OXFORD — The old Curtis Gerry is back, the one who terrorized the competition for a two-year stretch a couple seasons ago. Gerry, of Waterboro, won the Lee’s Family Trailer 150 Sunday afternoon at Oxford Plains Speedway, and his second Pro All Stars Series win of the season at his home track was every bit as easy as it looked.
“Actually, it really was,” Gerry said. “The car was just really good right from the beginning. It was just as good of a car as I had in the last PASS race I won (in July). I don’t know what it is. We’ve been working all year trying to find this car again.”
Gerry took the lead on Lap 38 after charging up the outside from his 13th starting spot in the 35-car field, and he never looked back. The win was the ninth of Gerry’s PASS career, eight of which have come at Oxford Plains, where he won the 2019 track championship.
The performance Sunday was eerily reminiscent of a stretch in which Gerry won five straight PASS races at Oxford, beginning with the 2017 Oxford 250.
Gerry hasn’t become numb to the success.
“It never gets old. We struggled all year, and the struggles make these wins mean a lot,” Gerry said. “I still get choked up winning. You wouldn’t think so, given it’s my eighth win here, but it still feels really good.”
Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay finished second. Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont, was third.
Behind the race for the win, which intensified courtesy of a restart with two laps remaining, Johnny Clark of Hallowell was trying to take a bite out of four-time series champion D.J. Shaw’s advantage at the top of the standings.
Clark, the Oxford 250 winner in August, ran as high as second and held on for fourth at the checkered flag. Shaw dropped as far back as 13th until he was able to rally for a ninth-place finish, thanks to the Lap 148 caution that allowed him to make up some lost track position with an ill-handling car.
“We’re just happy this year is a year we’ve been competitive,” said Clark, a six-time PASS champion. “Our last three races here are second, first and fourth. That’s the best run we’ve had at Oxford in a long time.”
Unofficially, Shaw will head into next Saturday’s season finale – also at Oxford Plains – with a 69-point lead over Clark.
“I never leave the bottom here, and I was out in the marbles most of the day,” said Shaw, who is vying for his third straight championship and fourth in the last five seasons. “It seemed like not necessarily the way for me to make the most ground, but it was the way for me to lose the least. I had to kind of cut my losses. I caught some breaks at the end and ended up with a top 10 out of it somehow. I probably should have been a 14th-place car.”
The championship drama provided some life to a race that Gerry made certain would be uneventful up front.
Gerry led by as much as 2.8 seconds over Farrington before the fourth and final caution.
While Gerry’s performance may have reminded onlookers of his dominating run through 2018, Farrington said it reminded him of the battles he and Gerry had during the weekly racing season at Oxford Plains this summer.
“It was whoever could get out first, and that’s the way it’s been all year for Curtis and I,” said Farrington, the 2020 track champion. “It’s much more fun being the leader than the chaser. … It’s huge. You can run your own line, just worry about yourself and hitting your own marks, versus being the chaser, when you’re moving all over the place trying to figure out if you’re catching (the leader) or losing them.”
Gerry never came close to relinquishing the lead after his early charge to the front.
“I was just pacing myself,” Gerry said. “When I could get out front, whoever was behind me, whether it was Dave or Johnny, I was just trying to maintain a safe distance.”
Josh Childs of Otisfield finished fifth. Ben Ashline, Ben Rowe, Joey Doiron, Shaw and Garrett Hall were sixth through 10th.