Oxford Plains Speedway owner optimistic about TD Bank 250

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted June 30, 2011, at 7:47 p.m.

Oxford Plains Speedway owner Bill Ryan will expand his TD Bank 250 weekend from two days of racing to three days on July 22-24 thanks to the inclusion of the Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North series.

Ryan said the addition of the Brackett Mechanical/RB Performance 150 PASS SLM North race has “allowed us to expand to Friday night.”

Friday night’s race card will include the PASS Modifieds and OPS’ entry-level Acceleration Series.

On Saturday night, the PASS 150 will be held along with some Oxford Championship division races and the Valenti Modified Series race.

On Sunday, the heat races for the 38th annual TD Bank 250 will begin at 2 p.m. and the 250 will be held later that evening. There will also be some Oxford series races.

“I think it’s going to be a good year for the event,” said Ryan. “I’m assuming we will see 70-something cars. It’s always hard to say. The economy isn’t great in rural Maine, where we are. Our drivers come from all over rural areas. It’ll be interesting to see.

“I know the car counts have been good for the American-Canadian Tour and we’ll draw a lot of those guys. And we’ve had good car counts for our Late Model series.”

The highlight will be a double dose of Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch, who is having yet another outstanding season.

Busch finished sixth in the 250 in 2005 due to a late pit stop and 22nd in 2006 when his engine blew.  He led laps in both races. Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass. is the defending two-time champion.

For the first time, Busch will be driving his own Kyle Busch Motorsports Camry rather than hooking on with a local team.

Not only will Busch run the TD Bank 250 on Sunday, he will also run the Brackett Mechanical/RB Performance Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North 150 on Saturday night.

Busch is currently fifth in the Sprint Cup points, just three behind older brother Kurt.

He has two wins and eight top-five finishes through the Cup’s first 16 races. He has also won five Nationwide and four Camping World Truck series races this season.

He has had at least one win in each of NASCAR’s top three divisions every year since 2005 and needs just one more Sprint Cup victory this season to post at least three wins in each division for three consecutive years.

The 26-year-old from Las Vegas has a total of 97 career wins: 21 in Sprint Cup, 48 in Nationwide and 28 in Trucks.

“He wins in everything. It’s incredible,” said Ryan. “Wherever he runs he wins.”

Ryan said Busch informed him he wanted to come up again.

“He has been here before and hadn’t won it and he wants to win it,:” said Ryan. “He runs a lot of short track races.”

Kevin Harvick is the only Sprint Cup driver to win the TD Bank 250 since Ryan began holding the TD Bank 250 during the off weekend for Sprint Cup drivers in 2004. Several Cup drivers have entered it including Kyle’s brother Kurt, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Terry Labonte.

In addition to his success, Busch has also been a controversial figure.

He served a probation earlier this year for a confrontation with Harvick in which Harvick tried to punch him through his car window after the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in May.

Busch was also involved in an altercation instigated by car owner Richard Childress following a Truck series race.

Busch and one of Childress’ drivers, Joey Coulter, were involved in a late-race battle for position at Kansas Speedway. Coulter wound up fifth and Busch was sixth. After the race, Busch tapped Coulter’s truck with his truck to echo his displeasure with Coulter’s aggressive tactics.

Childress confronted Busch after the race and punched him a couple of times.

“Nobody is neutral concerning Kyle. They other love him or hate him,” said Ryan.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/06/30/sports/oxford-plains-speedway-owner-optimistic-about-td-bank-250/ printed on July 31, 2014