Friday, December 13, 2013
From staff reports
OXFORD - Cassius Clark knew he had a fast car heading into the Pro All Stars Series North feature Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.
He showed it off on the eve of the TD Bank 250 by winning the Dunkin Donuts 150.
"There's no reason we shouldn't be winning races," said Clark, of Farmington.
Clark started 16th but used the inside groove to chase down one car after another and get his third win of the season.
Clark, who entered the night second in points but left it as the series leader, caught Kyle DeSouza with 20 laps to go, then held off Trevor Sanborn at the finish.
Derek Ramstrom came in third.
Johnny Clark of Farmingdale has dominated PASS North, winning the last four points titles. His quest for a fifth straight title and seventh overall has been dogged by mechanical trouble, and Saturday was no different.
He started 15th and moved to as high as eighth, but car trouble forced him to pit on the 39th lap. He moved to the back of the field and never threatened the rest of the night.
Travis Benjamin, who entered the race as the points leader but finished 14th, said the door is open for another driver to end Clark's reign.
"I don't think Johnny is having as good a season as he has had in the past," he said. "He's had a few mechanical failures. Every time he has a bad race you have to be able to capitalize."
VANNA BRACKETT isn't interested in making history, but that's just what she'll hope to do tonight at Oxford Plains Speedway for the 39th annual TD Bank 250.
The Buckfield native will attempt to become just the second woman driver in history and first since 1989 to start the TD Bank 250.
Brackett drives a car that is co-owned by Winthrop natives Kevin Burgess and Gene Hatch.
"I just want to race," she said. "I don't care about being the only girl. It's not about that. I just want to go out and run it hard."
Brackett, 25, jumped into a Late Model this season after competing in a Strictly Stock car last year at Oxford Plains Speedway.
She is 17th in points in the division this season. Should Brackett qualify for the 250, she will become the first woman to start the race since Karen Schulz in 1989.
"I'm learning a lot," Brackett said.
"I just want to go out there and run my line. It's all luck of the draw with qualifying. Hopefully I can qualify."
ABOUT 70 CARS had entered today's race as of 5 p.m. Saturday.
"Five or six cars usually show up on race day, so I expect the car count to be around 80 cars," speedway owner Bill Ryan said.
The drivers will run through three qualifying rounds starting at 2 p.m. today to determine the lineup for the 43-car starting grid.
EDDIE MACDONALD'S No. 17 Late Model was still inside its hauler next to his pad in the pits at Oxford Plains Speedway, but the two-time TD Bank 250 champion and his crew were nowhere to be found.
Saturday night, MacDonald was driving a Super Late Model in the Jegs 150 at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio, part of the K&N Pro East tour.
MacDonald, who won the 250 in 2009 and 2010, was scheduled to arrive at OPS at 8:30 a.m. today to complete preparations for the race.