Contributed by: ACT Staff
Bill Ryan, owner and promoter of the 3/8ths mile speedplant, was quoted in the breaking news story posted on the Oxford site (www.oxfordplains.com), "As our fans know, the TD Banknorth 250 is the crown jewel of our racing at Oxford. The cars have changed throughout the years, but the essence of the race remains the same," said OPS President Ryan. "This decision was absolutely necessary for the good of Oxford Plains Speedway and its competitors and the TD Banknorth 250. Late Model competitors will now be able to run for the big money as the purse will remain the same in 2007. Someone will walk away with the $25,000 first prize plus all of the lap money."
Oxford is the latest addition to a list of numerous New England race facilities that have elevated Late Model cars to their top division. In making the announcement, Ryan made it clear that he expects the trend to continue as track promoters and race teams work together to keep the sport competitive and cost-effective.
Ryan credited Tom Curley, President of ACT, for transforming Late Model racing into the fastest growing headline division in the region.
Reaction by ACT competitors has been enthusiastic and positive, “That’s great news! I’ve been waiting for years to come back and run the `250’, it will draw cars from states that haven’t had driver representation for years,” remarked Milton, Vermont’s Jean-Paul Cyr, a multi-time ACT Champion and current point leader.
Ryan Vanasse, a second year ACT competitor from Warwick, RI has always wanted to race Oxford’s 250, “That’s the biggest race in New England, I’m very excited we’ll be able to race it next year!” he enthused, “Pro Stocks are expensive cars and even though I used to have one, I was never able to make the finances work to go to the 250. The ACT Late Model is an affordable car. Seekonk (Speedway) is also heading toward ACT’s rules for that very same reason,” he finished.
Ontario’s Derek Lynch, who won the 250 13 years ago stated, “I’ll definitely have a car there and I won’t be surprised that there will be over 100 cars, especially with the influx from Canada, 10-15 should make the trip as opposed to the five they had this year. A gap has been bridged at the hand of Robbie Thompson, Ben and Mike Rowe, Dave Whitlock and myself. The conception that it’s a step backwards to move from a Pro Stock to a Late Model has been overcome with the fact that we’ll be running for the same purse in 2007 that Jeremie Whorff won in 2006.”
PHOTO: 2006 TD Banknorth 250 Winner Jeremie Whorff.