OXFORD – Brad Keselowski, a NASCAR up-and-comer, is 26th in the Sprint Cup standings and leads the Nationwide Series.

He’s won at Talladega and for two consecutive years was named the Nationwide Series’ most popular driver.

He’s also the latest marquee entry to run the TD Bank 250, which can pay the winner more than $30,000 today.

Drivers on Saturday received an opportunity to test their cars, as well as the track, in preparation for the 37th annual race that begins with qualifying heats today at 2 p.m. The race is scheduled to start at 6:30.

But while many drivers fine-tuned their cars hour after hour on Saturday, Keselowski was about 1,300 miles away in Madison, Ill., for a Nationwide race — the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250.

All this raised the question: Who would get his TD Bank 250 car ready?

“We’re working on it,” said Kendall Roberts, an electrical contractor in Barre, Vt. “We’re trying to get it right. When a NASCAR driver comes, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right.”

Roberts, 44, owns three cars, with two entered in a deep TD Bank 250 field that also features Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt.

Roberts owns the No 26 car that John Donahue of Graniteville, Vt., will ride. As for Keselowski’s No. 12 car?

“It’s brand new,” Roberts said. “Last year we gave (OPS President) Bill Ryan a call and said we’d a give a car to Steven Wallace. This year we said if (Ryan) got another big driver we’d do another brand-new car.”

Keselowski certainly qualified as a big driver, so Roberts and his crew put together a new car and prepared it Saturday.

“We’re having tire issues,” Roberts said after the No. 12 car zipped around the track for a few practice laps. “We’ve been fighting the tires. We have to figure that out.”

Donahue, who finished third in last year, test-drove the car.

“His car is running better than mine,” Donahue said. “We’re just trying to make things comfortable for (Keselowski). We’re trying to see how the car will react.”