Later race dates, Thursday 'Summer Slam' highlight 2009 OPS race schedule

OXFORD, Maine – In hopes of courting the favor of Mother Nature, Oxford Plains Speedway has announced one subtle adjustment and a major, new wrinkle to its 2009 racing schedule.
After years of traditionally employing a slate that progressed from just after Easter until Labor Day, OPS will unfurl the green flag on Sunday, May 17, with the New England Dodge Dealers ACT 150.
To accommodate that change, the speedway will stretch the season deep into October, concluding with the rebirth of “Halloween on Wheels” on Sunday, Oct. 25.
Speedway owner Bill Ryan also announced the creation of the Oxford Championship Series Summer Slam — three monthly events to be held on Thursday nights. Those programs will feature added distances for all three divisions and will count toward both the season championship and the Agren Appliance Triple Crown.
“Every season we evaluate the weather and the number of race dates, and we try to organize a schedule that will give our drivers and fans the chance to see the most racing in the most comfortable conditions,” Ryan said. “We’re excited about the 2009 schedule because it provides more opportunities to race in September and October as well as moving some of those cold April and May nights to July and August.”
The 2009 season will commence with the traditional practice day for all divisions on Saturday, May 9. Forty race dates dot an ambitious schedule from there, covering the full spectrum of racing divisions and family entertainment.

Some of the highlights:
– The TD Banknorth 250 Weekend presented by the New England Dodge Dealers again will feature three full race programs, beginning with the Acceleration Series and Strictly and Mini Stocks on Friday, July 17. The True Value Modified Racing Series returns for the third-annual Maine-Ly Action Sports 100 on Saturday, July 18, with the 36th annual Late Model summer classic scheduled for Sunday, July 19.
– Summer Slam races are set for three Thursdays: July 2, July 30 and August 20. Each round will feature increasing feature distances of 50, 60 and 75 laps. In addition to being part of two different championship series, those events also will be “Lucky Draw” nights, removing the traditional handicap system from the equation.
“We wanted to create an unpredictable format,” Ryan explained. “The lineups will be different than usual. The races will be longer than usual. And the drivers will have a race two nights later to think about. To win the championship this year, you’ll have to be successful in those Summer Slam races.”
– ACT will begin and end the season. The New England Dodge Dealers Fall Finale is Sunday, Oct. 11, featuring a 150-lap touring event, the 13th annual Little Guy 100s and special events for the Outlaw and Runnin’ Rebel divisions.
– Championship Night for the Oxford Championship Series is Saturday, Sept. 12. There’s added incentive for the Oxford Networks Late Model champion this year. That driver will earn a provisional starting spot in the first-ever ACT event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, sharing the garage area with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Sept. 18-20.
– Maine State Lottery Fireworks Night falls on the holiday this year: Saturday, July 4. OPS again will present fireworks specials throughout the season, falling on May 23, August 1 and Sept. 5.
– Motor Mayhem returns in three installments on two Friday nights, July 10 and August 7, and the Sunday special before Halloween. Each event will have the traditional four-cylinder and full-size enduros. Additional events would be added in the future. Each show will also include an appearance by the Vertical Outlaws stunt bike team. The August 7 event features the return of Rammunition in a monster truck exhibition.
– Fan Appreciation Night is Saturday, May 30, with a pre-race autograph session and rolled-back admission prices: $5 for adults, free for juniors.
– It’s another full season for the Acceleration Series, with two alternating divisions competing along with the Champ Series every Saturday night. The OAS “regular season” runs Wednesday nights from June 3 to Sept. 2.
All regular Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday events will start at 6:30 p.m.
OPS will offer the usual array of season pass options. For more information and a full price list, visit


Saturday, May 9 – Practice, all divisions
Sunday May 17 (2 p.m.) – New Englanfd Dodge Dealers ACT 150
Saturday, May 23 – Oxford Federal Credit Union Night, Championship Series, Fireworks
Saturday, May 30 – 99.9 The Wolf Fan Appreciation Night, Championship Series
Wednesday, June 3 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, June 6 – Sunoco Race Fuels Night, Championship Series, Strictly Stock 100
Wednesday, June 10 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, June 13 – Sun Journal Night, Championship Series
Wednesday, June 17 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, June 20 – Championship Series, Mini Stock 100
Wednesday, June 24 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, June 27 – Championship Seies
Wednesday, July 1 – Acceleration Series
Thursday, July 2 – Championship Series Summer SlamTriple Crown, Triple 50s
Saturday, July 4 – Maine State Lottery Fireworks Night, Championship Seroies
Wednesday, July 8 – Acceleration Series
Friday, July 10 – Motor Mayhem #1
Saturday, July 11 – Championship Series
Wednesday, July 15 – Acceleration Series
Friday, July 17 – Championship and Acceleration Series, no Late Models
Saturday, July 18 – Maine-Ly Action Sports True Value Modified 100
Sunday, July 19 – 36th annual TD Banknorth 250 Presented by New E ngland Dodge Dealers
Wednesday, July 29 – Acceleration Series
Thursday, July 30 – Championship Series Summer Slam/Triple Crown #2, Triple 60s
Saturday, August 1 – Oxford Championship Series, Fireworks
Wednesday, August 5 – Acceleration Series
Friday, August 7  – Motor Mayhem #2/"Rammunition" Monster Truck
Saturday, August 8 – Championship Series, Strictly Stock 100
Wednesday, August 12 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, August 15 – Championship Series
Wednesday, August 19 – Acceleration Series
Thursday, August 20 – Championship Series Summer Slam/Triple Crown #3, Triple 75s
Saturday, August 22 – Championship Series
Wednesday, August 26 – Acceleration Series
Saturday, August 29 – Championship Series, Mini Stock 100
Wednesday, September 2 – Acceleration Series Championship Night
Saturday, September 5 – Polly's Variety Night, Championship Series, Fireworks
Saturday, September 12 – Championship Night
Sunday, September 27 – Acceleration Series Showdown
Sunday, October 11 – New England Dodge Dealers Fall Spectacular, ACT 150, Little Guy 100s
Sunday, October 25 – Motor Mayhem #3/Halloween on Wheels