Bragging rights are on the line for the staff here at Speed51.com as we approach the 44th Annual Oxford 250. With just less than 48 hours until the green flag waves, it's time for our so-called experts to make their picks for the big race.
Who will take home the $25,000-plus check? According to our staff, it's a toss-up between a trio of drivers who many consider favorites to win the prestigious race.
Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor
Pick: Reid Lanpher
I gotta go with a one-handed driver. Heck, he didn’t even know he did that until we showed him an onboard video on the Speed51.com Video Network. He always runs well at Oxford and came close a couple years ago. Plus he’s got someone who knows the track pretty well as his crew chief, Jason Ricker.
Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
Pick: Travis Benjamin
I picked him to win last year and he came up just short, so I'm going to stick with him again this time around. Benjamin has been consistently fast all year long and as a two-time race winner, he's already admitted that finishing second isn't good enough. I believe we'll see the red No. 7 flying in the outside groove on his way to a third Oxford 250 win.
Pick: DJ Shaw
The last two Oxford 250's have been won by drivers who have come close in at least one previous start, Shaw came close in 2016 with a career best third-place finish, but was disappointed that he was unable to score the win. This year he scored an elusive Super Late Model win at Vermont's Thunder Road and just this past Saturday got a promising win in a 50-lap SLM feature at Oxford. Shaw has all the experience, resources, and determination to make this his year.
Daryl Canfield, Speed51.com / MoJo Photos
Pick: Travis Benjamin
Well, since I am new to the PASS Series and a first timer at the Oxford 250, I had to do a little research. I will pick Travis Benjamin to win the 2017 edition of the Oxford 250. A two-time winner of the event and on a roll, Benjamin is sure to be a contender. A bit of sentimental pick as well as Benjamin and I have both raced wearing the No. 17, so that all together makes Benjamin my pick for this weekend's event. I can't wait to attend my first Oxford 250!
Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
Pick: Ben Rowe
He's been close all season to winning in the north and he tends to step his game up for the 250. He's won the race twice and each time he really didn't have the best car at the end of the day. He was just in the right position when he needed to be. I think that's how this race will shake out; be in the right spot at the right time and you get to take home the trophy. Look for Rowe to win it for the third time.
The Punisher hasn’t been racing much due to his health, but he’s always a threat to win when he’s at the track. His year-long journey has been to prepare for this race and his preparation will lead to back-to-back Oxford 250 wins.
Tom Ryan, Speed51.com Digital Manager
Pick: Derek Griffith
Griffith has won touring series races, but this weekend he's going to grab national headlines with the biggest win of his career. He's the fastest he's ever been at Oxford and he's already won the 200-lap U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model Nationals this year.