Bill Ryan one of eight national finalists for RPM Promoter of the Year

OXFORD, Maine – Oxford Plains Speedway owner Bill Ryan is one of eight national finalists for the 33rd annual Auto Racing Promoter of the Year Award, chosen by fellow promoters in balloting through Racing Promotion Monthly.

Ryan is one of four first-time nominees for the ARPY honor, joining Billy Thomas, East Alabama Motor Speedway; Toby Kruse, Marshalltown (Iowa) Speedway; and Randy & Deb Queensland and their family, Deer Creek (Minn.) Speedway.

“It is an honor to be nominated for Auto Racing Promoter of the Year,” said Ryan. “I have been blessed to have a great team of employees here at the Speedway. Their dedication to short track racing is incredible. I would also like to thank our drivers and fans for their tremendous support. Oxford Plains Speedway has an impressive national reputation due to the quality of the racing and the enthusiasm of our fan base.”

The 2008 season completed Ryan’s first decade as owner and promoter at OPS. During his tenure, the speedway has gained renewed notoriety on the national scene for the growth of its showcase event, the TD Banknorth 250 Presented by New England Dodge Dealers.

NASC AR champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch became the first Sprint Cup champions to compete in the 250 in 12 years when they entered the event in 2004. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Terry Labonte are among the other superstars to compete in Oxford’s crown jewel, with Harvick winning the 2008 classic.

Other highlights of Ryan’s tenure include the introduction of a highly successful, midweek Acceleration Series in 1999, and a complete repaving of the 3/8-mile oval track after the 2002 season. Hundreds of drivers have enjoyed the opportunity to drive a stock car for the first time as a result of the low-cost Acceleration Series.

Ryan and OPS have received two past awards from RPM in 2000 and 2007, both for outstanding continuing short track operations.

The Auto Racing Promoter of the Year is short track racing's most prestigious award. It is awarded each year after voting by promoters. The award was originated in 1976 by the editors of Racing Promotion Monthly, the ideas newsletter for auto racing promoters.

Voting is conducted in two phases. A preliminary ballot in the newsletter nominates candidates in eight regions. The eight candidates become Regional Promoters of the Year and then appear on a second ballot for final voting. Ryan represents New England and the northeast.

Multi-time nominees for promoter of the year are: Bruce Rogers, Grandview (Pa.) Speedway, his third nomination; the Doellefeld brothers, Stateline (Idaho) Stadium & Speedway, nominated fo r the fourth time; Jim Nuckles and family, Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway, nominated for the seventh time; and 2002 Auto Racing Promoter of the Year Lanny Edwards, Devil's Bowl (Texas) Speedway. Edwards won his record 10th regional award and becomes the 10th promoter re-nominated after winning the national award.

Past winners from New England include Anthony Venditti of Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway in 1978 and American-Canadian Tour promoter Tom Curley of Thunder Road International Speedbowl of Barre, Vt., in 2004.

The ARPY will be presented during the 36th annual RPM Promoters Workshops at the Orlando Marriott in Lake Mary, Fla., on Feb. 9.