For half a century, “Racin’” Ralph Nason was a fixture at racetracks across the region.

The only man to win the TD Banknorth Oxford 250 three consecutive years (1998, ’99, 2000) was a controversial figure similar to Kyle Busch’s current status in the Sprint Cup series: an exceptional, aggressive, highly successful talent who wouldn’t hesitate to move somebody out of the way to win a race.

They also aren’t afraid to voice their opinions.

That makes you a lot of enemies, but also endears you to a segment of the population that loves throwbacks to the earlier times in racing and racers like the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., known as the Intimidator.

But the 68-year-old Nason hasn’t set foot in a race car this season and doesn’t have any plans to do so in the near future.

That’s not to say he is sitting idle. Far from it.

He and his wife, Nancy, still own two racetracks: Autodrome Montmagny in Quebec and Unity Raceway. They also have Jim’s Salad as well as New England Auto Parts, an online used auto parts dealership.

Unity resident Nason said the sport has changed in recent years and he has lost interest in it.

“Racing has got to come back into the grip of reality. It costs too much to do it,” said Nason. “Even the Sprint Cup drivers don’t have the same sponsor for every race.

“It’s also too technical. It takes too many technical people to make it really good. Now you have to have an engineer to tell you what to do with your shocks [and other parts] and this and that. It used to be more Yankee ingenuity and the driver,” Nason said.

“It’s not fun any more. They’ve got to make it fun,” added Nason. “And I don’t want to spend the family fortune getting my car back in shape [if it gets wrecked in a race].”

He feels strongly that aggressive drivers are targeted by track officials and are victims of a double standard.

Track officials won’t penalize drivers who spin him out, but will penalize him if he retaliates.

“That goes a long way to taking the fun out of it,” said Nason. “When I was racing, people loved me or hated me.

“Either way, they watched me.”

He still has a Ford Mustang Pro Stock car in his garage that he says is “plenty good enough” to be competitive and race for a win.

But he said in these difficult economic times, you can’t expect quality people like his son and former crew chief Ron to rededicate himself to being involved in a full-time race program at this level.

“[People like Ron] are doing all kinds of stuff. To get them to rededicate to [full-time] racing is a tall order. They want to have a life,” said Nason.

Nason said he “doesn’t believe in retirement” and has a plan to get back involved in racing, but he isn’t willing to divulge his plan at this time.

He did say it didn’t necessarily mean he will climb back into a race car.

He has Autodrome Montmagny on the market and said he is willing to sell it for $450,000.

“It’s cheap money. Everything goes with it except one of the two graders and my camper,” said Nason.

Autodrome Montmagny’s facility includes a 3/8th-mile asphalt track, a 1/5th-mile dirt track and a drag strip. The drag strip will be operational next year.

PASS North title up for grabs

Just 55 points separate the top five drivers in the Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North race at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., on Saturday evening.

Entering the D.J. Equipment 150, Morrill’s Travis Benjamin has a 15-point lead over second- place Ben Rowe of Turner.

Hallowell’s Johnny Clark trails Benjamin by 26 points, Adam Bates of Warner, N.H., is 50 points back and D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, N.H., trails Benjamin by 55 points.

Clark and Rowe are the only two drivers with multiple wins as Clark has three trips to Victory Lane and Rowe has two in 10 races.

There will be two races remaining following Saturday’s race: at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough on Sept. 21 and Wiscasset Raceway on Oct. 4.