OXFORD – Jeff Taylor looked over his No. 88 lime green car, wiped his brow and offered the following when asked why he keeps coming back to the TD Bank 250.

“We’ve had a lot of success here,” he said. “But it’s the 250 we’re missing. The years are going by and the opportunities are getting few and far between.”

Taylor competed in his 15th TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, and once again he came up a bit short.

The 45-year-old Farmington driver finished second by about a second to Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
Taylor, who is the all-time OPS leader with nine track championships, has never won the most prestigious stock car race in the state, although he’s come oh-so-close on several occasions.

He has 10 top-10 finishes since 1993, including a second place in 1995 and on Sunday.

Although he didn’t win the race Sunday, a part of him felt like he did.

Taylor, who owns Distance Racing Products in Fairfield, builds cars.

One of his customers?

Joey Polewarczyk.

“He built my car,” said Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., of Hudson, N.H. “He builds one hell of a car. He has it figured out.”

Polewarczyk, who runs full-time ACT schedule, bought his car from Taylor in 2007.

“We’ve been in constant communication since then with the car,” Polewarczyk said.

Taylor had raced just once this season prior to Sunday – an American-Canadian Tour race at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway on April 15.

He battled Polewarczyk throughout the 250, but could never catch him.

“(The car) was OK,” Taylor said. “Obviously, second is pretty good. The one thing we probably do miss we don’t race much now. We had such a good heat we were hesitant to change it.”

Ben Ashline, 21, of Pittston, also drives a car that Taylor built.

“He’s taught me about everything I know,” he said. “He’s built a lot of fast cars. They are all over here. He’s just so knowledgeable and he’s always around. I look up to him, but I’ve kept my eye on him all weekend. He looked fast.”

Taylor said he had hoped his limited racing schedule wouldn’t derail his 250 aspirations.

“We ran just once and that probably wasn’t the smartest way to do things,” he said. “It wasn’t the best way of doing it. But we had an OK car. We have quite a few cars here so as long as one of them wins it.”

Taylor said he had no other racing plans — at least until the 250 rolls around again.

“Honestly,” he said, “it’s not as much fun as I used to have. The time demands are so different now. It’s not the same as it was 10, 15 years ago. But there are worse things to be doing. I know I won’t give up I can’t give up.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640
[email protected]

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