Tag Archives: Grady Doherty

Travis Verrill wins 2nd leg of Bandit Triple Crown Series at OPS

Travis Verrill wins the Bandits Triple Crown feature

A line formed

(Oxford ME) It was like the old schoolyard days when the teacher told the class to get in line and stay there!

Travis Verrill started on the pole in the 25-lap Bandits feature at the Oxford Plains Speedway and nobody passed him.

Believe me, the attendees this sunny Sunday afternoon will tell you that those who wanted to pass Travis were close by for most of the race.

The track conditions forced drivers to stay down low (in line) and wait for something to happen.

Chad Wills and Shelby

“Today was pretty much a one-groove track,” explained 3rd place finisher Chad Wills afterwards.  “There were no second groove whatsoever.  It was too slippery out there.”

This was the second time Travis has won at OPS.

“It’s been an awesome weekend for our team,” he said.  “We won the Demolition Derby at the Fair (Oxford County) last night and then to come over here and win this race is something special.”

Travis got a good start and separated from the rest of the drivers in the early going.  Grady Doherty (finished second last week) was the nearest pursuer.

“In the beginning I broke away a little,” said Travis.  “I thought for a little bit that I had some room, so I tried to make the track a little wider for myself.  Once I saw (Chad) Wills and Alex (Mowatt) get by #1 (Grady Doherty) I knew that it would be only a couple of laps before they would get close.  It was just a fight for the bottom.”

Once Alex and Chad got close there were at least fifteen laps for them to get by Travis………..but they couldn’t.

Alex Mowatt

“Travis did a good job of holding me off,” explained 2nd place finisher Alex Mowatt.  “I didn’t have anything for him on the outside.  It was just too slippery.”

So in line they stayed and very close to each other.

“Everyone was sliding around so it was a much slower race,” explained Chad.  “You really had to use the brakes and pay attention so that you didn’t run into the guy in front of you.  On a normal night you’re able to coast through the corners but today people were slowing down because they had no grip.”

There was plenty of contact.

“Alex came into me a couple of times, but I managed to hold on,” said Travis.

“We were playing tag a little bit,” added Alex.  “I was having fun and they were having fun and we all got trophies.”

I asked Alex about moving out and trying to pass Travis: “I might have had a chance, but Chad was right on my butt and I didn’t want him to get under me.”

There was contact but Travis held on

“I could feel them there,” said Travis.  “There wasn’t time to look back.  I could hear them.  You get caught mirror-driving here and it will cost you.  I over-drove one corner because I made eye contact with Alex in the mirror.”

Alex won the first leg of the Bandit Triple Crown on July 7th.  (That was the first Bandits race I covered.)

The final leg of the Triple Crown is in October.

Travis: “Today is my last race.  My boy plays flag football and I’m a coach.”

Chad: “I will do the October race and maybe a race in Bangor after that.”

With a win and a second, Alex is the points leader going into the final race in October.

Chad: “GA Downing (Minot) sponsors me and I work for them.  They like racing and have helped me out a lot.”

Travis: “I told Alex in tech that he did a great job because he easily could have dumped me a couple of times.  Chad and Alex were in my rear view the whole race.  They certainly were faster than me.”

Nice weather with sun and temperatures in the low 70’s.

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

Car 50 starts on the pole

Frustration for driver of Car 50

Chad Wills, Travis Verrill, Alex Mowatt

Chad Wills tries the second lane

The final stretch of the Bandits feature

Grady Doherty was in second early in the race

Onto the tow truck in another race today

The finish of the top three

Travis and Alex afterwards

Travis out of the car with the checkered flag

Victory lane

Victory lap

The start of the race

Early in the race

 

 

 

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Dustin Salley wins Bandits feature, Chad Wills claims points title

Dustin Salley wins his 6th race of the Bandits season

Mason, Chad, and Shelby

(Oxford ME) Dustin Salley won the Bandits feature tonight.

Chad Wills won the Bandits points championship.

Dustin looked to be on his way to winning his second straight points title but ran into some “technical difficulty”, as Chad described it, after the August 23rd race and was disqualified.

Dustin’s zero points for that race put Chad ahead going into tonight’s final chance for points.

“I knew that I had to stay within five cars of the 18 (Dustin Salley) to win the points title,” explained Chad.

The opportunity to win the championship had an effect on Chad prior to the race: “I was a nervous wreck.  I was quite sick before the race.  It was nerves.”

So while Chad played it safe, Dustin was all in.

Dustin Salley

“I drove the wheels off it,” Dustin said.  “Tonight, this thing was hooked up.  Brand new tires are what make a difference with these cars, it’s not going to be all about the motor.”

Grady Doherty had a big night.  He won his heat and came across second in the feature.  Grady’s best previous finish had been a 4th on August 10th.

Dustin won his heat and had already won five times before tonight’s victory.

Grady had the pole in the feature while Dustin started 6th.

Several laps in, the race was between Grady and Dustin.  They were side-by-side briefly and there was contact between the two of them as Dustin took the lead for good.

Dustin squeezed by Grady Doherty and Alex Mowatt

“I tried to keep it as clean as I could,” he explained.  “I didn’t have the preferred groove when I’m out in the second groove, so I kept it tight.”

Once Dustin had the lead, the issue wasn’t who would win but by how much would he win.

“We’ll take the win and move on and see what next year brings us,” added Dustin.

To win the title at Dustin’s expense was bittersweet for Chad: “I owe a lot to Dustin.  He helps me on and off the track.  I thank Kyle Hewins too.  He and Dustin are pretty much the mechanics.  All I’m good for is driving the car.”

Dustin: “We had a great crew; KHM, Chad, Kyle and all of those guys.  They help out a ton.  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to race anymore.  It’s a perfect combination between Kyle and me.  We get these things to go pretty good.  I can’t thank those guys enough.”

Dustin wins the feature with plenty to spare

I decided this summer to spend some time at Oxford and opted to specialize in one division.  The Bandits became the choice, and in my six visits I met six different winners; Alex Mowatt, Travis Verrill, Jake Hall, Caleb Proctor, Chad Wills, and Dustin Salley.

Dustin finished with six victories.  Chad had three.

“We got a DQ last week which cost us the championship,” said Dustin.  “In the whole year it was the only time we were out of the top five so I can’t complain.”

Other divisions settled championships today as well.

I always find the Rookie division entertaining.  It is almost a certainty that the cars will get tangled up.  Tonight’s tangle eliminated all put two cars and so 12-year-old Maddie Herrick was declared the winner.

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

Maddie Herrick wins Rookies feature

Truck winners

Curtis Geary

Driver taken to an ambulance after hitting the wall

Dustin (DSal) and Chad (Wills) get by Dean Jordan (55)

Dustin Salley won the second Bandits heat

Grady Doherty and Alex Mowatt tangle in the feature

Grady Doherty leads in the first Bandits heat

Grady Doherty wins the first Bandits heat

 

 

 

 

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