NAPLES, ME — Alan Wilson might not be a name well-known to short track fans outside of Maine, but ask anyone around Oxford Plains Speedway, and chances are they not only know him, he’s their friend. Wilson owns and operates the family logging company, but when he is not busy cutting timber, you can usually find him in his shop working on a friend’s street car. And it’s that love of cars that led Wilson to Oxford Plains Speedway nearly 40 years ago. He began racing there in the Street Stock division in 1978. That’s where he met Oxford Plains Speedway owner Tom Mayberry and, points out with a laugh, that he won and Mayberry finished second. From there, Wilson moved on to the Charger division and eventually up to Pro Stocks in 1993.
Like many racers from Maine, the HP Hood Oxford 250 has been the pinnacle of Wilson’s career. And it’s a race he’s performed quite well in throughout the years. In over 10 starts in the HP Hood Oxford 250, Wilson has finished fourth two times and was leading in 2004 with 10 laps to go when a mechanical problem knocked him out of contention for the win. Much to the delight of the local Oxford fans, Wilson returns this year with new vigor as he seeks that elusive first win in North America’s most prestigious short track race.
“I’ve always been good at the longer races like the 250, but I’m not as good in the short sprints and unfortunately with the heat races, it ends up being the luck of the draw sometimes,” said Wilson. “Once you qualify, it’s totally different in the race. What always worked best for me, and I’ve seen a lot of guys get bit by trying to lead laps and get the lap money, was to pit around lap 100 and see where the race goes from there.”
While much of the 43rd Annual HP Hood Oxford 250 weekend will be focused on former race winners, the points contenders, and challengers coming into the area from the Southeast and Canada, there will be a strong local following for Wilson, the hometown favorite. And, it’s not necessarily time or familiarity that has made Wilson a favorite of those from around Oxford.
“You know I live 7 miles from Oxford Plains Speedway, I’ve raced there for a long time,” said Wilson. “My work has connected me with a lot of people and everybody in the area seems to know my face. On the racetrack, I just try to be steady and consistent, try to treat people decent, and most of the time they do the same for me.”
If this is your first time at the HP Hood Oxford 250 or you’re not sure who you want to pull for, Alan Wilson could be the guy for you. Because its guys like Alan that helped make the HP Hood Oxford 250 what it is today.
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com