There’s a reason why the masterminds in Vegas don’t offer odds on the Oxford 250; the race is a handicapper’s worst nightmare. With over 70 drivers expected to enter the race, there’s legitimately 50 drivers with a shot at taking home the $25,000-plus paycheck.
Despite how challenging we knew it would be, the staff at Speed51.com powered by JEGS decided to take the bull by the horns and try to handicap this year’s field. It wasn’t an easy task, but it was one that needed to be done.
We ranked the drivers straight up, not considering the draw and heat race aspect of the Oxford 250. Previous performances in Super Late Model competition, the Oxford 250 and at Oxford Plains Speedway were factored into these odds.
The odds listed below are meant to be fun and at no point are we playing down any one’s talent. The odds are unofficial and are for entertainment purposes only.
Note: If a driver’s name did not appear on the entry list posted on the Pro All Stars Series website as of August 22, their name will not appear on this list.
The Favorites: 3 to 1
Travis Benjamin, Glen Luce and Reid Lanpher
There’s no doubt that the 7s are considered favorites heading into this year’s Oxford 250. Travis Benjamin won the last Pro All Stars Series (PASS) race at Oxford Plains and Glen Luce finished right behind him. One week later, Luce beat Benjamin to the stripe at Lee (NH). Both are on top of their game heading into the big race. Lanpher is also back in his groove after two straight Pro Series wins at Beech Ridge. With a PASS win and weekly Super Late Model win at Oxford already this year, he has to be counted among the favorites to win.
The Contenders: 5 to 1
Wayne Helliwell, DJ Shaw, Joey Doiron, Joey Pole and Cassius Clark
You could easily make a case that any of these drivers should be considered favorites. Helliwell is the defending winner of the race, Shaw won the PASS Open, Doiron won a PASS race at Oxford in June, Pole is a former winner and Clark is consistently fast everywhere he goes. At five-to-one you can’t go wrong placing your bets on this group.
In the Mix: 7 to 1
Johnny Clark, Ben Rowe, Derek Griffith, Derek Ramstrom, Curtis Gerry and Cole Butcher
Clark and Rowe aren’t the dominant forces they used to be, but you still can’t count them out. Two years ago, Clark had one of the fastest cars during the Oxford 250 before being collected in an incident late in the race. Griffith has discovered speed that he’s never had before at Oxford after driving from deep in the field into the top five during the last PASS race at Oxford. Gerry has displayed a lot of speed this year at Beech Ridge and looked good at Oxford, considering it’s a track he doesn’t run regularly. You also can’t count out Butcher following his big Atlantic Cat 250 win north of the border two weeks ago.
Good Picks: 10 to 1
TJ Brackett, Trevor Sanborn, Shawn Martin, Mike Hopkins, Jay Fogleman, Jeff Taylor, Mike Rowe and Travis Stearns
This group of drivers would need things to go their way, but we’re certainly not ruling them out. Brackett has always had one of the fastest short run cars at Oxford but has struggled to find that long-run speed. If he can find it, he will be a contender. The rest of the drivers in this group have all experienced strong runs in previous Oxford 250s and know their way around Oxford.
Worth the Money: 15 to 1
Scott Robbins, Joe Squeglia, Tim Brackett, Tracy Gordon, Ben Lynch, Dave Farrington Jr., Spencer Davis and Kelly Moore
If you’re looking for a middle of the road pick with a slight gamble attached to it, this would be the group of drivers to look at. Robbins is a former Oxford 250, while Brackett is a multi-time track champion at Oxford. The rest of the drivers in this group have had strong runs at one point or another in the Oxford 250 and at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Under the Right Conditions: 20 to 1
Adam Polvinen, Chad Dow, Dennis Spencer Jr., Justin Drake, Lonnie Sommerville, Matthew Swanson, Donald Theetge and Bryan Kruczek
We wouldn’t count any of these drivers out of a top-10 finish, but they’re in need of a picture-perfect day to end up in victory lane with the $25,000-plus check.
Would Pay Off Well: 25 to 1
Kyle Desouza, Derek Kneeland, Angelo Belsito, Sarah Cornett-Ching, Kodie Conner, Jeff White, Craig Slaunwhite and John Flemming
If you’re looking to take a gamble in hopes of a big return, this would be the category to look at. Oxford is a tough track to conquer and many of the drivers on this list (except for White) don’t have as many laps around the 3/8-mile oval as their competition.
The Rest of the Field: 30 to 1
Calvin Rose, Jr., JT Thurlow, Alan Wilson, John Salemi, Scott Luce, Ray Christian III, Scott McDaniel and Don Colpritt
The Oxford 250 is a race that allows low-buck teams to have a chance to make the show and compete. Many times we have witnessed underdog stories in this race, whether it was Ben Lynch finishing third in 2015 or Corey Morgan’s podium finish in 2010. While we don’t expect these drivers to get to victory lane, anything can happen at Oxford.
-Text by Speed51 Staff. Photo Credit: Speed51.com