Monthly Archives: August 2015

Glen Luce takes 42nd Oxford (Maine) 250

Glen Luce and Ryan Lanpher (2nd) pose on victory lane

Glen Luce and Reid Lanpher (2nd) pose on victory lane

Eddie MacDonald (66) on the pole at the start of the race. Winner Glen Luce (7) started 22nd.

Eddie MacDonald (66) on the pole at the start of the race. Winner Glen Luce (7) started 22nd.

(Oxford ME) I rechecked all the area previews for the Oxford 250. No sign of Glen Luce or Reid Lanpher.

Won’t happen next year. The 48-year-old Glen and the 17-year-old Reid took over the race at the Oxford Plains Speedway in the final fifty laps to exit from big-race obscurity.

Good crowd and excellent weather for what is conceded to be Maine’s biggest sporting event.

This year’s edition of the race fooled me a number of times.

Before the race I liked the chances of Travis Benjamin after he had won this event two straight times.

But what about Eddie MacDonald? The two-time winner was back after missing four years and after I saw him zip through his qualifying race to gain the pole position I liked his chances.

Eddie MacDonald loses the lead to Jeff Moore on the outside.

Eddie MacDonald loses the lead to Jeff Moore on the outside.

And then the race started. From my perch on the press box roof I could tell that whatever Eddie’s car had in qualifying it didn’t have it anymore. On lap four Jeff Moore took over and the slide back for Eddie reached 24th place at the end.

The next driver I thought would win was Wayne Hellewell from Tamsworth, New Hampshire. Wayne got to the front in Lap 17 and seemed locked in that spot. But 250 laps are a long way from 17 and eventually in Lap 161 things changed. Wayne earned $14, 500 for all the laps he led.

Glen Luce pulled ahead in Lap 201 and fought off the Marancook Senior from Manchester (Maine) the rest of the way. The twosome had plenty of slower cars to deal with and you always worry that one of them will do something to mess up a faster car. But it didn’t happen and Glen took the title by just over a second.

Ben Lynch, formerly from New Hampshire but now from Charlotte, North Carolina ended third. He said afterwards that the lapped cars bothered him because he couldn’t get up top to get around them very well.

Glen Luce had a back row start in his qualifying heat. He began 22nd in the main event field of 41 drivers.

Glen picked up a check for $30, 100 for the win.

Travis Benjamin - two-time winner needed a provisional spot to qualify and finished 17th

Travis Benjamin – two-time winner needed a provisional spot to qualify and finished 17th

It was positively not Travis Benjamin’s day. He tried to qualify several times and ended up starting far back each time. He was given one of the provisional spots to get into the main event. He finished 17th.

Impressive run by 2012 champion Joey Polewarczyk to get 5th place. Joey won the Last-Chance heat and started 34th but found a way to end near the top.

Vanna Brackett was the lone female in the field.

Three-time winner Mike Rowe looked strong in the early going.

I thank OPS media relations director Alan Dietz for arranging my visit to the track.

One of the confusing things about racing is the numbering. Quite often cars have the same numbers. Granted, those who follow racing know one car from another without needing the numbers. But for newcomers and semi-regulars it is confusing.

All of the cars were required to have at least one pit stop. This was unfamiliar territory for many of the drivers.

I thought that the OPS staff was outstanding. They knew what they were doing and got it done decisively and quickly.

There were several spin-outs but I never saw a wrecker get involved. The pictures just below this paragraph are the sequence of one of those spin-outs. Car #36 ends up facing the wrong way with plenty of traffic approaching. Reid Lanpher in Car #59 was one of those nearby but got around trouble.  Click on each picture to get a bigger view.250-A13-spin-1250-A14-spin-2250-A15-spin-3250-A16-spin-4

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Eddie MacDonald heads out to qualify

Eddie MacDonald heads out to qualify

Scott Farrington

Scott Farrington

Mike Rowe (3-time winner)

Mike Rowe (3-time winner)

Joey Polewarczyk (5th)

Joey Polewarczyk (5th)

feature winner

feature winner

Ben Rowe

Ben Rowe

Car of Ben Lynch

Car of Ben Lynch

In a restart Ryan and Glen are in the 2nd row

In a restart Reid and Glen are in the 2nd row

Ryan Lanpher (2nd)

Reid Lanpher (2nd)

Ben Lynch (3rd)

Ben Lynch (3rd)

Trophy and winning car

Trophy and winning car

TV interviewer

TV interviewer

Johnny Clark

Johnny Clark

Glen Luce

Glen Luce

Vanna Brackett

Vanna Brackett

Top seven qualifiers right to left

Top seven qualifiers right to left

 

 

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Filed under Oxford, Oxford 250, Oxford Plains Speedway

Justin Haley shines in Sea Dogs 2-1 win over Erie

Justin Haley makes an easy toss to first. Justin allowed one hit during his seven innings of pitching.

Justin Haley makes an easy toss to first. Justin allowed one hit during his seven innings of pitching.

Manuel Margot runs off the field

Manuel Margot runs off the field

(Portland MA) Justin Haley (5-13) had the game of his life allowing just one hit during a shutout seven innings on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Hadlock.

The noon start brought out campers galore on a perfect baseball afternoon.

The battle of the cellar dwellers from each of the Eastern League divisions turned into a pitcher’s duel between the SeaWolves Tommy Collier and Boston’s 6th round pick in 2012.

This game gave me another chance to get some pictures of centerfielder Manuel Margot. Manuel is 7th on the Boston prospect list.

I am also starting to take notice of first baseman Sam Travis. Sam was a 2nd round pick in 2014. He has been solid in the field and at bat and should start in Pawtucket next year.

One player I didn’t get to see was pitcher Michael Fulmer. Michael came to Detroit recently in a trade with the New York Mets. The Tigers also got a couple of other quality minor leaguers in recent trades. The Detroit Free Press described the Tigers farm team as the worst in baseball before the trades.

I have learned to expand my picture taking to as many players as possible. Why? A couple of years ago Travis Shaw was just another Sea Dogs’ player. Xander Boegarts was the one to get…….and I got plenty of him. I did manage a lone shot of Travis and didn’t even recall that I had taken it! So some of the players pictured may be not well known now but who knows about later.

Slugger congratulates the winner

Slugger congratulates the winner

Slugger was in big trouble today. His opponent was a young 7-year-old named Cru. I heard Cru described as “fast” by someone who was with him. That proved to be true. Slugger had one of his cleanest runs but just never was even close to making things close. One commendation for Slugger, however, was that despite a life-time losing streak he displayed wonderful sportsmanship afterwards by congratulating the youthful winner.

Wynton Bernard (leading base-stealer in the Eastern League)

Wynton Bernard (leading base-stealer in the Eastern League)

Sam Travis slides into Harold Castro

Sam Travis slides into Harold Castro

Tzu-Wie Lin after scoring the second Portland run

Tzu-Wie Lin after scoring the second Portland run

Tzu-Wei Lin

Tzu-Wei Lin

Henry Ramos after scoring the first Portland run

Henry Ramos after scoring the first Portland run

Keury De La Cruz

Keury De La Cruz

Carlos Asuaje

Carlos Asuaje

Manuel Margot works on sprinting

Manuel Margot works on sprinting

Manuel Margot in the dugout

Manuel Margot in the dugout

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

Olympian Julie Clukey

Olympian Julie Clukey

Second baseman Harold Castro

Second baseman Harold Castro

Austin Green eyes a foul popup

Austin Green eyes a foul popup

infield grounds crew

infield grounds crew

Shortstop JaCoby Jones throws to first

Shortstop JaCoby Jones throws to first

Sam Travis

Sam Travis

Dean Green (big numbers in the Eastern League this season)

Dean Green (big numbers in the Eastern League this season)

 

 

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Filed under Erie Seawolves, Portland Sea Dogs