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 nearly 60 drivers expected to enter the race, there’s legitimately 40-plus 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 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 20, their name will not appear on this list.
The Favorites: 2 to 1
Bubba Pollard, Curtis Gerry
Pollard returns to the Oxford 250 looking to defend his win from one year ago. He’s one of the best in the country, and he proved that one year ago. Gerry entered last year’s race as “The Favorite” in our odds but experienced horrible luck throughout the day. Still, he’s one of the best at Oxford in recent years and will once again be considered a favorite.
The Other Favorites: 3 to 1
Cassius Clark, Garrett Hall & Nick Sweet
The three drivers listed above have established themselves as the favorites to beat the two previous race winners. Clark took home a big payday in 2017 after dominating the first half of the race and tallying up lap leader bonus money. He’s also been strong nearly every time he’s shown up to Oxford in recent years. Hall is a two-time PASS North winner at Oxford this season and has proven to be a quick learner in the Super Late Model ranks. Sweet recently scored his first win at Oxford, but he’s firing on all cylinders at the right time and will be a threat in the Oxford 250.
The Contenders: 5 to 1
Ben Rowe, DJ Shaw, Eddie MacDonald, Joey Pole & Reid Lanpher
This list includes three former race winners (Rowe, MacDonald and Pole), a three-time PASS North champion (Shaw) and a two-time Oxford 250 runner-up. All of these drivers have a good chance of reaching Victory Lane if everything goes right.
In the Mix: 7 to 1
Cole Butcher, Derek Griffith, Jeff Taylor, Johnny Clark, Mike Hopkins, Travis Benjamin
Butcher didn’t get the results he wanted in his last PASS North start at Oxford, but he showed plenty of speed throughout the day. Griffith is coming off one of his strongest long-distance runs at Oxford, a sixth-place finish on August 11. Taylor is one of the best to ever race at Oxford but an Oxford 250 win has eluded him. There’s no doubt that car No. 88 will have the speed to contend, it’s just a matter of luck being on his side. The same can be said for six-time PASS North champion Johnny Clark who has the potential to be very strong on race day. Hopkins has proven that he can win and contend in big races this season with a victory at Richmond Raceway already on his resume. Benjamin, a two-time winner of the Oxford 250, has been having a down year in 2019 but you have to consider him a contender based on his success at the Oxford oval.
Good Picks: 10 to 1
Dave Farrington, Glen Luce, Mike Rowe, Ray Christian III, Shawn Martin, Tracy Gordon, Trevor Sanborn
This group of drivers would need things to go their way, but we’re certainly not ruling them out. Luce and Rowe are both former Oxford 250 winners. The rest of the drivers in this group have scored big wins already this year or had strong runs in previous Oxford 250's.
Worth the Money: 15 to 1
Alan Tardiff, Ben Ashline, Bobby Therrien, Gabe Brown, Jeremy Davis, Kelly Moore, TJ Brackett
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. Tardiff, Brown and Brackett are all former champions at Oxford Plains and have the potential to shine if they can master the extended-distance race. All three drivers have been the cream of the crop while competing at Oxford in recent years. This list also includes a Northeast legend in Kelly Moore, an ACT winner in Bobby Therrien, a former PASS winner in Jeremy Davis and a setup guru in Ben Ashline.
Under the Right Conditions: 20 to 1
Brandon Barker, Bryan Kruczek, Calvin Rose, Garrett Evans, Jake Johnson, Jeff White, Ryan Robbins, Scott Robbins, Tim Brackett
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
Austin Teras, Ben Lynch, Evan Hallstrom, Kyle Treadwell, John Peters, Ryan Green, Ryan Kuhn, Scott McDaniel
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 most of the drivers on this list don’t have as many laps around the 3/8-mile oval as their competition.
The Rest of the Field: 30 to 1
Adam Polvinen, Ashton Tucker, Craig Weinstein, Dan Winter, Jeremie Whorff, John Salemi, Michael Scorzelli, Rusty Poland, Scott Farrington
The Oxford 250 is a race that allows low-buck teams to have a chance to make the show and compete. On multiple occasions, 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.com Staff
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / John A. Miller