Canadian Pockets $2500 With Win at Spud Speedway 150

Episode 68

August 16, 2015

Winning the Spud Speedway 150 was St. Stephens, New Brunswick's Greg Fahey, center. Finishing second was Ben Rowe on left and Nick Jenkins in third. Fahey pocketed $2500 for first. HTF Motorsports photo from Tom Hale

Winning the Spud Speedway 150 was St. Stephens, New Brunswick’s Greg Fahey, center. Finishing second was Ben Rowe on left and Nick Jenkins in third. Fahey pocketed $2500 for first. HTF Motorsports photo from Tom Hale

Canadian Driver Wins Spud Speedway’s Powerhouse 150

Driving like he was on rails during the second half of the Spud Speedway 150, New Brunswick’s Greg Fahey lapped the entire field with the exception of second place Ben Rowe and third place Nick Jenkins.

The 15 year veteran racer at Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick has three wins at the Canadian track this season to add to his win at the Caribou track.

Fahey said, “The crew does a great job. They worked hard at it all day long. Made sure the tires were right and they did it! We have a bunch of dedicated guys who know what they are doing.”

“I’m going to try to win the 250 down there (Speedway 660’s Irving Oil Blending and Packaging 250 on September 6, 2015). This will be my eighth attempt at it. I think I’m due.”

“We won the ‘Best of the Best 150’ three weeks ago. That is probably the biggest win for me. We’ve won six championships and the 250 is the only one I have not yet won. I’m going to get it this year.”

Pro All Stars (PASS) regular Ben Rowe finished second in the race driving the Hal O’Neal #8 car. Rowe will be in the same car in three weeks as he also attempts to win the 250 lap race at Speedway 660.

Nick Jenkins from Brownville placed third in the Spud Speedway race. His success was partially due to help from two-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin and crew.

Fort Fairfield’s Connor Thibeau lead the majority of the laps at the beginning of the race only to see his hopes for a win at his home track with a slow leaking tire. He was forced to pit and came out several laps down.

Kurt Thibeau also of Fort Fairfield was one of the pre-race favorites at the track where he has been a multi-time winner earlier in his career. His tires fell off the pace relegating him to a fourth place finish one lap down.

Caribou's Tim Todd prepping tires for the Kurt Thibeau # HTF Motorsports photo

Caribou’s Tim Todd prepping tires for the Kurt Thibeau # 28 Super late Model HTF Motorsports photo

On a side note, Tim Todd of Caribou, a member of the Kurt Thibeau crew, was one of the heroes of the night. The track lights were giving race officials fits when they would not work just after driver introductions.

Todd, the owner of R.L. Todd Electrical, was able to repair the lights and allow racing to go off without a hitch the rest of the evening.

The race was slowed for only two cautions which helped race winner Fahey put most of the field laps down.

Rowe Spotter Steve Tapley Makes Living in Motorsports

I met Steve Tapley of Deering, New Hampshire at the intermission before the Spud Speedway 150. Tapley was sitting in the spectator area on the main straightaway up high. He caught me by surprise since most spotters were in the pit area.

Tapley formerly from the Lewiston/Auburn area makes his living working full-time as a spotter and transporter driver. His primary responsibility is Ben Rowe.

I asked Tapley about their chances for the Oxford 250. He replied, “I think we’re going to be decent at the Oxford 250. At Montagmy, Quebec recently we finished fourth and came to the front. We’re getting our stuff turned around at the Richard Moody owned team.”

About the Irving Oil 250 at Speedway 660 in three weeks, Tapley said, “I think we are going to be awesome. This is our fourth year in the Hal O’Neal car. We’ve had a fourth, a third, and a second. We’re going for the win this year.”

What type of job(s) does Tapley do to work full-time in motorsports? “I’m a full-time spotter,” said Tapley. “I do this and NASCAR K & N level. I drive transporter for a company. That’s all I do is racing. Ben Rowe is my primary responsibility.”

“I’m a contract driver for Ganassi Racing. Last year I took Kyle Larson’s # 42 Cup car to Sonoma which was a pretty big feather in my cap coming from Maine. It was a pretty neat deal.”

“This year in March we had a West coast swing where we did Phoenix, Vegas, and then Fontana three weeks in a row. I took a four car hauler with two Jamie McMurray cars and two Kyle Larson cars to Phoenix and I traded them out for the Vegas cars.”

“They went on to race at Phoenix. We went back to North Carolina, loaded up the Fontana cars, and went back to Phoenix. Unloaded the Fontana cars and brought  them (the Phoenix cars) back to North Carolina while they raced at Fontana.”

Tapley attributes Buxton, Maine native Brandon Black with helping him to land the job driving transporters for Ganassi Racing. He said the folks at the shops in the South like Mainers because they, “Git ‘er done.”

Rookie Enduro racer 16 year-old  Logan Johnson of Washburn won his first feature race at Spud Speedway.

Rookie Enduro racer 16 year-old Logan Johnson of Washburn won his first feature race at Spud Speedway. HTF Motorsports photo

Washburn’s Logan Johnson wins First Feature of His Rookie Year

It is always exciting to experience someone winning their first feature race. It is even more satisfying when they are in their rookie season. I had the privilege to be in the pits when Logan Johnson came off the track, went through the Tech Shed, and was handed his first trophy signifying him as the winner of the Enduro class at Spud Speedway last Saturday evening.

Johnson said, “I started second row outside. Had a caution and the restart helped me out. I moved up to second and was able to start second. I had no problem getting past the first place car.”

What did you think when you went by first place Wayne Fox?

“Bye”, said the Washburn High School Junior. ” The laps kinda went by slow when I took the lead because there is nothing in front of you. I wanted to keep going.”

This was the fifth week of racing for the Thibodeau and Sons Trucking/RTM Racing sponsored driver.

Johnson also mentioned how the team has raised money for scholarships to send adolescents between ages 12-17  to “Camp Adventure” for those diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. The team will be giving away a race car that they have been selling raffle tickets for at Unity raceway August 23, 2015.

Johnson has been able to attend Camp Adventure for the last five years with sponsorship assistance and would like to help others have that opportunity as well.

 

Wyatt Alexander center, makes a couple new friends at Spud Speedway Saturday evening. Left is Junior Champ kart points leader Bryan Searles of Presque Isle and on the right is Noah Coventry of Van Buren who is third in the points standings. HTF Motorsports photo

Wyatt Alexander center, makes a couple new friends at Spud Speedway Saturday evening. Left is Junior Champ kart points leader Bryan Searles of Presque Isle and on the right is Noah Coventry of Van Buren who is third in the points standings. HTF Motorsports photo

WAR Team Makes an Appearance at Spud Speedway

All the Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) team made an appearance at the Spud Speedway 150 even though the were unable to race. They were committed to attend a wedding in Staceyville and were not racing, however, after the event they headed north to Caribou.

Motorsports Hall of Fame’s Bobby Alexander said he could not recall ever watching a race at Spud Speedway from the grandstands so this was a new experience for him.

I will be meeting up with the team at the 2015 Oxford 250 in a couple of weeks as I document their attempt to make the race in Wyatt’s first year in the Super Late Models.

On a positive note, yours truly broke the string of third place finishes I have had in every feature race in the Senior Champ Karts division at Spud Speedway this season. I placed second behind Damian Theriault of Caribou and ahead of third place Chase Chandler of Presque Isle. Racing again next weekend at Spud Speedway. Who knows maybe I will break into the winner’s circle.

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.