Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Episode 40

January 25, 2015

Caribou Snow Drags Huge Success

 

Caribou's Cody Thibodeau with his Ski Doo at Caribou Snow Drags. Thibodeau won this round only to fall in the next round of eliminations

Caribou’s Cody Thibodeau with his Ski Doo at Caribou Snow Drags. Thibodeau won this round only to fall in the next round of eliminations. Photo by Tom Hale

Over 100 snowmobiles took to the line in the Snow Drags held in Caribou today. Despite cold weather and biting winds which made it feel like zero, over 400 spectators watched as sleds ranging from Vintage to the latest and greatest technology paired off at the 660 foot course located at the former Van Buren Road Lodge.

According to event organizer Kurt Dumond, the race drew teams and spectators from Southern Maine and Western New Brunswick. Dumond said, ” It’s absolutely amazing! We got well over 100 entries. It is packed with people throughout the grandstands and pits. Very hard to find a good parking place.”

“We did an exceptional job promoting it (the race). We advertised all over the State and Maritimes. We did receive a few guys from New Hampshire, a couple from Massachusetts, Quebec City, and Nova Scotia”

Dumond continued saying, ” We had a lot of locals. Guys coming off the trails to race. We wanted to get those guys and we did.”

Mike Quimby of Caribou typified the type of racer event organizers wanted to appeal to, the trail rider with their sled.

Mike Quimby of Caribou typified the type of racer event organizers wanted to appeal to, the trail ridder with their sled. Photo by Tom Hale

Mike Quimby of Caribou rides the trails with his 2002 MXZ 700 Bombardier snowmobile. The caribou Drag Races were the first such races that Quimby had done in his 20 plus years of snow sledding. He experienced success in his first round winning by one-tenth of a second.

Quimby and sled operators like him were the type of people event organizers Dumond, Ryan Everett, and Ken Lloyd wanted to appeal to when the first came up with the idea. With the help of 40+ volunteers from the community, Caribou Parks and Recreation, and the Caribou Snowmobile Club they were able to safely  hold the event.

“We had 17 classes of sleds,” said Dumond. ” I was kind of surprised with the number of spectators with this fierce wind. And they are staying here. True race fans.”

Spud Speedway Senior Champ kart 2014 Championship winner Tyler Raymond took his 1997 440 Yamaha Exciter to second place in the 500 cc Vintage class. The Caribou High School senior will also be racing in the  Frozen Motor Mayhem II, the Vintage Snowmobile Racing Festival at the Northern Maine Fair March 14, 2015

Spud Speedway Senior Champ Kart 2014 Championship winner, Tyler Raymond of Caribou, took his 1997 440 Yamaha Exciter to second place in the 500 cc Vintage class. The Caribou High School senior will also be racing in the Frozen Motor Mayhem II, the Vintage Snowmobile Racing Festival at the Northern Maine Fair March 14, 2015. Photo by Tom Hale

In the far lane, 12-year-old PJ Thornton, son of John and Karen Thornton of Woodland, won the 250 cc Vintage class with his Yamaha Bravo snowmobile. He was one of the youngest competitors as well as class winners.

In the far lane, 12 year old PJ Thornton, son of John and Karen Thornton of Woodland, won the 250 cc Vintage class with his Yamaha Bravo snowmobile. He was one of the youngest competitors as well as class winners. Photo by Tom Hale

The races were exciting as competitors matched wits and horsepower to win at the Caribou track. I heard several spectators and competitors say favorable things about the event. My only complaint was the cold wind whose icy breath chilled me. I guess I am not a tough cold weather person.

The next Snow Drag race in the County is February 21 in Houlton followed by the Eagle Lake Snow Drags on February 28th. The season finale in the County will be the St. Francis Snow Drags on March 7th.

Austin Theriault’s New Ride

Austin Theriault on right with team-mate Tyler Reddick with the #29 Brad Keselowski Racing Camping World Truck Series Ford F-150.

Austin Theriault on right with team-mate Tyler Reddick with the #29 Brad Keselowski Racing Camping World Truck Series Ford F-150. Photo courtesy Austin Theriault Racing

Austin Theriault released photos of the BKR Ford F-150 this past week. Theriault will race the #29 Ford in 13 of the 23 races on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015. The full schedule that the Fort Kent native will run can be viewed on Theriault’s website www.austintheriault.com/schedule.

The week was eventful as Theriault prepares for his debut at the 2 1/2 mile high banks of Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2015. He was fitted with his seat insert and accomplished other miscellaneous tasks that are required to prepare for the Daytona track as well as the 2015 season.

The #29 Ford F-150 will carry primary sponsorship from Cooper Standard and Careers for Veterans.org. Theriault will share the BKR Truck with team owner Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney in the other 10 races. The truck team will compete for the NASCAR Owner’s Points Championship for BKR.

Indy Car Homologation Aero Packages Done.

Indy Car aero packages for the 2015 season were due last Sunday the 18th including all computer drawings. The two manufacturers Honda and Chevrolet now produce the actual pieces so that Indy car officials can get true weights and sizes. Team testing with the road course package will be March 16-17, 2015 at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

The speedway aero package will make its debut at the Indy 500 on March 24th. Van Buren’s Philip LaPointe is directly tied to the Honda Performance Development (HPD) work in conjunction with Wirth Research Limited of Bicester, England in putting together the Honda aero packages.

On a side note Chip Ganassi Indy Car and NASCAR drivers combined to win the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race this past weekend. Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon from the Indy Car side along with Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson from the NASCAR Sprint Cup team with Dixon in the seat for the final stint beat Sebastian Bourdais in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Prototype.

On another side note … my FFA/Ag Mechanics teams visited the Ganassi Racing shop every year when we went to the National FFA Convention. These FFA members were able to see the Daytona Prototypes at the immaculate Indianapolis race shop. Proud of this team. They will be leading Fords charge to win LeMans in 2016.

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.