Russell Bugbee 1955 – 2016

Episode 112

June 26, 2016

It seems only fitting that Russell Bugbee's ride to his final resting place be on the back of his truck. Peter Joseph Deschaine photo

It seems only fitting that Russell Bugbee’s ride to his final resting place be on the back of his truck. Peter Joseph Deschaine photo

Russell Bugbee October 4, 1955 – June 21, 2016

I know it is a cliche that a person is known for that little dash between their birth and death, however, the passing of Russell Bugbee is such a case. I met him many years ago when my Caribou FFA students and I built and campaigned a modified pulling tractor. I think Russell had built a mini-modified and was showing up in most places where we were those three years in 1979 to 1982.

Once my students and I got out of modified tractor pulling our paths would only cross a few times like at the Northern Maine Fair or other local pulls. I am not familiar with what Russell did those years except what his obituary stated. I will not try to fill in those blanks, rather will interject some words from folks who were near and dear to him.

Hamming it up at the Little Farmers at the Fair exhibit. Jessica Winslow photo

“Horsing around” at the Little Farmers at the Fair exhibit at the Northern Maine Fair. Jessica Winslow photo

Jessica and Lynwood Winslow

“We said goodbye to a Northern Maine Fair Board Member and a great friend this week. Russell was special to many here in the County and across the state.”

“He was so much more than just Truck & Tractor Pulling and he will certainly be missed in so many aspects of our fair”

“Russell, ‘Thank you for your dedication to this organization, the Fairgrounds will never be the same without you!'”

Russell Bugbee in his "office" the drag which stopped many trucks and tractors in it's day. Centreville, New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce photo

Russell Bugbee in his “office” the drag which stopped many trucks and tractors in it’s day. Centreville, New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce photo

Nephew Peter Joseph Deschaine Comments

“Uncle, brother, friend, companion, dedicated are just a few words you could use to describe Russell Bugbee. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more devoted person as he to the motorsports industry.”
“Every weekend he’d be flying down the track as the trucks and tractors of the Maritimes and Maine would see how far they could give him a ride!”
“The truck and tractor pulling community will never be the same. He wore a big pair of boots. And you’ll never find someone to completely fill them.”
Pullers recognize Russell Bugbee at Centreville, New Brunswick Pull this weekend. Peter Joseph Deschaine photo

Pullers commemorate the late Russell Bugbee at Centreville, New Brunswick Pull this weekend. Peter Joseph Deschaine photo

“But the show will go on, and did in Centreville, New Brunswick this weekend. Pullers from Maine, the Maritimes and even Vermont gathered to put on a heck of a show! Just as Russell would have wanted it.”
Russell Bugbee's coffin on the Blue Ox truck. Tom Drew photo

Russell Bugbee’s coffin on the Blue Ox truck. Tom Drew photo

Tom Drew, a dairy farmer from Woodland, was recruited as the track announcer for the tractor and truck pulls and was a good friend of Russell’s and had these comments:

“Over the two-way radio~’Tom! Call for a driver’s meeting at end of the track.'”

“(me) Driver’s meeting at the end of the track…..hurry before Russell blows a gasket.”

“Over the two-way radio~ ‘Tom! Announce that it’s time for the national anthems! Tell them, to stand up and remove their caps!'”

“(me) Ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the national anthems. We ask you, please remove your hats and keep the rest of your clothes on!  Thank you!”

“Over the two-way radio~ ‘Tom! He didn’t make it past the 100 foot mark. Tell them…. he gets to do it over!'”

“(me) Well folks, as long and they don’t go over 100 feet, they can start it over.”

” Folks! Russell couldn’t carry a note in a bucket! The only thing, I can tell ya about Russell Bugbee is if you walk a mile in his shoes your feet are gonna stink!!

” Over the two-way radio~’Keep it up, Tom! Keep it up! I’ll get even!'”

“(me) That’s a pull of 313.63 feet!……IS HE GONNA KEEP IT!!??

“Over the two-way radio~ ‘He’s gonna keep it Tom!'”

“Over the two-way radio~’Tom! Holler for a wrecker! Something let go!'”

“(me) We need a wrecker in aisle 1!”

“Over the two-way radio~’Tom! Don’t forget to thank them for the use of the tractors on those drags and that other equipment!'”

“And I would thank them! I’m gonna miss that!….I’m gonna miss him!”

“Last night this gentle giant of a man, went to bed and never woke up. I’m wondering if he knew how much he meant to everyone?”

“Life sometimes has a not so funny way of showing us time doesn’t wait for our convenience. “

“Call someone! Let them know what they mean to you! Do not take precious time for granted! Life’s moments are valuable.  All bad days come with good moments. Recognize and embrace them! Build off of them! We are here today. Not sure about tomorrow?”

“Last night Russell Bugbee was called home to a driver’s meeting. No doubt he stood for the anthems, he didn’t need to be told to remove his hat and he gave a test pull. Full pull it was determined!”

“He was probably asked, ‘Are you gonna keep it?’ He kept it!…..he kept it.”

“He taught me, that the measure of a man is definitely not the distance of the pull, but more about how gracefully he brushes himself off and holds his head, while he rehooks the chain in life. He will be missed by many. Over the two-way radio~RIP Russell Bugbee”

RYAN Motorsports Wins Number Two in 2016

Ryan Messer poses with Pierson Smith in Victory Lane at Speedway 660 last Saturday evening. RYAN Motorsports photo

Ryan Messer of Harvey, New Brunswick poses with Pierson Smith in Victory Lane at Speedway 660 last Saturday evening. RYAN Motorsports photo

 

Ryan Messer of Harvey, New Brunswick took his second feature race of the season in the Late Model Sportsman class at Speedway 660 in Geary, New Brunswick. The fifteen year old came off a couple of rough weekends where his car was damaged in on-track incidences.

His father and crew chief Robb Messer had this to say about the win, “We had a really good car last night. We started deep in the field and there was quite a bit a jockeying for position in the early laps.”
“Fortunately we got into the right line and were able to move forward. Ryan got to the lead and built up a good margin on the #23 of Drew Greenlaw when a caution came out at about midway.”
“Drew had been a little quicker than Ryan all day, but on the restart Ryan was able to pull away and lead the rest of the way. It’s really rewarding as we’ve had a good car the last couple weeks but just couldn’t get the finishes.”
“The whole team is even more grateful that as we head into our first off-week of the season with a car that is in one piece!! Really looking forward to a few days of down time. A huge ‘Thank You’ to all of our family, sponsors, friends and fans (big & little) that support us!”
County Karts Head South Again
A gaggle of kart racers took advantage of a three week lull in action at Spud Speedway and headed south this past weekend to compete at a variety of tracks including Richmond Karting Speedway in Richmond, Speedway Karting in Hermon, and Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans.
By far the most ambitious were Team JRT of Caribou and BAS Racing of Presque Isle as they ran at four racetracks in three days. The team competed at Richmond Friday evening, Speedway Karting Saturday Morning, Thundering Valley Saturday afternoon, and again at Richmond on Sunday.
Team JRT and BAS Racing race results from Friday at Richmond Karting Speedway found Presque Isle’s Bryan Searles 4th in Box Stock,  Caribou’s Jason Theriault 4th in Senior Sportsman, and Caribou’s Damian Theriault 3rd in Animal Engine class.
Speedway Karting in Hermon had the most County participants.
Limestone's Gage theriault placed first in Kids Kart class with Hampden's Austin Beale and Glenburn's McKenzie Butler joint him on the podium. Gage Theriault Racing photo

Limestone’s Gage Theriault placed first in Kids Kart class with Hampden’s Austin Beale and Glenburn’s McKenzie Butler joining him on the podium. Gage Theriault Racing photo

Junior Champ karts at Speedway l to r Bryan Searles 2nd, Noah Alexander winner, and Hunter Bennett 3rd. Team JRT photo

Junior Champ karts at Speedway Karting l to r Bryan Searles 2nd, Noah Alexander winner, and Hunter Bennett 3rd. Team JRT photo

Senior Champ class at Speedway Karting l to r Danielle Beale, Hampden 3rd, Chase Chandler, Crouseville 2nd and Jason Theriault, Caribou 1st. Team JRT photo

Senior Champ class at Speedway Karting l to r Danielle Beale, Hampden 3rd, Chase Chandler, Crouseville 2nd and Jason Theriault, Caribou 1st. Team JRT photo

Sunday action at Richmond Karting Speedway Animal Engine class, Marcel Bossie 4th, Nathan Barth 2nd, Spencer Barth 1st and Damian Theriault 3rd. Team JRT photo

Sunday action at Richmond Karting Speedway Animal Engine class, Marcel Bossie 4th, Nathan Barth 2nd, Spencer Barth 1st and Damian Theriault 3rd. Team JRT photo

Jere Humphrey’s Last Chance Motorsports Four Day Motorsports Events

Don’t forget the Houlton Fair is the place to be if you want to participate in or watch local motorsports events as Last Chance Motorsports presents four days of action in conjunction with the Houlton Fair.

Events include Jeep Jamboree Friday, Demolition Derby Saturday, ATV & UTV Drag Races Sunday, Tuff Truck and Show N’Go Long Jump Challenge on Monday. For more information go to Last Chance Motorsports’ Facebook page or www.houltonfair.com

Miscellaneous Motorsports Around the States

Tanner Swanson and his wife Allison in Victory Circle at the USAC Silver Crown race at Gateway Raceway Park. Tanner Swanson is 2 for 2 in asphalt races on the Silver Crown circuit this year. His brother Kody hit the wall hard early in the race when his throttle stuck. He was okay but now is 11 points behind Christopher Windom who placed second. TK Motorsports photo

Tanner Swanson and his wife Allison in Victory Circle at the Vattercott College USAC “Silver Crown Showdown” race at 1.25 mile Gateway Motorsports Park. Tanner Swanson is 2 for 2 in asphalt races on the Silver Crown circuit this year. His brother Kody hit the wall hard early in the race when his throttle stuck. He was okay but now is 11 points behind Christopher Windom who placed second. TK Motorsports photo

 

Tony Wins!

You have to watch the video of the last lap at Sonoma and look at the words of Tony Stewart at the press conference here courtesy of Chevy Racing:

“Well, I’ll go back a lap before because I think that set up the last lap, to be honest.  When I went down in (turn) 7 the second‑to‑last lap, I wheel hopped it pretty big and Denny got right to us there.”

“We held him off through the rest of the lap and the first half of the last lap, and then he was really close to us off of 4, enough that I knew I couldn’t help but cheat the corner.”

” I gave him the whole outside.  If he wanted to go around me on the outside, I was going to give him all the room he wanted but I wasn’t going to give him the inside.”

” But I went down and wheel hopped it again, and he saw it from the lap before and he knew he needed to take advantage of that.  I assume he did.  He got us there.”

“But when he went by us, that was probably the one thing I was most proud of is I didn’t panic and jump in the gas and spin the tires real hard trying to stay with him and just trying to get off the corner like I had and just tried to stay with him through the corner there and get through 10 and thought maybe we could stay close enough that we could have a shot back at him.”

“When he went into 11 I was probably more surprised than anybody.  I couldn’t believe ‑‑ as good as he was braking into 11 all day, I couldn’t believe he missed the corner.”

” They said he wheel hopped it, but I was shocked that the door was open like that.  You can’t crack the door open with me on the last corner of the last lap and expect me to not take it.  I’ll kick the door in or drive a bulldozer through it to keep it open.”

“When you’re in a scenario like that, I don’t know if I’m going to get another scenario or opportunity to win another race the rest of the year.  We’re going to try, but knowing that that could be the difference between making the Chase or not making the Chase, I wasn’t going to be cordial in the exit of the corner and I roughed him up pretty good.”

” If it has been a street fight, he’d have had two black eyes after that.  I used him up pretty hard.  Probably one of the best parts and one of the parts I’ll probably remember most about this race was before I got to victory lane and Denny leaning in there and the first thing he says is I’m so damned proud of you.”

“That meant the world to me.  I mean, I told him right after that, and I said, you know I had to do that, and he goes, I know.”

Got to close with this photo of Will Power at Road America after winning the IndyCar race. I didn't know you could do such nice burn-outs with an Indy Car. Photo courtesy Chevy Racing

Got to close with this photo of Will Power at Road America after winning the IndyCar race. I didn’t know you could do such nice burn-outs with an Indy Car. Photo courtesy Chevy Racing

Next week my trip to Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont and conversation with the legendary Ken Squire and Phil Scott the racing Lt. Governor of Vermont. I also interviewed hill climb racers in Huntington, Vermont.

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.