Brooks Goes Wire-To-Wire For Win at Oxford



On Tuesday night, the Sportsman Street Stock Series rolled into the Oxford Plains Speedway for the 5th event of their season. Coming off a race last week where a number of cautions would slow the race, the Street Stocks would look to recover with a much cleaner race the the Maine race track. 19 cars would start the event, and it was Justin Brooks who put his car on the pole with a lap time of 17.025 seconds, just ahead of Kevin J Myers who started on his outside.

At the drop of the green flag, Brooks would pull into the lead, and it was points leader Cody Kelley who would follow him up the inside lane to move into the 2nd spot. Myers would drop into 3rd just ahead of Parker Traves and James Linkiewicz as the top five quickly fell in line, as cars further back in the field battled it out trying to find a spot down into the inside lane.

In the early laps, Brooks and Kelley began to slowly pull away out front, while a few car lengths back, Myers was looking to hang onto the 3rd spot. Behind him, Traves was all over his rear bumper looking for a way by as Linkiewicz was right there waiting to get by as well. By lap 10, the field had all settled in and were beginning to spread out as they looked to log laps, and things remained unchanged at the front of the field.

On lap 19, the battle was still on for the 3rd spot as Traves continued to run all over the back of Myers, but coming off of turn two, Myers would slip up and got loose out of the corner and drifted up the track. By the time Myers gathered it back up, he would fall outside of the top ten, as a number of cars would take advantage of his misfortunes to move up. Both Traves and Linkiewicz would move up into 3rd and 4th, while Bill Martin was making a charge up through the field and made it up into the top five by lap 23 after starting back in the 10th position.

Back out front, Brooks continued to lead, but Kelley wasn’t letting get away as he followed right in his tire tracks within a couple of car lengths as the run went on. By the time the field reached lap 25, it appeared as the green flag stretch of racing would continue on for a while as the field had strung out a bit, which allowed the leaders to start catching lapped traffic by lap 34.

Just outside the top ten, Ryan Borges ran in the 6th position, with Matt Rolfe not too far behind, and Cody Thompson running right behind them as he looked to move up towards the front from from the 12th starting spot. Just a bit further back, Justin Mullikin held onto the 9th spot, with Russell Berry having a good run inside the top ten just a couple car lengths behind.

The battle at the front of the field continued on with Kelley still putting pressure on Brooks for the lead but he wasn’t able to get any kind of run to make a move for the top spot. Traves ran in the 3rd spot just over a second back from the leaders, but he had been able to separate himself from Linkiewicz who had dropped back a second as well, where it was another second back to Martin in the 5th spot.

The the laps winding down, Kelley would begin to try and make his move for the lead with about ten laps to go. He was able to run about half a lane lower than Brooks in the straightaways, letting Brooks know he was still there wanting another win, but Brooks would continue to shut the door. But with just 5 laps remaining in the event, a single car spin would bring out the caution after a 70-lap green flag run, and would force the race to end under the caution and checkered flags.

Brooks would bring the field around for the final time, leading all 75 laps of the event to go on and pick up the victory. The win for Brooks was his 32nd career SARA victory. Kelley would finish in the 2nd spot after running right in the leader’s tire tracks all race long, with Traves, Linkiewicz, and Martin rounding out the top five.

With his 2nd place finish, Cody Kelley would extend his points lead out to 39 points over 2nd place as the series nears the half way point of the season. Next time out, the division will head to Richmond for a 75 lap event.