Oxford Plains Speedway Track Facts
Oxford Plains Speedway was originally a 1/2 mile track, 70 feet wide with a four ft. grade in the turns that cost $35,000 to build. It provided a 600 ft. long grandstand with bleacher style seating for 5,000 and parking for 1,000 cars, concession buildings and a pit area. It took all of six weeks to transform 200 acres of lightly wooded flat land into Maine’s most modern racing facility.
Oxford Plains Speedway is now a 3/8 mile paved oval with short straights and wide, sweeping turns. The Speedway plays host to a Saturday night Oxford Championship Series, a Wednesday night Oxford Acceleration Series, and occasional Motor Mayhem events.
The largest spectator facility in the state of Maine (seating for 14,000)
Home to the Oxford 250. With a purse nearing $200,000 and a guaranteed $25,100 to the winner, the Oxford 250 has been hailed as the richest one-day short track race in America.
Important Dates in Oxford Plains Speedway History
- April 1950 – George Damon purchases 200 acres of flat land covered with light wooded growth. Six weeks later the land is transformed into Maine’s most modern racing facility. Harold Small, an engineer from Minot, ME was instrumental in building the facility.
- May 18, 1950 – “Hutch” Hutchins drives to the very first feature win at OPS. “Hutch” drove the #58 for 15 laps averaging 55.6 MPH.
- May 27, 1950 – Oxford Plains Speedway, a 1/2 mile dirt track, is ready for racing.
- July 4, 1951 – Largest crowd assembled in Maine’s history, (12,000 spectators) attend an OPS event.
- 1961 – Damon sells the speedway to local businessmen Hayward Luck, Asa Packard and Thomas Ryan.
- 1961 – Oxford Plains Speedway is transformed from a 1/2 mile dirt track to a 1/3 mile asphalt oval.
- 1964 – Bob Bahre purchases Oxford Plains Speedway.
- 1965 – The original wooden grandstands are torn down and replaced with a steel structure designed to seat nearly 15,000.
- September 25, 1965 – Bill Slater wins the first NASCAR Modified Tour race in Maine.
- July 12, 1966 – Bobby Allison’s earns his first career NASCAR win at OPS. Allison won the original Maine 300 while driving the J.D. Bracken Chevrolet. He was 28 years old at the time.
- July 11, 1967 – Allison also posted his seventh career NASCAR win at OPS.
- July 11, 1968 – Richard Petty wins the 83rd of his record 200 NASCAR victories. The King won the race at the age of 31 while driving his Petty Enterprises Plymouth.
- May 31, 1969 – Mike Rowe wins his first OPS race in the Charger division. The reigning King of OPS would go on to win 146 more.
- 1969 – An NHRA Dragstrip is built adjacent to the Speedway and continues to operate today.
- May, 1970 – Bobby Walker (Ol’ B.W.) announces his first race at Oxford Plains Speedway.
- June 20, 1970 – Carl “Bugs” Stevens wins the first-ever Oxford Open race.
- July 28, 1971 – Gene Bergin wins the Getty Open in a Pinto bodied car. Shortly after, NASCAR approved the Pinto body on Modified cars.
- July 14, 1974 – Joey Kourafas of Sharon, MA wins the first annual Oxford 200. Kourafas came from 19th starting position to earn $4,500 of the $25,000 purse. The race would be expanded by 50 laps the following year to incorporate a pit stop. Since, the race has grown into the TD Bank Oxford 250, one of the premier short track events in the country.
- July, 1975 – The track is paved for the second time a couple of weeks prior to the Oxford 250.
- July, 1977 – Don Biederman from Port Credit, Ontario, Won the “Oxford 250”
- July 14, 1979 – Sallie Graves becomes the first woman to win a Weekly Racing Series event. It was her first of 10 wins.
- 1980-81 – Geoff Bodine wins back-to-back Oxford 250 races.
- 1987 – Michael Liberty purchases Oxford Plains Speedway. Corporate skyboxes and an electronic scoreboard are installed.
- April 27, 1987 – Bill Clark wins the inaugural NASCAR Busch North Series race.
- July 8, 1990 – Richard Petty serves as Grand Marshall for the 1990 Oxford 250. Petty is awarded a plaque commemorating the date as Richard Petty Day at Oxford Plains Speedway.
- 1992 – The track is paved prior to opening day. The widening of the backstretch changed the configuration to a 3/8 mile oval.
- July 5, 1998 – Unity’s Ralph Nason begins his streak of three-straight Oxford 250 championships.
- 1999 – Bill Ryan assumes full ownership of Oxford Plains Speedway.
- April, 1999 – The official Oxford Plains Speedway website www.oxfordplains.com is launched.
- June 16, 1999 – The Big Apple Food Stores Summer Racing Series presented by Texaco brings mid-week racing to Oxford. The four-division series runs every Wednesday night at 6:30pm
- May 20, 2000 – Al Hammond wins the 75th Pro Stock race of his career. The win makes Hammond the first driver to win an OPS feature event in five different decades. Al’s first win was July 4, 1965.
- August 19, 2000 – The International Super Modified Association holds its first race at OPS. Nokie Fornoro of Reeders, PA bests 26 cars in the 75-lap main event.
- August 19, 2000 – Randy Ritskes of Brockville, ONT turns the fastest recorded lap in OPS history. Ritskes and his ISMA Supermodified completed one lap in 13.341 seconds averaging speeds over 100 MPH.
- July 24, 2001 – Freestye Motocross comes to OPS. The stars of the wildly popular X-Games events make their way to Oxford for their only Maine appearance and an unforgettable night of high-fylin’ fun. The show has since become an annual event.
- September 7, 2002 – Jeff Taylor wins a record eighth Pro Stock championship. Taylor entered the evening in a seven-title tie with Mike Rowe and 25 points ahead of Gary Drew. The 1998 BGNN Rookie of the year recovers from a lap 18 spin to place fifth in the feature event.
- October, 2002 – The track is paved for the fourth time.
- January, 2003 – The Speedway announces the start of a Friday night Go Kart Series to begin in April.
- July, 2004 – NASCAR champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch compete in the OXFORD 250, starting a new tradition of Sprint Cup drivers entering the crown jewel event. Kenseth finishes third.
- July and August, 2005 – It’s the summer of the elder statesmen. Mike Rowe, 54, ties a record with his third OXFORD 250 championship, tying a record, while 60-somethings Dave Dion and Al Hammond also make headlines. Dion wins the first NASCAR Busch North Series race at Oxford since 1992, while Hammond wins back-to-back Pro Stock features in July.
- September, 2006 – Jeff Taylor wins his ninth speedway championship at OPS, padding his own record in that category.
- Winter, 2007 – A record 156 drivers pre-register for the OXFORD 250. Ninety-seven will make a qualifying attempt in July.
- September, 2007 – Jean Paul Cyr clinches his record seventh ACT championship at Oxford.
- 2009 – Travis Adams clinches his fourth consecutive Late Model championship (fifth overall) at Oxford.
- October 2012 – Veteran Promoter Tom Mayberry purchases Oxford Plains Speedway from Bill Ryan.
Oxford 250 Competitors from Ontario
Don Biederman wins the Oxford 250 in 1977. This was the biggest win of Don’s career.
Courtesy of Bob Sumak
Bryan Cathcart at Oxford Plains Maine 1984.