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Joey Doiron Wins Inaugural Celebration of America 300 at Oxford Plains

On Wednesday night at Oxford Plains Speedway, there was no denying Joey Doiron.

Doiron powered to the lead on a lap 266 restart and held off Derek Griffith to win the All That’s Metal Celebration of America 300, earning a $40,000 payday in the holiday spectacular.

Doiron, already a winner this season with the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models at Oxford Plains, knew he had a car capable of winning the inaugural edition of the Celebration of America. He simply hoped he could seal the deal, considering how elusive the Oxford 250 has been for him over the years.

“I knew we’d have a good chance,” Doiron told Racing America. “Our car was super hooked-up this year. We always seem to run well in the long races here. The car was there at the end. The 250 has treated us so bad, I didn’t know if we’d be able to get this one.”

Now with $40,000 in his pocket and the confidence of this win, Doiron carries a new level of confidence into next month’s 51st Annual Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Oxford 250. Doiron finished second in last year’s event, and hopes to finish one spot better this year.

“Now that we’ve got this one, I’m looking forward to August,” said Doiron. “Hopefully, we can get that one, so then I’ll be happy and I can ride off into the sunset. It’s been a hell of a year.”

The victory did not come with a few heart-in-your-throat moments for Doiron. One came in the first half of the race, when Doiron saved his car from an unplanned excursion through the infield.

“There were a couple of times there at the end where I was going to either be in the lead or wreck out of the lead. Honestly, probably around lap 90, I got hit in a chain reaction out of four and I was almost going down pit road. That was the one I couldn’t believe I saved.”

Another moment came with 20 laps to go, when Doiron and Griffith made contact while battling for the win. Doiron clipped the inside curb in turns one and two, upsetting his car in front of Griffith. Fortunately for Doiron, he again made the save, kept the lead and pulled away.

“I knew I was better than him, but when I kept striking the curb, I needed five or six laps to get away from him,” Doiron. “I was like, man, I’m going to do this one too many times, he’s going to get me. That’s about as close as you can come to throwing it away.”

“Joey hopped the curb, and I saw a chance,” said Griffith. “I filled the spot too quick, and we got together. After that, I was just holding on.

The 300-lap race saw a wide range of strategies. Griffith took a particularly radical approach, waiting until lap 220 to put on fresh tires and then charging back into contention.

“We hung it out there 200 laps, 220 laps, whatever it was, on the same set of tires. I still thought we were pretty good. I had fun driving up through the field there. It was pretty wild.”

Former Oxford 250 winner Cassius Clark finished third after a wild week of his own. The King Racing team made wholesale changes to the No. 13 after a poor showing in Tuesday’s qualifiers, and they were rewarded with a podium finish.

“We were not very good in the 75-lapper last night,” said Clark. “I thought we had a good car going into the heat, but it didn’t work out. They did everything to it this morning. Got here early this morning, took the whole rear-end out of the car, changed out shocks, swings, sway bars, whole nine yards just to get it ready for first practice.

“I lost power steering near the end of it there. We were fighting that a little bit. We had a pretty good car. It just sucks being that close, being able to taste it. I don’t get to do this often, so I hate to let it slip.”

The mid-week event drew a pair of NASCAR Cup Series competitors, Kyle Busch and Daniel Hemric. Busch was in contention late in the race, but spun from the fourth position on lap 271.

Video: Kyle Busch Gets Turned From Fourth Spot in Closing Laps at Oxford Speedway

Hemric finished 21st in the final running order, while Busch was 24th.

PASS teams return to Oxford Plains on August 4 for another tune-up to the Oxford 250. The Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Oxford 250 takes place later that month on August 23-25.

-Photo credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

Celebration of America 300 Unofficial Results

FIN NO DRIVER LAPS DIFF
1 7D Joey Doiron 300
2 444 Derek Griffith 300 1.668
3 13 Cassius Clark 300 1.903
4 54 Johnny Clark 300 2.439
5 39 Max Cookson 300 4.514
6 60S D.J. Shaw 300 5.594
7 94 Garrett Hall 300 8.209
8 23 Dave Farrington, Jr. 300 8.887
9 20 Joe Pastore 300 10.746
10 44 Trevor Sanborn 300 10.906
11 12X Corey Bubar 300 11.000
12 42 Kyle Reid 300 12.884
13 32 Brandon Barker 300 13.205
14 5M Dillon Moltz 300 13.692
15 17MA Eddie MacDonald 300 14.438
16 14S Josh St. Clair 300 15.226
17 72X Ryan Kuhn 299 1 Lap
18 1V Brandon Varney 299 1 Lap
19 47 Gabe Brown 298 2 Laps
20 09 Sylas Ripley 298 2 Laps
21 31 Daniel Hemric 298 2 Laps
22 24 Mike Rowe 297 3 Laps
23 25 Shawn Knight 284 16 Laps
24 51 Kyle Busch 271 29 Laps
25 153 Travis Stearns 269 31 Laps
26 15 Mike Hopkins 258 42 Laps
27 90 Derek Kneeland 243 57 Laps
28 12S Dennis Spencer 235 65 Laps
29 32CT Tom Abele, Jr. 215 85 Laps
30 5R Ben Rowe 181 119 Laps
31 19 Rusty Poland 181 119 Laps
32 63 Kyle Salemi 176 124 Laps
33 18S Mike Scorzelli 112 188 Laps
34 61T T.J. Brackett 91 209 Laps
35 14 Scott Mcdaniel 71 229 Laps
36 5P Troy Patterson 70 230 Laps
37 29T Austin Teras 47 253 Laps
38 60B Tim Brackett 5 295 Laps
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