The stock car racing buzz across the northeastern US and eastern Canada continues to focus on Oxford Plains Speedway’s recent announcement that the track’s Pro Stock division will be melded into the Late Model class in 2007 and the LM cars will be elevated to the top weekly division. Additionally, the 3/8ths mile speedplant’s crown jewel, the $25,000 to win TD Banknorth 250 will become a Late Model race next year, which makes the ACT Late Model drivers eligible for the big money race.

“That’s pretty cool news,” commented Dave Pembroke, driver of the Second Story Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo and second place ACT point man with eight of 11 races in the books. “News like this is great for Late Model racing. I like the competition that the 250 will bring, I’m certain there will be a lot of cars who’ll attempt to qualify. Personally, I’ve never run 250 laps. Pit stop strategy will certainly come in to play, I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he finished.

Former ACT Champion, Phil Scott, a Vermont State Senator offered these thoughts about the possibility of running the TD Banknorth 250 in 2007, “That’s wonderful news. It’s been a long time coming and bodes well for the future of racing in the northeast. There are a lot of quality racers in Maine and adding the ACT cars as well as the other Late Models in the region will make it fun for the fans to watch. The big thing on everyone’s mind will have to be just getting into the race! The luck of the draw can be critical. There is a tremendous amount of history to the `250’, it will great to part of it.”

Quebec’s Patrick Laperle, didn’t quite believe what he saw when he discovered the news on the Speed 51 website, “I didn’t quite believe it, but then I thought, `This will be great.’ No one will notice a difference (between the Late Models and the Pro Stock cars). I know there will be a lot of Quebec drivers who will come to Oxford for the race, their Late Model cars are so close,” he finished.

Mike Kenyon of Kenyon Racing Products, a car builder near Ottawa, Ontario, sees the move by Oxford Plains Speedway as positive, “We’re definately going to be there (with a car). With the `250’ as a Pro Stock race, there were maybe five or six drivers in line for the win, but with the Late Models, there will be 15-18 who could take home the money, which will be good for the fans. Also, there are more Late Models than there are Pro Stocks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see over 100 at next year’s race.” Kenyon added, “For my business, the (Oxford) news is good. The track in Ottawa is building and the (Late Model) car count is up. I expect that I’ll see an increase in business as drivers look for new cars!”

Jamie Fisher, a past Champion at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road, also believes that the switch to the Late Model car will bring more competitors to Oxford’s TD Banknorth 250 in 2007, “This is really exciting news, it’s great for Late Model racing. There will be a lot of people who will attempt to qualify since there’s $25,000 on the line.”

Worcester, MA driver, Marc Curtis Jr thinks that it will take a different approach but he drivers to be successful in the 250, “Each section of the event will have to be handled differently. Qualifying will be key since there will be lots of cars. The big names will surely be at the 250 no matter what kind of car is being raced. Some of them are guys we race with now on ACT like Ben Rowe. He’s an impressive driver taking down three consecutive wins.”

“Rocket” Roger Brown of Lancaster, NH, winner of this year’s ACT stop at Seekonk (MA) Speedway added, “I can’t wait! To think I have a shot at winning the 250! I would have never had a chance in a Pro Stock. The hard part will be pit stops – we’re not set up for that (right now). It will take five to seven crew guys. But that’s cool. It sounds like the greatest thing,” the 27 year old racer finished.