Cassius Clark made a triumphant return to Oxford Plains Speedway last weekend, six months after he lost the Pro All Stars Series North points championship at the track.

“We wanted redemption,” Clark said. “Last year, we had trouble there and kind of lost out. We wanted to come back with a vengeance.”

Clark did, taking the checkered flag Sunday after he fended off Joey Doiron at the finish line in a tight race.

“It was a tough battle but we were able to squeak out by at the end. We can’t ask for anything better with how well things went. We’re pumped.”

Clark, who drives the No. 77 car for Hight Motorsports, led the PASS North points chase for much of last season. He led all drivers with three victories on the tour and came to OPS for the regular-season finale with a chance to win the title.

It didn’t happen.

Clark finished 16th and watched Travis Benjamin take the crown.

“We worked hard on the car over the winter,” Clark said. “(Crew chief) Brian (Burgess) tried a bunch of new things and he got the car ready. It felt good to go back there and get a win.”

PASS North resumes May 4 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough.

• • •

Reid Lanpher has accomplished quite a bit in a relatively short time on a race track.

He’s won at famed New Hampshire Motor Speedway with the NELCAR Legends and most recently signed on to drive a Late Model for JR Motorsports, which NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. owns.

But last weekend, the Manchester teen experienced something new when he made his debut at Oxford Plains Speedway to race in a 150-lap Pro All Stars Series North feature.

“I didn’t qualify,” Lanpher, 14, said. “We just had bad luck right from when we unloaded. Never in my life have I not qualified. It was really, really weird sitting in the grandstand to watch the feature.”

Lanpher started last in a qualifying heat race and needed a top-four finish to advance. He got as high as fifth, which sent him to the last chance qualifying round.

“I started last and worked my way up but I just ran out of time,” Lanpher said. “It’s funny because we were really good in practice. We were the 11th fastest out of 45 cars. But what are you going to do? It’s a good learning experience.”

Lanpher will head to Radford, Va., on Friday to prepare for a pair of Dirty Dozen series races this weekend at Motor Mile Speedway.  

• • •

Winthrop native Jeff White won’t run a consistent schedule at Oxford Plains Speedway or anywhere else this season.

“We’ll go out and race a few times,” said White, who won the 2011 Late Model points title at OPS. “We’ll race eight to 10 races. We’re going to go around and do different things. I love Oxford and have raced there my entire life, but I just can’t do it anymore. We’ll play around.”

Schedule and rules changes at OPS — which is under new ownership — forced White out of any points championship hunt.

White will run a few races in the American-Canadian Tour. He finished 11th in the ACT opener last weekend at Lee Speedway in Groveland, N.H.

“We had a good run there,” he said. “We went down there with no stress. It was great. We gave it a whirl.”

Left turns: OPS opened its season with a PASS North 150-lap feature. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will do the same May 4, when it opens for the season with a PASS North race. … The American-Canadian Tour announced this week it was forming the ACT New Champions program in conjunction with the Quebec Sportsman Series. The program provides $100 to the highest finisher who has not won a race in the series this season.
Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]

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