Trackside Now: LA Harley Davidson Late Model Challenge 100
John Donahue Is The Big Winner at Oxford
on hand to bring you Trackside Now coverage of the event. Does this mean that Randy
Potter might attend after all? We'll find out on Sunday.
Saturday, 9:30am ET - Today's activities at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) have the makings of a good old fashioned short track open show. The LA Harley Davidson Late Model Challenge 100 is not a points-paying or offically sanctioned touring race, although it does have loose ties to the American-Canadian Tour and features ACT-style Late Models. Today's race wll pay $2,500 to win and $400 to start the feature and is part of a five-race mini-series that pays a cool five grand to its champion. It will also serve as a nice tune-up race for next month's TD Banknorth 250 - an event that is also part of the Challenge schedule.
Randy Potter (#02) won at Oxford earlier this year, but probably won't make it to the track today due to a family commitment. (Top - Alan Ward Photo). Jean-Paul Cyr is expected to attend. He finished second in April's ACT opener at Oxford. (Bottom - 51 Photo)
In true open show fashion, there is no pre-entry list for today's race. A mix of Oxford regulars, ACT touring stars and drivers from tracks throughtout New England with similar rules (such as Lee USA Speedway, which races weekly on Friday nights) is expected. Six-time ACT champ Jean Paul Cyr is expected to be there, as is last night's NASCAR Busch East Series winner at Stafford, Eddie MacDonald.
Leading the Oxford charge will be point leaders Travis Adams, Ricky Rolfe and Shawn Martin. The Lux Enterprises team is fielding two cars today - one for all time winningest Oxford driver Mike Rowe and another for former PASS North regular Travis Khiel.
The track also reports that ACT regulars Brent Dragon, Eric Chase, two-time TD Banknorth 250 champion Jamie Aube, John Donahue, Joey Becker and local favorite Ron Henry have expressed interest in racing today.
One driver not expected to attend is the current Challenge Series point leader Randy Potter, who won the ACT opener at Oxford in April, but has a graduation to attend today.
While the entry list is a question mark, so is the weather to some degree. There is a 40 percent chance of showers in the area for this afternoon, but that also means a 60 percent chance of no showers, so hopefully the show will go on. Right now in Southern Maine, it is gray, cool and cloudy, but clear and dry.
Track officials have a record of doing everything possible to get the show in the books, so today will likely be no different. In fact, the ACT opener in April faced a near-impossible forecast, but all of the heat races and features were run without a single delay. The skies didn't open up until later that evening.
The pit gates at Oxford do not even swing open until 2pm, with the first practice sessions starting at 4pm and heat races scheduled for 6:30pm. So for now, we'll maintain internet silence and bring you the latest from the track later on today. Stay tuned.
Sunday, 11:55am ET - Ron Henry spun his #05 off turn three to bring a cation period to practice. The ACT regular, who lives within a half hour from Oxford, did not hit anything and after being towed back to the pits, got his car refired and back on the track for more hot laps.
Sunday, 11:40am ET - The weather on Sunday's make-up date for the Late Model Challenge 100 at Oxford more than makes up for the nasty conditions on Saturday. It is in the 70's, wth low humidity and los of sun at the track. Practice is underway and there are three dozens Late Models in the pit area.
Saturday, 3:10pm ET - It is never a good sign when you are heading to the racetrack and see haulers going in the other direction, but that is what happened on Saturday as the Late Model Challenge 100 at Oxford Plains Speedway was called off because of sour weather and the threat of showers late on Saturday. The event has been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon with racing set to start at 2pm. Speed51.com will be
Sunday, 12:40pm ET - By the best of our count (we used all of our fingers and toes),
there are 36 Late Models in attendence for today's race. The entry list is as follows:
DJ Shaw practices his #60 Late Model. He's one young man who was happy for yesterday's rainout at Oxford and is going to be among the favorite's in today's race there. (51 Photo)
01 - Bill Childs, Sr.
1 - Mark Anzalone, Jr.
2- Zach Emerson
03 – Travis Adams
04 – TJ Watson
05 – Ron Henry
6 – Tommy Ricker
7 – Glen Luce
8 – Dennis Spencer, Jr.
10 – David Avery
11 – Scott King
11RI – Ryan Vanasse
16 – Joey Becker
17 – Eddie MacDonald
18 – Jamie Fisher
23 – Travis Khiel
24ME – Mike Rowe
25 – John Donahue
26 – Corey Morgan
31 – Tim Pendergast
32 – Jean Paul Cyr
36 – Brad Hammond
45 – Brian Hoar
51 – Ricky Rolfe
56 – Dale Verrill
57 – Doug Coombs
60 – DJ Shaw
63 – Don Wentworth
69 – Dave MacDonald
70 – Gary Chiasson
72 – Scott Robbins
77 – Jon Brill
77MA – Jimmy Linardy
93 – Mike Ferguson
94 – Shawn Martin
99 – Roger Brown
Sunday, 12:30pm ET - Randy Potter is not at Oxford Plains Speedway for today's Late Model Challenge 100. The New Hampshire driver won the first round of the five-race series, April's ACT Late Model event here, but had a graduation to attend this weekend and was not going to be able to attend. Some observers thought that the rainout might work to his advantage and that he would be a surprise last-minute entry, but that has not happened.
Sunday, 12:20pm ET - The Late Model cars at Oxford Plains Speedway do not use transponders and no official practice times are kept, so while teams are prepping their cars for today's events, don't expect to find any races to see who tops the practice sheets.
Sunday, 12:15pm ET - The rainout worked out well for DJ Shaw. The teenaged son of 1994 NASCAR Busch North champion Dale Shaw has been terror on open Late Model shows this season - winning big events at Lee USA Speedway (NH) and Wiscasset Speedway (ME). However, he is also running for points on Saturday nights in a Pro Series car at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, so running the LM Challenge 100 at Oxford did not seem to be an option. But when the race was postponed until Sunday afternoon, Shaw added it to his schedule. He's here and entered in today's race with his #60.
Oxford Plains Speedway regular Ricky Rolfe's #51 Late Model. (51 Photo)
Sunday, 5:40pm ET - ACT Late Model regulars John Donahue and Roger Brown finished one and two in the 100 lap Late Model Challenge Series race at Oxford Plains Speedway. They were chased to the line by Oxford regulars Doug Coombs, Ricky Rolfe and Glen Luce.
Official Results: LA Harley Davidson Late Model Challenge 100
Oxford Plains Speedway (ME)
Sunday, 1:30pm ET - Things aren't looking good for the #77 team of Jon Brill. His team has been under the hood of their car and althought they have not loaded up yet, they aren't thrashing to make the race either.
In fact, their entry has been pulled from the heat racelineup. It looks like there will be 36 cars racing for 36 starting positions today.
Sunday, 1:25pm ET - After a draw for the lineups of today's three heat races, Brad Hammond, Joey Becker and John Donahue will start on the pole for each qualifying race, which are scheduled to start at 2:00pm.
Sunday, 1:15pm ET - Make that 37 cars on the entry list for today's races - you can add the #1 of Oxford Plains Speedway regular Bill Childs, Jr. to your scorecard. That means that Massachusetts teen Mark Anzalone, Jr. will run the #1x on his Late Model today.
Now, the former Oxford regular is back in the Late Model for the first time in seven years. He likes the engine/tire package of the new-type ACT-style Late Model car, reporting that the crate engine and eight-inch tires are a good match for each other.
Lux chose the #23 for Khiel's car since it was the same number that the Lux Enterprises team ran in the NASCAR Busch North Series for Robbie Harrison earlier this decade.
Meanwhile, Khiel's teammate Mike Rowe isn't showing his cards with the #24ME car yet. Rowe reports that in practice his car wasn't great, but wasn't bad. All that we know is that Rowe is the winningest driver ever at this track and he never brags. Watch for him to be a threat for the victory today.
Sunday, 1:45pm ET - The talk of the pit area today is on the accomplishments of
The #77 team at work. (51 Photo)
Maine racer Corey Williams, who won Saturday night's PASS South Super Late Model race at Orange County Speedway (NC). Williams now lives in North Carolina, but is from Boothbay, Maine. He's raced at this track in PASS North, the Oxford 250 and a handful of regular Saturday night shows over the past few seasons.
Sunday, 1:40pm ET - Today's race does not count towards the 2007 track championship standings at Oxford. However, the majority of the weekly Late Model competitors are here. A winner's purse of $2,500 and a minimum of $400 to start the feature today is hard to turn down. There's also a $5,000 champion's prize for winning the title in the five-race LM Challenge Series this season.
The two-car Lux Enterprises team. (51 Photo)
Sunday, 3:10pm ET - The second heat race was a barn-burner with four lead changes in the first five laps alone. Joey Becker started from the pole and finished first, but had to fight to retake the lead a few times from Mike Rowe and Mark Anazalone. Second Heat Race Finishing Order - 1) Becker 2) Anzalone 3) Dennis Spencer 4) Rowe 5) Ricky Rolfe 6) Jean Paul Cyr 7) DJ Shaw 8) Zach Emerson 9) Tommy Ricker 10) Ryan Vanasse 11) Scott King 12) Gary Chiasson
Sunday 3:00pm ET - Travis Adams' heat race DNF was due to a distributor problem. His brightly-colored team of crew members is now hard at work on the #03 car, hoping to get the former Oxford Late Model champion back on track for today's feature race.
Sunday, 2:50pm ET - The first Late Model heat race of the day has gone to Brad Hammond, who started on the pole and showed the way. Two notable competitors - Travis Adams and Ron Henry dropped out of the first heat race early with mechanical problems. First Heat Race Finishing Order - 1) Hammond 2) Brian Hoar 3) Scott Robbins 4) Doug Coombs 5) Bill Childs, Jr. 6) Corey Morgan 7) David Avery 8) TJ Watson 9) Mike Ferguson 10) Dave MacDonald 11) Ron Henry 12) Travis Adams
Sunday, 2:30pm ET - The heat races for the Late Models are running slightly behind due to a caution-plagued Strictly Stock feature that is being made up after a rainout on June 2nd. Right now, the Late Model drivers are strapped in and waiting to hit the track.
Sunday, 2:15pm ET - It turns out that we were mistaken and that official practice times have been kept for today's sessions - you just need to know where to look for them. Travis Khiel led teammate Mike Rowe in the first session, while Roger Brown paced the second and third sessions with his #99. Brown's best lap in the final practice session was 16.024 seconds and he was followed on the speed charts by DJ Shaw, Mike Rowe, Ricky Rolfe and Brian Hoar.
Sunday, 1:55pm ET - Travis Khiel is back in a racecar for the first time since last summer and he's settling right in. Khiel is driving the #23 Late Model for car owner Mike Lux as a teammate to Mike Rowe. In 2006, Khiel started out the season in PASS North driving the #44 Richard Moody Racing entry. He parted ways with the team after the halfway point of the season and has been sitting on the sidelines since.
The #03 team of Travis Adams gets to work to get their car fired back up. (51 Photo)
1. John Donahue, Graniteville, Vt
2. Roger Brown, Lancaster, N.H.
3. Doug Coombs, Livermore, Me.
4. Ricky Rolfe, Albany Township, Me.
5. Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
6. David Avery, North Woodstock, N.H.
7. Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt.
8. Mike Rowe, Turner, Me.
9. Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, Vt.
10. D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.
11. Dennis Spencer Jr., Turner, Me.
12. Scott Robbins, Dixfield, Me.
13. Ron Henry, New Gloucester;
14. Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, R.I.
15. T.J. Watson, Harpswell, Me.
16. Travis Adams, Canton, Me.
17. Dale Verrill, Paris, Me.
18. Travis Khiel, Denmark, Me.
19. Billy Childs Jr., Leeds, Me.
20. Don Wentworth, Otisfield, Me.
21. Mike Ferguson, Rangeley, Me.
22. Joey Becker, Jeffersonville, Vt.
23. Corey Morgan, Lewiston, Me.
24. Scott King, Livermore Falls, Me.
25. Tommy Ricker, Poland, Me.
26. Grary Chiasson, Peru, Me.
27. Dave MacDonald, New Gloucester, Me. 28. Brad Hammond, Sabattus, Me.
29. Bill Childs Sr., Leeds, Me.
30. Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
31. Mark Anzalone, Malden, Mass.
32. Shawn Martin, Turner, Me.
33. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, Vt.
34. Zach Emerson, Sabattus, Me.
35. Tim Pendergast, Swanville, Me.
36. James Linardy, Malden, Mass.
Sunday, 5:20pm ET - It is just past halfway in the LA Harley Davidson Late Model Challenge
100 at Oxford Plains Speedway. We're currently under caution for a spin by Bill Childs, Jr.
Roger Brown leads Ricky Rolfe, Doug Coombs, Glen Luce and Mike Rowe.
Sunday, 5:20pm ET - We're 40 laps in and Roger Brown has taken the lead of the race. Previous leader Brad Hammond fell back and then pitted under green. Mark Anzalone has pulled into the pits and appears to be staying there with his #1x.
Sunday, 5:15pm ET - The Oxford Late Model Challenge 100 is at the one-third mark. The caution is out for a spin by Jean Paul Cyr in turn two. Cyr went off into the dirt backwards, but did not hit anything with his #32.
The #36 of Brad Hammond is showing the way after starting on the pole. He is followed by Roger Brown, Ricky Rolfe and Mike Rowe.
Tim Pendergast and Zach Emerson have dropped out of the race with crash damage.
Eddie MacDonald and Jamie Fisher have both dropped out with apparant mechanical problems.
Sunday, 4:45pm ET - The 100-lap Late Model Challenge race is now underway - sort of. The field made one lap before Zack Emerson spun in turn three and was collected by the #77MA of Jimmy Linardy. Those two cars got the worst of the damage. Dale Verrill splid off the turn three and four banking and through the dirt, but appeared to suffer no damage to his car. Dennis Spencer somehow obtained splight front end damage to his #8 in the first lap stack-up.
The #36 of Brad Hammond started on the pole and is currently your leader under caution.
Sunday, 4:25pm ET - Today's support races are now completed. Larry Emerson and Tommy Tomkins split the twin Strictly Stock features, while Bill Thibeault won the Mini Stock main event.
Sunday, 3:45pm ET - Travis Adams came back strong in the Late Model consi race by winning. Apparantly, his dsitributor problems are now all fixed. "That's much better," reported an #03 crew member. Adams held off Dale Verrill, Mike Ferguson, Ryan Vanasse and Ron Henry for the victory.
Sunday, 3:30pm ET - For those of you at home keeping track, Brad Hammond and Mike Rowe will share the front row for today's 100-lap Late Model feature race.
Sunday, 3:25pm ET - John Donahue won the third heat race in his #25 National Guard machine. The only incident of the event came when the #31 of Tim Pendergast went off course in turn one. He didn't hit anything or bring out the caution, but did finish deep in the pack. Third Heat Race Finishing Order - 1) Donahue 2) Roger Brown 3) Glen Luce 4) Shawn Martin 5) Eddie MacDonald 6) Travis Khiel 7) Jamie Fisher 8) Don Wentworth 9) Dale Verrill 10) Jimmy Linardy 11) Bill Childs, Sr. 12) Pendergast
John Donahue in victory lane. (Jamie Williams Photo)