Bittersweet Day

Episode #73

September 20, 2015

Bittersweet

Something about the season finale that always gets to me whether it is baseball or motorsports. On the one hand it is good to be putting the cap on another season, yet it is often with reluctance that I do so.

After the last out in a World Series game I typically get nostalgic about the season, the warm days, the close games, and the thought of another great play. It is similar in racing.

These thoughts make me wish the season could go on. It can’t because this is what the events that have led up to this moment have been all about. The crowning of a champion signifies the end of the season.

Damian Theriault  of Caribou on the left and Tom Hale of Westmanland finish one-two in Senior Champ Karts at Spud Speedway. Photo courtesy Janet Bosse

Damian Theriault of Caribou on the left and Tom Hale of Westmanland finish one-two in Senior Champ Karts points race at Spud Speedway. Photo courtesy Janet Bosse

Theriault Senior Champ Kart Series Points Champion at Two Tracks in His Rookie Year

Damian Theriault, son of Janet Bosse and Jason Theriault of Caribou accomplished a feat which I suspect has never been done at Spud Speedway. The 13 year old rookie in the Senior Champ Kart division at Spud Speedway and Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans is points champion at both tracks in this his rookie year.

With a little luck in scheduling, the Caribou Middle School student was able to compete at both tracks on a regular basis. He accumulated enough points to easily win at Thundering Valley and won by a somewhat slim margin (10 points) at the Caribou track.

This required much travel to pull it off. His home track, Spud Speedway is less than five miles away. Thundering Valley Raceway is four plus hours south.

In order to race at both tracks his crew, Mom, Dad, and Grandfather Marcel Bosse, had to make rather large set-up changes to his UltraMaxx kart. The use of a detailed set-up book aided in the transformation from the tight oval at Spud Speedway to the faster more flowing track at Thundering Valley.

Points Champion in Spud Speedway's Junior Champ Kart division Bryan Searles of Presque Isle on left and season finale winner Brayden Thibodeau of Caswell  enjoy a few minutes in the Winner's Circle. Photo courtesy Stephanie Ball

Points Champion in Spud Speedway’s Junior Champ Kart division Bryan Searles of Presque Isle on left and season finale winner Brayden Thibodeau of Caswell enjoy a few minutes in the Winner’s Circle. Photo courtesy Stephanie Ball

Competitors in the Kids Kart Division, left to right Gage Theriault, Limestone, Avery Lloyd, Drummond, New Brunswick, and Parker Bosse of Limestone. HTF Motorsports photo

Competitors in the Kids Kart Division, left to right Gage Theriault, Limestone, Avery Lloyd, Drummond, New Brunswick, and Parker Bosse of Limestone. HTF Motorsports photo

Carl Tucker Street Stock Champion

Street Stock Points Champion Carl Tucker of Presque Isle, in the tradition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, kisses the start finish line at Spud Speedway after the season finale. HTF Motorsports photo

Street Stock Points Champion Carl Tucker of Presque Isle, in the tradition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, kisses the start finish line at Spud Speedway after the season finale. HTF Motorsports photo

Despite not winning the season finale at Spud Speedway last Sunday afternoon Carl Tucker was a happy stock car driver. His consistent finishing record with a win allowed him the win the points championship for the first time. The 50 plus year old driver shouted, “Praise God” as he fired up his Chevy Monte Carlo to head back to the pit area.

Street Stock season finale podium finishers at Spud Speedway left to right Jeff Willette of Presque Isle with his son Noah finished third, race winner Therren McDougal of Fort Fairfield, and JR Howlett with his daughter Jaylee placed second. HTF Motorsports photo.

Street Stock season finale podium finishers at Spud Speedway left to right Jeff Willette of Presque Isle with his son Noah finished third, race winner Therren McDougal of Fort Fairfield, and JR Howlett with his daughter Jaylee placed second. HTF Motorsports photo.

 

Northern Lites Points Champion 14 year old Ian Rasmussen of New Denmark, New Brunswick. The Champion is a Sophomore at Tobique  Valley High School in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Rasmussen is also a defenseman in the hockey team. HTF Motorsports photo

Northern Lites Points Champion 14 year old Ian Rasmussen of New Denmark, New Brunswick. The Champion is a Sophomore at Tobique Valley High School in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Rasmussen is also a defenseman on the hockey team. HTF Motorsports photo

Last Chance Motorsports Team Experience Success at Thundering Valley Raceway

With the rainout on the September 13th a couple of Spud Speedway teams had hard choices to make about where to race this past weekend. Damian Theriault of JRT Customs stayed in Caribou to clinch the points championship. Last Chance Motorsports’ Chase Chandler and Joey Doyon decided to take advantage of the season finale at Thundering Valley.

This was the team’s first foray to the St. Albans raceway. According to team owner Jere Humphrey of Washburn, “Last Chance Motorsports Senior Champ karting team had a decent showing at the American Shoot Out 50 lapper race finale @ Thundering Valley Raceway,despite the fact both team drivers were making their initial appearance.”

“Chase Chandler of Washburn, who drove the #25 WM Jr Trucking Senior Champ racing kart was the 2nd fastest in the time trial qualifying efforts, awarding Chase the outside pole starting position for the 15 lap qualifying heat race. Chase ended up finishing 4th in the heat.”

“Teammate Joey Doyon of Winterport, drove the #25 2 Dave’s World sponsored Senior Champ racing kart also owned by Last Chance Motorsports. Doyon started in 6th position in the qualifying heat and drove up through the field, finishing 2nd in the heat allowing Joey to start the special event feature on the outside pole! ”

The American Shootout feature race was great experience for the County based team, with NO prior laps recorded on the Thundering Valley Raceway racing surface. Both LCM drivers crossed the stripe side-by-side completing the 50 lap event in 3rd & 4th respectively, with Joey making his first visit on the podium.”

” The feature went 44 green flag laps, with only 1 caution early in the race. Both drivers were as high as 2nd position during the race. Track owner, Nate Anderson, congratulated both LCM drivers following the race event in the hot sunny temperatures, saying ‘We just wanted to make you both aware of how well you performed during your first appearance at the karting facility. Most do not adapt that quickly'”.

Austin Theriault 13th After Running Out Of Fuel

After a couple months away from his ride in the #29 Cooper Standard Brad Keselowski Ford F150, Austin Theriault had a decent showing in the American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Theriault ran out of fuel before the scheduled round of pit stops and lost two laps in the process. He never was able to make up the deficit, however, he did benefit from the lack of fuel problems of others near the end of the race. It seemed like no one wanted to win the race as Johnny Sauter, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Larson had to duck into the pits for a splash of racing fuel.

John Hunter Nemechek won his first Camping World race and then ran out of fuel just after the checkered flag. Theriault’s team mate Tyler Reddick finished second despite a black flag for a suspected oil leak.

I will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next Saturday to bring you back stories of not only the UNOH 175 truck race but the Whelen Modifieds and ACT race as well. Looking forward to some great action next weekend.

WAR Ends Season With a Bang

Wyatt Alexander Racing ended it’s season against the wall at Wiscasset Raceway in feature race action last Saturday night. Crew chief Bobby Alexander said, “We finished the season at Wiscasset last night, Sat. 9-19. It was not the finish we expected as an early race ‘check up’ of the field caused damage to the front body work requiring a pit stop to open up the grill and remove tape in order to cool down the engine.”

“At the restart Wyatt immediately made a push from last place to mid-pack, using the 3rd groove like I have seen no one else ever try at Wiscasset. His strategy worked for about 5 laps but as usually happens when racing on the edge, contact with a car he was passing caused a cut down left rear tire. This resulted in a spin off turn 2 and hard contact with the concrete wall by the left front wheel. The results were major damage to the front frame and a trip to the pit ‘on the hook’. The first dnf (did not finish) we have had that required a wrecker to remove the car from the track.”

More of Alexander’s comments in next week’s episode after we meet at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Thanks

As the kart season ends, racing at the Caribou track remains up in the air for 2016. It is difficult to say with any degree of certainty whether the track will be shuttered next year. The silly season has begun with speculation and rumors flitting about.

I would like to thank John Albert and family for keeping the track open for stock cars in 2015. It is often a thankless, grueling challenge to keep the only stock car track north of Bangor open. Keep your eyes and ears open to possibilities and remember to believe only a tiny fraction of what you hear. Stay tuned to this blog for what I find out.

I would also like to thank my marketing partners for this season Aroostook Limousines, Smith Farms Stag Brand Alpha Vegetables, Maine Indoor Karting,  Hale Tree Farms, and HTF Motorsports. I am truly blessed to have such fine folks to work with on a variety of projects. I look forward to trying new things with these folks 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.