OXFORD — Ryan Farrar added another rare accomplishment to his already impressive resume Saturday morning.

The Oxford resident led every lap of the 20-lap Sport Truck feature at Oxford Plains Speedway, claiming the 57th win of his career in the division. Allowed to open its gates to racers and teams this weekend after waiting nearly three months amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the speedway held a doubleheader Saturday to finally welcome racing back into its facility.

The Oxford Acceleration Series, which typically competes on Wednesday nights with five entry-level divisions, took the green flag at 10:15 a.m. In the evening, the four-division Oxford Championship Series, including Maine’s premier weekly division, the Super Late Models, held its first event of the season.

“It kind of gives you a break from the whole world,” said Jonathon Emerson of Sabattus, after winning the 20-lap Outlaw feature later in the day. “It brings back something that’s normal.”

Farrar, though, took the most notable honor Saturday. After winning his qualifying race, the record five-time Sport Truck champion easily pulled away from the field to move into 11th on the track’s all-time win list. In doing so, he also became the first driver to win a stock car race in Maine this season.

“That’s pretty awesome,” Farrar said. “I hadn’t thought of that. I like that.”

Lila White, center,from South Paris, wishes her father, Cody, good luck while being held by her mother, Courtney before heading out on the track for his race at Oxford Plains Speedway Saturday morning. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Spectators were not allowed to attend Saturday’s races at Oxford Plains, as the state’s current reopening phase has not allowed for gatherings numbering in the hundreds or thousands yet. The races Saturday — as well as Sunday’s scheduled Pro All Stars Series and American-Canadian Tour events at Oxford Plains —could be viewed via a pay-per-view stream offered by the Northeast Sports Network, the same company that streams high school and college sporting events in the region.

Emerson noted that it was strange not seeing people in Oxford’s sprawling — empty — grandstands. Other than that, though, it finally felt like a normal day.

“It’s weird to start racing in almost July now, but it actually felt good,” said the 19-year-old Emerson, whose win was the first of his career at Oxford Plains. “To stop at the stores we normally stop at getting here, to stop and see everyone again, it feels really good.”

Track legend Mike Rowe watches the action. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Third-generation driver Max Rowe of Turner, the grandson of Oxford’s winningest driver of all time Mike Rowe (152 career Oxford victories) and the nephew of two-time Oxford 250 winner Ben Rowe, finished second to Farrar in the Sport Truck feature.

The 16-year-old, in his second season in the division, has been racing since he was 6 and was eager to get back to the track.

“It’s been pretty boring not being able to race,” Rowe said. “It was a relief just being able to come back to the track.”

Farrar could relate. Though his straightaway lead was erased by a caution flag just three laps from the finish, it was still a relatively easy win for the construction worker who has his sights on a sixth Sport Truck championship.

Where Oxford management has done what it could to get competitors on-track this weekend, Farrar has similarly done his part. He and his father built four of the Trucks entered in the nine-Truck field on opening day. After having once jumped up to the speedway’s Mini Stock division before that was eliminated following the 2013 season, Farrar knows the fear of losing a place to race.

He also now knows, like all other stock car racers across Maine, what it’s like to have nowhere to go race at all.

“If we didn’t let other people race them, there wouldn’t be many trucks,” Farrar said. “My goal was always to race in the Trucks, get the most wins and the most championships in the division and then move up.

“I definitely had the racing fever or itch, whatever you want to call it. I call it my anger management class when I’m out there. You get all stressed out during the week, and then you get to go out and go racing and it’s pedal to the metal. Don’t let off.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under:

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.