OXFORD — Vanna Brackett isn’t interested in making history, but that’s just what she’ll hope to do tonight at Oxford Plains Speedway in the 39th annual TD Bank 250.

The Buckfield native will attempt to become just the second woman driver in history and first since 1989 to start the TD Bank 250.

Brackett drives a car that is co-owned by Winthrop natives Kevin Burgess and Gene Hatch.

“I just want to race,” she said. “I don’t care about being the only girl. It’s not about that. I just want to go out and run it hard.”

Eddie MacDonald would welcome making a little history tonight.

The driver from Rowley, Mass., is just one of eight drivers to win the TD Bank 250 at least twice. Only Mike Rowe, Dave Dion and Ralph Nason have won it three times — a short list that MacDonald hopes to extend tonight.

Both drivers will certainly be challenged.

Brackett, 25, jumped into a Late Model this season after competing in a Strictly Stock car last year at Oxford Plains Speedway. She is 17th in points in the division this season, and now has her sights set on racing the TD Bank 250. Should Brackett qualify, she will become the first woman to start the race since Karen Schulz did so in 1989.

“I’m learning a lot,” Brackett said. “I just want to go out there and run my line. It is all luck of the draw with qualifying. Hopefully, I can qualify.”

MacDonald, meanwhile, faces a hectic schedule this weekend.

He says he doesn’t mind traveling, which is good considering the 900-mile trek he’ll have to make from Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday night to compete in the TD Bank 250.

“I’m used to it,” he said.

MacDonald drives in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour. On Saturday night, he raced in the Jegs 150 at the Columbus Motor Speedway. From there, MacDonald and his crew will travel to OPS for another shot at history.

“We’ll have a little bit of driving to do,” MacDonald said. “We’ll get there about 8:30 a.m. Sunday. It will make it tough without much practice. We’ll scuff the tires and then go race. But we did the same thing last year.”

MacDonald won the TD Bank 250 in 2009 and 2010, becoming the fourth driver in history to win consecutive titles.

He finished fourth last season behind Austin Theriault, Nick Sweet and winner Kyle Busch.

Busch became the second Sprint Cup driver in four years to win the 250 — Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag in 2008.

The 250 historically attracts big names in NASCAR’s top circuit. Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and JJ Yeley all competed in the race since 2004.

This year it’s 2011 Daytona 500 champ Trevor Bayne, who drives for Roush Fenway Racing. Bayne, 21, is racing a limited Nationwide and Sprint Cup schedule this season.

“He’ll have some pretty good equipment,” OPS President Bill Ryan said. “He came from nowhere to win the Daytona 500. He should be competitive.”

The purse this year will pay at least $25,000 to the winner, with the possibility of more depending on number of laps led.

“It’s a lot of money,” said MacDonald, who earned $35,300 for winning the 2009 TD Bank 250 and $29,800 in 2010. “But it’s not only money but it’s the biggest race here. Everyone wants to win it, but, yeah, the check doesn’t hurt.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.