While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take a much-needed weekend off, the SPEED™ on-air personalities who regularly cover them will pick up right where they left off in an on-track rivalry of their own.
SPEED’s Bob Dillner’s BDI Racing team and Kenny and Steven Wallace will compete this weekend in the Oxford 250 Late Model race at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine. Dillner will field two cars, driven by Michael Pope, 19, and Joey Pole, 20, while Wallace competes in a Ricky Rolfe-owned entry.
“Kenny Wallace really is a racer,” Dillner said. “He is so into his short-track racing and hasn’t forgotten about where he came from and I admire that. We’re both racers, which means we want to beat each other, but we’re buddies, as well. If we are lucky enough to be battling for the win on the last lap, I’ll tell my boys, ‘Don’t be shy about putting the bumper to him just because he’s Kenny Wallace.’ Heck, it would make a good story for SPEED and an even better one for my team.”
Wallace, NASCAR RaceDay analyst, and nephew Steven Wallace will fly directly from St. Louis following Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway to Maine and hit the 1/3-mile historic speedway first thing Sunday morning for the Oxford 250.
Wallace, driver of the No. 28 Border Patrol Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series, says he plans to keep an eye on Dillner.
“I’m not going to underestimate Dillner,” Wallace said. “He’s been working hard on his short track cars for a long time. Just because we are on TV doesn’t mean we are any less of racers. ‘Pickle,’ what I call ol’ Dillner, is a hardcore racer and races all over the United States.”
For Dillner, a Northeasterner and reporter for NASCAR Live, NASCAR Victory Lane and The SPEED Report, Saturday and Sunday’s events are a homecoming of sorts.
“I consider New England my home base,” Dillner said. “I lived on Long Island for 25 years but I virtually grew up in New England at tracks such as Stafford Motor Speedway, Riverside Park Speedway and Oxford Plains. My work in New England led me to where I am today; working for SPEED covering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”
The Oxford 250 is one of the nation’s longest-running, most historic short-track races and was a former stop on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
“The 250 is such a legendary race,” Wallace said. “It’s gone through so many changes as far as car makes over the years, but it’s still the 250. There are two great pavement short-track races in the United States - the Snowball Derby and the Oxford 250. This is as big as it gets. I’m just excited to be able to run it plus my nephew Steven will be running it, as well.”
Wallace, who grew up racing Late Models, knows he has his work cut out for him despite how his NASCAR resume may read.
“I’ve been running dirt for the past four years, so it will be nice getting back to pavement,” Wallace said. “I wish I could have tested but I know Ricky Rolfe is going to have us a good car. Heck, last time I drove one of these cars was at Bristol in 2001 and I won, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go up there and do any good. Those are some of the best racers in the United States.”