OXFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Oxford Plains Speedway, the largest sports venue in Maine and home of the TD Bank 250, is being sold by Bill Ryan Jr. to Tom Mayberry, a former driver turned race tour owner.
"Many, many years ago, I started racing here in Oxford, in '75, in the lower divisions, and I've always been around Oxford all my life," said Mayberry.
He also drove in the 250 back in 1997. Since 2000, he has taken the wheel of the Pro All-Star Series, or PASS tour, working to develop the series here in the Northeast and beyond.
He says he wasn't exactly planning on buying the speedway, but it happened.
"I don't think either one of us really thought it was going to happen, one step led to another, and here we are," he explained. "I'm pretty excited about it."
"[We were] just having a cup of coffee and he said, 'well, if you ever want to sell the place in five years, let me know'," recalled Bill Ryan, Jr., who has owned the track since 1998.
"I think it was just kind of an off-hand, joke-y comment to some extent, and I said, 'if you are serious, let's talk now'. And so we started talking and it was just really a natural thing for him to work into, and for me, I have a lot of other things on my plate."
Ryan also owns the Maine Red Claws, who are about to tip off their 4th season in the NBA D-League, and is working on a $100 million development at Thompson's Point in the city of Portland that includes a multi-use arena, restaurants, a hotel, office buildings and more.
He says he could not devote enough time towards the track and wanted to make sure he found the right person to take it over given how much it means to the sport and the community.
"It feels right. It feels like the speedway is going into good hands," stated Ryan. "I have, obviously, a place in my heart for Oxford. I have been here a a long time and dedicated a lot of my life to it. I have been here the last 14 years."
Mayberry says he will be making changes to the make-up of vehicles that race at the track, but will be meeting with local drivers to make sure the changes don't exclude them from competing.
He says he also wants to expand the types of events the speedway hosts, and envisions hosting monster truck and motorcross shows, possibly a big name concert or two, and would even like to add a large fall flea market to help boost business in the area.
Terms of the deal have not been released, but both men expect to finalize the agreement before the final race of the season this weekend.