Pro All Stars Series
Ben Rowe Wins PASS at Oxford, Completes Family Sweep of Weekend
Aug 6, 2023
Every year since 1974, Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine has hosted the Oxford 250. The event has seen many different forms, cars, drivers and sanctioning bodies over the years, but it has also seen plenty of star power during that time.
In celebration of the 50th Annual Oxford 250 taking place on August 25-27, 2023, Racing America has assembled a ranking of the top 50 drivers in the history of the event. We will unveil them in installments leading up to the big weekend in August, where you can watch the Oxford 250 here on Racing America if you are unable to attend the golden anniversary event in person.
This week, we see our first three-time winner and crack into the top five of the countdown.
|Starts||Top 5s||Top 10s||Best Finish|
|5||3||4||1st (1980, 1981)|
People not familiar with the history of the Oxford 250 might be surprised to see Geoff Bodine on this list, especially in the top five. Sure, they know he had a very successful career, winning the 1986 Daytona 500 (and 17 more Cup Series races) and the 1987 IROC championship. They might even know about his success in Modified racing during the early stages of his career.
While Late Model racing wasn’t Bodine’s bread and butter, he enjoyed plenty of success when he did take part in those events, perhaps no event more so than the Oxford 250. In five starts in the marquee race, Bodine went to victory lane twice and only missed out on the top 10 once, recording an average finish of 8.2 in the race.
If you read last week’s edition of the Top 50 countdown, you recall what happened in 1980. Bodine, in his first Oxford 250 appearance, battled throughout the race with Butch Lindley. On the final lap, Lindley ran out of fuel, and Bodine had just enough in the tank to see the checkered flag.
One year later, Bodine became the first driver to win back-to-back Oxford 250s. The New York native started on the pole and finished ahead of Robbie Crouch and Jeff Stevens to take the win that day.
Bodine added another top-five finish in 1982, coming home fifth. He finished 10th in 1984, the same year he won three NASCAR Cup Series for the upstart All Star Racing team, which we now know as Hendrick Motorsports. The climb up the NASCAR ladder largely brought an end to Bodine’s appearances in the Oxford 250, although he did return in 1990 and finished 24th.
|Starts||Top 5s||Top 10s||Best Finish|
|18||6||9||1st (1998, 1999, 2000)|
At the turn of the century, no one was a bigger threat at the Oxford 250 than Unity, Maine’s Ralph Nason. The first three-time winner on our countdown, Nason is the only driver to win three consecutive Oxford 250s.
Nason was no stranger to success before the “threepeat,” as he won 11 ACT Pro Stock Tour races between 1980 and 1995 and won the Northeast Pro Stock Association championship in 1996 and 1997. Before that, he even started fifth and finished second in the 1976 Oxford 250, leading 12 laps on a day largely dominated by Butch Lindley.
However, Oxford was feast or famine for much of that time for Nason. Outside of that runner-up showing and a fourth-place finish in 1993, Nason’s best Oxford 250 showing was a 25th-place effort in 1994. The result was deceiving that year, as Nason led 154 laps but finished 28 laps down.
The tide began to shift in 1995. That year, Nason finished eighth in the Oxford 250 and led 36 laps. He matched that effort in 1996, then finished 18th in 1997 before embarking on the three-straight wins.
Between 1998 and 2000, Nason led 460 laps in the Oxford 250. Along with being the first driver to win three straight Oxford 250s, Nason stands as the oldest winner in the event’s history, as he had turned 60 years old in 2000.
Nason stood on the podium again in 2001, leading 114 laps and finishing third behind Gary Drew and Scott Robbins. He added another top-10 finish in 2002, finishing ninth after starting 39th.
-Featured photo credit: Racing America