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Curtis Gerry sets sail to win his first Oxford 250

Kyle Souza | STS

Curtis Gerry added his name to a special group of racers on Sunday evening.

The Waterboro, Maine driver made a late charge back to the front of the 44th Oxford 250 and captured his first victory in the prestigious Super Late Model event. Gerry is the defending track champion just up the road from Oxford Plains at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, but this win was something that put him on a whole new level as a short-track racer.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Gerry said while in shock after climbing out of the car in Victory Lane.

After winning the Oxford 250, you would think Gerry would be jumping up and down with joy. However, it was the opposite. He was calm and collected during post-race interviews in Victory Lane and has always been a man of few words.

It was the same on Sunday night.

“To win one like this, in dominating fashion with such an awesome car, it’s incredible,” he said.

Gerry looked to be in control in the middle of the race when he took the lead just before the halfway point after driving to the front from his 21st place starting position. He drove away from the field at the time, but a caution on lap 172 closed the field up and Gerry led a group of cars down pit road for fresh rubber. That lined him up outside the top 10 with just 78 laps to go at a track where it isn’t that easy to pass. But Gerry surely made it look easy.

He drove his No. 7 Saco House of Pizza machine back to the front and took the lead just after a caution on lap 197. From there, it was basically a Sunday night drive into glory for him.

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A few late cautions tightened the field up, but Gerry was able to dominate the remainder of the distance and hold off a hard-charging group behind him. Eddie MacDonald and DJ Shaw battled hard for second in the final 25 laps and MacDonald was even pressuring Gerry for the lead at one point.

The final caution of the race set up a dash to the finish when Shaw spun in turn four on lap 237. Although MacDonald and the rest of the field closed right back to the bumper of Gerry, they had nothing for him. The final 12 laps of the race saw Gerry pull away and roll into Victory Lane.

Early in the race, pole-sitter Cassius Clark dominated the field and looked to have the car to beat. Clark, like many others, waited to pit until late in the race on lap 172 and had to work hard to get back to the front. He ended up coming through with a third place finish, just behind Gerry and Reid Lanpher, who made a late charge to climb by MacDonald and finish second.

“Those guys were just a little bit faster than us at the end,” Clark said after leading 123 laps. “We had to start in the back and we pitted and put right-side tires on and it just freed the car up a little bit too much. I wish we had that track position back. We were coming for them.”

Eddie MacDonald faded to fourth in the closing laps while Mike Rowe completed the top-5 after starting 41st.

For his part, Gerry will take a day off on Monday and soak in the glory of winning the biggest race of his career and collecting over $30,000.

“It’s just a dream come true,” Gerry said.

The complete results for the 2017 Oxford 250 can be found below.

  1. Curtis Gerry
  2. Reid Lanpher
  3. Cassius Clark
  4. Eddie MacDonald
  5. Mike Rowe
  6. Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
  7. Derek Ramstrom
  8. Garrett Hall
  9. Scott McDaniel
  10. Alan Tardiff
  11. Johnny Clark
  12. Trevor Sanborn
  13. Glen Luce
  14. Ben Lynch
  15. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
  16. Shawn Martin
  17. Travis Benjamin
  18. Dave Farrington, Jr.
  19. Bryan Kruczek
  20. Tim Brackett
  21. Adam Polvinen
  22. DJ Shaw
  23. Jeff White
  24. Shawn Martin
  25. Mike Hopkins
  26. Scott Robbins
  27. Jeremy Davis
  28. Lonnie Sommerville
  29. Tracy Gordon
  30. Ben Rowe
  31. Sarah Cornett-Ching
  32. Kodie Conner
  33. Calvin Rose, Jr.
  34. Justin Drake
  35. John Flemming
  36. Bobby Timmons
  37. Cole Butcher
  38. Andy Saunders
  39. Derek Griffith
  40. Joey Doiron
  41. Travis Stearns
  42. Kyle Desouza
  43. Joe Squeglia

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