During a five-year period starting in 2000, Scott Robbins had everything going his way. After honing his skills since 1992, on-track success came often as he etched his name into short track racing history.

During that span, he recorded nine feature wins, won the prestigious Oxford 250 in July 2002 and earned the Pro Stock championship at Oxford in 2004. Competing against some of the toughest veterans of that era, Robbins proved he had the skills to make his mark in a highly competitive sport.

From 2005 through 2014, raising a family became his priority. After a part-time effort in 2015, he’s back racing full-time at Oxford this year and back in top form. 

The 43-year-old Dixfield native has one win (June 18) and five top-five finishes to his credit in 12 starts this year and is battling with three-time track champion Tim Brackett atop the overall point standings. 

“When we first came back last year, we ran a few races for RB Performance,” Robbins said. “After that, we ran a few more races for Crazy Horse Racing, but both were part-time deals and we just didn’t have any success.

“My brother (crew chief, Spencer) and I were at a crossroads; we were either going to do our own thing again like the old days, or we were going to be done with racing.”

Robbins’ decision to bring the race team back in-house at the family shop in Dixfield was the right thing to do. The on-track performance with Robbins Brothers Racing proves they’re onto something.

“We had Crazy Horse build us a new car, and went back to the things we used to do when we had so much success,” Robbins said. “Spencer is a big part of my program right now, and a key factor in why we’re running this well. We dug in and figured out what this new generation of car needs for a setup to go fast.

“The cars started changing about the time I stopped racing full-time, so it’s taken us a while to get up to speed. Today, the car is basically dragging on the ground, they run so low, and air pressures are a lot lower to provide more grip. By racing every week, we’ve finally figured out how to get the car set up to run up front. I can’t give away any secrets, but we did hit on something this year that works.”

Ask any team owner or driver in Oxford’s pit area and they’ll tell you how much Super Late Models have evolved in the last four or five years. They’ll also tell you how a “changing of the guard” in recent years has brought tougher competition, with a new batch of young drivers gunning for solid finishes.

“The level of competition is much higher these days when it comes to weekly races,” Robbins said. “It’s a different style of racing. Plus, while while we were away from the sport, the technology changed by leaps and bounds. We’ve had to catch up with the guys already running this type of car for years.

“At the same time, I can’t take anything away from the guys we used to race against. The year I won the 250, I outran Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason on the final restart. The cars may have changed, but I don’t think the competition ever gets any tougher than that.”

While many of the marquee names (with the exception of Rowe) from racing’s heyday have retired, that new guard is filled with aspiring young talent, waiting to seize their own moment of glory. Many have deep pockets behind them, making it tough on the little guy in his own garage with a lower budget.

“The real satisfaction these days comes when little teams like ours can outrun the teams that have full-time employees,” Robbins said. “Some of these guys have big money behind them, so you’ve got to be on top of your game when you unload at the race track.

“The biggest thing with these cars is there is such a fine line between being really good, or out to lunch. It’s not hard to cross that line and have an off-week. You’ve got to stay on top of every detail, and that’s pretty much what we’ve done so far in 2016.”

Local race fans know about the talent of Scott’s brother Spencer, a former driver and owner of Redline Performance Engines in Augusta. A former employee of master engine builder Dave McMasters, Spencer is doing very well on his own. Yet Scott’s brother Ryan is also a talented racer in his own right.

“Ryan was always on our crew back in the early years,” Robbins said. “About the time we got out of it, he started racing an Outlaw car on Wednesday nights. He’s advanced to the PASS Mods now, won the weekly points title at Oxford in 2015 and is doing well in tour points this year. I’m very proud of all he’s accomplished with that Modified. He would make a great Super Late Model driver some day.”

Whenever extra hands are required, the Robbins brothers are always there ready to assist.

“Ryan, his father Kenny and his brother DJ all help us when we have a big race like the 250,” Robbins said. “With the way we’re running this year, Ryan has mentioned how excited he is about working for us during the 250 again changing tires. He and his family have been a huge part of our success over the years.”

Along with his brothers, wife Jessica, and father, Randy, Robbins has a few other highly-valued crew members that keep his team moving in the right direction. His nephews Nolan and Garren Miler, John Murray, Shon Ellis and Sherman Bradeen are all dedicated to the program and greatly appreciated by their driver. 

Scott’s 11-year-old daughter, Grace, is a big reason for the level of enjoyment he’s having in 2016. Born in 2005, she’s seen those trophies from the past but wasn’t around to witness any of her father’s earlier success. 

“When we earned out first trophy early last year, the smile on her face was priceless,” Robbins said. “We didn’t win, but finished second and she was there to enjoy it. This year, with a win in mid-June and other top-three finishes, she’s been right by my side. 

“Seeing her smile is better than winning the 250 or anything else; it’s so much fun. The success in 2002 and 2004 was nice, but doesn’t compare to sharing it with her.”

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