When Wyatt Alexander wheeled his Super Late Model to a 12th-place finish in the 2018 Oxford 250, many would’ve mistakenly thought that he had won the whole show given his overwhelmingly positive reaction. Now heading into the 2020 running, the chance at actual victory seems like a real possibility for the Ellsworth, Maine native.
After a brief stint attending school at UNC Charlotte, as well as racing in North Carolina, Alexander has embraced being home in the Pine Tree State. Going to school at the University of Maine, the racing focus has been centered on Beech Ridge Motor Speedway weekly, with Pro All Stars Series races at Oxford Plains Speedway also being on the agenda to prepare for the Oxford 250.
In the past two weeks, Alexander got his first win at Beech Ridge in the Granite State Pro Stock Series, and a podium finish last Saturday night at Oxford Plains. Just the momentum any driver could ask for going into a race like the Oxford 250. A race which attracts around 60 entries each year, where just making the field is accomplishment enough.
“This is a big week for any Super Late Model racer in the Northeast, especially one who’s planning to contend in the 250. I feel pretty good about it, we have attempted the 250 three times before, qualified once in 2018, and had a really strong run. Qualified in through a stacked heat race and finished twelfth in the 250. Qualifying was an accomplishment as a bucket list item, running twelfth was a good showing, but we want to go back and do even better,” Alexander said on ‘The Bullring’ on Monday.
With a random draw setting multiple 20-lap heat races, the Oxford 250 is one of the most intense single-day races in the nation. It is what drivers fear most in all the days leading up to the legendary race.
“The anxiety of the event is around the heat races, the draw, and working your way through the field. The better you finish, the better you start in the 250, but with priority number one making the show. It’s nerve-wracking, I’ve had the opportunity to qualify at places like Hickory which gives you goosebumps and makes you nervous, but at least you know your fates is kind of in your own hands.”
As for getting to the big dance itself, Alexander’s primary concern isn’t that of maintain speed, it’s having the right pit strategy as the race goes on.
“We are pretty inexperienced when it comes to strategy, which is something unique when it comes to running in PASS or weekly in the Northeast. If we had better strategy then we might’ve had an even better run. Obviously, the goal now is to go back and top that. Once you’re in the show, it’s anybody’s race, anyone who’s run the 250 has heard every story book ending.”
As for what he thinks of chances, Alexander feels that the opportunity to improve on 2018 is certainly there coming into the weekend.
“I think we’re a Top 10 car, I don’t think that’s too bold a prediction, especially running as well as we did. Race day can go any way for anybody. I hadn’t raced at Oxford since 2018 before this past weekend, so to show up now, and really contend says something. Everybody else there has been there for a season or two seasons since we’d been away; testing, tuning, and working pretty hard. So, to show up like that after what we did at Beech Ridge and show that’s not a fluke.”
Should he win the day, that’s a feeling that Alexander simply cannot predict.
“That would be huge, obviously it’s huge for anybody. But, qualifying for the Oxford 250 was storybook for me, my grandfather attempted the race a couple of times. My grandfather and dad had been on crews that attempted the race multiple times. To qualify is big, to win would be astronomical, I don’t think it would sink in for a long time.”
See who will claim the 47th Oxford 250 this weekend August 28-30, as Speed51 will broadcast all three days of racing action. Also, follow Speed51.com for updates and stories from practice, prerace, and more.
For the entire interview with Wyatt Alexander, check out a replay of this week’s episode of ‘The Bullring’.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51