OXFORD – Like most couples, Bill and Brenda Sexton have made some tough decisions. Last year, though, the pair came to a particularly important impasse.

Bill was a drag racer, and there were two options on the table: Either Bill quit racing or Brenda joined him as a driver.

Both were present and accounted for – and putting a foot to a gas pedal – Sunday afternoon at the 25th annual VIP Show, Shine and Drag at Oxford Plains Speedway.

“It was a do or die for me,” said Bill. “It was either A, she gets into this or B, I stop. My father owns everything, and the option of stopping really wasn’t there.”

“Working it out with a family made it tough,” said Brenda. “This is actually the first day we do this without our son.”

Don’t worry, Brenda said, even though he’s only three, he already has a car waiting for him.

“We have a junior dragster ready once he’s eight,” said Brenda. “We’ll see.”

The Sexton’s, who are from Biddeford, drove their Price Rite Fuels/Curro Brothers Asphalt top fuel model dragsters at Sunday’s event – to the delight of the several thousand spectators – despite some rough conditions.

“Normally, cars like these, you don’t want to run on days like today,” said Bill. “The track’s going to get chewed up, and it’s getting hot, but we’re basically beating them up because our sponsors are here. They pay our fuel, and you’ve got to respect your sponsors.”

Brenda has learned quickly, though learning is tough when the car she’s driving reaches speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour on a regular basis.

“I’m better at the start, too, when he’s there with me,” said Brenda. “I think better when he’s there. Once I get good enough to beat him, he’ll be all right.”

But, in the true spirit of a fast learner, Brenda not only drives – and qualifies – the team’s black dragster (with a smaller engine), but also succeeds in the team’s primary ride, a bright yellow top fuel dragster covered in sponsor stickers. Oh, and it has a much larger engine.

“We bought that one, and then bought a bigger engine for this one,” said Bill, pointing to his ride. “We figured then I’ll ride this one, she’ll get the seat time in that one and then move into this one, too.”

“I liked driving (the team’s yellow car) last year, but now, it’s too fast for me right now,” said Brenda.

Sexton Racing had only the two top fuel cars and another, smaller dragster (a 1968 Nova) at the show, but were one of the more talked about teams all day.

But cars, top fuel or otherwise, weren’t the only vehicles flying down the 8/10s of a mile track at Oxford Plains Speedway. Motorcycles, four-wheelers and even snowmobiles shared the track with the top dragsters.

One of those snowmobile teams was Meyer Racing of Naples, which had two yellow and black Ski-do Mach-Z sleds with asphalt-grabbing tracks resting in the shade following the first of two runs.

According to Meyer, the sleds are built primarily to race on grass tracks, though he will sometimes run them in events like the Show, Shine and Drag.

“This more of a test application for the sleds,” said Meyer. “I’m breaking in a new track right now, and it’s not running quite what it should, but that’s why we call it a test.”

Matt Harper, a regular at the speedway’s regular drag racing series, won the overall drag competition Sunday, besting Rob Clark. Jesse Loura followed in third.


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