Tommy Ricker doesn’t know the secret to his early-season success at Oxford Plains Speedway, but he does know he won’t change a thing on his car.

On May 16, Ricker chased Eddie MacDonald for the final 56 laps before settling for second in the American Canadian Tour’s Big Jab 150.

The following Saturday night, he won Oxford Plains’ first 40-lap Super Late Model feature of the season.

“We just happened to fall into it, whatever we did,” Ricker said. “We have everything blueprinted and marked. We know right where things are supposed to be and when something doesn’t feel right, we go right back and double check, and we can put it right back where it was.”

For Ricker, a 54-year-old driver from Poland who has raced at Oxford Plains since 1976, the turnaround began after last season’s TD BankNorth 250.

“We won two races at the end of the year,” he said. “After the 250 we really picked up on something. We really aren’t quite sure what it is or what the combination is, but we haven’t changed anything.”

The recent success has Ricker feeling confident.

“Right now, with this setup, I know when this car is ready to go,” he said. “It’s just being ready and being patient. When you get that feeling the car is ready to go, you just start pedaling it.”

A big test will come Saturday night when racing resumes at Oxford Plains.

“We’re going to start dead last pretty much,” he said.

His last time out, Ricker started on the outside pole. In the next 40-lap feature, he’ll have to work his way through traffic to get to the front.

 

A TOTAL OF 96 CARS raced in four divisions Saturday night in the first points races of the season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

Pole-sitter Trevor Sanborn of East Parsonfield led a 21-car field in the Pro Series, the track’s top division.

After starting ninth, Jeremie Whorff of West Bath finished second. David Oliver of Standish was third in the 40-lap feature.

Russell Morse of Scarborough led a 30-car field in the Sports Series. Ben Tinker of New Gloucester was the runner-up.

Chris Warming of Hollis finished ahead of a 28-car field in the Wildcats. Cole Watson of Naples was second.

Matt Dow of Buxton led the 17 cars in the Roadrunners division. Ed Connolly of Scarborough finished second.

AFTER FINISHING a disappointing 15th in the first Pro Series race of the season at Beech Ridge, Bill Whorff Jr. of West Bath shipped his car to Hanke Motorsports in Moorestown, N.C., to get a new front end.

“He worked on it until 2 o’clock in the morning Sunday before deciding to get a new front end,” said Jeremie Whorff, his son. “He’s been battling with that car for 11/2 years. He’s tried everything.”

Whorff and his car are expected to return to Maine early today. He’s expected to race Saturday night at the Ridge.

 

TWO DRIVERS from Beech Ridge claimed the top two spots at the inaugural PASS North Sportsman feature last Sunday at Spud Speedway in Caribou.

Clyde Hennessey of Windham finished ahead of Dan McKeage of Gorham in the 17-car field.

McKeage drove to Aroostook County after finishing fourth in Saturday night’s Pro Series season opener at the Ridge.

 

SACO NATIVE Pete Rondeau had a relatively successful first weekend as crew chief for Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 Chevrolet.

After starting 32nd, Regan Smith finished 19th in a 43-car field at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Previously, Rondeau, 44, worked for Richard Petty Motorsports and as a crew chief for Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 

FORMER TRACK OWNER Dave “Boss Hog” St. Clair of Liberty followed the outside line to get past early race leader Danny Smart of Buxton last Sunday to win the first Late Model Sportsmen feature of the season at Wiscasset Raceway.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]