–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
OXFORD, Maine — There is something special about the Oxford 250.
One can feel it — whatever it is — when they walk through the either gate.
Through the spectator gate, the fans are welcomed with a list of past Oxford 250 champions — 43 drivers long.
Through the pit gates, the tension is palpable.
On Sunday, after 13-plus hours at the race track, one driver’s racing life will change forever.
They’ll be cheered by thousands. They’ll be greeted by a live Speed51.com pay-per-view broadcast camera that will later be seen on the national broadcaster MAVTV. They’ll hold the largest check they have ever held in their racing career. They’ll do more media interviews than they probably have ever done before.
Television cameras from major media outlets will be put in their faces. They’ll be brought up to the press box and face the print and internet media.
Everything about the 250 is special. The draw. The qualifying races. The pre-race ceremonies. And then the granddaddy of them all, the Oxford 250.
On Sunday, a star-studded field of drivers throughout New England and beyond will assemble to add their name to the legendary list.
Who will add their name that joins the list of Joey Kourafas, Dave Dion, Geoff Bodine, Jamie Aube, Mike Rowe, Ricky Craven, Ralph Nason, Ben Rowe, Kevin Harvick, Eddie MacDonald, Kyle Busch, Travis Benjamin, and many others?
Will Wayne Helliwell Jr. repeat and add his name for a second time? Can Glen Luce, Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Scott Robbins, or Gary Drew add their name for a second time? Can Ben Rowe, Benjamin, or MacDonald add their names for a third time and become an Oxford 250 legend?
Can Jeff Taylor finally win the 250? Can Cassius Clark, Johnny Clark, Tim Brackett, Shawn Martin Joey Dorion, or D.J. Shaw claim the 250 after many tries? Will it go out of Maine in the hands of Canada’s Lonnie Sommerville, Donald Theetge, Cole Butcher, or John Fleming, or back to North Carolina with Jay Fogleman or Kodie Connor?
Can a youngster win it with Reid Lanper, Garrett Hall, Corey Bubar, Derek Griffith, or Gabe Brown? Will it stay in Maine with Curtis Gerry, Scott Luce, Calvin Rose Jr., Alan Tardiff, Travis Stearns, Tracy Gordon, Trevor Sanborn, Dennis Spencer Jr., or T.J. Brackett?
The Oxford 250 is special.
And to say the Oxford 250 is special would be an understatement.
The 44th Annual Scott’s Recreation Oxford 250 presented by Fastway Trailers will go green with heat race qualifying at 1:30pm on Sunday.
(VMM file photo)