Rally Ho and Racing in Tater Land

Episode 64

July 19, 2015

 

 

 

 

Bangor's John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell of Camden competing at the New England Forest Rally in Newry this past weekend. Photo courtesy Warwick Patterson instagram @formulaphoto

Bangor’s John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell of Camden competing at the New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine this past weekend. Photo courtesy Warwick Patterson instagram @formulaphoto

Huge Names Compete at New England Forest Rally in Maine

Many know the name, Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, and David Higgins who raced in Rally America’s New England Forest Rally this past weekend. You can read all about the results on the bangordailynews.com sports page.

What you may not know is that Last Ditch Racing, based in Bangor,  made the trek to the woods again this year. I am not sure how many years they have competed in the 25 year history of this event, however, I do know it has been several.

The John Cassidy led team has not always finished the event in their shop built Subaru yet few can claim to have as much fun and success. This year was no exception.

Last Ditch Racing's New England Forest Rally 2015 effort came to an end with broken driveline parts on Stage 7 on Saturday. The OK sign signifies that the crew is okay.Photo courtesy Last Ditch Racing

Last Ditch Racing’s New England Forest Rally 2015 effort came to an end with broken driveline parts on Stage 7 on Saturday. The OK sign signifies that the crew is okay.Photo courtesy Last Ditch Racing

The team did not finish the event breaking something metallic during the start of one of the stages on Saturday. Cassidy said,  “We had a great Friday.  New personal record on Concord Pond.  Finished second in the Maine Regional Rally on Friday and second in Open Class.  Today (Saturday)  started well in wet and slippery conditions. Something broke as we attempted to launch on special stage 7, causing us to dnf (did not finish).”

Unlike the professional teams Last Ditch Racing (LDR) works out of Casssidy’s shop with a relatively low budget effort. No hired mechanics work daily on the team car. Volunteers show up when they can assist.

Despite the obvious money gap between the top teams like Subaru’s Vermont Sports Cars and Ford’s Hoonigan Racing and LDR, Cassidy has been competitive sometimes finishing near the top in the Open class and winning regional titles. LDR team works well together maintaining a sense of humor even when adversity strikes. Co-driver Dave Getchell’s comment typifies that sense of humor. With tongue-in-cheek he said, “That there Last Ditch Racing Motul Flowfold Wallets Subaru wuz goin real good til it done blowed up!”

Ken Blocks Hoonigan Racing Ford Fiesta in action at New England Forest Rally this past weekend. Despite a spin on Friday, Block came back to finish second behind David Wiggins and just in front of Travis Pastrana. You might say he was the Ford meat in a Subaru sandwich. Photo courtesy Pete Kuncis

Ken Blocks Hoonigan Racing Ford Fiesta in action at New England Forest Rally this past weekend. Despite a spin on Friday, Block came back to finish second behind David Higgins and just in front of Travis Pastrana. You might say he was the Ford meat in a Subaru sandwich. Photo courtesy Pete Kuncis www.onalimbracing.com

One of the reasons that the winning Subaru of David Higgins is so successful is the hard work of the mechanics at Vermont Sports Cars. Two technicians going over the Higgins/Drew winning car during the between stages repair time called "service" by rally teams. Photo courtesy Subaru rally team USA

One of the reasons that the winning Subaru of David Higgins is so successful is the hard work of the mechanics at Vermont Sports Cars. Two technicians going over the Higgins/Drew winning car during the between stages repair time called “service” by rally teams. Photo courtesy Subaru Rally Team USA

Travis Pastrana and co-driver Chrissie Beavis in the Vermont Sports car #75 that finished third despite electrical gremlins early. This is Pastrana's first rally this year. He is busy with his Nitro Circus Tour. Photo courtesy Subaru Rally Team USA

Travis Pastrana and co-driver Chrissie Beavis in the Vermont Sports car #75 that finished third despite electrical gremlins early. This is Pastrana’s first rally this year. He is busy with his Nitro Circus Tour. Photo courtesy Subaru Rally Team USA

Spud Speedway Northern Maine Street Stock 100

Street Stock racers from all over the state and New Brunswick are preparing for racing action at Spud Speedway's Northern Maine Street Stock 100 with it's purse of over $5000. Photo courtesy of Lynn Martin/Spud Speedway

Street Stock racers from all over Maine and New Brunswick are preparing for racing action at Spud Speedway’s Northern Maine Street Stock 100 with it’s purse of over $5000. Photo courtesy of Lynn Martin/Spud Speedway

Excitement is growing as Spud Speedway gets ready to host what could be the biggest event of the 2015 season at the Caribou track. Racers from across Maine and New Brunswick prepare to invade “Tater Country” in the County.

Here are some of the details from race promoter John Albert, “Sunday, July 26th at 1:30 Spud Speedway will host the biggest Street Stock race to happen in the County in over a decade!”

“Racers from all over the state will travel North to race 100 laps to win their part of the $5000 purse. This race is an Ikey Dorr qualifying race. The winner will be prequalified for the feature event at Speedway 95’s Ikey Dorr Memorial Race (October 4, 2015).”

“The rules will be based of the Ikey Dorr Race and race tires from all Maine tracks and Speedway 660 and street radials are allowed to race.”

” Prizes are as follows: 1st -$1500, 2nd – $1000, 3rd -$750, 4th -$500. 5th -$400, 6th -$350, 7th -$300, 8th -$250, 9th -$200, 10th -$150 and all feature entries that start will receive $100!”

” If you have a Street Stock race car this is a race you don’t want to miss as Spud Speedway is one of the smoothest race surfaces any where. If you are a race fan this will be an awesome race to watch as Street Stock racers put on one of the best shows racing door to door lap after lap!”

” All this race action along with our other classes of racing for only $10. That’s a great deal plus Spud Speedway serves up some great food and fun in a family friendly atmosphere. Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 26th and we will see you at the races!”

The track launched a lap sponsor promotion whereby anyone can sponsor at lap for $25. Twenty eight laps remain as of publishing time this evening. Any person, business, or race team wishing to sponsor a lap are urged to call Erica at 207.540.511 for details.

Loring Timing Association Speed Trials
Some radical cars, motorcycles, streamliners, and exotic cars like this 1969 Dodge Daytona are expected to compete at the Loring Timing Association' The Maine Event July 25-26. HTF Motorsports photo

Some radical cars, motorcycles, streamliners, and exotic cars like this 1969 Dodge Daytona are expected to compete at the Loring Timing Association’ The Maine Event July 25-26. HTF Motorsports photo

First let me apologize for getting the dates for the 2015 Loring Timing Association’s Maine Event Speed Trials. I was looking at June 2015 as I was listing the dates. Duh!

The dates are July 24 through 26th at the former Loring Air Force Base runway. The fastest speeds in Maine are expected to be posted at this event as racers from all across the United States and Canada utilize the Limestone facility to go fast.

Refer to last weeks episode for specifics from LTA officials or check out their website at http://www.loringtiming.com/.

Tractor and Truck Pulls At Northern Maine Fair

Going to be a super busy motorsports weekend for me as I attempt to cover three events and race my Aroostook Limousines/Stag Brands Alpha One Champ kart. The trucks and tractors take center stage as the Northern Maine Fair hosts pulls on Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th.

I will try to continue to follow Tony Robbins and Dylan Conroy’s exploits on the pulling surface. Both are rookies in the pulling sport. Check out the complete class structure, rules and schedule at: http://www.northernmainefairgrounds.com/contests-premiums/contest-rules

Austin Watch

Fort Kent's Austin Theriault continued to work the business side of racing this past week as he toured partner Cooper Standard Automotive's New Lexington, Ohio manufacturing plant. The tour was led by plant manager Darrell Finck. Photo courtesy BKR

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault continued to work the business side of racing this past week as he toured partner Cooper Standard Automotive’s New Lexington, Ohio manufacturing plant. The tour was led by plant manager Darrell Finck. Photo courtesy BKR team

Austin Theriault continues to learn the business partnership of racing as he visited Cooper Standard Automotive in Ohio. The young man works every week to secure working sponsors/partners for the 2015 season and beyond.

I suspect you will find Theriault at the Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio as his team owner Brad Keselowski takes the wheel of the #29 Ford 150. Theriault tries to get to the teams races to learn as much as he can about each track and it’s procedures.

Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) crewchief, Bobby Alexander, will be at the race in Rossburg. He will be my eyes and ears since I cannot be there. Should be exciting as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes it’s only stop at a dirt track. In fact this is the only dirt track any of NASCAR’s big three series will visit. My opinion is that every series needs to visit a dirt track as part of their championship quest.

WOW! A busy time for racing. Don’t forget to take time for your family and….

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.