PHOTO: Brian Hoar will look to add to add the TD Bank 250 winner’s trophy to his collection this Sunday at Oxford. (Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com photo)
RPM Motorsports Looks To Add To Late Model Legacy At OPS
(From team press release)
GEORGIA, Vt. — Before you can even run through all of the team’s accomplishments over the years, RPM Motorsports owner Rick Paya stops you short.
“But we’ve never won this one,” said Paya, owner and crew chief of the No. 37 GossCars.com Dodge Charger driven by Brian Hoar.
The ‘one’ is this weekend’s 39th annual TD Bank Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine. Practice takes place on Saturday and Sunday, with qualifying and the main event slated for Sunday afternoon and evening, respectively. Hoar’s best finish in the event was a runner-up effort in the 2010 TD Bank 250.
“This is definitely the one that’s missing for us,” said Paya, who has won eight ACT Late Model Tour championships as a car owner, as well as races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, New Smyrna Speedway during Florida Speedweeks and the prestigious People’s United Milk Bowl at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Vermont. “We’re working hard. I really want it bad, just like everyone else. We tested (at Oxford) last week, and we learned some stuff, but we still need to find some more.
“Some of those other guys there have really stepped up.”
Recent history has shown that Hoar is more than capable of winning the biggest race of his career. He has finished in the Top-5 in the TD Bank 250 in each of the last three years, including the second-place finish behind two-time champion Eddie MacDonald two years ago.
With a new setup under the car for this weekend, the 40-year-old Williston, Vt., driver is hoping it’s finally his time.
“I think we’re in the ballpark. I think when we go to a lot of these races, we’ve been good,” said Hoar, an eight-time ACT champion, including the last three in a row. “But Oxford’s one that – it’s not just the Oxford 250. For me, I’ve never won a race at Oxford. Performance-wise, I’ve always been beaten by somebody.
“We’re going in with a great setup, but it’s a little bit untested and unproven for us. How are we in the long runs will be key. In the short runs it seemed to go good in testing. We’ll find out. We’re going to pair up with the best of the best and see where we come out.
“I’m very excited to get back up there.”
Hoar will get plenty of seat time this weekend. In addition to the TD Bank 250, RPM Motorsports will also bring a Super Late Model to compete in the PASS North Series event on Saturday night. Hoar ran both PASS races at Oxford in 2011 – finishing a career-best fifth last October.
Both driver and car owner said that Saturday’s Super Late Model race is about having fun at the race track.
“That’s absolutely what it’s all about,” Hoar said. “In the overall scheme of things, that’s what it’s all about for any of us, anyway. Sure, we ramp it up when there’s points on the line or for bigger events, but for us there’s not a lot of pressure when it comes to this PASS race. We’re just going out to have fun and make a total racing weekend out of it.”
Things will get more business-like on Sunday. With more than 70 cars expected to try and qualify for the TD Bank 250, the focus is as much on collecting the big trophy on Sunday night as it is just being sure you can make the starting field.
And the team feels as though the gains its made over the last two months since finishing 13th in the ACT Late Model Tour race held at Oxford this season have made it just as strong a contender as it has been over the last three years.
“We’ve really been trying to get the car better,” Paya said. “Going into the 250, we’re actually excited. We think we’ve got something for them, something better than we had last year. We think we learned a lot the last couple weeks, so we’re excited about this.”
“It’s history. It’s that simple,” Hoar said. “It’s not about the money. It’s just a huge, huge race. You look at everybody that’s won that race, everybody that’s not won that race, been in that race – you win it and you’re forever in the history books in this part of the country, if not the rest of the country. It’s one of those races.
“It’s a big deal.”