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Bond Suss Reflects on Prestige, Challenge of the Oxford 250

The longtime crew chief considers the Oxford 250 one of the top Super Late Model events in the country.


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Bond Suss has worked with some of the best in racing over the course of a long and storied career, including current NASCAR Cup Series competitors such as Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Erik Jones.

Suss has seen many different tracks and races during that time, but he considers the Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway one of the most special races every year.

Part of the allure of the 250 is its history, from being a major short track event in the state of Maine to an event with national recognition.

“It’s definitely a key race throughout the year,” said Suss. “It’s one of those grand slam-type races if you compared it to golf. The Snowball Derby, the Winchester 400, the Oxford 250 is a race like that. It’s got a lot of history, it pays well. The fan base is really big up there. You drive in and there are campers everywhere.

“Oxford 250, if you go way back, it was a combination of the Northeast,” added Suss. “The Busch North, and the Busch guys would go up there and race in the 80s and 90s, Geoff Bodine, Chuck Bown, guys like that.”

Today, the Oxford 250 routinely draws one of the largest pavement Super Late Model fields in the country. Many of the racers who take part in the event race at Oxford Plains regularly throughout the year, whether in the Oxford Championship Series or Pro All Stars Series.

Their ability and familiarity make it challenging for outsiders to visit Oxford Plains and come away victorious.

“The biggest thing about an Oxford 250 is their local racers are very good at that race track,” said Suss. “There are a few tracks at the grassroots level, where their competition is off the charts. Just last week, we were at Berlin, and they have a great local contingent.

“Oxford is the same thing. You have probably 30, 40, 50 racers from the Northeast there, they’re going to go to Oxford, they’re racing there throughout the year, they’re running PASS races there throughout the year. I think they run there five or six times, PASS does. There’s a lot of buildup to the 250. It’s a tough race to go to.

“You can tell it’s tough because you see some of the traditional Super Late Model guys go up there and really, really struggle. The track is unique. The racing is unique up there. The format is different with the heat races and the blind draw for what heat race you’re in.”

Suss has been to victory lane with one of those outsiders, none other than NASCAR champion Kyle Busch. Busch and Suss won the Oxford 250 in 2011.

“I’ve been fortunate to go there a couple of times with some outsiders, some invaders, you might call it. We won there with Kyle Busch. I think it was an ACT race then. Kevin Harvick has gone up there and won.

“It’s got a lot of neat tradition, and it’s definitely, for a grassroots racer or any racer, when you see a Kyle Busch go there or a Kevin Harvick go there, it’s definitely got a lot of prestige that they’ve want to mark it off their bucket list.”

Tickets are still available for the 50th Annual Spencer Group Paving Oxford 250. Call the track office today at 207-539-8865 to secure your tickets for this weekend’s festivities.

If you’re unable to attend in person, fans can watch the 50th Annual Spencer Group Paving Oxford 250 live on Racing America on Saturday and Sunday.

-Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Ultimate Lap Photo

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April 27-28: Opening Weekend Doubleheader at Oxford Plains