Oxford 250 weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) can be one of the most stressful times of the season for Super Late Model drivers and teams in the Northeast. The pressure of qualifying for the region’s richest short track race causes tension that can be cut with a knife.
Two-time race winner Ben Rowe is hoping to reduce some of that tension by having some fun and going back to his roots on Saturday night. Rowe confirmed with Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Tuesday that he will be driving a Mini Stock during the 50-lap North East Mini Stock Tour event at Oxford Plains on August 29.
“I’ll be there,” said Rowe. “I haven’t driven one of them since I was 16 years old. I think it will be fun. We’ll see if we can go out and have some fun.”
NEMST promoter Bob Guptil told 51 that Rowe showed interest in driving one of the Mini Stocks when the tour visited New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July with the Pro All Stars Series. With the help of a few sponsors including Cayer Brothers Construction, Dimitri’s Pizza, ATNH and Bobcat of New Hampshire, Guptil found a ride for Rowe. and a good one at that.
Rowe will be piloting a backup car out of the Cayer Racing stable. Emerson Cayer, a two-time NEMST champion, drove the car to a fifth-place finish at Lee USA Speedway (NH) in May.
“He (Guptil) basically just called me up and asked if I was going to be there,” Rowe explained. “I guess one of them guys aren’t going to be there or can’t make it or something. So I’m just going to get in it and have some fun. It’s close to my home so I’m going to be there. I’m going to be right at the track.”
Over the course of the last five seasons, Guptil has turned the North East Mini Stock Tour into one of the premier grassroots racing series in the region. The amount of teams interested in the series and the amount of talent competing regularly has grown exponentially. Guptil believes that adding a driver of Rowe’s caliber into the mix will only create more hype for the series’ second visit to the historic 3/8-mile oval.
“We are happy to have Ben make his first NEMST start at Oxford on such a legendary weekend,” said Guptil. “It will for sure bring him back to his roots and give the long time OPS and Rowe family fans a reason to cheer for him in our second visit to Oxford this season.”
Rowe will be among the drivers hoping to tame series points leader Toby Wells who has swept the first six events this season. Although he says that his main goal is to have fun, there’s no denying that he would love to come out on top at the end of the night.
“Every time you sit behind the wheel you want to win, so it’s no different here.”
Speed51.com will offer live pay-per-view coverage of the three-day Oxford 250 weekend including Saturday’s NEMST event. Race fans unable to make it to Oxford, Maine can purchase their live video ticket by clicking here.
-Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com