Dennis Spencer Jr. will attempt to qualify for another Oxford 250, but either way he’s playing a big role in the 50th edition of the race: His company, Spencer Group Paving, is sponsoring the event and helping get the Oxford Plains Speedway ready for Sunday’s race. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The Oxford 250 was just starting its second quarter-century of existence when Dennis Spencer Jr. made his first start in the crown-jewel race at his home track in 1999.

That was the second-biggest race in the event’s history, with 46 cars on the starting grid — a number surpassed only by the 1988 edition that had 47 cars.

As the event celebrates its 50th running this year, Spencer made sure to be a major part of what Oxford Plains Speedway is hoping is the biggest race yet, in terms of pomp and grandeur.

The Turner native is still hoping to race his way in, just like the other 60-plus drivers already on the entry list, but he’s already guaranteed to have his name all over the track and the event.

As the president of Spencer Group Paving, Spencer was approached last year about the company sponsoring the 49th Oxford 250, but he said while that would have been cool, the sponsorship was out of his price range. However, this year he and Oxford Plains Speedway owner Tom Mayberry made a deal: Spencer Group Paving will be the race sponsor and use its equipment and expertise to get the track ready for the milestone 50th Oxford 250.

“This year, Tom came up with a great idea for the sponsorship that made perfect sense for both of us,” Spencer said.


“Dennis Spencer, his sponsorship, mainly, was to make some improvements and do some paving, and some different stuff,” Mayberry said. “And he had someone come in and stripe everything and paint everything, and it looks really good.”

Spencer said that it’s an honor for his company to be part of this year’s milestone event.

“We love to support local short-track racing and youth sports,” Spencer said. “Let’s all pray for sunshine and great weather for this upcoming weekend.”

Oxford Plains Speedway regulars, Dennis Spencer Jr., right, and Johnny Clark, chat Wednesday during Oxford 250 media day at the track in Oxford. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

And for Spencer the race car driver, a little luck.

He’s been competing in the Oxford 250 for nearly a quarter-century, and has made it into the race eight times in that span.

“As a kid, I dreamed about racing in this race, and some day winning it,” Spencer said. “I hope my dreams can come true before I retire from the driver’s seat.”


His dream of making it into the race was realized in 1999, when he finished 19th. He didn’t make the starting grid again until 2007, with a career-best finish of fifth. He placed ninth in 2008, 14th in 2010 and 20th in 2011. He only made the feature one time over the next nine races, a 19th-place finish in 2016.

He’s qualified for the last two 250s, placing seventh in 2021 and 20th last year.

Spencer hasn’t found victory lane in limited action this season — though Super Late Model newcomer Brandon Varney drove Spencer’s backup car to victory in the most recent weekly SLM feature at the track. Spencer does have a top-five finish and three top-10 showings in nine Pro All Stars Series starts. He has cut back some while balancing racing and work commitments.

Nineteen-year-old Kate Re, left, Dennis Spencer Jr. and Trevor Sanborn participate in Oxford 250 media day Wednesday at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

“The crew has been hard at work preparing the cars, and I have been trying to juggle work and obligations to the track,” Spencer said. “It has been a lot of work, and it will be all worth the work on Sunday.”

He will be a busy man all weekend, but he’s hoping to give himself a break Sunday if he can take care of business.

“As a driver, I am hoping for a good draw Sunday and a good heat race. Getting in the race in the heat race makes the day go a lot easier,” Spencer said. “If we can run in the top 10 all day and be around at the end of the day, we will be in contention.”

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