OXFORD — Oxford Plains Speedway owner Mike Mayberry addressed concerns of selectmen and other town officials Thursday night about crowd size and public safety for the new Celebration of America 300 race July 2-3 at the track on Route 26.

The 300-lap race includes NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Hemric and previous Oxford 250 winner Bubba Pollard, among others.

The payout is $40,000 and the title sponsor is All That’s Metal, a manufacturer of metal panels and trim in Hermon.

Following a melee at the 2023 Oxford 250, where two officers were assaulted and at least eight people were arrested, Police Chief Rickie Jack, Fire Rescue Chief Ashley Wax-Armstrong and Town Manager Adam Garland said they are approaching the race with questions about adequate first-responder coverage.

Oxford Fire Chief Ashley Wax-Armstrong, left, listens during Thursday’s selectmen meeting as Oxford Plains Speedway owner Mike Mayberry, foreground, talks about a new 300-lap race scheduled July 2-3. Oxford Police Chief Rickie Jack listens at right at the town office on Pottle Road. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

Selectmen approved a mass gathering permit for 1,000 to 4,999 people for the race May 23.

Mayberry said as a first-time race he expects attendance to be well below 5,000. As of Wednesday, about 150 general admission tickets have been reserved, he said.


The 2023 Oxford 250 mass gathering permit was for 5,000 to 13,999.

Trouble started when police attempted to arrest an attendee for driving drunk in the parking lot on Route 26 and a hostile crowd of about 20 people surrounded the scene and threatened police.

“We’ve been seeing online chatter that this was going to be huge,” Jack said at Thursday’s meeting. “It may go above and beyond what the 4,999 people that the permits allow. My concern is scheduling — to be fair to the track while making sure we have enough coverage to deal with what may (happen).”

Wax-Armstrong said her concern is that the low fee being charged for campers during a holiday week may tax the ability of her crew to respond quickly to emergency medical service calls.

Both chiefs said they are wary of overstaffing but also concerned that if ticket sales take off at the eleventh hour, they might not be able to call in off-duty officers and EMTs away during the holiday week.

Oxford Plains Speedway pays Oxford for extra public safety presence; Mayberry said his expense for last year’s Oxford 250 was $30,000.


Selectmen advised the chiefs to plan for extra personnel to be safe, and maintain regular contact with Mayberry’s team for attendance projections as race day draws nearer.

In other business, selectmen approved property tax rebates for four properties totaling $6,775. One rebate application was voted down at the recommendation of tax assessor Colleen Halse.

With a new fiscal year starting July 1, the board continued its practice of annually rotating leadership roles. Selectman Floyd Thayer will succeed Dana Dillingham as chairman. Dillingham agreed to be vice chairman, succeeding Scott Hunter.

Garland reported that in an informal straw poll during the June 11 state primary, 154 people supported switching to voting on the annual town meeting warrant at the polls and 120 preferred continuing voting in person at an open meeting.

The board prefers to continue the open meeting but is willing to consider a format that invites more voter participation.

Garland said he would create a sample ballot based on this year’s warrant articles and research neighboring communities that have done both, and report on his findings at the next meeting.

The board will not meet July 4 and instead convene July 11 at 5 p.m. to consider about two dozen more abatement requests and receive Garland’s updated town manager’s report.

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