OXFORD — Beaten so regularly with the aid of Oxford Plains Speedway itself, Derek Griffith sooner or later struck again.
Griffith, of Hudson, New Hampshire, took the lead for a second and very last time with 38 laps closing and drove away to win the Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150 Sunday afternoon. It became Griffith’s first career Pro All Stars Series win at Oxford.
“I stated earlier in the season that if I won a PASS race this yr at Oxford, that might make my whole season,” Griffith, 22, stated. “I’m mind-boggled right now. I can’t accept as true with it.”
Ben Rowe of Turner had the dominant vehicle for most of the day and took four turns at the front earlier than settling for 2d. D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire, completed 1/3, with three-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin and Reid Lanpher rounding out the top five.
For Rowe, who became all smiles after a podium end at Oxford in advance this summer, signs of frustration commenced exposing for the winningest motive force in PASS records.
Rowe’s winless streak has now stretched to exactly one year to the day, his only win on account that May of 2015 approaching Sept. 15 final season at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire.
“It’s the 0.33 time this summer season (at the podium at Oxford). We placed plenty in this music,” Rowe stated. “We’re beginning to turn it around, but we nevertheless want a bit greater here.”
Griffith first chased down Rowe to take the lead on lap 85, however, Rowe needed fewer than 20 laps to chase Griffith down and bypass underneath him exiting turn 4 at the .375-mile speedway.
On lap 113, Griffith used the outdoor lane to once more get with the aid of Rowe.
In both cases, it changed into a restart which allowed Griffith to get through Rowe. And in each case, Rowe knew that restarts will be his undoing in the afternoon.
“We’re made for the long runs here,” Rowe stated. “On the one’s yellows, I can’t get going. It’s probably just me. The automobile’s pleasant, however, it takes me eight to ten laps to get returned in a rhythm. I didn’t do a very good enough job preserving him (outdoor) lengthy sufficient.
“I knew we were higher on long runs, however, there weren’t enough laps left.”
Griffith stated he discovered something from the primary time Rowe exceeded him for the lead.
“I rolled the center (of the corner) a bit better than him,” said Griffith. “I knew if I should get him at the outdoor after which get an opening, I’d probably have a shot at it.”
From there, Griffith became gone.
“When (my spotter) stated, ‘Clear to the bottom,’ I changed into like, ‘Oh my god. Thank you,’” Griffith stated. “We’ve been coming here for plenty of years and I’ve had lousy luck. So this feels pretty correct.”
It becomes a specially tough day to skip, as the very last 0.33 of the race noticed only a few movers towards the front of the sector.
Curtis Gerry, this season’s song champion at Oxford and a -time PASS winner on the music this summer time, never made his customary fee to the front after beginning deep inside the 30-vehicle discipline. Ben Ashline of Pittston ran in the top-5 for a maximum of the afternoon before pitting after which walking into trouble on his way back via the sector, a collision with Craig Weinstein finishing Ashline’s day within the front stretch wall.
Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont, and Garrett Hall of Scarborough — who received the primary PASS races at Oxford this spring — never were given themselves into contention.
Little of that mattered to Griffth, who subsequently exorcised his Oxford Plains demons after finishing a profession-satisfactory 2d in closing month’s Oxford 250.
“I can’t believe it,” Griffith stated. “This area has beat the crap out people when you consider that 2012. I didn’t even make it into my first Oxford 250. We’ve gained a weekly display here, but to win a PASS race approach the world to me.”