NAPLES, ME – Since the inaugural HP Hood Oxford 250 in 1974, Oxford Plains Speedway’s location has helped insure that the “best of the best” in short track racing would have a chance to take on one another. Being in Maine, the HP Hood Oxford 250 has seen the top short trackers from New England, the Midwest, and Canada participate against one another over the last 40 years. But since it’s earliest days, the HP Hood Oxford 250 has been a showcase for talent from the Southeastern short track ranks. South Carolina’s legendary Butch Lindley took the checkered flag in 1976, while North Carolina’s Bob Pressley would take the win two years later, followed by Virginia’s Tommy Ellis in 1983. Drivers like Harry Gant, Morgan Shepherd, Tommy Houston, Jimmy Hensley and others made regular stops at the 250 throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
The tradition continues today as another strong contingent of drivers and teams will be making the trip up from Dixie. Defending Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South Super Late Model champion, Tate Fogleman, from Durham, NC will be attempting his fourth straight HP Hood Oxford 250 this weekend. Fogleman hopes to better the performance of his dad, Jay, who finished third in 2013.
Jamie Yelton’s Fathead Racing team competed in their first HP Hood Oxford 250 last year with Tyler Dippel and will return this year with Newport, TN’s, Jake Crum. Crum is a former Late Model Stock champion and captured the win in the prestigious Martinsville 300 in 2009. Florida’s Dalton Sargeant will be competing in his first HP Hood Oxford 250 this weekend after getting locked in through the PASS “non-winners” race at Oxford Plains in July. Sargeant has been inching closer to victory lane in PASS South as of late, scoring a pair of third place finishes at Hickory and South Boston.
PASS South championship contender, Kodie Conner, will be making the tow from Kannapolis, NC as he attempts his first HP Hood Oxford 250. After capturing the PASS Pro Late Model championship last year, Conner made the move up to Super Late Models in 2016 and is currently in the midst of a tight championship battle with Matt Craig. Conner is excited for his first major stock car race outside of the Carolinas.
“With the race being 250 laps, I feel that will help me with experience and I’m hoping we will be able to come on strong at the end,” says Conner, who drives the distinctive looking #45 sponsored by Jerry Conner Insurance and Champion Spark Plugs. “I have done some research on the track and competition and I know it’s going to be a tight race. I am going to watch some of the faster guys to learn and go from there. I am super stoked to be competing in my first HP Hood Oxford 250.”
While not names you would not necessarily associate with the south, both Austin Theriault and Jeramie Whorff have ties to both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Theriault, who grew up in Maine and now lives in North Carolina, was long a fixture on the Maine short tracks before moving on to successful outings with Brad Keselowski Racing and Penske Racing. Theriault just completed a brand new Super Late Model and hopes to be a factor as he seeks his first HP Hood Oxford 250 win. Speaking of wins, Jeramie Whorff shocked the racing world with his 250 win in 2006. Whorff will be seeking his second checkered flag by teaming with the Woodman Racing team. Dicky Woodman made the move down south a few years ago and has gone to victory lane with drivers like Jay Fogleman and Daniel Hemric.
The South will not be the only region featured in Maine this weekend, how ever, as Garrett Evans makes the longest trek of all from Washington State. The multi-time Pacific Northwest Super Late Model champion has traveled over 3000 miles to compete in his first ever HP Hood Oxford 250, a trip that started off with a win at Spokane Super Oval last Friday night. But, Evans is not the first driver to compete at Oxford Plains with ties to the Northwest. Before moving east, Oregon’s Chuck Bown captured the checkered flag for the HP Hood Oxford 250 in 1986 and 1990. Evans hopes to compliment his extensive trophy case by joining Bown as a winner of the 250.
The PASS Super Late Models will not be alone in making the 43rd Annual HP Hood Oxford 250 a celebration of short track racing. A great slate of divisions is set to race starting on Friday, August 26 with the Street Stocks, Outlaws, Rebels, Trucks, Cruisers, Bandits, Legends, and Ladies, plus PASS Super Late Model practice. The PASS Super Late Models be on the track on Saturday, August 27 for practice in the morning, followed by racing in the evening for the ACT Late Models, Valenti Modifieds, PASS Modifieds, Classic Lites, Legends, Mini Stocks, Wicked Good, and Street Stocks. On Sunday, August 28, gates will open bright and early at 7 AM with a full day of on track activities including practice and heat race action for the PASS Super Late Models, followed by features for the PASS Modifieds, Street Stocks, North East Mini Stock Tour, Legends, Rebels, and finally the 43rd Annual HP Hood Oxford 250 to begin at approximately 5:30 PM.
Entry forms for the 43rd Annual HP Hood Oxford 250 can be found at ProAllStarsSeries.com and OxfordPlains.com.
The Pro All Stars Series is recognized as North America’s premier sanctioning body for asphalt Super Late Models and boasts such marquee events as the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Motor Speedway and the legendary HP Hood Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. For media or marketing questions, please contact Alan Dietz at 704-231-2039 or [email protected] Please visit ProAllStarsSeries.com for more information and don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.
-Pro All Stars Series Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com