Hunter Combs Moves His Way Into Oxford Double Feature Wins


The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series braved the northeastern storm on Tuesday night, when they took on the Oxford Plains Speedway for double features. A pair of 50-lap races were on hand for the division, and both races ended up with similar results, with one driving winning both, and each race going nearly caution free.

Matt Rolfe picked up his 3rd pole of the season, and the 44th of his career, and led the field to the green flag in Race 1. Rolfe got the jump out into the lead and the field quickly settled in during the early laps, but Rolfe ended up facing technical issues on lap 11, sending his car off track This handed control over to Hunter Combs who had moved up from his 5th starting spot to inherit the lead. As the laps ticked off, Combs continued to extend his lead out front to about two seconds, and a late caution sealed the win for him as he crossed under the checkered and yellow flags to take the victory, his first of the Street Stock season.

Dale Owen had a strong run, moving up from his 7th starting spot up into 2nd, where he ran for the rest of the race to finish on the podium. Joe Schaffer got shuffled back in the opening laps, and was able to work his way back up towards the front and settled into a 3rd place finish. Scott Schrader picked up his best career SARA finish to date, after he started in 2nd but dropped back a couple spots, where he was able to hold off the pack behind him to finish 4th. Ian Layne rounded out the top five, running right on the bumper of Schrader for most of the race but he wasn’t able to get by and had to settle for a 5th place finish.

The 2nd feature saw a 15-car invert to set the grid, which sent Combs and the rest of the leaders back in the pack, while Heath Helton was inverted to the top spot. Helton led the field to the green flag and was able to jump into the lead, but after just a couple laps, Mike Belanger was able to get under him to take over the top spot, shuffling Helton back in the field. Belanger wasn’t able to pull away however, as Landon Sciacca ran within a couple car lengths of the lead all race long.

With the leaders running nose-to-tail out front, it allowed the pack behind them to close the gap, and as the laps quickly counted down, the top ten cars all found themselves stacked up in a line. This allowed Hunter Combs, and others, to work their way up through the field, and Combs was able to crack the top five at lap 31, but he didn’t stop there. He took just a few laps picking off each of the next few spots, and had moved up to the rear bumper of Belanger in the lead with just 6 laps to go. Belanger did all he could to hold off Combs, but after a slight bump-and-run from behind, and a little more door-to-door contact, Combs was able to get the advantage on the low side and moved into the lead with just three laps to go. Unfortunately, Belanger ended up facing the wrong direction from a separate incident with just two to go, after leading 45 laps, to bring out the final caution. The yellow again sealed the victory for Combs, as he swept the night, picking up both wins at Oxford for his 2nd and 3rd career victories.

After his technical issues in Race 1, Matt Rolfe returned for Race 2 and followed Combs up through the field, and was able to avoid the late spin to move up into a 2nd place finish. Sciacca ran 2nd all race long but could never find his way by for the lead, and had to settle for a 3rd place finish after some late contact dropped him back a spot. Dale Owen also followed Combs and Rolfe to the front, and moved himself up into a 4th place finish. Jarrid Boiros rounded out the top five after a quiet night for the most part, as he ran right around the 5th spot for a majority of the race before moving up a couple spots to finish there at the end of the race.

After a 3rd and a 6th place finish in each race, Joe Schaffer continues to lead the points standings and extends that lead out to 82 points with just two races remaining. The division will head back to Langley next week after the event got postponed from earlier in the season.