(Oxford ME) If your race car isn’t working the way you want, the usual remedy is to upgrade something.
Tonight’s Bandits winner Nick Wilson chose to go in the opposite direction…..he downgraded and got himself a victory.
“The car was awful in the heat,” said Nick. “We didn’t know what to do about it. We took the new left tire off and replaced it with an old one. I didn’t think it would work, but it surprised us.”
In the twenty-lap feature, Nick took the lead from pole-sitter Jeremy Farrar in Lap Three and never let go.
This was Nick’s second win in his rookie season with the Bandits.
On July 25th,Nick won for the first time.
In that first win Nick led the entire race surviving one restart.
In both races, Nick did a remarkable job protecting the bottom.
“Nick was good,” said runner-up Luke Mowatt post-race tonight.
“They probably were faster than me,” said Nick of his challengers who never were far away. “I was protecting the bottom. It’s hard to go on the outside.”
Luke Mowatt confirmed that point: “The track was hot and still pretty greasy. I wouldn’t have stood a chance out there.”
With passing opportunities minimalized, the race came down to seeing if the leader (Nick Wilson) would make a mistake. In today’s twenty-lap feature it didn’t happen. The order of finish (Nick, Luke, Alex Mowatt, Jeff Libby, Jeremy Farrar) was established early and stayed in place lap after lap.
The Bandits eight-lap heat was a different story. Jeff Libby skillfully worked his way past both Jeremy Farrar and Nick Wilson late in the race to win.
Luke Mowatt had a remarkable run over the past fourteen races. He finished either first or second. Luke led the Bandits with seven wins.
Alex Mowatt won the points race for the second straight year. Alex was in the top three in every race but two of them.
“It would have been a lot closer in points if Luke didn’t have a bad start to the season,” admitted Alex.
Luke had his car get wrecked in a heat in May and didn’t make that feature as a result. He got no points on that occasion.
“It would have been pretty close in points if I hadn’t missed that one feature,” said Luke.
“Overall, we had a really good year,” said Alex. “The highlight was winning on 250 weekend. I hadn’t done that before.”
It sounded to me after the race as if the Mowatt brothers won’t be as active in the Bandits Division next year.
“I’m not going to race a full season in the Bandits,” said Luke. “It gets to be a lot every weekend. Maybe I’ll try something else.”
“I’m not really sure what division I’ll race in,” added Alex. “I might take some time off.”
Both of the Mowatts work for Bancroft Contracting Corporation.
Nick Wilson (senior at Oxford Hills) was named the top rookie in the Bandits Division. “I’d say I had a pretty good rookie season,” he said. Nick had two firsts and two seconds in 2021.
Nick told me post-race that his #53 was his grandfather’s number.
Alex’s #11 and Luke’s #22 were numbers they said that they have always had. “It was on my go-kart,” said Alex.
Nice weather (low 70’s) with sunshine. The 4PM start gave this photographer some daylight to shoot in. Always appreciated.
I have enjoyed watching the races and talking to the drivers. Thanks to the Mayberrys for letting me do it.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)