His last name is synonymous with success at Oxford Plains Speedway.
It began with his father, Merton ‘Froggy’ Brackett, who drove a few years himself back in the 1960s before running the wrecker, continued with his own four points championships (2005, 2010, 2015, 2016), and is now carried on by two-time track champion (2013-14) son TJ in a first-class fashion.
For Oxford legend Tim Brackett, Sunday’s 46th annual Oxford 250 brings the challenge of a long-distance race, yet one he says he’ll enjoy and feels prepared for as the big race weekend arrives.
“We’ve made a lot of progress on the car in the last few weeks,” Brackett said. “It was just terrible the first part of the year. We were lucky we didn’t get lapped, so we went to work on it and have been making gains every week, actually. It feels good to be going better with our biggest race on Sunday.”
Like all racers who strive to improve their program, Brackett did a little test earlier this summer.
“We kind of messed up in the most recent Pro All Stars Series (PASS) 150,” he admits. “We tried something different and realized that part of the setup was our problem from the start. Now we’re confident we’ve got a decent handle on it as we unload for the real test.”
Brackett, son TJ, Kyle DeSouza, Canadian Ashton Tucker and 2015 race winner Glen Luce of Turner will all campaign Clattenburg Racing Fabrication cars in this year’s 250. TJ is the northeastern dealer for Dean’s cars, and they’ve made some decent ground in recent months.
“I think we’ve got our cars to where they stay pretty consistent on the long runs,” he explained. “I’m not saying we could run a blistering-fast lap then drop off like we had been doing, but we can lay down a decent lap and keep running that time lap after lap. That should play to our advantage on Sunday.”
Brackett is one of the top-rated weekly regulars at Oxford, yet faces the same challenge on 250 Sunday.
“I have to go out and earn my way into the show like everybody else,” Brackett added. “We’re third in weekly points right now, behind leader Curtis Gerry and Calvin Rose Jr. Curtis is locked in, and Calvin should be able to earn his way in. So I might have that to fall back on, but we plan to race our way in.”
Back in the peak of the old Pro Stock era at Oxford, Tim Brackett was a major force year after year. He carried the Dunkin’ Donuts colors back then, and had the coffee car close to the front on a steady basis.
Last year, Brackett finished 23rd in the 250, one lap down. His best-ever 250 finish of fifth came in 1999, crossing the stripe behind Ralph Nason, Ben Rowe, Scott Fraser and fourth-place Sam Sessions.
“I think if we can get a decent draw draw for our heat, don’t fall on our faces and get the tires wrong or something like that, we’ll be in pretty good shape. I’d like to be the leading Clattenburg car in the field on Sunday, but don’t forget Glen Luce has one and knows how to win the 250.
“We hope to be up there with him and the rest of the fast guys. It’s a long race, but we’re up for it.”
Race fans unable to make it to Oxford, Maine this weekend will be able to watch Saturday and Sunday’s racing via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com. Two-day video tickets can be purchased today at a discounted price by clicking here.
-Story by: Phil Whipple, Speed51.com Northeast SLM Correspondent
-Photo credit: Jen Grace