What looked to be a disaster of race day ended up turning into the finest moment for Cole Butcher and the No. 53 Super Late Model team back on May 7 at Oxford Plains Speedway in the 150-lap Pro All Stars Series feature.
After a precautionary change to a backup engine to start the day only to grenade that one in practice and return to the primary, the Nova Scotia driver had a strong heat race performance to set up a dominating race win, his first competing in the United States.
This coming Sunday at Oxford Plains will be his first PASS race since his win back in May, and while he and his crew showed some serious muscle, Butcher is still weary coming into the weekend despite his excitement.
“Always looking forward to getting back to Maine. I don’t know if it’s stuck with me, Oxford’s Oxford, you just don’t know until you go to first practice. The place is the devil, but we always keep coming back because we love racing there,” Butcher told Racing America.
Of course, this time around the former Maritime Pro Stock Tour champion is hoping to do it without the troubles last time out.
“Hopefully we can do it without any problems this time, but there’s a brand-new motor sitting in the trailer, so we’ll be prepared if we need to. It just shows how good our program is at the shop and how hard the guys are working at the racetrack.”
Usually drivers, even those running full-time for the PASS titles, tend to use the spring and early-summer PASS 150-lap races at Oxford as opportunities to ready themselves for a run at the Oxford 250 at summer’s end. Not so for Butcher and the No. 53 camp.
“Hopefully we can continue what we started there, we haven’t won since on the Pro Stock Tour tearing up racecars. We’re bringing the same car back with high expectations, we’re focused on winning Sunday, we’ll get to the Oxford 250 when it comes time.”
For the most part, Butcher is going on the approach that wins early on will lead to victory in the Oxford 250.
“We like to think so, Curtis Gerry showed that a couple of years ago dominating all year and winning the 250. We’ll see, Kyle DeSouza has been good, Johnny Clark has been good, Max Cookson. Like I said, you won’t know until you get there.”
There is also much more to think about for Butcher than just 3/8-mile Maine oval, as a trip to Indiana and Anderson Speedway next weekend for his first Redbud 400 attempt is also looming near. It’s all apart of a U.S. comeback season since being sidelined for much of the past two years due to U.S. – Canada border closures for COVID-19.
“It’s been fun to travel again. Next week we’re going to Anderson for the Redbud 400, I’ve never been there, it’s on the bucket list. It’s similar to one of our tracks at home that we’ve had success at. I expect a lot from myself and the crew there. then we’ll come back and run the IWK 250 at home. Busy couple of weeks, but I’m excited for it.”