Race roundup: Bubba Pollard and Carson Hocevar bring national credibility to ACT race night ahead of Oxford 250
The Oxford 250 is recognized as one of the must-attend events on the national short track racing calendar. This year, the eve of the big race is also shaping up to be remarkable.
Bubba Pollard, the 2018 Oxford 250 winner, enters the Oxford Plains 125 on the American-Canadian Tour on Saturday, August 27, before chasing his second 250 title the following night.
Pollard, who hails from Senoia, Georgia, isn’t the only national name on the ACT entry list, as he’s joined by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Carson Hocevar, who raced against Pollard in other National Short Track Crown Jewel races. .
According to the ACT website, Pollard will drive a car owned by Jason Glaude and built by Port City Race Cars. An ACT press release announcing Pollard and Hocevar’s entries into the Oxford Plains 125 said Hocevar, a 19-year-old from Portage, Michigan, will drive a car owned by Vermont-based Lanphear Motorsports.
The car Hocevar will drive is normally helmed by his girlfriend, Peyton Lanphear, who was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and has reduced her racing schedule this season.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
After it was announced that two-time Oxford 250 champion Ben Rowe had parted ways with longtime racing team Richard Moody Racing, speculation swirled about if and how the Turner native would compete in this year’s Oxford 250.
Well, Rowe has found a ride, as familiar as it is somewhat surprising. Rowe will take over his father Mike’s No. 24 race car for this year’s race. The eldest Rowe, a three-time Oxford 250 winner, competed in Saturday night’s PASS 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway but Racing America was first told he would hand the car over to his son for the Oxford weekend 250.
Mike Rowe drove his midfield car into the top 10 of Saturday’s race before suffering a flat tire. But the weekend grind of the Oxford 250, which includes several days of practice before qualifying as well as the Sunday feature, is not something the elder Rowe wants to attempt while battling health issues , Ben Rowe told Racing America.
Ben’s turn in the car will mark three generations of Rowes who have driven the car this season. Mike’s grandson and Ben’s nephew Max also drove it this year.
LAST CHANCE TO TAKE AWAY
Last Saturday’s 150-lap Pro All Stars Series race, won by DJ Shaw, was the last chance for PASS Super Late Model riders to compete in real race conditions ahead of Sunday’s Oxford 250.
Shaw, now a three-time Tour winner this season, can claim to have the most momentum heading into the biggest race of the year, but he’s not the only rider with a claim.
Trevor Sanborn, who secured his place in the Oxford 250 by winning the Port City Race Cars Triple Crown title, dominated the first 93 laps of the race from pole before retiring with electrical problems in his car’s engine .
Joey Doiron took the lead in an ensuing restart and kept control of the race until Shaw connected with Doiron while battling for the lead with 11 laps to go, which spun Doiron . Doiron’s 21st place is no cause for celebration for the Berwick native, but the performance of his ‘Oxford’ car in Saturday’s race and other recent outings should give him confidence heading into the Oxford 250 of this year.
Other winners at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night were Shawn Knight (PASS Mods), Jordan Russell (Oxford Plains Speedway Street Stocks) and Colby Meserve (Oxford Plains Limiteds). Each of these divisions ran characteristics of 50 turns.
Friday night winners at Oxford Plains included Cam Richards (Mad Bombers), Charlie Young (Thunder Stocks), Jeremy Turner (Rookies), Jeff Heaward (Figure 8s), Amara Parker (Ladies), Kyle Glover (Sport Trucks), Skip Tripp (Outlaws), AJ Smith (Rebels), Matt Morneau (Cruisers) and Ava Gailloux (Jr. Rookies).
It was the Group 1 round at Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday night, and Canton’s PJ Merrill was among four winners.
Merrill captured the checkered flag in the Super Streets Division for the first time. The other winners were Nick Hinkley (Pro Stocks), Ben Burgess (4-Cylinder Pro) and Zach Audet (Thunder 4 Mini).
DRIVER OF THE YEAR
It’s been a long weekend at Wiscasset Speedway, with the track hosting the Maine Vintage Race Car Association SummerFest on Sunday. Part of the festivities was the announcement of the MVRCA’s 2021 Driver of the Year award, which went to Wiscasset regular Josh St. Clair. Other finalists for the award were Ben Rowe, Trevor Krause, Joe Pastore, Johnny Clark and Dave Farrington Jr.
Motor racing: DJ Shaw wins PASS 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway