The Dixfield native and 2002 winner of the HP Hood Oxford 250 has his sights set on another win in one of the biggest short track races in the country.

“A bunch of us were talking earlier about how time goes by so fast,” Robbins said during media day for the 43rd running of the race at Oxford Plains Speedway on Wednesday. “To be back — we’re racing full-time again — and to have a competitive car, I feel like we could do it just like we did 14 years ago. We’ll see what happens on Sunday, but I think we got a good car.”

Robbins made it into last year’s race, but took home 22nd place out of 41 cars. It was a showing that he said “wasn’t a memorable finish.”

The 2002 race was memorable for Robbins, and he said remembers what it felt like to win. He said a second win so many years later would be sweeter.

Robbins is currently second in the Super Late Model standings at OPS and will be looking for his second victory at the track this year, after winning the SLM feature on June 18.

What went right for Robbins in 2002 is what seems to be going right for him now.

“It kind of feels like where I’m at right now. I had a great team around me, and we were all focused on that goal of winning the 250,” Robbins said. “It was a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication by a lot of people, and I feel like we kind of have that same thing again. Really understanding the car, really understanding the track. We’ve got the right combination, you just need a lot of luck to happen on Sunday I think.”

Luck is something that current SLM points leader Tim Brackett hopes is on his side. The Buckfield native estimated he’s tried to win the 250 about 25 times, and only has a best finish of fourth to show for it. But at least he knows he’s guaranteed a spot in Sunday’s race, thanks to his points lead over Robbins.

However, the car Brackett has wheeled to the top of the standings this season isn’t the one he’ll be driving this weekend. He’ll be piloting the Aspire Higher program car out of Oxford Hills Middle School. Brackett said he tested the car last week, and the team has already made some positive adjustments.

“Every time that I told them what it was doing, they made an adjustment and it went the right way,” Brackett said. “I think I can get up on the wheel on that and go pretty good.”

Brackett might have to fend off his son, TJ Brackett, in order to win Sunday’s race. The elder Brackett said he thinks his son has a “real good shot” to win the 250. Brackett’s daughter, Vanna, raced in last year’s 250, but will be spotting for her father this year.

Confidence in car and crew is a recipe for success in the 250. Just ask defending race winning Glen Luce.

“The equipment confidence was a big boost. We came out, unloaded Friday last year and we were pretty quick at every practice,” the Turner native said. “It also helps when you’re team is backing you. Had a couple great pit stops.”

Luce’s confidence has wavered this season. He won the SLM season opener, but things haven’t gone so smoothly since. He currently sits 12th in the SLM point standings.

Another confidence boost could come at just the right time. Luce said he tested last year’s winning car this past weekend and he was happy with it.

He’s also hoping he’s happy with the draw for Sunday’s race. Same for Brackett, and Robbins.

“It kind of sounds funny, but it’s almost harder to qualify than it is to run the 250 itself,” Robbins said. “You draw good, you have a good day. You got a good car, you have a good day. You draw bad, and you’re in the back of a heat race, you’re going to have to do something to make something happen. That’s what makes it fun though.”

Track owner Tom Mayberry said Wednesday he expects between 60 and 70 cars to attempt to qualify, with roughly 40 making the field. Robbins said he thinks any one of 30 cars could win. Brackett estimated 25 cars are strong enough to win.

Brackett and Luce both mentioned Florida native Dalton Sargeant as a favorite. Former winner Joey Polewarczyk Jr. was another name thrown around. Robbins said to not count out three-time winner Mike Rowe, of Turner.

“It could be a surprise, or it could be somebody that you might expect,” Robbins said. “But I don’t think you’re going to see a better race anywhere in the country than this Sunday.”

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