Fort Kent s Austin Theriault, who is running third in the K and N Pro Series East tour points standings, has entered the 43rd annual Oxford 250 scheduled for Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway. There isn t another K and N Series race until the Kevin Whitaker 140 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina on Sept. 5. Theriault didn t run the 250 last year because he had a 13-race deal with Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series. He had a string of four top-four finishes in the Oxford 250 culminating in his second-place finish behind Morrill s Travis Benjamin in 2014. Story continues below advertisement. The Oxford 250 has a lot of history. I took a year off but I m looking forward to coming back and having some success. I have a new Super Late Model car I ve been working on for a few months, the 22-year-old Theriault said on Wednesday while doing some observing with the BKR team at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee before the UNOH 200 Camping World Truck Series race. Theriault occasionally does some practice spotting for his former BKR Truck Series teammate, Tyler Reddick. He said he is able to learn things from observing in the spotter s stand. Theriault said there is still a chance another opportunity could come up which would prevent him from racing in the 250. He had been surging in the K and N Series with four straight top-five finishes until he wound up 20th among 21 cars in the Bully Hill Vineyards 100 at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 5. We had a wheel-bearing problem. It was disappointing. We were coming off a real solid finish at Iowa, said Theriault, referring to his third-place effort at the Casey s General Store 150 at Iowa Speedway. Theriault has 383 points, 38 behind second-place Kyle Benjamin and 74 adrift of leader Justin Haley, with three races remaining. We ve come a long way in the points, said Theriault, who has six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 11 races. He is hoping to land a ride for the Sept. 24 Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. That is an off weekend for the K and N Series. Loudon is a big target on the wall, said Theriault. I don t have anything yet. It is potentially achievable. If it happens, it will be because of regional support from Maine and New England. I m going to try to put the puzzle pieces together.
Reference Library – Local Blogs – Hampshire
NORTHAMPTON A Haydenville man crashed his black pick-up truck into the roundabout at Look Park on North Main Street Friday night and was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol. It was the third time Dennis Leo Dextraze, 61, of 138B Main St., has been arrested on the charge, according to police. Police received a report of an erratic operator shortly before 7 p.m. Friday in the area of 300 North Main Street. According to the caller, a vehicle had struck a tree and road sign at the roundabout. Upon arrival, police observed damage to the tree and dirt and grass in the road. Police located a black pick-up truck on the lawn of a home nearby. There was front-end damage to the truck and the front driver s side tire was blown out, police said. Dextraze, the operator of the vehicle, refused to identify himself at the scene and refused a sobriety test, according to police. A 39-year-old Florence woman, Dextraze s girlfriend, was a passenger in the vehicle. There were no injuries. When police traced the license plates on the truck, they led to a different vehicle. Police also determined Dextraze was driving an uninsured, unregistered vehicle with a suspended license. Dextraze was charged with a third offense for operating under the influence of alcohol; refusing to identify himself; driving with a suspended license; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; leaving the scene of property damage; driving an unregistered motor vehicle; driving an uninsured motor vehicle; and a plate number violation to conceal identity, according to police. Dextraze is scheduled to be arraigned in Hampshire District Court Monday.
Jose Castro-Gonzalez: Lorry driver died after slamming into back of truck as cops cleared BADGER from road
A dad-of-two died after his lorry slammed into the back of another truck as police cleared a dead badger from the road, and inquest heard today. HGV driver Jose Castro-Gonzalez collided with the lorry as police removed the animal’s body from the carriageway of the A34 near Oxford in the early hours of the morning. One of the cops was in the road when her colleague screamed at her to get out of the way after they heard screeching tyres and the smell of burning rubber, followed by a loud bang. The 61-year-old driver was trapped in the wreckage of his Budgens lorry cab and had to be cut free by firefighters. He was taken to hospital but died from multiple injuries minutes after arriving. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was called in to investigate after the rolling road block sparked the tragic crash. The Spanish national had arrived for his shift at 10pm on February 21 last year after leaving his home in Bedford, which he shared with wife Diedre (corr) and his two daughters. The inquest heard that off-duty PC Davina Gotch left her shift at Abingdon Police  Station just before 3am and was travelling home along the A34 near Oxford when she spotted a dead badger in the road. Google Shift: PC Davina Gotch was travelling home from her shift at Abingdon Police Station when she spotted a badger in the road A statement by her and read out to the inquest in Oxford said: “I quickly steered back into the other lane. My immediate concern was that another vehicle would collide with the badger. I was worried if a motorcyclist hit it, they could be seriously injured or killed due to its size.” PC Gotch reported the badger to colleagues and patrolling police were sent to clear it. HGV driver Kenneth Kirtland was driving along the southbound A34 carriageway – he told the inquest: “I saw a police car coming up the sliproad with red flashing lights. I assumed something was going on up ahead, so I started to slow down. “The truck in front of me was braking and I slowed right down. The police car put on hazard lights and stopped across both carriageways. “All of a sudden as I was rolling by, I heard a loud bang and I started to speed up. I tried to steer and brake but nothing appeared to be happening. I thought I would end up sandwiched with the truck in front. I had no idea what was going on. My mirrors had folded in and I couldn’t see behind. “I finally came to a stop and jumped out. I saw the lorry had gone into the back of me and then into the central reservation. “I have no idea how far it pushed me. It seemed like I was out of control for ages but it was probably only a few seconds. The truck was smoking and mangled. “The weather was fine and visibility was clear. I don’t see why the collision occurred.” Google Crash: The collision took place on a stretch of the A34 near Oxford (file picture) Mr Kirtland told the inquest he went to sit on the verge in shock after police told him help was on its way. He added: “I braked. You assume the guy behind you has seen you and is taking the same action.” Paramedic Jason Butler said in a statement that an ambulance was called at around 3.15am and when emergency services arrived, the trucker was trapped in the wreckage by his legs. His condition deteroiorated as firefighters cut him free and he was rushed to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, but pronounced dead minutes after arriving. Police constables Lisa Brennan and Richard Farnell were the uniformed response officers called to deal with the dead badger. Pc Brennan told the inquest the pair put the blue lights on to get to the scene, before switching them off and keeping red flashing lights and hazards on as they slowed the traffic down gradually in a rolling road block. She said: “We were looking for the badger and we saw it. It was massive, big enough that had it been hit, it would have damaged the car. “The lorry behind us stopped and we started a discussion about how to remove the badger due to its size. It was huge. ‘I started walking up the carriageway towards the badger when I heard a loud noise. I knew straightaway it was a crash of some sort but I could not see what had happened. PA Evidence: The inquest was heard at Oxford Coroner’s Court “I heard the screech of brakes and could smell burning rubber and I knew it had to be a heavy goods vehicle as it was so loud. “Pc Farnell shouted at me to get out of the way and I jumped onto the verge. I ran back down the carriageway and the back of the lorry was across both lanes. The front was wedged in the central barrier.” Both officers had up-to-date fast roads training. Pc Farnell, who had been an officer for six years, told the inquest: “Our plan was to do a rolling road block to remove the dead badger. When we joined the slip-road, I turned off the blue lights.” When questioned about why he had turned them off, Pc Farnell replied: “I didn’t want to dazzle other vehicles, especially when it is so dark. “It is not unusual for other units to attend when needed if roads policing is not available.” Collision investigator, Pc James Henderson, told the inquest Mr Castro-Gonzalez was travelling at around 53mph on the road, which is limited to 60mph for HGVs, when he braked sharply for two seconds before the crash, reducing the lorry to 40mph. He told the inquest: “The badger was unlikely to cause serious injury to a driver, but the risk is a driver overreacting. It was clearly an obstruction that needed to be removed.” Jackie Lovell, Thames Valley Police senior manager, stressed it was a challenging situation for the officers. She told the coroner: “Had there been a hard shoulder, they could have stopped there and run into the road, though that is a very hazardous thing to do. “A temporary closure could have been used to close off one lane, but the difficulty was that the badger was in the middle of the road. The other option that is possible is to decide not to pick it up and drive on, but you have to assess whether you can leave it where it is.” She added: “A great deal of work has gone on over the past few months with Hampshire Constabulary to improve things, invest in better e-learning systems and add rolling road blocks practice to training. We want to make sure any lessons we can think of can be put into training, going forward.” Recording an accidental death verdict, Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said; “The evidence indicates the lighting of the police vehicle included flashing reds but not blue lights. It is fair to say that if the blue lights had been on, the blue lights are likely to be more noticeable, but having said that, there were red lights and flashing warning lights. “The police car could have been something that Mr Castro-Gonzalez could not see due to the two HGVs on the carriageway. The two vehicles were slowing or stopped and Mr Kirkland’s vehicle displayed hazards. Very sadly, Mr Castro-Gonzalez failed to appreciate what was going on up ahead despite the lights displayed. “I am satisfied the officers had received the appropriate training and we have heard the reason for not using the blue lights on this occasion because of concerns about potentially dazzling other traffic. “I am also satisfied the badger could potentially be a hazard, not least to motorcyclists and maybe not directly to vehicles in terms of injury, but the main problem would be car drivers taking avoiding action. “It had to be removed. Mr Castro-Gonzalez unfortunately failed to see the police vehicle or the two HGVs which were stopped or slowing in lane one and drove into the rear of the second HGV in lane one.” Mr Castro-Gonzalez’s family were too upset to speak after the inquest. References ^ Police (www.mirror.co.uk)