(Oxford ME) What a night!
Maybe it was the full moon.
Karson Hewins and Nick Wilson became first-time winners tonight.
Ten-year-old Karson led wire-to-wire in the Rookies Division and Nick used the same formula in the Bandits Division.
According to the announcer, Karson may have been the youngest driver to ever win a race at Oxford Plains Speedway.
If you’re going to win a Bandits feature you must be able to hold off the Mowatt brothers.
Jeff Libby did it on July 5th. Brandon Caston did it on May 8th. The other ten Bandits features? Won by either Luke Mowatt (6 times) or his brother Alex (4 times).
Tonight, it was young Nick Wilson’s turn to hold off the Mowatts.
Nick started in the pole position for the first time this season.
“I started up front and had a good car,” explained Nick afterwards.
The question was whether Nick could hold onto the top spot.
Very quickly the race had Nick in front with one of the Mowatts beside him and another behind him.
“I was nervous the whole race seeing them there, but I knew that they’d run me clean,” said Nick.
A spinout away from the front in Lap Eight bunched up everyone including Nick, Luke, and Alex.
“I didn’t want to see that caution, but we got it done after that,” said Nick.
Nick did not give up his front position on the restart and held on to get his first win.
“I’ve had a couple of seconds,” said Nick, “it feels really good to finally win.”
Getting to the front early in crucial and Alex and Luke know it.
“Whoever gets to the front first is going to get the position,” explained Alex (3rd) afterwards. “Passing is hard. Our cars are even. I can’t pass him, and he can’t pass me.”
“Nick ran a good race,” said Luke (2nd). “It was a lot of fun.”
Luke won his first Bandits feature last August. I asked Alex how his brother has become a six-time winner this year.
“He has more experience. More seat time. He also has another car that is not as tired as the old one.”
Nice night for racing. The bad weather on Friday night pushed that night’s schedule into the regular Saturday night schedule. Talk about a long night!
But there were, “Do-you-remember-the-time?” moments on this evening. Four times vehicles flipped over, and red flags came out. Four times, not once!
In each instance, twice with trucks and twice with cruisers, the drivers got out of the vehicles without life-threatening injuries. One of the drivers, however, was taken away in an ambulance.
I tend to keep a camera “eye” on the OPS first turn early in races because often trouble shows up there. I got a pretty good look at the accident that Drew Hayward (Cruiser Division) got into.
(All of the pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)