Third-Generation Champion Wants To Make Up For Lost Time
WINDHAM, Maine – The last time Bradley Babb went to the Oxford 250, he worked so hard just to qualify for the main event that his race car had very little left in it by the time the green flag waved.
This weekend, Babb, of Windham, Maine, will try and learn from lessons of the past in the 40th annual TD Bank Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, July 21. Babb, the reigning NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, hasn’t competed in the Oxford 250 since 2010.
“Everybody knows it’s one of the major Super Late Model races in the whole country, and it’s one we have right here in our backyard,” Babb said. “I think everybody wants to win the 250. I can’t really tell you what it would mean until I was actually standing in Victory Lane. It would mean the world to me to be able to win it.”
When Babb – whose father, Bobby Babb Jr., and grandfather Robert Babb Sr., both have Oxford 250 starts on their career resumes – last qualified for this race, he made a dramatic charge from dead last on the starting grid in his first-round qualifying race to make the main event. What he didn’t have, however, were tires that would last. He blistered one of those tires on the race’s initial green flag run and limped home in 28th position.
Babb hopes that doesn’t repeat itself this year as the race moves from ACT-legal Late Models to PASS North Series Super Late Models for the first time since 2006.
“It was cool because I started my heat race last and made the race, then it really stuck because I blistered my tire 20 laps in and we were done,” Babb said. “By the time the caution finally did come out, we were three laps down.
“But I’ll say this – I’d do the same thing again to get into the 250 and not have to go through the consis or the last-chance race.”
Bobby Babb Jr., Babb’s father and crew chief, made five career Oxford 250 starts with a best career finish of 13th in 1983.
In his last two starts at Oxford this season, Babb has twice started on the pole. He finished a then career-best 14th at the track in April, and last weekend in the PASS 150 he finished ninth for his first career Top-10 finish at the track.
If he can keep improving on his performances on the flat, .375-mile oval on the No. 14 Babb Wood Contractors/McGoldrick Bros. Blasting Chevrolet, he could find him in contention to win the Oxford 250.
“Last weekend, for the first third or maybe half of the race, we had one of the best cars out there,” he said. “It just got too loose at the end. It felt good knowing we had a car capable of winning. We know exactly where we were at the end of that race, and we can make small changes to try and get better or we have big things we want to try and see if we can improve on that.
“Either way, we’ll be ready.”