Tag Archives: Austin Theriault

All is well for Wayne Helliwell as he wins the 43rd Oxford 250

 

Wayne Helliwell got the checkered flag after winning the 43rd OPS 250

Wayne Helliwell got the checkered flag after winning the 43rd OPS 250

The trophy, the car, and an excited crew.

The trophy, the car, and an excited crew.

(Oxford ME) Travis Benjamin led the 43rd annual Oxford 250 for 159 laps but it wasn’t enough as Wayne Helliwell led the final five laps to earn the checkered flag on Sunday night at Oxford Plains Speedway.

After the last of the cautions (12) on lap 227 an entertaining battle unfolded between 2-time champ Travis Benjamin and Wayne Helliwell of Dover (NH).

By then most of the non-contenders were off the track and there was plenty of open territory ahead for the two leaders after the restart.  But at the speed the two front-runner were going you knew that the race would eventually be won in the traffic ahead.

Travis on the high side and Wayne on the inside early in the race

Travis on the high side and Wayne on the inside early in the race

Wayne was on the inside and Travis was on the next line up.  Travis had used that line to get by many cars during the race.

In lap 244 the two leaders approached field-trailer Garrett Evans (#64).  Garrett was on Travis’ lane and Wayne was on the inside lane beside Travis.  Travis said afterwards that he hesitated when he approached the 64 because didn’t know what the 64 was going to do.  That “hesitation” allowed Wayne to fly by on 64’s inside and forced Travis to drop down in back of him.  Travis would never recover from what happened with the 64 and had to settle five laps later for, what had to be, a disappointing second place.

Travis said afterwards that he thought the difference was that Wayne had pitted for tires fifty laps after he did.  Those fresher tires allowed Wayne to keep up with Travis and to eventually get to the front.  I’ll still go with what happened dealing with the 64 as the actual difference maker.

Wayne Helliwell pits for tires

Wayne Helliwell pits for tires

Exciting race to say the least.

Wayne finished seventh in the OPS 250 last year.  This time he won the race and received a check for $29,500.

DJ Shaw came in third.

Last year’s winner Glen Luce was strong in the early going.

TJ Brackett came out of the very first caution unable to get his car to start and was quickly done for the night.

Travis Benjamin stays high and will get past Mike and Ben Rowe

Travis Benjamin stays high and will get past Mike and Ben Rowe

Ben Rowe finished 4th while his dad Mike ended up 24th.

A couple of the young favorites (Reid Lanpher and Derek Griffith) got into benders early and never could challenge the leaders.  Reid was 2nd last year.

I saw the race from above the sky boxes on the roof.  Nice and breezy up there on a hot afternoon/evening with an extraordinary view.

Only problem with that lofty perch was that it was impossible to get down from there to the track in time to get pictures of the early post-race celebrating.  But you can’t have everything!

Thanks to Tom/Mary Mayberry for arranging the media credentials.

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

Mike Rowe explains some of the finer points of racing to TJ Brackett

Mike Rowe explains some of the finer points of racing to TJ Brackett

Derek Griffith before the race

Derek Griffith before the race

Reid Lanpher before the race

Reid Lanpher before the race

Wayne Helliwell introduced

Wayne Helliwell introduced

Travis Benjamin introduced

Travis Benjamin introduced

Austin Theriault

Austin Theriault

Fender bender involving Jeff Taylor (88), Kyle Treadwell (44), Cassius Clark (13) and Mike Hopkins (15).ops-A14-fb2ops-A13-fb3ops-12-fb-4

DJ Shaw after the race

DJ Shaw after the race

Travis Benjamin after the race

Travis Benjamin after the race

Travis Benjamin pit stop

Travis Benjamin pit stop

Travis got past the 64 early in the race

Travis got past the 64 early in the race

2015 winner Glen Luce pressured by Travis Benjamin

2015 winner Glen Luce pressured by Travis Benjamin

Politics on a fender

Politics on a fender

TJ Brackett out early

TJ Brackett out early

 

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Filed under Oxford, Oxford 250, Oxford Plains Speedway

Joey Polewarczyk wins 39th annual TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway

Austin Theriault (3rd), Joey Polewarczyk (1st), Jeff Taylor (3rd)

Joey Polewarczyk – led for 204 laps

(Oxford ME) Joey Polewarczyk won the 39th annual TD Bank 250 held at sunny Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday evening.

The 23-year-old from Hudson NH led for the first 135 laps and the last 69 laps to earn $25,000 for the victory and $20,500 for leading on 204 laps.  Nice payday for the first-time 250 winner.

This year’s race had only three cautions and none for collisions.  The wide-open conditions provided few chances for competitors to get close to Car #97.

Jeff Taylor finished second, five car lengths back.

Eighteen-year-old Austin Theriault from Fort Kent (ME) finished third for the second year in a row.  Joey Polewarczyk is engaged to Austin’s sister Brittany.

Track owner Bill Ryan brought in celebrity driver Trevor Bayne the 21-year-old winner of the Dayton 500 this year.  In the TD Bank 250 Travis finished a distant 31st some four laps off the pace.

Eddie MacDonald – 2-time winner interviewed before the race

Eddie MacDonald of Rowley (MA) was back as two-time champ in 2009 & 2010.  In this race he was in second for much of the first 100 laps but faded back to 9th.  Eddie had raced in Columbus, Ohio the day before and arrived in Maine in the early AM’s for the race.

I discovered the rooftop above the media rooms as an excellent place to watch the race.  The view was better and there was a cooling breeze.

(The pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Start of the race – Joey on pole outside, Austin 3rd outside, Jeff 4th inside

Eddie MacDonald (17) and Travis Stearns (85)

Joey Polewarczyk nears finish with Jeff Taylor second

Joey Polewarczyk celebrates

Jeff Taylor

water bath

pre-race lineup

Trevor Bayne (Daytona 500 winner) beside his car

crowd salutes the drivers

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Filed under 2012 TD Bank 250