30 different Super Late Model teams showed up to play at Oxford Plains Speedway this past Sunday, competing in yet another 150-lap Pro All Star Series feature. The track was plagued with rain throughout the course of the morning and early afternoon, but the track and competitors persevered through it all. The drivers took to the track for their 15-lap heat races around 2:30 pm, just half an hour behind the original anticipated start time.
Ben Rowe took off with the early lead in the first heat as Reid Lanpher quickly powered into the runner-up spot. There was a 2-car breakaway at the front of the field by the halfway mark and Lanpher was all over Rowe’s back bumper by lap 10. He pulled to Rowe’s outside during the closing laps of the heat, challenging the #4 for the lead. Rowe was able to hold off Lanpher, scoring the heat victory. Gabe Brown rounded out the top 3.
Travis Benjamin powered into the early lead in the second heat, but Garrett Hall was quickly navigating his way through the field. Garrett broke free from TJ Brackett on lap 2 and set his sights on the front of the field, challenging the leader for the top spot on the very same lap. Hall took command of the lead on lap 4, pulling away from his competitors. Ray Christian III was also on the move early, clearing TJ Brackett for the runner-up spot on lap 6. He was able to catch up to Garrett Hall at the front of the field in the closing laps, pulling to his inside on lap 9 and clearing him for the lead that lap. Christian took home the heat victory, followed by Garrett Hall and TJ Brackett.
DJ Shaw pulled away from his competitors in the early laps of the third (and final) heat. Mike Rowe, returning to competition just one day after a vicious wreck at Beech Ridge, powered into the runner-up spot on lap 3. Mike Landry came to a slow on lap 7, retiring his car to the pits. DJ Shaw wound up with the heat victory, followed by Mike Rowe and Nick Sweet.
All 30 competitors advanced into the main event, so there were no last-chance heat races on Sunday. Once the field got rolling, Ben Rowe took off with the early lead in the feature as Reid Lanpher quickly powered his way into the runner-up spot. DJ Shaw came to a stop at the top of turn 1 on lap 13, leading to the first caution of the feature and ending the day for the #60 team in an abrupt and heartbreaking fashion.
Reid Lanpher showed strength on the restart, challenging Ben Rowe for the top spot. While the leaders battled it out, Alan Tardiff was on the move, cracking the top 5 on lap 18. Tracy Gordon began to overheat on lap 20, falling to the back of the pack and eventually pulling down into the pits. The #72 of Scott Robbins also faced trouble on lap 25, bringing his machine down to the pits.
After battling it out for a handful of laps, Lanpher finally cleared Ben Rowe for the top spot on lap 25. Ray Christian was also making his way through the field, clearing Ben Rowe for the runner-up spot on lap 28. Tim Brackett came to a slow on lap 37, retiring his car for the day.
Nick Sweet was on the move, breaking the top 5 on lap 39. Ray Christian III was all over Reid Lanpher for the top spot on lap 145, making his way to Lanpher’s inside the following lap. The two drivers remained side-by-side for a handful of laps, but Christian finally cleared Lanpher for the spot on lap 48, pulling away from his competitors.
By lap 50, the leaders began approaching lap traffic. Curt Gerry was on a voyage through the field, breaking the top 10 on lap 53 after starting in the back half of the field. Nick Sweet was in hot pursuit on lap 65, clearing both Ben and Mike Rowe to advance into third.
Alan Tardiff and Garrett Hall were side-by-side on lap 73, battling it out for seventh place. Garrett won the battle and quickly advanced into the sixth spot afterward, clearing the #47 of Gabe Brown. Curt Gerry was still on the move, advancing into eighth over Alan Tardiff on lap 76. Garrett Hall was in hot pursuit of the leaders, breaking the top 5 on lap 81.
Nick Sweet was able to catch up to Reid Lanpher in heavy lap traffic and the two drivers began battling it out for the runner-up spot on lap 88. As the two drivers duked it out for the spot, Curt Gerry advanced into seventh place over Ben Rowe. Sweet finally cleared Lanpher on lap 95, setting his sights on Ray Christian III at the front of the field. Travis Benjamin took a hard spin through the dirt in turn one on lap 112, leading to just the second caution of the feature.
Christian pulled away with the lead once again on the restart. By lap 120, there was a 3-car breakaway at the front of the field with Christian, Nick Sweet and Garrett Hall. Nick Sweet was all over Ray Christian III for the top spot on lap 125, but Garrett Hall pulled up to the battle on lap 127.
Garrett made his way to Christian’s inside on lap 131, challenging him for the top spot. He stayed glued to his door, finally clearing him for the top spot on lap 135 with just 15 laps to go. Nick Sweet followed, pulling into the runner-up spot.
Garrett Hall sailed away with the lead, taking home his second consecutive Pro All Star Series SLM victory at Oxford Plains Speedway. After doing his victory lap, Hall celebrated his winning moment in Victory Lane with his Black Point Motorsports crew. Nick Sweet, Ray Christian III, Mike Rowe and Reid Lanpher rounded out the top five.
With the impending weather and gray skies rolling in, the track rolled the dice and won, putting on a great show for all of the fans in attendance. Not only was there a points shakeup, fans were able to watch a driver charge through the field and display dominance when it mattered the most. But, this is just the beginning and there are many memorable moments yet to come.
Join the Pro All Star Series for their next scheduled event on Sunday, June 16th at Speedway 95. See you there!