In Maine the racing season has only just begun, but already a lot has happened for Super Late Model racers at Oxford Plains Speedway. Four 50-lap points races for the weekly Oxford Championship Series and one 150-lap Pro All Stars Series event are in the books.
Source: Speed51 / Connor Sullivan
Those races have produced five different winners; Max Cookson, Kyle DeSouza, Curtis Gerry, and Alan Tardiff in the OCS features, while Nova Scotia’s Cole Butcher took the PASS honors.
The OCS Super Late Model points are a toss up after the first month, with third-year driver Max Cookson tied with the more experienced Kyle DeSouza. When it comes to DeSouza, the start of the season has been a whirlwind, finally winning his first career feature at Oxford on April 30 as he looks to better his 2021 points runner-up finish.
Above all, DeSouza can’t believe that they are starting to get into the meat of the racing season.
“I can’t really, been a heck of a month. It’s gone pretty well so far, getting the first win is big obviously. The only thing now is that you got to start further back. We missed by just a little bit last week, but we think we got it pinned down, so we should be back on point this week. One good thing about all the different guys winning, they’re all starting in the back too, makes a little easier to go forward,” DeSouza told Racing America.
Despite finally getting on to the top step of the podium this spring, DeSouza’s goals heading into the summer are bold, but not over the top.
“The big goal right now is to stay on top, break the tie with Max, and maintain the good momentum that we’ve started the year with. Plus, build our notebook for the Oxford 250 and the other PASS races at Oxford.”
Considering who he is up against, DeSouza is plenty happy to simply be in the conversation for early title favorites.
“There’s a lot of competition every week. Curtis Gerry has won the championship at Oxford and Beech Ridge, plus the 250. Dave Farrington, he’s also a champion at Oxford and Beech Ridge and has won all those PASS races. Max Cookson is probably one of the best young prospects I’ve ever raced against in Maine. Alan Tardiff’s been winning races for a long time. Just even being in the conversation for this weekly field is all you can hope for; finishing second in points last year was an accomplishment.”
Even with his handicap for starting positions the rest of 2022 in OCS features, DeSouza has faith that the road to win number two and beyond will soon be there before him.
“I hope so, there’s definitely a pattern there. Max has finished second the past few weeks, so there is a path to get there if the yellows fall right. We got the speed to do it, again we just got to have a little luck. Again, the more people win for the first time this year, the better things will be for us going forward.”
Along with this also comes some confidence for Oxford’s biggest prize of all, the Oxford 250. A race that usually seems to put OCS weekly stars on par with PASS touring competitors and wringers from outside the Northeast.
“Oxford changes so much from week to week that I truly feel that racing there weekly is such a big advantage over most of the PASS guys. I know it’s been a while since an Oxford guy won, but without a doubt you get such a jump on those guys given how it’s such a dynamic racetrack.”