The Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series made the trip up to the Oxford Plains Speedway on Tuesday night for double features, running a pair of 50 lap races. The two races would be the first of five as a part of the New England Swing of the schedule.
In Time Trials, Ty Spearman became the 11th driver in SARA history to pick up 10 career poles with a lap of 16.116 seconds for a new track record. Spearman led the field to the green flag in the feature event but an early caution would set up a restart on lap 7 where the field then set out on a 39 lap green flag run.
Spearman brought the field back around for the green flag on the restart and jumped out into the lead by a couple car lengths, but early on during the course of the run he wasn’t able to extend that gap. Kenny Smith and other Posse teammates settled in behind Spearman and remained close to his bumper during the early laps as they controlled the top five.
As the run continued however, Spearman was able to find some breathing room with the laps counting down, and the lead began to extend. He pulled finally pulled ahead by a half-second by lap 35, and grew it out to nearly a second just ten laps later by lap 45. A caution would come out however on lap 46, and it would seal the deal for Spearman, as he brought the field around to the checkered flag under caution and took the race one victory. Spearman led all 50 laps en route to his 10th career SARA win, becoming the 15th different driver to get 10 wins.
Behind Spearman, both Kenny Smith and Hunter Combs maintained their spots in the top three all race long and would finish in the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively. Kevin J Myers and Andy Shuck battled for the 4th and 5th spots all race as well, and would swap the position prior to halfway but each ran inside the top five all race. Myers finished in 4th, with Shuck taking 5th.
In the second double feature on the night, all of the cars that finished on the lead lap for race one, would be inverted which resulted in a 21-car invert. Spearman was sent back while Mark Royer was inverted to the front, although Royer chose to start at the back which left Michael German in control to start race two.
German led the field to the green in race two on the night, and was able to get the jump into the lead. With a 21-car invert, it meant there was going to be a lot of passing, bumping and banging during the race as the faster cars from the first race were going to have to work hard to get back up front in just 50 laps.
Despite having the “faster” cars behind him, German was able to control the lead early on in the race, with his teammate Michael Baxter in two. The two of them remained at the front of the field during a couple restarts in the first half of the event but as the race continued on, the more pressure they got from behind. A pair of cautions on laps 32 and 38, set the race up with a 7-lap run to the finish.
German got the advantage on the restart, but this time had Jeff Byr Jr on his bumper who moved up from the 3rd spot and was putting the pressure on for the lead. Bye Jr was able to peak his nose to the inside of German on lap 44, but German was able to hang tough on the outside as they battled for the lead. The inside lane was too strong however as Bye Jr was able to get the nose out in front to lead on lap 46, and was clear out in front on lap 47.
Bye Jr’s pass for the lead ended up being the winning pass as he led the field around for the final 5 laps and came around to take the checkered flag, gaining 14 positions from his 15th starting spot. The win for Bye was his 13th career SARA victory and his first since June of 2014.
In the last couple of laps, Matt Rolfe was able to make his way past German to finish 2nd as he moved up from the 13th starting spot. Tommy Burns also got by and finished 3rd after starting back in 14th. After leading the first 45 laps of the race, German slipped back but was able to hang on to finish in 4th. Baxter was also able to hang on after running inside the top five all race long and ended up finishing in 5th.
Despite getting caught up in an incident in race two, Hunter Combs’ top three in race one helps him maintain the points lead in the standings by just 4 points as the division heads into next week’s race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway road course.