OXFORD 250 LEFTOVERS by Mike Twist
Fighting In The Pits, Mad At Busch, Proud Papa & More
CHUBBUCK AND SHAW LOCK HORNS
A rivalry that started at last season’s Big Dawg 400 open Pro Stock race between Scott Chubbuck and Dale Shaw re-ignited at the Banknorth 250. Last season, Shaw and Chubbuck tangled racing for the lead in the big-money 400. Chubbuck ended up crashing out while Shaw got by. This season at Oxford, the favor was returned when Shaw was leading and got tapped from behind by his adversary.
Chubbuck got a stop-and-go penalty for his role in the incident.
Several laps later, Shaw was getting lapped and drove Chubbuck off the backstretch racing surface and into the
Needless to say, tempers were hot after the race.
“It’s the same old thing, he just wants to block,” said Chubbuck. “You could see that he tried to take out the leader after what happened with us. You can’t go around him when you get to him, so I was just working him. He slowed up, we touched and he went around. If he had been driving and looking straight ahead like he should have been, nothing would have happened.”
Dale Shaw (#68) and Scott Chubbuck had their rivalry renewed at Oxford. (51 Photo)
Chubbuck was asked if he thought this incident might have anything to do with the Big Dawg 400 from last season.
“I think that it has more to do with him being an idiot,” said Chubbuck. “It doesn’t have anything to do with anything. He’d do it for $100 or just a plain old trophy. When he gets in front, you just can’t pass him.”
Moments after Speed 51 finished talking to Chubbuck, an altercation broke out between his team and Shaw. After the dust settled, Shaw was not available for comment.
MULKERN WILL NOT BE JOINING BUSCH’S FAN CLUB
Shaw and Chubbuck weren’t the only two drivers hot after the race. Scott Mulkern had a car that might have been good enough to win, all except for the involvement of Nextel Cup visitor Kurt Busch. The #97 of Busch got together with Mulkern’s #84 and Steve Knowlton’s #88x. Mulkern and Knowlton were finished for the night after that wreck.
When Mulkern exited his car, he pumped his hand in the air
to salute the cheering crowd. After the race was over, he was far from happy.
“Kurt Busch is a moron,” said Mulkern. “I’m going to buy a Winston Cup car, the biggest piece of junk that there is, and I will be at one of those tracks. I don’t know if I’ll get through tech, but if I do I’m going to wreck him. If he thinks that Jimmy Spencer hit him hard, I’ll hit him twice as hard. He comes up here and ruins everything. He got a crowd here. He started in the heat race and kept on causing trouble. That’s what he does on TV, so why would he be any different up here?”
Mulkern's #84 looked good before the race, but was banged up after contact with Kurt Busch.
TRACY’S 250 TROUBLES CONTINUE
When it comes to the Oxford 250, Tracy Gordon seems to be jinxed. He has had a car capable of winning on several occasions, but luck has not ridden with the Maine logger. This year was not an exception and the problems started when he drove his car out to the starting grid.
“It was rapping before the race and we got the tech guys to
let us pull the hood off and look at it,” said Gordon. “We thought that maybe it was a header gasket or something
minor, but we weren’t that lucky.”
Even with a motor problem, Gordon still hoped that the race could go decent for his team.
“I should have parked it before I even started,” said Gordon. “I probably cost myself a lot of money, but I thought ‘maybe I’ll just lose one cylinder’. I know this place pretty well and I’ve won a lot of races here with a motor that had about as much power as tonight. I found that with the new track surface, seven cylinders won’t work because you can
BEN TIES HIS DAD WITH WIN NUMBER TWO
In two short years, Ben Rowe has gone from aspiring to win the Oxford 250 to tying his father’s record of two victories in the race.
“I caught him tonight,” said the 29-year-old Rowe after the race was over.
The winner of the 1984 and 1997 race was proud of his son’s latest accomplishment.
“He’s winning more than I am right now,” said Mike Rowe. “Maybe next week, we’ll be a little better and run with him. He’s got to start teaching me I guess, he’s winning more than I am lately. I’m really proud of him. He’s doing a great job and they’ve got a good team over
ANOTHER ROWE ALMOST MAKES IT IN
A third member of the Rowe clan, Mike’s son and Ben’s brother Tommy, was also entered in the race. Tommy Rowe drove the backup car of his father, but did not finish high enough in the heat races to crack the starting grid.
The chance to race with his brother would have been something that the eventual winner would have liked to happen.
“That would have been neat,” said Ben Rowe. “He got into one of my father’s cars and if he would have drawn a good number for the heat race, he would have made it in. He started in the back of a heat race and struggled from there. It would have been fun to race with him.”
Mike Rowe also would have liked to have had two sons racing against him.
“Tommy has bad luck all of the time,” said Mike Rowe. “We just didn’t have the car right for him. Maybe we’ll do better for him next time.”
Tracy Gordon's team work on his engine just before the start of the Oxford 250.
lose a lot more power than you used to. But she broke and shut right off, so that was the end for us.”
KENSETH ADAPTS WELL TO OXFORD PLAINS
Defending NASCAR Cup champion Matt Kenseth was in the starting field for the Oxford 250 on the basis of a provisional start. But if anyone doubted his desire to race, they were proved wrong when Kenseth drove through the field to finish third.
“We had a great car, it was prepared very well,” said Kenseth. “I thought that we’d be the car to beat if we got out front. It just got a little loose on the last set of tires. The track was tearing up a little and that made us a little loose too. We were too loose to run with the leaders, but it was a lot of fun.”
Kenseth cut his racing teeth in Super Late Models similar to what he drove in the 250 and he still has fun behind the wheel of that type of machine.
“It’s fun to drive these cars,” said Kenseth. “Especially when they drive good because nothing is fun when it drives like crap. This thing drove good all day. It makes it a lot easier to get used to the track when the car will drive like you want it to.”
Ben made it two in a "Rowe." (Norm Marx Photo)