Announcements, Predictions and Results! Phew

Episode 20
September 14, 2014

Fort Kent's Austin Theriault at Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen showcasing Maine lobsters. This business and others will be a key part of his "Maine...Open For Business" sponsored Nationwide car at Kentucky Speedway September 20.

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault at Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen showcasing Maine lobsters. This business and others will be a key part of his “Maine…Open For Business” sponsored Nationwide car at Kentucky Speedway September 20.Photo by Tim Greenway

Austin Theriault makes historic announcement

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault took another giant leap forward in his quest to become a professional race driver in NASCAR when he announced that he will be sponsored by several Maine based companies and government entities at press conferences held Friday in Portland and Bangor.
The event featured representatives from the new businesses that have come on board as sponsors as well as Governor Paul LePage who said this from Theriault’s press release about the event.
“The design of this race car represents what Maine is all about and will bring national attention to our great state,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I’m proud of our ‘Open for Business’ branding and the iconic nature of the photos chosen to decorate this car which represents the best of Maine. And we couldn’t ask for a better driver than Austin Theriault, an inspiring, young go-getter from the County.”

The "Maine Open For Business" car prepared by Austin Theriault's Maine crew to give people a preview of what his #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will look like at the Kentucky Speedway Nationwide race. Photo by Tim Greenway

The “Maine Open For Business” car prepared by Austin Theriault’s Maine crew to give people a preview of what his #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will look like at the Kentucky Speedway Nationwide race. Photo by Tim Greenway

Aroostook Savings and Loan Street Stock left to right. Winner Mark Argraves, Castle Hill, second Bobby Anderson, Limestone, and third JR Howlett, Mapleton. This was Argraves first feature win in 2014.

Aroostook Savings and Loan Street Stock left to right. Winner Mark Argraves, Castle Hill, second Bobby Anderson, Limestone, and third JR Howlett, Mapleton. This was Argraves first feature win in 2014.

Coca Cola Outlaw Sportsman feature, left to right; winner Robert Tomlinson, Arthurette, NB second place John Albert, Limestone, and third place Dillon MacDougal, Fort Fairfield.

Coca Cola Outlaw Sportsman feature, left to right; winner Robert Tomlinson, Arthurette, NB second place John Albert, Limestone, and third place Dillon MacDougal, Fort Fairfield.

Atlantic Open Wheel Modified Tour feature winner, 13-year-old Ryan Messer of Harvey, New Brunswick with Mom, Sharon, on left and Dad, Ron, on right. Second place went to Brandon Skidmore, Springhill, Nova Scotia, and third place was Tom Betts from Doaktown, New Brunswick

Atlantic Open Wheel Modified Tour feature winner, 13 year old Ryan Messer of Harvey, New Brunswick with Mom, Sharon, on left and Dad, Ron, on right. Second place went to Brandon Skidmore, Springhill, Nova Scotia, and third place was Tom Betts from Doaktown, New Brunswick

My Spud Speedway Prediction for the Future

Some people think because I write for a Bangor Daily blog I must have some insider information about the future of Spud Speedway. I must say that what you read on Facebook and in news reports is exactly what track owner/promoter Troy Haney has been saying to me in conversations since January of this year. He has laid it out quite clear what he would like to do and how he will support such efforts in 2015 and beyond. He wants to see racing at Caribou’s Spud Speedway continue.
I heard a couple racers who race at the Caribou track clearly state that they felt welcome at the track and were impressed with the improvements and maintenance of the facility. One was sad that the track was headed toward closure.
Another, who actually races motocross, chastised racers and fans for not supporting the track which was no further than one hour from where most of the local fans and drivers live. He had to travel several hours to get to a motocross track and would gladly have supported something nearer to his home.
You can see track owner/promoter Troy Haney’s prepared remarks he read to the drivers and fans at his final race as promoter last Saturday night. I did not feel like I should post the statement here since most can access the Spud Speedway website and/or Facebook page.

I also wanted to post three race result photos since the future of the track is not certain. This track has allowed me to race, work as groundskeeper, and provided material for this blog. I will miss the track should it not open in 2015 but will continue to race my Senior Sportsman kart, good Lord willing. Haney has stated that the racing kart series will continue. I would not be surprised to see him purchase a kart and race as well.

And now my prediction…
I really do not know what next year will bring for Spud Speedway. I wish I knew because I could also make investments in the stock market that would pay great dividends.
This stretch of 7 years has been one of the longest times in which the track stayed open since it first opened in 1964. It featured a fairly stable set of rules and special events.
Greg Veinote of Newburgh took a track that looked like my lead photo in last weeks blog and literally brought the track back to life from its overgrown neglected state. Veinote deserves much credit for having done this. When failing health forced Veinote to consider selling, race enthusiast Troy Haney took over and with several key helpers was able to continue to build the track into what may be arguably one of the top facilities for stock car racing in Maine. He too deserves credit.
Sooooo… whoever is interested in promoting stock car races in 2015 has a really small window of opportunity to get the details worked out with owner Troy Haney and show the racers that there will be racing in 2015. Anyone who promotes racing at Spud speedway will have a tough time for a variety of reasons which I will not go into today. They must not add to these difficulties by waiting until the spring of 2015 to work out a lease agreement.
The Spud Speedway Awards banquet to be held in November, in my opinion, is the optimum time to announce a lease agreement that is signed and agreed upon by the owner and lessee. That person needs to then meet every racer at their shop or home and let them know they are welcome to race if they fully realize this is for FUN and you will probably get nothing more than a cheap plastic trophy for winning.
He or she must emphasize that they will enforce rules and are in charge and that anyone who is racing at their leased track that misbehaves or has a bad attitude must go home. This is family entertainment and watching grown men and women cuss and swear is not wanted or appreciated.
To find such a person to me at this time appears to be somewhat futile but I am open to surprises. If that person is reading this blog feel free to surprise us all and bring a new attitude to racers and fans in Northern Maine and Western New Brunswick.
If such a deal does take place I hope you will read about it first on this site.

I may be late in posting my Episode 21 blog since Jason Griffeth and I will be at Loudon next Sunday for the Sprint Cup race. I am looking forward spending time with Jason. Say hello if you see us there. Who knows I may use your picture in Episode #21.

Let’s Go Racing!

Tom Hale
Soli Deo Gloria

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing.