Nine track championships and 78 career feature victories at Oxford Plains Speedway. The numbers accrued by Norridgewock’s Jeff Taylor at one of the Northeast’s most storied race tracks are as impressive as they get.

Yet, there’s one glaring omission from Taylor’s Oxford Plains resume: An Oxford 250 victory.

Taylor’s 78th win came Sunday in a 100-lap Super Late Model event, a precursor to this weekend’s second Pro All Stars Series race of the season at Oxford and another step toward August’s 47th annual Oxford 250.

“For me, personally, it’s about the 250,” Taylor said. “That’s a personal goal anybody would have. As far as the racing part of it, with me selling the stuff (I build), I want to be confident when I sell pieces to the customer that we have stuff which works.”

Taylor ranks fifth on Oxford’s all-time win list. Only Mike Rowe (152 career wins), Jon Lizotte (113), David Smith (112) and Al Hammond (81) own more. Smith and Lizotte each won more than 80 races in the entry-level Figure-8 division.

That means that Taylor, as his impressive statistics would suggest, ranks on the very short list of the best Super Late Model drivers to ever grace the state of Maine and Oxford Plains Speedway.

He’s taken that success, of course, to Distance Racing Products in Fairfield — the business he took over from Winslow native Stan Meserve in 1998 — to short trackers all over New England. Reigning Oxford Plains champion Curtis Gerry of Waterboro, the 2017 Oxford 250 champion, drives a Distance Racing chassis.

“Why doesn’t everybody have that success?” Taylor asked rhetorically. “With numbers (of competitors) we have, there’s going to be some up front, some in the middle, some in the back. That’s just the nature of it.

“In today’s world, and it’s gone on for quite a few years now, everybody’s got a friend in North Carolina the epicenter of racing, and they’ve all got a buddy who did this or did that and it worked for them. Well, it doesn’t always work here.”

Speaking of work, Taylor admits to being a little nervous about not having enough of it earlier this spring when racing was shut down entirely — like the rest of the sports world — during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Things have started turning a corner toward normalcy, but it’s still not as busy as it traditionally is for chassis builders in the middle of the summer.

“It was a welcome relief at first,” Taylor joked. “It was kind of relaxing knowing when you came to work Monday morning, the yard wasn’t already full with race cars. We’ve been so busy through the years, things were always pretty much taken care of. At the end of the day, I was a little nervous in the beginning, not knowing what may or may not happen.”

The 53-year-old spent some of his free time working on his own No. 88 this winter and spring. The results have been excellent, with two wins in his only two starts of the season.

Taylor also won Oxford’s 50-lap Super Late Model feature on opening night back on June 27.

“Compared to how we previously ran most of last summer (it was surprising),” Taylor said. “We had some success early but then it all went in the crapper. It’s the same thing I tell everybody — my car always comes last. And it snowballed and got so bad, there was no fixing it.”

• • •

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway opens this Saturday for racing for the first time in 2020.

The track will hold open-competition Pro Series, Sport Series and Wildcat division races beginning at 6 p.m. The Pro Series main event is slated for 75 laps.

The three Saturday divisions will follow a Thursday Thunder program at 4 p.m. that afternoon.

Fans will be permitted into the grandstands. The track has made no announcement regarding the number of spectators who will be allowed to buy tickets, only saying it will comply with all mandates currently set by state and local governments.

Wiscasset Speedway remains closed until further notice, while Oxford Plains will race without spectators again this weekend.

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