In the weeks leading up to the Oxford 250, a local driver often emerges from relative obscurity with a burst of momentum, propelling them to the short list of favorites to win New England’s biggest Super Late Model event.
This year, Dave Farrington, Jr. appears to be that driver.
Not even a day after earning his third straight weekly feature win at Oxford Plains Speedway, Farrington came back to Oxford and whipped the field for his first career Pro All Stars Series North win Sunday afternoon.
And going into the 47th running of the $25,000-to-win showdown in two weeks, that means Farrington has plenty of momentum on his side.
Farrington, from Jay, Me., started seventh in the 34-car field, patiently worked his way to the front, then took the top spot from a visiting Derek Griffith just past halfway. And while Griffith and Johnny Clark gave chase, neither had anything in the race’s final third for Farrington’s orange #23.
Clark, who broke a long winless spell earlier this season at Riverside Speedway, got around Griffith for second, but was unable to keep pace with Farrington in the closing laps. Griffith, making only his fourth start of 2020 after focusing on his opportunity in the ARCA Menards Series, held on for third down the stretch.
Oxford semi-regular Austin Teras and early race leader Joey Doiron rounded out the top five, with defending champion DJ Shaw close behind in sixth. Points leader Nick Sweet faded to 11th at the checkered flag, costing him a bit of ground in the year-long championship battle with Travis Benjamin and Shaw.
Farrington is the second first-time winner of the weekend, with Wyatt Alexander earning his first Granite State Pro Stock Series win Saturday evening at nearby Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Farrington’s usual weekly haunt.
But on Sunday, all eyes were on Farrington, who carried an impressive hot streak to the front of the field.
Farrington, the 2019 Beech Ridge Pro Series champion, has been on the PASS scene since 2008, making limited touring starts while campaigning weekly at both Oxford and Beech Ridge. Following his 2014 Beech Ridge Pro Series championship and a second-place finish in the season-ending PASS race at Oxford in 2015, Farrington was named a participant in the Kulwicki Driver Development Program for 2016 and 2017. Farrington picked up another runner-up PASS finish in 2016, plus a season-ending win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series season finale.
With Farrington’s KDDP drive in earnest, he embarked on a breakneck schedule in 2017, running the complete PASS North schedule for his family’s team and a full slate of PASS South races for Woodman Racing. Farrington encountered his share of hurdles along the way. An early-season trip to Autodrome Montmagny in Quebec forced the young racer to travel solo across the border, picking up a spotter at the track and coming home a season-best sixth. But after all the back-and-forth travel and doubleheader weekends, Farrington ended the season winless on his touring itinerary.
For 2018, Farrington drastically cut his touring schedule, running the majority of the features at Beech Ridge and picking up a couple feature wins at Wiscasset Speedway. In 2019, Farrington ran one event each in PASS and GSPSS competition, while earning his second Pro Series title at Beech Ridge.
When Beech Ridge hesitated to open the 2020 season without fans, Farrington turned his attention instead to Oxford, which kicked off its own championship schedule in late June. Four races into the year, Farrington was a solid second in the Oxford Championship Series standings behind Curtis Gerry, another Beech Ridge product. In July’s PASS feature at Oxford, Gerry and Farrington had even finished 1-2.
But August momentum matters, and Farrington opened the month with three consecutive feature wins, vaulting him ahead of Gerry and into the track points lead. With Sunday’s win, Farrington has four straight wins at the legendary track leading into the 250.
Farrington has eight starts in the historic race, with a best finish of sixth in 2012 when the race was sanctioned by the American-Canadian Tour. Under Super Late Model rules, Farrington has back-to-back 14th-place finishes in 2018 and 2019.
For now, Farrington plans to take next week to regroup, while PASS stages a non-points Oxford 250 qualifier as a last-minute tuneup for the big race.
Based on Sunday’s results, the rest of the field may need that race just to catch up.
Unofficial Results, PASS North Honey Badger Bar & Grill 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway:
1. (23) Dave Farrington, Jr.
2. (54) Johnny Clark
3. (12G) Derek Griffith
4. (29) Austin Teras
5. (21) Joey Doiron
6. (60) DJ Shaw
7. (53) Alan Wilson
8. (99) Ben Ashline
9. (90) Craig Weinstein
10. (7) Travis Benjamin
11. (40) Nick Sweet
12. (4) Ben Rowe
13. (50) Jeff White
14. (1VT) Evan Hallstrom
15. (36) Ryan Robbins
16. (7G) Curtis Gerry
17. (81) Dan Winter
18. (47) Gabe Brown
19. (85) Travis Stearns
20. (09) Jeremy Davis
21. (14) Scott McDaniel
22. (72) Scott Robbins
23. (M3) Brandon Barker
24. (17MA) Eddie MacDonald
25. (1) Kyle DeSouza
26. (14C) Anthony Constantino
27. (93CT) Ray Christian III
28. (74) Kelly Moore
29. (10) Kate Re
30. (41) Logan Melcher
31. (32X) Nick Jenkins
32. (61) TJ Brackett
33. (24) Mike Rowe
34. (60B) Tim Brackett