It’s Racing Season in Maine…Finally

Carl Theriault, the fastest car at Loring in 2014, will be making a return appearance at the "Spring Thaw" land speed race hosted by the Loring Timing Association April 24-26.

Carl Theriault, the fastest car at Loring in 2014, will be making a return appearance at the “Spring Thaw” land speed race hosted by the Loring Timing Association April 24-26. Photo by HTF Motorsports

Loring Timing Association Event Next Weekend

Land speed racers in the Northeast begin their 2015 season at the former Loring Air Force Base April 24-26, 2015. The snow is melting revealing one of the best land speed racing facilities in the United States with speeds measured at both the mile and mile and one half lengths. The track also features another mile of shut down.

Last year’s top speed auto runner, Carl Theriault formerly of Caribou now living in Massachusetts, will be working on simply reaching the 200 mph mark. His record-setting 850 horsepower engine met its demise in a recent dyno session. The very capable Jason Theriault of JRT Customs has assembled a small block Ford for Carl which at best will produce horsepower in the 450-500 horsepower range.

Due to Jason Theriault’s hectic thrash retrofitting the small block into Carl’s Mustang, we probably will not see the JRT Customs Nissan pickup at the spring race. It is expected that both Theriaults will have their machines in high horsepower mode for the summer event at Loring.

WAR Starts Season in Sixth at Wiscasett Speedway

The Wyatt Alexander Racing #96 in the twilight at K & B Auto in Ellsworth.  Photo courtesy WAR

The Wyatt Alexander Racing #96 in the twilight at K & B Auto in Ellsworth. Photo courtesy WAR

The WAR team took part in their 2015 home track, Wiscasset Speedway, season opener. The bad weather held off as the Pro-Stock 50 lap feature was won by the veteran Jeff Burgess from East Madison.

County native and Crew Chief Bobby Alexander said, “Car was good in practice. Just a little tight. We found that the Panhard bar mount had loosened and caused the bar to lower causing the push. We had 2 rounds of practice to make adjustments. Started 3rd in the Pro Stock heat and finished 5th.”

“The car was better in the feature. While passing under another car which got loose and spun in front of the 96, he was placed on the rear for being a part of the caution. Wyatt had a strong run to finish 6th in the 50 lap feature.”

Visiting the Alexanders in the pits were Phil Grass formerly from Mars Hill now living in Millinocket along with his son Alan. Grass the elder, raced late models at Spud Speedway in the 70’s. He was probably best known for rolling his race car 13 times on the front stretch at the Caribou track. This probably has never been beaten that I am aware of.

Father and son were going to the twin 150s at Oxford Plains Speedway where Alan Grass is a crewman on the #50 Jeff White car. With the rain out at Oxford on Saturday the pair were able to view the action at Wiscassett.

Historic Twin 150s at Oxford Plains Speedway

Stock car racing in New England took a turn for the better in my opinion when both Pro All Star Series (PASS) and American – Canadian Tour (ACT) raced at the same track on the same day on amiable terms.

I do not know what motivated PASS’s Tom Mayberry and ACT’s Tom Curley to agree to actual race without competing at separate tracks I believe at least a couple of times this year/

As an aging Senior Champ kart racer at Spud Speedway, it did my heart good to read that 64-year-old Mike Rowe won the PASS 150 at Oxford Plains today. Last year’s Points Champ D.J. Shaw was second followed by Tony Ricci, David Oliver, and Garrett Hall.

The race also saw the return to the driver’s seat of Distance Racing owner Jeff Taylor who has not run since July 2012. Taylor placed 19th. He plans to attempt to make the Oxford 250 in August.

Frenchville native Shawn Martin simply summed his 27th place finish saying, “Not a good day at the races. Car just wasn’t where we needed it to be. Back to the drawing board.”

Joey Polewarczyk of Hudson, New Hampshire held off Wayne Helliwell Jr. after a restart 13 laps from the end of the ACT 150. Joey Pole as he is known, ran the middle and high grooves for most of the race but decided to hug the low line after the final restart to force Helliwell to make any moves to get by him on the topside.

Nick Sweet of Vermont placed third followed by Maine’s Emily Packard in fourth and Jimmy Hebert of Vermont in fifth.

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault, now racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, was on hand in the pits Friday to assist Travis Stearns with Stearn’s ACT Late Model. Theriault is the brother-in-law to ACT race winner Joey Pole.

Stearns and Polewarczyk ran both 150’s. Joey Pole placed 31st in the PASS race. Travis Stearns placed 33rd in the PASS race and 7th in the ACT 150.

Miscellaneous Tidbits

One of my favorite drivers is Dan Gurney who raced Indy Cars, Formula One, NASCAR, Le Mans, and Trans Am during his storied career. He won in each of these series. He continues to  work at his company, All American Racers (AAR), which he founded in the early 60’s. Dan celebrated his 84th birthday last week and was presented his front row 1967 Gurney AAR Eagle restored by John Mueller and Jerry Wise.

Dan Gurney is presented his restored front row Eagle from the 1967 Indy 500 at his 84th birthday celebration at All American Racers in Santa Clara, California.   Photo courtesy Racer.com

Dan Gurney is presented his restored front row Eagle from the 1967 Indy 500 at his 84th birthday celebration at All American Racers in Santa Clara, California. Photo courtesy Racer.com

Steve Doody of Washburn, the mobile marketing manager for Joe Gibbs Racing transports both Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth’s JGR Toyotas. After 52 races without a win, Matt Kenseth took the Bristol Sprint Cup race despite taking nine hours and three red flags for rain to be decided. The race which finally finished at 10:30 pm had many twists and turns over the duration of the event.

This is a photo of the Mark Donohue ad that inspired me over the years to utilize  a broom to do some serious thinking while sweeping which I did by arriving early to work during my 38 year career as an agriculture instructor/FFA Advisor.   HTF Motorsports photo

This is a photo of the Mark Donohue Champion Spark Plugs ad that inspired me over the years to utilize a broom to do some serious thinking while sweeping which I did by arriving early to work during my 38 year career as an agriculture instructor/FFA Advisor. I noticed that Austin Theriault does the same at the Brad Keselowski Racing shop in Mooresville, North Carolina.  HTF Motorsports photo

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.