TD Banknorth 250 Media Day
Quotes From The Drivers and Their Picks for Sunday's Big Race
By Elgin Traylor
Wednesday was a busy day for some of the key players who will attempt to qualify for the 36th annual TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).  Speed51.com was on hand for their annual Media Day in Westbrook, Maine.  We caught up with all the drivers and chatted with them about the upcoming TD Banknorth 250. 

In addition, each of the drivers on hand gave their predictions on who was most likely to win the race - the twist being that they could not predict themselves.

Tim Brackett – # 6, Buckfield, Maine 

“We are going better this year.  We are ACT (American Canadian Tour) legal this year and that’s the type of set-up you need to have now.  We had some good luck in the spring so we hope we can transform that in to success from the 250.  It’s all luck, you need to be good no doubt, but it comes down to luck.”

Bracket’s Prediction: “Brad Leighton”

Shawn Martin - #94, Turner, Maine

“The crew and the car are both good, we just need some luck.  My style is suited for more of a long distance run and that works well with the 250.   It’s everybody’s dream around here to win the Oxford 250.  It’s the biggest race in New England, so it would be great if we could pull that off this weekend.”

Martin’s Prediction: “I have to say Joey Pole, he’s got a lot of momentum right now going into the 250.”

Joey Pole - #97, Hudson, New Hampshire

“We won the last ACT race at Oxford so we are really looking forward to the 250.  We don’t think there is any added pressure with guess picking us to do well. We just want to go out there and win.  Oxford has always been good to us and I like to find different lines on the racetrack and if you can work the outside at Oxford then you can have a fast racecar.”

Pole’s Prediction: “I think Ricky Rolfe. No one knows Oxford better then him.”

Glen Luce - #7, Turner, Maine

“It’s our Daytona 500.  This is the biggest race we run.  It has so much publicity surrounding it.  We were second a year ago and that was a big thrill even though we didn’t win it.  If we are to win it this year I would share it with the whole crew and the whole family.  With out them we could race it.”

Luce Prediction: “I have to say Travis Adams or Shawn Martin.  They run there every week and their chances are pretty good.”

Kenny Wallace - #28, Fenton, Missouri  

“Dale Earnhardt taught me that there are over a thousand racecar drivers all across the United States and I am gong to have my work cut out for me this weekend as I head up to Oxford.  I have one of Ricky Rolf’s cars so I will have a good start on the competition.  I have run the race before and I even worked out of Ricky Craven’s father-in-law’s shop the year he won it.  I was running fourth and we had a flat tire, but we won the next week at New Hampshire so that made up for it.   Craven and I figure we won about $110,000 out of the shop in two weeks.  I learned that weekend that the Oxford 250 in the Snowball Derby of the north.”

Kenny Wallace Prediction: “None was made, but we figure he would go with Ricky Rolf or his nephew Steven Wallace.” 

Michael Pope - #51G, Dublin, Georgia

“I have always heard about how big this race is and it’s really cool to come up here and be a part of it. I am excited to be up here with BDI Racing and Bob Dillner.  I want to thank him for the opportunity to do this.  It’s going to be a challenge, because I will not have seen the track until this weekend.  We just want to make it into the race, then we will go from there.”

Michael Pope’s Prediction: “I think it’s going to be Joey Pole.”

Al Hammonds - #1 Paris, Maine

“I really don’t feel any different then I ever did.  If I were to win this race it would be the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.  One of the other guys said it best this is our Daytona 500.  We are never going to go anywhere else.  This is our biggest race and we all want to win it.”

Al Hammonds' Prediction: “I haven’t raced with a lot of these young guys, but I think Ricky (Rolfe) is going to be the man to beat.” 

Ben Ashline - #15, Pittston, Maine

“I got a broken foot, but we are ready to go. I don’t wear this brace in the car, the pedals are too close together.  I wear just a racing shoes and it hurts a bit, but hey this is the Oxford 250.”

Ben Ashline’s Prediction: “I would have to go with Joey Pole.”

Ricky Rolfe - #51ME, Albany Township, Maine

“We all want to win this race. There is a lot of prestige and to win it in front of a big crowd is something we are not used to.  The big paycheck that Bill Ryan puts has us all shooting for that too.  Even if you finish last it means something to just make the race.”

Ricky Rolfe’s Prediction: “Kenny Wallace, he's actually in a car better then mine.”

Nick Brown - # 12 Bath, Maine

“I was fortunate to be part of Jeremie Whorff’s crew when we won (in 2006),” said Brown. “I never dreamed that I would be driving these cars or competing in this race. It would be amazing just to qualify.”

Nick Brown’s Prediction: “I think it’s going to be Travis Adams in victory lane.”



Evans Boston (L) from WGME 13 talks to Oxford veteran Tim Brackett. (51 Sports Photo)
Glen Luce talks with a local TV station. (51 Sports Photo)
Bob Dillner, owner of BDI Racing chats with Bangor Daily News sports writer Larry Mahoney.  (51 Sports Photo)
The TD Banknorth 250 media day brought out several drivers and members of the media. (51 Photo)