WATCH LIVE: 48th Annual Oxford 250
The Hopkins Milling and Paving company is not used to seeing the office without Mike Hopkins around. Sure, he might take off early on a Friday to go race every now and then, but this week is different. He’s trying to finish a job he’s been working on for years.
“I’ve got 40 to 47 guys who work for me and I haven’t done a thing because it’s 250 week,” said Hopkins. “This time of year, all my focus shifts to that for a couple days. We’d love to run more races, but we don’t have time to run the full PASS schedule. We do have time to run the 250.”
Hopkins is not a PASS regular, he’s not a Oxford Plains Speedway regular. In fact, when asked what he was, Hopkins called himself simply a racer.
[su_quoteWe really want to go down there and unload fast and look to make the car better,” said Hopkins. “I feel like we gave the race away two years ago when I dropped down too early to pit and last year a lap car messed us up and we ended up fifth both times. I really think we can put together and good run and try to win it.[/su_quote]
Hopkins will be looking to make his seventh straight Oxford 250. He will also be looking for his fourth-straight top 10 finish in the race as he has completed every lap since 2016.
Recently, Hopkins won his first race at Oxford when he parked an ACT Late Model in victory lane. That confidence can only help Hopkins, as he will be doing double duty by running the Saturday 125-lap event and the 250 on Sunday.
“It was a big weight off my shoulders,” explained Hopkins. “The first few times I ran Oxford we struggled really bad. I had to learn the hard way that you can fire off good, but if you use up your tires you are a sitting duck. Winning the ACT race was nice because it was that first win. Hopefully we can take something from that and on Saturday this year.”
The 250 car is the key focus after how dominate the ACT car was, but Hopkins knows the draw and luck have to come into play as he’s transferred in four times in the heat races.
We asked Hopkins if he won the race what he would do?
“Gosh, I’d probably retire,” said Hopkins. “To win on the biggest stage like that would be so hard to top I think I could walk away after a win like that.”
If he does win, then he might be a little late getting to work on Monday, but it’s alright. He knows the boss would be okay with it.
-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Speed51 Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo