Sophomore Street Stock Driver Looks To Go Out On Top

SOUTH PARIS, Maine – Two weeks ago, Ryan Robbins won his first feature event of the season. On Sunday afternoon, the sophomore driver from Dixfield hopes to lock up the first Street Stock division championship of his career.

Robbins, 28, has a 17-point lead heading into the final race of the season at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine. Racing begins at 2 p.m.

“It’s funny, because I’m a pretty low-key person, even when it comes to the racing,” Robbins said. “We go to the track, we race, we come home. I try not to get all worked up about it. Even when we win, you just try to think about the next week. But when it gets to this point, you get pretty excited about it. We could go out on Sunday and win this championship.

“I just try to think about it like it’s another race.”

The Street Stock division might be one of the most competitive divisions anywhere in New England. Races routinely feature two- and three-wide racing, sometimes several rows deep in the middle of the pack. Two weeks ago, on Aug. 23, Robbins’ No. 9 Dimension Lumber Chevrolet made its first trip to Victory Lane in 2013 and took over the point lead for the first time all year.

It was the third win of his career for Robbins, a graduate of Oxford’s Wednesday night “Acceleration Series.” He won one feature event at Oxford during his rookie season last summer, and he also collected an open win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in September of 2012.

But this season didn’t start out the way last year ended. By the time July’s signature TD Bank Oxford 250 weekend rolled around – featuring three consecutive nights of racing for the Street Stocks at Oxford Plains – Robbins said he seriously considered whether or not it was time to begin making plans for 2014. He is moving to a PASS Modified next season.

“We really didn’t have that good of a car leading up to that weekend. We were like 36 points out of (the division lead), and it was almost, ‘Well, OK. Where do we go from here?’” Robbins said. “We started thinking about (next year), but we just kept digging and here we are. We were able to get a bunch of Top-3s and a win a couple weeks ago. It was just one of those things where we decided to finish the year out and it went our way. We’re pretty excited now.”

Robbins credits his family and Crazy Horse Racing owner Mitch Green for finding some things with the car that helped improve performance. Though they didn’t make a major overhaul of any one thing, they did work on several little things that have added up to the championship lead heading into the season finale.

“The competition in this division is really unreal. Those guys don’t give you an inch,” Robbins said. “They race hard, but you don’t have to worry about getting wrecked, either. The division’s a great learning tool, and I’ve even learned a lot about myself – about how to dig a little deeper. To win the championship, you know you’ve beaten the best in the division.

“Even when we were behind, we never gave up. We just kind of kept going. That’s the reason I want to win the championship as bad as I do – not for me, but for everybody else that’s had a hand in this thing.”