Sunday, 8:13pm ET – The track has pulled the plug on today's activities and the race is now scheduled to resume at 2pm tomorrow afternoon, starting with heat race #6. The gates will open at Noon and we'll be here to bring you full coverage of the 35th Annual TD Banknorth Oxford 250.
Sunday, 7:57pm ET – The skies have opened up and there is going to be a lengthy rain delay...or worse...ahead. The only bright spot is that track officials are committed to trying to get this race underway and so far, they have done what seemed impossible at times by getting it that far along. We'll keep you posted on what happens next.
Sunday, 7:52pm ET – The final heat race of first round qualifying is on the track, but the rain has returned. Mark Childs, Sr. just spun his #22, which was a late addition to the final heat race. The track is slick, so that no doubt helped his trip around.
Sunday, 7:50pm ET – Carey Martin won the fifth heat race in convincing fashion over Kevin Harvick and Ben Rowe. The race for the final transfer spot was a great one, with Bill Whorff coming out on top of a three-way battle with Brent Dragon and John Donahue.
Sunday, 7:40pm ET – The fourth heat race is in the books now. Brad Leighton won in dominating fashion with Rick Thompson and Dale Verrill behind him. The battle for the fourth and final transfer position was the wildest battle. On the 19th of 20 laps, Billy Childs spun in turn four and blocked the track. He started rolling when the leaders came around and everyone had to dodge him. Scott Payea didn't lift and shot from sixth to fourth, with Glen Luce dropping out of a transfer spot in the exchange.
Sunday, 7:30pm ET – The third heat race is finally completed. Eddie MacDonald led from start to finish with Joey Pole placing second over Roger Brown and Dennis Spencer. The rest of the field is headed to a consit next.
Sunday, 7:25pm ET – On lap eight of the third heat race, Tim Brackett and Steve Fisher made contact in turn four. Brackett got his right front fender ripped off and fisher went spinning off the track. The caution is out and it's Eddie MacDonald and Joey Pole in the first two positions.
Sunday, 7:20pm ET – The latest rain delay is now finished and the third heat race is back on track. We're on the fourth lap right now with Eddie MacDonald, Roger Brown, Pete Shepherd and Joey Pole in transfer spots.
Sunday, 6:29pm ET – So we've gotten 44 of the 490 green flag laps for TD Banknorth 250 qualifying races and feature completed. But we don't have any Late Models currently on the track right now. Instead, we have wreckers, ambulances, fire trucks and a few pick-up trucks that are trying to keep any kind of heat in the track. It is still raining lightly too. We're going to take a break for a little bit because this rain delay is likely going to take at least a little bit of time to overcome.
Sunday, 6:22pm ET – The third heat race is now under a red flag and the rain has picked up. The cars have been sent to the back pit area and the track is now an unpleasant shade of dark gray. We won't be racing for at least a little bit longer.
Sunday, 6:19pm ET – On lap four of the third heat race, the rain has started up again. This time, it is getting pretty heavy and the outlook isn't good.
Currently, Eddie MacDonald, Roger Brown, Pete Shepherd and Joey Pole have the transfer spots.
We got to see some great driving int he first five laps. Corey Morgan got turned around at the start, did a smokey 360 and never let off the gas. He lost a few spots, but never drew a caution. A few laps later, Kurt Hewins drifted up in turn four and power slid the #96, losing just a few positions in the process.
Sunday, 6:10pm ET – Tommy Ricker won a battle of the #6s when he beat the #6VT of Cris Michaud by half a car length to win heat race #2. Derek Ramstrom and Travis Adams also earned spots in the 250, while Shawn Martin and Chip Grenier fell just short.
Grenier had a transfer spot on the final restart, but failed to get up to speed. Several cars stacked up behind him, with Alan Tardiff getitng the worst of the situation. His nose was caved in and he brought the car back to the pits for repairs.
Sunday, 6:08pm ET – The rain stopped and heat two got underway. On lap 15, the caution came out for Shawn Knight to take a trip into the turn one wall.
Right now, Tommy Ricker, Cris Michaud, Derek Ramstrom and Chip Grenier have transfer spots. Shawn Martin, Claude Leclerc, Travis Adams, Alan Tardiff and Jimmy Childs are on the outside looking in with five laps to go.
Sunday, 5:58pm ET – Want to follow along at home as the starting grid for the 35th Annual TD Banknorth Oxford 250 is established?
Sunday, 5:54pm ET – It is raining again at Oxford Plains Speedway. The second heat race is on the track, but it has started showering heavy in turn four. The track hasn't been lost yet though and they are trying to keep the heat in the track to prevent that from happening.
Tom Metcalf spun his #8 on the first pace lap, since the track is a little slick, but he was able to reclaim his third starting spot after not hitting anything and trucking on.
Sunday, 5:39pm ET – Scott Robbins will start the 35th Annual TD Banknorth 250 from the pole after leading wire-to-wire in the first heat race. But his run wasn't an easy one.
Patrick Laperle started 13th, but motored through the field to contend for the lead. On the last lap, he pulled alongside Robbins on the outside, but came a little short at the finish line. Behind those two, the other transfer spots went to TJ Watson and Nick Sweet.
Waterford Speedbowl (CT) regular Bruce Thomas had a transfer spot, but got turned at the helm of Pete Potvin on lap 11. Later in the race, Potvin lost the spot to Sweet.
Sunday, 5:39pm ET – The second attempt at a lap one of heat race one didn't work out so well either. On the backstretch, Scott Luce, Russ Clark and TJ Watson tried to go three wide. Watson ended up in the middle and his car contacted Luce's. Luce turned into the backstretch wall head-on and then slid backwards into a tire barrier at the pit area exit right before turn three. Luce is out of the car after the hard hit, but doesn't look very happy. Clark needed a wrecker to go back to the pits. meanwhile, Watson inherited the second spot. The contact did manage to peel back his hood though and that flew off somewhere towards the back pit area.
Scott Robbins, Watson, Josh King and Tim Pedergast are currently in the transfer positions.
Sunday, 5:35pm ET – In turn one of the first lap of the first heat race, the cars of Donald Theetge, Matt Sanborn and Trampas Demers tangled and slid off turn one. Demers and Sanborn got going, but Theetge stalled in the dirt and is getting pushed started. The caution is out.
Sunday, 5:31pm ET – The first heat race is on the track. You can find the complete line-up below, but we'll tell you quickly that Scott Robbins will lead the field to the green.
Sunday, 5:26pm ET – The singer for the National Anthems (the American one, as well as O' Canada) has just been summonded to the flagstand. We're going racing!
Sunday, 5:20pm ET – A trio of Late Models are hot-lapping the track right now to assess the track's raceability. If Ricky Rolfe, Jean Paul Cyr and Eric Chase are happy with the track, we'll be seeing TD Banknorth 250 heat races very soon. The cars for the first few heats are lined up in the pit area.
There have been a few adjustments to the schedule today. The Strictly Stocks and the Mini Stocks will have their features placed at the end of the program and track officials will try to run heat races, consi events and the Last Chance races for the Late Models back-to-back.
Right now, the sky is cloudy, but it isn't raining. The radar shows a window that will hopefully be enough to get things rolling, and maybe even completed this evening.
Sunday, 4:45pm ET – As we approach 5pm the track is drying well and looking good. The pit lane needs lots of work. That will not be needed for the heat races, so it will have more time to dry.
Sunday, 4:25pm ET – We have just looked on the radar and we see that things are opening up to the west and south of Oxford and things look promising for the first time today.
Sunday, 4:15pm ET – The rain has stopped again and safety vehicles are back on the track again. Just giving you a refresher on the qualifying procedures. We will run six heats and the top four in each heat will move to the 250. We will then have three consolation races and the top 3 from each will move on to the 250. There will then be three last chance races with the winners moving to the feature event. A series of provisionals rounds out the starting lineup.
Sunday, 3:50pm ET – We spoke too soon, just as things were looking up the skies have opened up again. The safety vehicles that were on the track have pulled off.
Sunday, 3:35pm ET – Things are looking better here at OPS. The track is starting to dry as the sprinkles are slowing and the sky is pretty bright around the track.
Sunday, 3:15pm ET – Here are a few random notes from walking through the pit area during the rain delay:
First off, the sun is starting to poke through the clouds, but the forecast for the rest of the day isn’t great. Track officials are doing all that they can to get the event in and do not plan on making any decision on a rainout status until around 8pm tonight. Right now, two pick-ups trucks are circling the track to help
“We’re going to wait this out as long as we can,” track owner Bill Ryan told drivers and teams. “We’ll be here as long as it takes.”
Ryan did have a request to teams to help speed along the festivities if they do get underway today.
“No cautions for the whole day would be perfect,” he joked to the teams.
Track officials plan to move along the program be limiting time between events and having lineups ready to roll as soon as possible today.
The rain presents some interesting challenges to teams when it comes to their set-ups.
“Our car was good before the rain,” said Shawn Martin. “This is going to be a whole new ballgame now.”
In the drivers’ meeting, teas were told by Oxford’s Randy Varney that using muscle to get into the race isn’t going to work today.
“We’re not going to let you push your way into the race,” said Varney.
Teams were told that if they are assessed any rough driving penalties in their heat races, they will have to start at the rear of their consi race.
The tire rule for today is that teams have the option of buying up to 10 tires to get through the qualifying races and the main event on. A few lower-funded teams have only bought eight tires for the afternoon.
In other news, Kevin Harvick’s Late Model will likely have a new home after today. The car, which was built specifically for the TD Banknorth 250, will likely be sold to the #48 ACT Quebec Series team owned by Dennis and Louis Larue. Karl Allard is the driver for the team. This morning, the team met to discuss terms of the sale in the Kevin Harvick, Inc. hauler.
Sunday, 2:55pm ET – Here are the speeds from the first practice early this morning.
1. #7ME Glen Luce 16.04
2. #03E Travis Adams 16.13
3. #91 Patrick Laperle 16.16
4. #51 Ricky Rolfe 16.16
5. #29 Kevin Harvick 16.18
6. #89 Scott Payea 16.26
7. #55 Brad Leighton 16.28
8. #55VT Brent Dragon 16.28
9. #02NH Randy Potter 16.29
10. #94 Shawn Martin 16.38
11. #63 Don Wentworth 16.41
12. #80 Donald Theetge 16.41
13. #24ME Roger Brown 16.41
14. #95 Dennis Spencer Jr. 16.43
15. #00 Jeremie Whorff 16.44
16. #48 Robbie Crouch 16.46
17. #60 Tim Brackett 16.46
18. #18VT Jamie Fisher 16.50
19. #13 Pete Shepherd III 16.51
20. #27 Marc Curtis Jr. 16.54
21. #6VT Cris Michaud 16.54
22. #22x Aaron Ricker 16.57
23. #5 Leon Heckbert 16.57
24. #35 Bruce Thomas Jr. 16.57
25. #77 Pete Vanderwyst 16.57
26. #41 Pete Potvin III 16.59
27. #85 Travis Stearns 16.59
28. #97 Joey Polewarczyk Jr. 16.59
29. #85 Trampas Demers 16.59
30. #2 Dennis Stampfl 16.60
31. #18 Carey Martin 16.60
32. #88ME Alan Tardiff 16.60
33. #9QC Yvon Bedard 16.62
34. #38 Ricky Wolf Jr. 16.62
35. #1 Billy Childs Jr. 16.65
36. #71 Bobby Dragon 16.66
37. #78 Ryan Nolin 16.69
38. #42 Matt White 16.69
39. #6 Tommy Ricker 16.72
40. #7VT Eric Williams 16.72
41. #84 Matt Sanborn 16.76
42. #8NH Rick Thompson Jr. 16.79
43. #14 Phil Scott 16.79
44. #15 Ben Ashline 16.79
45. #88 Nick Sweet 16.81
46. #82 Russ Clark 16.81
47. #48QC Karl Allard 16.85
48. #21QC Jean-Francois Dery 16.85
49. #0 Bill Whorff Jr. 16.88
50. #07 Scott Luce 16.88
51. #98 Quinny Welch 16.94
52. #21K Josh King 17.01
53. #8 Thomas Metcalf 17.19
Sunday, 2:50pm ET – Here are the lineups for the heat races. Those who finish in the top four will transfer into the main event. The rest go to the Consolation races.
#72 Scott Robbins
#07 Scott Luce
#02VT Russ Clark
#21 Josh King
#04 T.J. Watson
#80 Donald Theetge
#31 Tim Pendergast
#86 Trampas Demers
#41 Pete Potvin III
#14 Phil Scott
#35 Bruce Thomas Jr.
#84 Matt Sanborn
#91 Patrick Laperle
#16 Joey Becker
#88 Nick Sweet
#6 Tommy Ricker
#11 Claude Leclerc
#8 Tom Metcalf
#6VT Cris Michaud
#02MA Derek Ramstrom
#08 Gerald Parlin
#9VT Chip Grenier
#88ME Alan Tardiff
#85 Travis Stearns
#94 Shawn Martin
#03E Travis Adams
#69 Dave MacDonald
#38 Ricky Wolf Jr.
#25 Shawn Knight
#10 Jimmy Childs
#17 Eddie MacDonald
#24 Roger Brown
#60 Tim Brackett
#13 Pete Shepherd III
#95 Dennis Spencer Jr.
#97 Joey Polewarczyk Jr.
#22 Gary Caron
#96 Kurt Hewins
#26 Corey Morgan
#24VT Jamie Fisher
#29X Ricky Morse
#21QC Jean-Francois Dery
#21X Shane Clark
#5 Leon Heckbert
#55 Brad Leighton
#73 Joey Doiron
#59 Tyson Jordan
#7ME Glen Luce
#8NH Rick Thompson Jr.
#71 Bobby Dragon
#56 Dale Verrill
#27 Marc Curtis Jr.
#77 Pete Vanderwyst
#9ON Jonathan Urlin
#1 Billy Childs Jr.
#51 Ricky Rolfe
#89 Scott Payea
#02NH Randy Potter
#18 Carey Martin
#8x Nick Reno
#29 Kevin Harvick
#15VT Joey Laquerre
#42 Matt White
#0 Bill Whorff Jr.
#75 Pete Fecteau
#22X Aaron Ricker
#32 Jean Paul Cyr
#2 Dennis Stampfl
#10NH Ben Rowe
#98 Quinny Welch
#26VT John Donahue
#55VT Brent Dragon
#48 Robbie Crouch
#9QC Yvon Bedard
#50 Jeff White
#7VT Eric Williams
#15 Ben Ashline
#48QC Karl Allard
#3 Bernie Lantagne
#70 Daren Ripley
#00 Jeremie Whorff
#63 Don Wentworth
#40 Eric Chase
#18VT Jamie Fisher
#78 Ryan Nolin
#37 Larry Gelinas
CONSOLATION LINEUP #1 will be set by the finishing order, fifth through 15th, in Heats 1 and 2,
CONSOLATION LINEUPS #2 and #3 will be determined by the finishing order, 5th through 14th, in Heats 3 and 4 (consi #2) and Heats 5 and 6 (consi #3).
LAST CHANCE LINEUPS will be set in order of the non-qualifying drivers from each respective consolation round.
Sunday, 2:45pm ET – Rain is still the spoiler here at Oxford Plains Speedway, The drivers meeting was held along with the draw. 2002 Banknorth 250 champion Scott Robbins drew the pole for the first heat race. Robbins started 8th the year he won the race.
We will have the heat lineups shortly.
Sunday, 1:25pm ET – The only thing steady today is the rain, the radar still looks pretty sour. As soon as we have info we will pass it along to you.
Sunday, 12:15pm ET – The rain is still falling here at Oxford Plains Speedway, we are going to take a lunch break and get back with you in a while.
Sunday, 11:40am ET – The rain has died down somewhat here at Oxford, but the radar doesn’t look to good for the next little bit. But, we are still hoping that the storms will track south of the speedway. There are no track drying efforts currently underway.
Sunday, 11:35am ET – The TD Banknorth 250 means so much to any driver in Northern New England. They’ll all tell you about their dreams of just qualifying for the race. In fact, Ricky Rolfe may be handicapped as the early favorite for the event this year but he told us earlier in the week that he’s just happy making the show – whether he finishes first or last.
So one of the best things every year is too follow along with the pack of newbie drivers aiming to make their first career 250. Speed51.com caught up with two of those guys this morning.
Matt Sanborn moved up into the Late Model ranks at Oxford this year with his #84 car and he’s primed to attempt his first 250. You might think Sanborn would have knots in his stomach around now, but he doesn’t.
“I’m relaxed,” said Sanborn this morning. “I’m just here for the fun of it and just to get in would be amazing. That would be a victory in itself.”
Sanborn’s low key approach could prove to be an advantage.
“I watched guys just tune themselves out yesterday,” said Sanborn. “We taking it easy and that seems to be working.”
Another first timer at Oxford is former Beech Ridge Super Sportsman regular Joey Doiron. The Maine teenager has moved up to Late Models this season and eyes his first 250 start as well. He’s also taking the laid back approach to the race.
“I’m relaxed,” said Doiron. “The car feels good and I think it is good enough to get into the race. It’s all about the luck of the draw.”
Sunday, 11:30am ET – ACT Late Model point leader Scott Payea has been chasing his car throughout practice. In this morning’s session, he may have “found” it. Payea reports that he has been struggling to balance his #89 car’s drivability and speed. Today, he reports to have found a happy medium with it.
Sunday, 11:28am ET – One thing that the Oxford 250 (we’re not sure that race sponsor TD Banknorth wants to be associated with the next passage) has been known for through the years is its active nightlife. There are legendary stories of “the bonfire” where street cars have been torched, police cars have been stolen by drunks, people have fallen into fires and things like that. Are they all true? Maybe, maybe not. But there’s nothing wrong with good urban legends.
Things shift into high gear on Saturday night, where the bonfire pit is the site of one huge party. This year, there was no band but plenty of fun to be had. A Mardi Gras style…uh…show…that took place is what most people are talking about this morning. Several drivers, who shall remain unnamed, were in attendance for that. The show was solidly “R-Rated” for most of the time, with it getting a little racier than that on a few occasions. As a result, this morning there are a lot of fans walking around and nursing obvious handovers. The drivers and crews who were there are all business today though.
And before the rains came, the fire was still smoldering this morning.
Saturday, 11:25am ET - One driver everyone is looking at is Kevin Harvick. The 2007 Daytona 500 winner will be the ninth winner of "The Great American Race" to start the Banknorth 250. Geoff Bodine won this race twice in 1980 and 1981, he then went on to win the 500 in 1986. He is the only Daytona 500 winner to win the Oxford 250.
Saturday, 11:20am ET - Here is a list of the cars that we have seen in the pit this weekend. A total of 85 Late Models are in the pits for the Banknorth 250.
11Bill Childs Jr. 22Dennis Stampel 33Bernie Lantagne 45Leon Heckbert 56Chris Michaud 66Tommy Ricker 78Nick Reno 88Tom Metcalf 910Ben Rowe 1010Bill Whorff JR 1110Jimmy Childs 1211Claude Leclec 1313Pete Shepard III 1414Phil Scott 1515Ben Ashline 1616Joe Becker 1718Jamie Fisher 1821Shane Clark 1921Josh King 2024Roger Brown 2125Shawn Knight 2226Corey Morgan 2326John Donahue 2429Kevin Harvick 2529Ricky Morse 2632Jean-Paul Cyr 2735Bruce Thomas 2837Larry Gelinas 2942Matt White 3048Robbie Crouch 3150Jeff White 3251Ricky Rolf 3355Brad Leighton 3456Dale Verrill 3559Tyson Jordan 3660Tim Brackett 3763Don Wentworth 3869Dave MacDonald 3970Darren Ripply 4071Bobby Dragon 4172Scott Robbins 4273Joey Dorion 4375Peter Fecteau 4477Pete Vandernyst 4578Quinten Welch 4680Donald Theetge 4784Matt Sanborn 4885Travis Stearns 4988Nicholas Sweet 5089Scott Payea 5191Patrick Leperle 5294Shawn Martin 5395Dennis Spencer Jr. 5496Kurt Hewins 5597Joey Polewarczyk 5615VTJoey Laquerre 5718QCKarl Allard 5822VTGary Caron 5924VTSteve Fisher 6031KTim Pendergast 6138HRicky Wolf Jr. 6241VTPete Potvin III 6355VTBrent Dragon 647ME Glen Luce 657VTEric Willams 6688MEAlan Tardiff 678NHRick Thompson Jr. 689ONJonathan Urlin 699QYvon Bedard 709VTChip Grenier 71O2Brooks Clark 72O2MADerrick Ramstrom 73O2NHRandy Potter 74O3Travis Adams 75O4TJ Watson 76O7Scott Luce 77O8Gerald Parlin 78OOJeremie Whorff 7927Marc Curtis 8040Eric Chase 8117Eddie MacDonald 8222Aaron Ricker 8378Ryan Nolin 8418Carey Martin 8588Jim Whorff
Saturday, 11:00am ET - Good morning from Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, where the 35th Annual TD Banknorth 250 is scheduled for today. Unfortunately, we’re in a holding pattern during what is supposed to be practice right now because of rain. Teams got to practice, and scuff their tires, when it was partly sunny this morning. But now, that has given way to a steady shower.
We’ll keep you posted on how things pan out from here. Track officials have indicated that they will do whatever it takes to get the race in today. If the race is…gulp…rained out today, we don’t have to worry about any rainout dates being announced down the line. No, the 250 is a big league event – just like the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we’ll be racing here tomorrow rather than some yet-to-be-determined Saturday night in September.
In the meantime, we’ll share a few items of interest that we gathered while walking through the Late Model pits this morning.
A few new cars have rolled through the pit gate this morning. Those include the #22 of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Pro Series regular, and occasional PASS North competitor Aaron Ricker, the #40 of Vermont’s Eric Chase and the #17 of NASCAR Camping World East Series driver Eddie MacDonald, who raced last night at Music City Motorplex in Nashville. Well, MacDonald isn’t here yet – he’s still on an airplane on the way back up North. His car is here and went through tech first thing this morning.
Ben Rowe is also flying North after finishing 15th in last night’s PASS South Orange Blossom Special at North Carolina’s Orange County Speedway. This morning, he had David Avery practicing his #10 Late Model here at Oxford.
The schedule today includes six heat races for the 250 Late Models. The lineup of the heats are determined by a blind draw and four cars from each one will advance to the 250. From there, we’ll see three consi events where four cars will advance and three last chances races where only the winner will make it in. A provisional is available to the highest point Oxford Late Model regular and the latest 250 winner not already qualified, so that assures Ricky Rolfe and Roger Brown of a starting spot respectively. We think that there is also a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series provisional, or promoter’s option if you will, available so that Kevin Harvick won’t be going home and his fans won’t leave without seeing him race in the 250.