Touring Series News
PR: Brent Dragon: TD Bank Oxford 250 Preview
(From team press release)
Brent Dragon of Milton, Vt. brings a streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes into the 37th annual TD Bank Oxford 250 on Sunday, July 18, at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine. Dragon has made three career starts in the northeast's marquee summer stock car event, never finishing worse than 10th. Last year, Dragon started on the pole for the first time and led 46 laps en route to a career-best sixth-place finish, and he finished seventh in the 2008 version of the race won by Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick. Dragon has earned a total of $18,000 across his three starts in the event.
WHO: Brent Dragon, Milton, Vt.
TEAM: No. 55 Beverage Mart/Furniture World of VT/Charlesbois Freightliner/Newton Pellets Chevrolet
NO. OF OXFORD 250 STARTS: 3
BEST CAREER OXFORD 250 FINISH: 6th (2009)
LAST OXFORD 250 FINISH: 6th (2009)
WHAT: 37th annual TD Bank Oxford 250
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
WHEN: Sunday, July 18 -- 2 p.m., Qualifying; 6:30 p.m., Race
TD Bank Oxford 250
PURSE: $25,000 to win; $100 per lap for leader
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
BRENT, IS IT AN OVERSTATEMENT TO SAY THAT THIS IS THE BIGGEST RACE OF THE YEAR FOR LATE MODEL TEAMS IN THE NORTHEAST?
Absolutely not. This is the Super Bowl for us, with the purse and the amount of interest it draws from the best teams in the northeast and in Canada. That competition level is a big deal, and I enjoy that part of it, too.
This race is the Daytona 500 for the guys that are not leaving New England and Canada some day to actually go race in the Daytona 500. This is as big as it gets for us.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS DIFFERENTLY THAN AN ACT LATE MODEL TOUR RACE?
Even with the amount of cars that are always there and having the chance of not qualifying, it's actually a fun weekend for us. It's not like other weekends when you're racing for points and if you don't qualify you're going to lose all that ground and take such a big hit because you missed a race.
You go there and it's not like you don't want to qualify -- because obviously you do -- but it's more of a fun weekend where you can go and try things and really try to win. That approach is probably why we've had some pretty good success in the 250.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST KEYS TO WINNING THE TD BANK OXFORD 250?
Things are finally starting to come together pretty good for us. It's really just going to be a matter of getting the breaks and getting a good starting spot on Sunday, because that's definitely a huge deal there.
Then again, you know you can start 30th and still have time to win with a 250-lap race, and that's a big deal about this race, too. Last year, we were fourth when we pitted (for tires and fuel) and we restarted way back in like 25th because we had a gas issue. Still, we had a lot of time left and we were able to race all the way back up to sixth. Because of that type of thing, this is the kind of race I really enjoy.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW RULES, INCLUDING ENSURING THAT CARS CANNOT LOSE A LAP IN THE PITS AND TEAMS CAN ONLY PURCHASE EIGHT TIRES FOR RACE DAY?
Well, I really like the idea of not being able to go a lap down in the pits. We don't have quick-fill (fuel cells), and it's better for our crews especially. We don't do this all the time, and it's a hard thing to do safely when you're never asked to do it on a regular basis.
And I think that eight tires are probably enough for us for this race. We were allowed 10 tires last year, and I think I brought six home. Eight is a nice number -- if you get spun out in a heat race, you have four new ones to put on in the consi to try and qualify before you race. I understand why they're doing it. This can be a pretty expensive weekend if you don't help teams (contain costs).
CAN YOU SUM UP OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY IN ONE SENTENCE?
Oxford is such a different place.