Riverhead, NY Mar. 4th.
Riverhead Raceway’s all time leading winning Late Model driver Roger Oxee of Peconic announced early in the off season that the 2016 campaign would be his final season behind the wheel. With that in mind Roger recently disclosed he’ll be sporting a retro look on his machine when the Late Models take to the track for Grand Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night May 7th.
Those who are familiar with Oxee have heard him discuss retirement plans in the past but this time the 64 time winner in the Late Model ranks has assured all those around him 2016 will indeed be his last. The driver also known as “RJ” to those closest to him hopes the retro look in 2016 confirms his retirement. Reflecting back upon how it all started Roger said, “my first venture into racing was back in 1979 running two Bomber races at Riverhead”. “It wasn’t pretty but it was a start”.
Fast forward to May 25th,1985 where Roger Oxee would score his first Late Model triumph with Mark Tooker calling the shots as crew chief. Tooker was himself a championship Blunderbust driver. Another noted crew chief Oxee has worked with over the years is recent Daytona 500 winning crew chief Mike Wheeler of Southold. Along the way Oxee has visited victory lane more than any other Late Model driver but like any good competitor, he is itching to get back to his winning ways noting, “I’ve been stuck on 64 for two years now, we have to change that this year”.
Known for red race cars over the years that often won the Best Appearing Car award annually at Riverhead Raceway, Oxee has announced that this year he is going back to the 90’s and away from red. “For my final year of racing I’m going with a look that was prominent on my Beretta featuring a black paint job. I’ve enlisted Wild Child Designs to put together a special graphic design for my final ride”. Oxee added, “I’m also adding Ryan’s Welding and Fabricating on my car for 2016, they built the Beretta that I enjoyed so much success with”. Tom Ryan of Ryan’s would later move onto building race cars for Hendrick Motorsports where he remains to this day.
Roger was happy to announce the addition of a new marketing partner for 2016 as J&R Steak Houses of Long Island has agreed to back the McBetts Racing Engines powered Pontiac. “I’m very excited to have J&R Steak Houses with us for this season with IGA Food Market of Southold and Sophie’s Rest agreeing to return too”. North Fork Sanitation, Magic Fountain of Mattituck, Eastern Tire, Riverhead Beverage and Village Overhead Door will also return to Oxee’s team in 2016.
“I have to especially thank Richie Gottfried of McBetts Racing Engines my engine builder for 28 years and my career long racing associate Dennis Freese of Oval Speed Unlimited for their lifetime of support” Oxee concluded.
The Late Models will be one of seven divisions of NASCAR Whelen All American Series Grand Opening Night at Riverhead Raceway May 7th. Oxee is hopeful not only to win the 25-lap Late Model race that night but also the season long championship as well. A Fireworks extravaganza is also part of the Grand Opening Night festivities.
For the complete 2016 Riverhead Raceway schedule of events or marketing opportunities at the track please visit www.riverheadraceway.com or call us at 631-842-RACE Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 1:30 pm.