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Leighton’s Oxford 250 Dominance Ends Early

- Justin St. Louis on 19 Jul 2010

Leif Tillotson photoOXFORD, Me. -- The TD Bank Oxford 250 was Brad Leighton’s to lose. Unfortunately, he lost it.

Leighton dominated the event, leading twice for a total of 188 laps, and kept up a blistering pace throughout the event. By the halfway mark, the Center Harbor, N.H., veteran had lapped all but the top five drivers.

Leighton’s chief competition came from defending Oxford 250 winner Eddie MacDonald, and as MacDonald hounded him for the lead on lap 202, Leighton’s right-front tire went flat, leaving him off the top of turn one.

Leighton’s team changed the tire during the resulting caution period, but he was forced to restart at the tail end of the field and was unable to reel the leaders back in. He finished fifth as the final car on the lead lap. His total winnings including $18,800 in lap leader money, came to $23,500.

“It was awesome. The car was awesome, dominant,” said Leighton. “It’s been a while since somebody’s had this type of [Late Model] car that’s been that dominant. We hit it right on the head.”

Leighton said a full day of practice on Saturday paid off for his team.

“These guys worked their asses off on Saturday,” he said. “We, by far, made more laps, and I’m certain we made more changes, than anybody. We put a bunch of adjustability in the car knowing that when we come back Sunday it’s a different day. We were more concerned with the reaction of the changes Saturday than we were with the speed. The guys had a notebook and it paid off.”

While he would have like to have won his first Oxford 250 -- he was the runner-up in 1993 -- Leighton said he still had a good time.

“It was fun, and we led a [ton] of laps,” Leighton said. “If we could have pulled it off, then… oh well. It was an awesome night.”

PHOTO: Brad Leighton's bid for a TD Bank Oxford 250 win went out in a shower of sparks on lap 203. (Leif Tillotson photo)

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