October 15, 2012

Oxford Plains racetrack has a new owner

Tom Mayberry, head of Pro All Stars Series, plans to create a multi-use facility, with monster trucks, motocross and faster cars.

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

OXFORD — Oxford Plains Speedway is being sold to a former racer and veteran motor sports promoter.

click image to enlarge

Racers compete in the 2011 TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. The TD Bank 250, the biggest single-day short-track event in the United States, will continue under the speedway's new owner.

2011 Press Herald file photo/Gabe Souza

click image to enlarge

Oxford Plains Speedway’s new owners hope to bring bigger events to the track.

2012 Press Herald file photo/Tim Greenway

Owner Bill Ryan Jr. said in a news release Sunday night that he had entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Tom Mayberry, owner and president of the Pro All Stars Series, which has been organizing and promoting races throughout the country since 2001.

Mayberry, 51, said he plans to make the speedway into multi-use facility with more major events, including bringing a monster truck and motocross -- think acrobatic dirt bike -- shows to the track.

Mayberry also plans to bring back racing with cars that have bigger tires, bigger motors and travel at faster speeds.

Currently, stock cars are limited to eight-inch wheels, but Mayberry plans to allow cars with 10-inch wheels to compete. The rules will be adjusted so both types of cars can compete against each other in the same race, he said.

"Our goal is to make it so everyone can run," Mayberry said.

Mayberry said the idea of the sale was hatched during a casual conversation about a month ago.

"Over a cup of coffee it just came up," Mayberry said. "We just got talking and one thing led to another. It's amazing how it all came together."

Neither Mayberry nor Ryan would disclose the sale price.

The sale will be finalized this week, Ryan said in a news release.

Ryan purchased an interest in the speedway in 1998 and became sole owner in 2000.

"Tom is a superb promoter and has great ideas and passion and will undoubtedly continue the success we've had over the years," Ryan said in a statement.

"I am confident that under Tom's leadership the speedway will thrive."

Ryan is part owner of the Maine Red Claws basketball team and an investor in the Forefront at Thompson's Point, a $105 million mixed-used development expected to break ground next year.

"All that stuff takes time," Ryan said. "The timing was right."

Mayberry said in a separate statement posted to his website that he was looking forward to his latest challenge.

"Obviously, I grew up attending races at Oxford Plains and eventually was able to race there myself," he said in a written statement.

The biggest single-day short-track event in the United States -- the TD Bank 250 -- will continue under Mayberry's leadership, the release said. The next one is scheduled for July 19-21, 2013.

A swap meet/flea market has already been scheduled for Oct. 25-27, 2013, the release states.

The change in ownership will mean a "major transition period for everyone involved," the release states, with new management working on new divisions and rules for the upcoming season.

Mayberry, who lives in Naples, said he has been going to Oxford Plains since he was 6 or 7 years old, and he raced there off and on through his 25-year racing career.

"Me and my dad were just talking about it this morning," Mayberry said. "It's pretty amazing."

Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

rbillings@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @randybillings

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