Girls Can’t Drag Race Snowsleds! Wrong!

Episode 90

January 24, 2016

Spectators at 2nd Caribou Snowmobile Snow Drags. HTF Motorsports photo

Some of the more than 500 spectators at 2nd Caribou Snowmobile Snow Drags. HTF Motorsports photo

Snowmobile Drag Races in Caribou Draws More Than 500

Officials estimated that over 500 spectators attended the 2nd Caribou Snowmobile Club Snow Drags. The pit area was packed with returning racers and their crews. Unlike last year’s race, the weather cooperated with limited winds and temperatures in the 20’s.

Track conditions seemed to allow close racing in several classes. One example is six year racer Mallory Thompson of Caribou. Thompson is a Caribou High School Class of 2010 graduate. After graduation she went on to Northern Maine Community College where she majored in Nursing. She is currently a RN at Cary Medical Center.  Thompson is engaged to Phil Willey owner of Precision Lawn Services of Caribou.

Thompson Racing Team left to right Jay, Mallory, Shelly Thompson of Caribou. They are pictured with their one and only race sled a 1980 Polaris Centurion  500. HTF Motorsports photo

Thompson Racing Team left to right Jay, Mallory, Shelly Thompson of Caribou. They are pictured with their one and only race sled, a 1980 Polaris Centurion 500. HTF Motorsports photo

When the perky Thompson was asked how she developed her love of snowmobile racing she said, ” My Dad! He and I went together to different races. My first race was a radar run in 2008. I have raced at several places including Portage Lake, Monson Pond, and other radar runs.”

Joe Pelletier from Fort Kent in the near lane pairs up against Mallory Thompson, Caribou in the far lane. HTF Motorsports photo

Joe Pelletier from Fort Kent in the near lane pairs up against Mallory Thompson, Caribou in the far lane. HTF Motorsports photo

Fort Kent logger Joe Pelletier provided some competition for Thompson on his 2007 Ski Doo MXZX 440 in the stock class. Pelletier won the race by only .08 seconds. Thompson came back in the Improved Stock 500 class besting Pelletier in the next race.

Thompson was not done yet. After 9 or 10  races which including winning the Improved Stock class, she went on to beat Woodland’s Kendall Sutherland in the Vintage Improved Class finale. She shows excellent form on the sled and exhibits a cool, calm demeanor which can be disarming.

Woodland's Kendall Sutherland in the near lane  defeats the sled owned by his cousin Cody Thibodeau. HTF Motorsports photo

Woodland’s Kendall Sutherland in the near lane defeats the Polaris XC 400 owned by his cousin Cody Thibodeau. HTF Motorsports photo

“My last (snow drag) race was at Winterport some time ago,” stated Sutherland after his first run of the year. “It was pretty exciting. It was my first run of the year on this sled. It was a shakedown run.”

“The sled is a 1973 Polaris TX Star Fire 440 triple. It was built for oval track racing originally. We use it mostly for snow drag racing now.”

My personal observations were that the race organizers have done a great deal to improve the racing for contestants and spectators. The announcer could be heard near the start line, the weather was warmer than last year, the win light lit instantly designating the race winner, and the track looked fast. Hopefully the race organizers were able to make a healthy contribution to the Caribou Snowmobile Club’s Groomer Fund.

Adrian Taurer's Toyota Yaris on the dyno at in Steuben, Maine. Photo courtesy Taurer Motorsports

Adrian Tauer’s Toyota Yaris on the dyno at TDP Automotive in Steuben, Maine. Photo courtesy Tauer Motorsports

Making Horsepower With a Yaris???

My wife drives a Yaris. It gets nearly 40 miles per gallon and has somewhere near 100 horsepower. Caribou’s Adrian Tauer has nearly quadrupled that in his Toyota due to the skillful work and craftsmanship of Jason Theriault of JRT Customs in Caribou.

After spending several weeks hand fabricating a turbocharger and attendant systems, Theriault buttoned up the car and along with Tauer trailered the car to TDP Automotive’s dyno in Steuben to develop a baseline in preparation for more horsepower in the future.

” The session went very well, revealing great potential for serious speed increases,” said Tauer. ” We mainly worked to verify the changes with flow characteristics with the new setup and ensure that it is a solid build.”

“We were able to identify a few small items of interest to address before we head back down and dial in the race tune. We worked on the street tune and have that pretty much on point which allowed us to learn many new things and give us a nice baseline for that race tune.”

“She is running strong and hard I can tell you that.”

When asked about future plans for the car  he replied,”With sponsorships, plans are to run in April and summer at the LTA  (Loring Timing Association).  If all goes well even attend The Texas Mile in October with the goal of hitting over 175mph in the mile. Sponsorships will be key.”

United States Auto Club 2014-15 Silver Crown Champion Kody Swanson with his wife Jordan announce the birth of their son Trevor Michael Swanson on December 28, 2015. Photo courtesy Jordan Swanson

United States Auto Club (USAC) 2014-15 Silver Crown Champion Kody Swanson with his wife Jordan announce the birth of their son Trevor Michael Swanson on December 28, 2015. Photo courtesy Jordan Swanson

Swanson Announcements

My friend from Kingsburg, California now living in Zionsville, Indiana will be driving for one of the premier Sprint Car teams, Hoffman Racing in the Payless Little 500 held the night before the Indianapolis 500. Teams race 500 laps on the paved, high- banked 1/4 mile Anderson Raceway, Anderson, Indiana.

Long-time Daytona International Speedway ticket holder Ted Swartzbinder from Winter Springs, Florida was selected to install the last of the 101,500 new seats at Daytona January 19, 2016. Photo courtesy DIS

Long-time Daytona International Speedway ticket holder Ted Swartzbinder from Winter Springs, Florida was selected to install the last of the 101,500 new seats at Daytona January 19, 2016. Photo courtesy DIS

Daytona Bound!

Local race fan, photographer, and artist Philip Miller of Caribou will be teaming up with me to cover the 24 Hours of Daytona next weekend. Philip and I will be interviewing County native Jason Griffeth who is the new Director of Grounds at Daytona.

Interviews have been sought and several confirmed with the DeltaWing crew, Riley Technologies Dodge Viper team, Turner Motorsports, Stevenson Motorsports, as well as visit Grassroots Motorsports Magazine’s “World Headquarters.

This will be the debut of the new $400 million Daytona Rising project. I will be taking several photos to share with you in future episodes.

Because I have never covered a 24 hour race before, I cannot promise that I will be publishing Episode 91 before next Monday morning. We will see.

The 24 Hours of Daytona will be carried by Fox Sports 1 and 2 beginning at 2:00 pm Saturday January 30. The race begins at 2:40 and gets done obviously at 2:40 pm Sunday. Look on IMSA’s Facebook page for information about coverage.

As a closing note I thought you might enjoy this birthday video from Austin Theriault Racing

Let’s go racing at Daytona baby!

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.