OXFORD — Glen Luce of Turner turned around a disappointing season Sunday, coming from the middle of the pack to win the 42nd annual Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway.

Luce held off a late charge by Reid Lanphier, a 17-year-old from Manchester, to win the 250-lap event for Super Late Model cars.

It was an emotional victory for Luce, a 48-year-old who runs on the regional PASS North tour.

“We had a lot of struggles to overcome,” he said.

The struggles came on and off the track.

After the race, Luce talked about how crew chief Seth Holbrook’s mother was battling cancer. “She usually comes to my races,” he said.

Luce, who came into the race in seventh place in the PASS North standings, said his team was disappointed with the performance of the race car purchased during the offseason. His crew spent the last two weeks working on it.

“We found out we weren’t doing some things we should have, and it was like a different car when we got here,” he said.

Still, his struggles continued Sunday. Luce drew the last starting position in the fourth qualifying heat. He qualified in that heat but had to start 22nd in the 41-car field for the main event.

Luce, who finished second to NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick in the 2008 race, managed to work his way to the front. He led twice, taking the lead for good on the 201st lap during a restart.

“I tried to hit my marks and not think about it,” said Luce, whose winnings totaled $30,100 for the victory and the 51 laps he led in Maine’s richest race.

“I did look at the scoreboard once and it was like 27 (laps) to go, and I went ‘Don’t look at that.’ It seemed like an eternity but it was just a few laps. I just tried to keep hitting my marks and the lapped cars were good.”

Lanphier, who qualified for his first 250, finished second.

“Glen was really fast there at the end,” Lanphier said. “He could really get through the center better than me. I could get in and off but I was a little too snug in the center.”

Lanphier, a senior at Maranacook High in Readfield, failed to qualify for the 250 four years ago when he was 13.

“We started a new team last year,” he said. “We really didn’t want to come until we knew we could contend. This year we felt we had a good piece, and I think it showed.”

Ben Lynch, a 25-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, finished third.

“The lapped cars gave me the biggest problem,” he said. “I couldn’t go up top. By the time I cleared them I was farther behind.

Eleven cars finished on the lead lap.

Johnny Clark, a six-time PASS North champion, finished fourth and Joey Polewarcyk, the 2012 winner, was fifth after qualifying for the 34th spot on the starting grid.

He led the final 36 laps of the 50-lap last-chance qualifier in which 38 cars raced for the spot in the final.

Cassius Clark, a PASS North veteran from Farmington, was sixth.

Wayne Hellewell Jr. of Tamworth, New Hampshire, who earned $14,500 for leading 145 laps, finished seventh.

Other lap leaders were Kelley Moore of Scarborough, Shawn Martin of Turner, Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Massachusetts and Joey Doiron of Berwick.

Travis Benjamin of Morrill, the two-time defending champion, finished 17th after receiving a provisional to start in the 36th spot.

Benjamin finished last in the first qualifying heat after starting last in the 13-car field. He also failed to finish among the top three in the second consolation heat and was near the end of the field in the Last Chance qualifier.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.