OXFORD — Practice times might not mean a whole lot in the big picture, with teams on varying strategies over the course of a weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway, but Dave Farrington Jr. is hoping that one practice trend continues.

Farrington, of Jay, set the quickest time in a two and a half hour practice for Sunday’s 44th annual Oxford 250, turning a 15.566 second lap (86.728 mph) on Saturday. Glen Luce was fastest in the Saturday session in 2015, while Wayne Helliwell Jr. did the same on Saturday a year ago. Both Luce and Helliwell went on to win the Oxford 250.

“That’s a pretty cool stat to say,” Farrington said. “Obviously, it feels really good. We usually hover around 10th or 12th on the speed charts, so to be able to blister off a lap like that feels pretty awesome. It lets you breathe a little bit lighter.”

This is the eighth Oxford 250 try for Farrington, who finished a career high sixth in 2012. He’s the only driver this season to run both the full Pro All Stars Series North and South tours, ranking fourth in the South and sixth in the North, where he has 10 top 10s in 12 races.

In three races this season at Oxford, Farrington has finished eighth, ninth and 10th.

When his practice session started Saturday morning, Farrington was less than thrilled with the car. Eventually, the team opted to throw on a new set of tires — which led to the quickest time of the day.

“For a while, we weren’t that good,” Farrington said. “Part of this is a tire game — everybody talks about tires every year… We got to a point where we felt comfortable, so we said let’s bolt on a fresh set of tires. This is the Oxford 250, you can’t use those tires and save them for another day. We figured let’s try them and we hooked up pretty good. It turned out pretty good speed-wise, and comfort-wise I’m feeling pretty good, too, about it.”

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Two-time Oxford 250 winner Eddie MacDonald has had things a little easier for himself this year at Oxford Plains.

After several years of trying to squeeze the race into a busy schedule that included NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and American-Canadian Tour races, he and crew chief Rollie LaChance are able to focus solely on one race this weekend.

Two years ago, MacDonald ran a K&N race on the Saturday night before the Oxford 250 and arrived at the track on Sunday morning. Last season, he focused solely on an ACT race at Oxford the night before the 250 and did not compete in the main event.

“We still need to get it a little bit better,” said MacDonald, who posted the seventh-fastest time in Saturday’s practice. “We want to be comfortable on older tires and fast on new tires. That way, it should play out for you in the end, but a lot of things still have to go your way.”

MacDonald won back-to-back Oxford 250s in 2009 and 2010, one of only four drivers in history to win the race in consecutive years. Only Dave Dion, Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason have won the race three times — something MacDonald would like to do.

“That would be awesome,” MacDonald, of Rowley, Massachusetts, said. “You’ve got to learn what these cars want here, but we really haven’t had enough time with (the Super Late Model). We really wanted to be able to practice here more, but we’ve been busy with other schedules and racing. We just haven’t gotten here as much as we wanted to this year.”

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There are four drivers in the field this weekend who have multiple Oxford 250 wins. In addition to MacDonald, Mike Rowe, Ben Rowe and Travis Benjamin are all entered. Mike Rowe has a chance to become the first four-time winner in Oxford 250 history, and he is already one of only two drivers to win the race in three different decades (1984, 1997 and 2005). … Through five and a half hours of practice already this weekend for the Oxford 250, there’s only been one caution period on the track. That came for Lonnie Sommerville of Saint John, New Brunswick, who blew an engine early in Friday’s practice. Sommerville had a replacement engine under the hood of his No. 2 car and practiced all of Saturday. … Defending Oxford 250 champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Pelham, New Hampshire, was sixth-fastest in Saturday’s session. Derek Ramstrom of West Boylston, Massachusetts, who did not practice on Friday, was second-fastest overall in the session behind Farrington. … Two drivers who showed exceptional speed on Friday — Curt Gerry, whose 15.402-second lap was the fastest of any driver all weekend, and Reid Lanpher — were not at the track on Saturday. The two were racing at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, where they are locked in a battle for the track championship.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

[email protected]