Oxford 250 Notebook: Seth Holbrook Etches His Name In The History Books

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Glen Luce in Oxford 250 victory lane./Oxford Plains Speedway photo

OXFORD, Maine — No driver has ever won four Oxford 250s, but there was one crew chief standing in victory lane Sunday night at Oxford Plains Speedway who has.

Seth Holbrook of Turner, Maine, joined Luce Motorsports midway through the 2014 season this weekend Holbrook helped steer Glen Luce to victory in the 42nd annual AIM Recycling USA Oxford 250 — Luce’s first touring series victory of any kind and only the second Super Late Model win of his career.

“I’m happy for all the guys on the crew,” said Holbrook, who is co-crew chief with Mark Mosher on Luce’s No. 7. “They’re all volunteers. We weren’t expected to win, but we pulled it out.”

Somewhere in the Oxford 250 history books, there will soon have to be a page for Holbrook and others like him.

Holbrook has twice won the Oxford 250 with three-time winning driver Mike Rowe, in 1997 and 2005, and he led NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch to victory lane in 2011. There have also been near misses — in both 2005 and 2006, Busch competed in the event and had a shot at winning before mechanical failures ended what appeared to be sure wins while competing as Rowe’s teammate.

Luce purchased a car from Kyle Busch Motorsports and Dean Clattenburg during the offseason, and he was consistently among the fastest cars all weekend at Oxford from the time practice began on Friday afternoon. He heaped a lot of praise on Holbrook, who made the decision to go to a lighter — if less powerful — crate engine in order to help the overall balance of the race car.

“We made a lot of changes the last two weeks,” Luce said. “We just dissected it and went over all of our notes. It went better at the beginning of the year when we ran a crate consistently. Seth and everyone really busted their butts.”

Holbrook said this year was different, and winning with Luce’s team was certainly special.

seth holbrook

Seth Holbrook

“This one’s special because I did it with a  bunch of guys that hadn’t won one of these before,” said Holbrook, who credited Tim and Cindy Stevens for giving the team the resources it needed. “Mike Rowe, when I won it with him, he’d won it already in 1984. With Kyle, we had it won in 2005 and 2006, but we broke a brake caliper and blew an engine while leading. We’ve run out of gas with one and a half laps to go with Benji (Rowe in 1996).

“One thing about this race, until the rag falls and she’s black and white, it’s never over.”

In 112 previous starts for Luce, 48, in both Pro All Stars Series and American Canadian Tour competition, he had just 15 career top five finishes in touring events. The Oxford 250 win was his first top five finish of 2015.

Asked when a win like this might sink in, Luce said: “I’ll call you.”

“It will probably be midweek, maybe. I don’t know. Just seeing the guys that happy, that did it for me. Seth’s not a very emotional guy, and Mark’s not either. Seeming them so pumped, that did it for me.”

To say Holbrook isn’t emotional is an understatement. He pondered what would be different for him this week with another Oxford 250 win.

“Well, it’s the first day of bear hunting season,” he said.

LEADERS AND LAPPED TRAFFIC: Restarts over the final third of the race Sunday took their toll on a number of true trophy contenders.

On a lap 192 restart — after all the leaders had made their final pit stops to set up a dramatic run to the checkered flag — Joey Doiron of Berwick, Maine, who had started 35th in the 41-car field via a provisional, got into the lapped car of Scott Robbins going into turn three. It turned Robbins right into traffic, and sent cars sailing in every direction. As the field lined up and headed back to the green flag, Doiron pulled his car to the infield and retired with heavy front end damage.

On lap 199, Trevor Sanborn tangled with Kyle Treadwell going into turn one, essentially ending any shot he or Johnny Clark — who was also collected — had at winning. Clark ended up fourth and Sanborn was 10th, but Clark was still steaming after the race.

“That was just dumb,” Clark said. “I don’t know why (Sanborn) didn’t go to the outside. He just drove right over that guy. I bet there are tire marks right across that guy’s hood. I really thought we could win.”

Via his Facebook page, Sanborn offered: “Finished 10th, had a great car and I ran out of talent. I shouldn’t of raced lapped cars so hard I guess. Big thanks to the Hight Crew.”

NO THREE-PEAT: A rough start to the day got even worse, as Travis Benjamin’s hopes of becoming only the second driver to ever win three consecutive Oxford 250s encountered obstacles at every turn.

The Morrill, Maine, driver started dead last in his 12-car heat race, spun on lap 13 of that qualifier and tried in vain to make the field through all three rounds of qualifying. He earned a provisional starting spot, but he was involved in cautions on lap 32 and lap 51, among others, and ended up 27th, seven laps down…

DJ Shaw of Center Conway, N.H., parked his No. 60 following the final practice session of the day on Sunday. Word was that his team was upset over a penalty handed out by officials during that practice session for failure to maintain a reasonable speed as teams were scuffing race tires…

Notables who did not qualify for the Oxford 250 included Patrick Laperle, who finished second to  Kyle Busch in a PASS 150 race the night before the Oxford 250 in 2011, and Brian Hoar, the eight-time ACT champion…

Eddie MacDonald, Kelly Moore, Mike Rowe, Ben Lynch, David Oliver and Wayne Helliwell all won 20-lap heat races during the afternoon. Lynch, Helliwell and Oliver managed top 10 finishes in the 250.


  1. Doiron blew a motor on the restart.

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