OXFORD — There’s an old anecdote in racing that reads as follows:

The fellow considering a new race car asks the car builder, “How much is this going to cost me?”

The answer has always been, “How fast do you want to go?”

The lesson here is, simply, “money buys speed.” 

To run the premier class in the fastest equipment, racers will need a big, fat budget.

Today’s Super Late Models, the modern-day version of what used to be called Pro Stock, is a specialized, highly-advanced, built-just-for-racing machine utilizing state-of-the-art components from front to back.

“It costs $500 each week just for fuel and tires, never mind oil changes and body repairs during the summer months,” Auburn native and Oxford regular Kyle Treadwell said. “It usually costs about $10,000 to run a full season.”

Treadwell also says that while they might be expensive to run, they’re also a blast to drive. 

“There is nothing like racing a Super Late Model,” he added. “I’ve been able to race Rebels, Outlaws and Street Stocks. Nothing beats the thrill of driving a Super Late Model, even on a bad night.”

It’s the kind of race car that also thrills race fans with its acceleration, cornering ability, top speed and sleek styling. With soft-compound Hoosier tires mounted on 10-inch racing wheels, the Super Late Model grips the asphalt and turns faster lap times than any other full-fendered vehicle in racing.

“We plan to spend about $500 a week to run our Super Late Model at Oxford on a normal Saturday night show,” two-time champion Shawn Martin said. “That covers tires, race fuel, and entry fees, but doesn’t include any damages or broken parts.

“Luckily, the racers at Oxford have been very clean to race against, which means we don’t have to replace damaged parts very often. I’m also fortunate to have a great group of marketing partners to help with the expenses.”

The Pro Stock era at Oxford finds its roots in the old Late Model Sportsman class. As tube chassis, running gear and engines all started to evolve, so did the premier class at short tracks. The Pro Stocks ran weekly at Oxford until the end of 2006, when former owner Bill Ryan Jr. decided the high costs were impractical.

“We can buy two tires per week, and those are around $166 each,” four-time Oxford champion Tim Brackett said. “Race fuel is pretty expensive; I buy eight gallons every week at $10.25 per gallon. I don’t practice all that much, so I can get by on that amount. I’m sure some guys buy more. 

“It adds up to between $400 and $500, just to be there and do it right. It isn’t for everybody, and without some level of sponsorship, I don’t see how it can be done.”

Brackett won his first title at Oxford in 2005 in the old Pro Stock division. The veteran says that class wasn’t cheap to run, but weekly costs have risen.

“The costs have probably gone up by $200 or so, just because everything is more expensive today,” he added. “Tires, race gas, shock service, it all costs more now.

“I’m lucky to have (son) TJ so involved in the sport, he helps me quite a lot. But he also has his own customers to service, so it isn’t like I have him exclusively. It not only takes money to succeed in this class, it takes the right setup in the car every week.”

From 2007 through 2012, the 250 went through a metamorphosis, being contested in limited Late Models with eight-inch slicks, low-cost shocks and crate engines. Those races featured plenty of side-by-side racing, yet fans still clamored for the return of the big cars.

When current track owner Tom Mayberry bought the facility in late 2012, he immediately set plans in motion to bring the 250 back to its “glory days.” Now a PASS National Championship event that draws top-ranked Super Late Model racers from around the nation, Mayberry may have found that formula.

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Kyle Treadwell
Auburn native Kyle Treadwell powers off Turn 4 at Oxford Plains Speedway earlier this season. Treadwell hasn’t run full-time at Oxford in 2017, yet has in the past. He is well-versed when it comes to the cost of weekly Super Late Model racing. 

Shawn Martin
Shawn Martin powers off Turn 4 at Oxford Plains Speedway earlier this season. Martin has raced for many years at Oxford and knows the cost of weekly racing as well as any other driver in the pit area.  

Tim Brackett
Four-time track champion Tim Brackett, of Buckfield, drives off Turn 4 at Oxford Plains Speedway earlier this season. Brackett, who won his first championship in the old Pro Stock division in 2005, knows how the costs of weekly racing have risen. 

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