Al Roberti, South Paris; 23. Craig Moore, Woodstock. DNS: Dale Durgin, Oxford..

MINI STOCK #2 (30 laps)

: 1. Bill Childs Sr., Leeds; 2. Matt Moore, South Paris; 3. Butch Keene, Turner; 4. Ken Daigle Jr., Lisbon; 5. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 6. Darrell Moore, Mechanic Falls; 7. Justin Karkos, Jay; 8. Brad Dwinal, Freeport; 9. Kevin Bishop, South Paris; 10. Bill Thibeault, Oxford; 11. Ashley Marshall, Jay; 12. Randy Kimball, Mechanic Falls; 13. Shane Kaherl, Jay; 14. Craig Moore, Woodstock; 15. Bob Guptill, Mechanic Falls; 16. Dale Brackett, Oxford; 17. David Giasson, Wales; 18. Greg Watkins, Bridg ton; 19. Steve Barker, Jay; 20. Wayne Titus, Minot; 21. Don Frechette, Turner. DNS: Rick Giguere, Auburn; Don Mooney, New Gloucester; Dave Mooney, Wales; Chuck Higgins, Lewiston.

RUNNIN' REBEL #1 (20 laps):

1. Troy Jordan, Turner; 2. Josh Childs, Oxford; 3. Kyle Hewins, Leeds; 4. Ben Krauter, Raymond; 5. Matt Dufault, Turner; 6. Derek Cook, Livermore Falls; 7. Zach Audet, Chesterville; 8. Scott Farrington, Minot; 9. Nathan Guptill, North Turner; 10. Larry Melcher, Livermore Falls; 11. Charlie Webster, Auburn; 12. Brian Hawthorne, New Gloucester; 13. Tyler Smith, Oxford; 14. Dustin Couture, Auburn; 15. John Childs, Leeds; 16. Doug Degroat, Oxford..

RUNNIN' REBEL #2 (20 laps):

1. Josh Childs, Oxford; 2. Zach Audet, Chesterville; 3. Derek Cook, Livermore Falls; 4. Troy Jordan, Turner; 5. Scott Farrington, Minot; 6. Matt Dufault, Turner; 7. Kyle Hewins, Leeds; 8. Ben Krauter, Raymond; 9. Nathan Guptill, North Turner; 10. Charlie Webster, Auburn; 11. Dustin Couture, Aubuirn; 12. Brian Hawthorne, New Gloucester; 13. Tyler Smith, Oxford; 14. John Childs, Leeds. DNS: Doug Degroat, Oxford; David Childs, Oxford.

RUNNIN' REBEL #3 (20 laps):

1. Jamie Leavitt, Minot; 2. David Cook, Wilton; 3. Larry Melcher, Livermore Falls; 4. Josh Brown, Conway, N.H.; 5. Mike Kyllonen, Mechanic Falls; 6. Rick Spaulding, Lewiston; 7. James Wood, New Gloucester; 8. Randy Nutter, Auburn; 9. Cody Smith, Oxford; 10. Aaron Small, Poland; 11. Paul Cook, Mechanic Falls; 12. Michael Carver, Durham; 13. Brandon Munroe , New Gloucester.

SPORT TRUCK (20 laps):

1. Jake Burns, Gray; 2. Ross Spurling, New Gloucester; 3. Ryan Farrar, Oxford; 4. Tom Libby, Gorham; 5. Brian Farrar, Sumner; 6. Joe Farrar, Oxford; 7. John Lizotte, Mechanic Falls; 8. Ryan Varney, Oxford; 9. Joey Bedard, Hartford; 10. Devon Smith, Norway; 11. Geoff Griffths, Lewiston; 12. Steve Anderson, Bethel..

LEGENDS (20 laps):

1. Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.; 2. Adam Polvinen, Oxford; 3. Russ Nutting, Limerick; 4. Bob Weymouth, Topsham; 5. Terry Kirk, Durham; 6. Ed Getty, Gray; 7. Patrick Stewart, Beverly, Mass.; 8. Alan Smith, Lincoln.