Taylor Makes Long Awaited Return to OPS Victory Lane

by: Caleb Lamb

OXFORD, Maine – The Oxford Plains Championship Series returned to action for the first time since the TD Bank 250, and the familiar names found their way to victory lane.

The Call of the Wild RV Center Sport Trucks represented the first feature of the night. Jeff Schmidt jumped out to an early lead in the ten lap event, but it was clearly evident that Ryan Farrar had the fastest truck on the track. Farrar continued to chase down Schmidt, lap after lap, using the high groove to gain speed. Farrar reached the Schmidt’s rear bumper, who tried to slide his truck up a racing groove coming out of turn four to block Farrar’s lane. However, the move backfired and Farrar simply ducked underneath, took the lead, and ran away with the win. Farrar struggled in Wednesday’s Acceleration Series event but made the right move in fine tuning the handling on his machine for Saturday’s race. Schmidt, ever the picture of consistency, crossed the line second, and Corey Williams rebounded to finish third after failing to even take the green flag on Wednesday. Duane Booth and John Reynolds rounded out the top five.

In the MacDonald Motors Runnin’ Rebels twenty lap feature, Troy Jordan put on his patented back-to-the-front maneuver to claim the checkered flag. Kyle Hewins led early on, benefitting from starting near the front, while Scott Farrington and Jeff Hebert ran close behind. It did not take long for Jordan to begin his march to the front. Moving on the outside lane three wide, and sometimes even four wide, Jordan continually marched his way forward. It was not long before he reached the rear bumper of Hewins’ car, and once again used the outside groove to get around him. To his credit, Hewins showed he was gaining speed by sticking right with Jordan to close out the race, but just did not have enough to get back around him for the win. Scott Farrington was third after surviving a late race melee involving Matt Dufault, Jason Berry, Cory Beaulieu, and others that saw Beaulieu spin and Dufault knocked out of the race with a flat tire. Jeff Hebert ended up fourth with Derek Cook completing the top five.

The Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stocks featured a repeat winner as well. On the outset though, this looked like anybody’s race with several cars showing the speed to run up front. Butch Keene dominated his heat race and led early on in the feature, but it was not to be his night. A few laps later, Keene suddenly lost speed, seemingly having lost a cylinder as he fell through the pack before taking his car to the garage area. Shane Kaherl inherited the lead but soon made way for Matt Moore who had a great race in his #14. Steve Barker was the man on the move, picking his way up to second using some great speed running the high groove and drifting through the turns like a dirt modified racer. The bad luck bug hit Jimmy Childs as well. After getting black flagged in the heat race when his car started spewing smoke, he appeared to have the problem figured out in the feature. But once again, the smoke came and Childs was forced to make an early exit to the garage area. It looked like smooth sailing for Moore, and might have been, if not for the sudden appearance of Ashley Marshall. Marshall struggled in the heat race and looked to be mired in the middle of the pack during the feature, but suddenly he turned on the jets and was moving forward. Marshall made short work of Kaherl and Barker and then rocketed up to catch Moore. Lap after lap, he hounded Moore’s rear bumper, until finally Moore slid up off the bottom on the exit of turn four and Marshall slipped past with just over five laps to go. Marshall raced to victory while Moore settled for second, and Barker hung on to complete the podium spots. Kaherl was fourth, and Dan Morris, who won the halftime “big wheel race”, finished a respectable fifth.

The honors for wildest race of the night went, without a doubt, to the Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy Strictly Stock feature. Rick Spaulding started off fast and opened up a small lead to start the race. Matt Carter, making only his second start in the #88 car, surprised a lot of people by flashing some speed and running a close second behind the #36. The rest of the field filed in with Zach and Larry Emerson, Gene Hatch, Kurt Hewins, and Jim Davis Jr. all battling for position. Skip Tripp meanwhile, continued his season struggles as he ran at the back of the pack the whole night before calling it quits. Hewins, as usual, began moving towards the front and wrestled the lead away from Spaulding, just past the halfway point. The order did not change much until the end as Hatch ran fourth and Davis fifth behind Spaulding and Carter. However, things turned wild with less than five laps to go. Carter, who had been hounding Spaulding relentlessly for most of the race, appeared to get into the left rear fender of Spaulding’s car as they ran through turns three and four. Rather than lifting, Carter drove the car in deeper with the result of slowing turning Spaulding sideways until he finally went completely around. Carter now had second, but the black flag waved immediately for rough driving. Carter refused it and kept on racing, albeit no longer in contention for a podium finish, while Spaulding fell to the tail end of the lead lap. When the checkers flew it was Hewins with another big win followed by Gene Hatch, who always seems to finish second, and Davis Jr. in third. Hatch actually blew his motor in practice but Joe Hutter graciously allowed Hatch to use his car in order to stay in the championship hunt.

The Oxford Networks Late Models finished off the night with a forty lap feature event. As caution free as the earlier features were, this one was anything but. Coming down to the green flag, Dave Farrington Jr., starting on the outside pole, got really loose and had to check up in front of the entire pack, causing several to spin out and bringing out the yellow before the field even got to turn one. A little later in the race, Farrington’s problems continued. This time the car got loose on the exit of turn four and around he went, spinning into the path of Jimmy Childs. Childs made heavy contact and ripped off the front bumper of Farrington’s machine. Up front, this one belonged to Jeff Taylor. The nine time Pro Stock champion, and winner of the last Pro Stock race ever at Oxford Plains Speedway, had run at OPS for the last several weeks leading up to the TD Bank 250, with limited success. Taylor was firing on all cylinders as he raced ahead of Billy Childs Jr. and Gary Chiasson. Third place finisher in the TD Bank 250, Corey Morgan, made contact with Al Hammond early on and fell back deep in the field. Just before the halfway point, on lap nineteen, J.T. Thurlow brought out the yellow flag when he spun and stalled on the inside of turn two. The caution set up another restart, and this one did not end well. Coming to the line, Taylor got too much of a jump on Billy Childs Jr. causing race control to throw the yellow rather than restart the race. Unfortunately, a number of cars checked up and spun out on the aborted restart. This time it was Travis Stearns who took a bump from behind and was turned sideways into the #15 of Ben Ashline. Ashline slammed head-on into the frontstretch wall, and several other cars piled in resulting in a lengthy clean-up. Fortunately, everyone was unhurt but when all was said and done; Ben Ashline, Nick Brown, Travis Stearns, Jimmy Childs, Pete Yetman, and Steve Minott were all involved. On the restart, it was back to business for Taylor who once again roared into the lead ahead of Childs. Glen and Scott Luce continued slicing and dicing in the top five while Tommy Ricker gave another charge to the front. Shawn Martin had a strong run as well, and used the restart to gain ground and ultimately pass Billy Childs Jr. for second. But nobody had anything for the guy considered one of the greatest racers in the history of Oxford Plains Speedway, Jeff Taylor. Taylor finished out the forty laps and gave a triumphant wave to the crowd as he crossed the line to claim his first feature win since 2006. The crowd cheered for Taylor as he brought the famed #88 into victory lane, joined by Martin and Childs to complete the podium spots. Glen Luce and Tommy Ricker completed the top five.

Next up, the Oxford Acceleration Series returns to action on Wednesday night, followed by the Oxford Championship Series presented by Polly’s Variety on Saturday. Gates open at 5:30 PM both nights. For more information, visit us at www.oxfordplains.com or find us on Facebook.



1 – 69 Ryan Farrar

2 – 22 Jeff Schmidt

3 – 39 Corey Williams

4 – 3 Duane Booth

5 – 50 John Reynolds

6 – 99 Herb Farrar


1 – 6 Troy Jordan

2 – 54 Kyle Hewins

3 – 22 Scott Farrington

4 – 86 Jeff Hebert

5 – 88 Derek Cook

6 – 46 Jason Berry

7 – 8 Dustin Salley

8 – 25 Roger Bourgoin

9 – 83 Brady Romano

10 – 2 Craig Bartlett

11 – 26 Kyle Treadwell

12 – 33 Jonah Farrington

13 – 52 Gerard Cote

14 – 69 John Childs

15 – 87 Ben Krauter

16 – 15 Nate Dubuc

17 – 59 Corey Beaulieu

18 – 89 Gene White

19 – 96 Matt Dufault

20 – 07 Travis Pearl

21 – 55 Ryan Hewins


1 – 77 Ashley Marshall

2 – 14 Matt Moore

3 – 51 Steve Barker

4 – 19 Shane Kaherl

5 – 33 Dan Morris

6 – 31 Jeff Beaule

7 – 8 Calvin Rose Jr

8 – 3 Kevin Bishop

9 – 29 Greg Watkins

10 – 97 Jeff Moon

11 – 6 Nathan Guptil

12 – 18 Nik Coates

13 – 12 Darrell Moore

14 – 08 Dwayne White

15 – 2 Butch Keene

16 – 22 Ken Daigle

17 – 10 Jimmy Childs



1 – 55 Kurt Hewins

2 – 5 Gene Hatch

3 – 1 Jim Davis Jr

4 – 23 Zack Emerson

5 – 24 Larry Emerson

6 – 84 Doug Degroat

7 – 63 Matt Williams

8 – 83 Mike St Germain

9 – 88 Matt Carter

10 – 43 Bobby DiPompo

11 – 15 Ed Burlock

12 – 06 Craig Coolidge ( R )

13 – 42 Kim Tripp

14 – 12 Skip Tripp

15 – 39 Jerry Freve

DQ – 36 Rick Spaulding


1 – 88 Jeff Taylor

2 – 94 Shawn Martin

3 – 2 Billy Childs Jr

4 – 7 Glen Luce

5 – 6 Tommy Ricker

6 – 71 Gary Chiasson

7 – 07 Scott Luce

8 – 63 Don Wentworth

9 – 51 Ricky Rolfe

10 – 52 Bruce Haley

11 – 3 Dennis Spencer Jr

12 – 26 Corey Morgan

13 – 61 TJ Brackett

14 – 60 Tim Brackett

15 – 18 Carey Martin

16 – 85 Travis Stearns

17 – 25 Shawn Knight

18 – 1 Al Hammond

19 – 99 Charlie Buxton

20 – 8 Gerald Parlin

21 – 9 JT Thurlow

22 – 10 Jimmy Childs

23 – 12 Nick Brown

24 – 15 Ben Ashline

25 – 21 Pete Yetman

26 – 23 Dave Farrington Jr

27 – 28 Steve Minott