Who is going to win at Oxford this time? That’s a tough
call to make.
“At Oxford, there’s always a good race,” said Benjamin. “There are always the locals that have as much chance as anybody. Then there are the PASS cars that will be tough. There will probably be 15 cars with a chance at winning.”
“There will be seven or eight guys up there who will have a good shot at it,” said Clark. “There are the guys who normally end up out front who will be there and the new ones.”
The top four point-getters from last season – Ben Rowe, Mike Rowe, Cassius Clark and Johnny Clark will be tough. Even with Ben Rowe making his first start with a new team, Richard Moody Racing, at Oxford.
PASS NORTH SEASON KICKS OFF AT HISTORIC OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY by MikeTwist
April 29th New England Dodge Dealers 150 Could be Anyone’s Race
There are some venues in the sporting world where tradition and history rule. Fenway Park for baseball, Darlington Raceway for NASCAR Cup racing or Lambeau Field for NFL fans are just a few examples.
“Oxford is an awesome place to start the year,” said 2005 Speed51.com Most Popular Driver in PASS North, Travis Benjamin. “It’s a great track with great competition. It will be a fun place to start out.”
“The track is really special for me,” said Cassius Clark, who won one of the two PASS events at Oxford in 2005. “When I was a kid, I used to go there every Saturday night and watch my old man [NASCAR North standout Billy Clark] race. It’s kind of the home for local area Pro Stocks and they have a good field of Pro Stocks racing there weekly. There’s some good competition there and some good guys. It’s definitely going to be one of the more stout races.”
There’s no doubt that fans at Oxford will be treated to a special show. Neither PASS race at Oxford in 2005 was decided until the closing laps. Johnny Clark came out on top after a green-white-checker finish at the track in July, while Cassius Clark was scored the winner after a grueling test of a three-segment competition made up of 50-lap mini-features in June.
The New England Dodge Dealers 150 will be an international affair as well. Leading the Canadian charge for victory in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 will be Rollie MacDonald and Sean Turple.
Heat races for the New England Dodge Dealers 150 start at 5:00 pm on Saturday, April 29th. Grandstand admission is only $20 with children 12 and under getting in for half price. For more information, please visit www.proallstarsseries.com.
Mike Rowe won last year's Oxford 250. He tested at the track last weekend in preparation for the New England Dodge Dealers 150.
“We’ve got the same cars that I’ve always run and most of the same crew that’s always been with me,” said Ben Rowe. “We’ve tested at White Mountain, Beech Ridge and Oxford between Travis [Khiel] and myself. We’re working well and the whole team is coming together. We’ve tried a bunch of stuff. We tested real well and can’t wait to get it started.”
But the New England Dodge Dealers 150 won’t be an all Rowe vs. Clark show. Richie Dearborn came on strong in 2005 and plans to run the entire season this year. Scott Mulkern hasn’t missed a beat in the off-season, with eye-opening runs in the CRA Super Series race at Nashville, TN, and the PASS South Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory, NC.
A first-time winner at Oxford is also something that is very likely, but who the favorite is to accomplish that is up for debate. Benjamin and Corey Williams are both fired up after seeing top-five runs in the PASS South Easter Bunny 150 end early with mechanical problems. Travis Khiel returns to the driver’s seat as Ben Rowe’s teammate at Richard Moody Racing. A talented rookie crop that includes Beech Ridge Motor Speedway’s youngest-ever Pro Series winner Alan Tardiff and ACT standout Eric Chase will be heard from as well.
The driver who wins at Oxford might be recording a victory for their own personal recordbook.
“We should have as much of a chance as anybody,” said Benjamin. “Last year, in the two PASS races, we qualified up front and were running up front. Even in the Oxford 250, we were running second when the engine blew up. We’re going to try some new stuff this weekend, but we should be as good as anybody.”
Add to that a list of local drivers, such as eight-time track champion Jeff Taylor, who replaces Ben Rowe in the #00 championship-winning ride, and a pair of former TD Banknorth 250 winners, Scott Robbins and Gary Drew.
When it comes to Super Late Model (also referred to as Pro Stock) racing in New England, Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, is such a place. That makes it the perfect venue to begin the Pro All Star Series North season with the running of the New England Dodge Dealers 150 on Saturday, April 29th.
“When you think of Pro Stock racing in Maine, you think of the Oxford Plains Speedway,” said 2002, 2003 and 2005 PASS champion Ben Rowe. “That’s where my father came from, where I’ve come from and most everyone who has won a Pro Stock race has called Oxford home. They’ll fill the stands and it’s fun racing in front of that home crowd. It’s fun to go to a home track and race in front of your home fans. It’s just a nice facility.”
Eight-time Oxford champion Jeff Taylor will join up for his first race with the #00 team this weekend. The #00 team has won three PASS titles with Ben Rowe. (Jamie Williams Photos)
Travis Benjamin could be one to breakthrough at Oxford.