July 19, 2016
RYAN Motorsports Wins at Speedway 660
Denny Hamlin beat Martin Truexx Jr. at Daytona by a fraction of a second. Big time NASCAR racing does not hold a monopoly on close finishes as demonstrated by Ryan Messer in the Sportsman feature at Speedway 660 in Geary Road, New Brunswick last evening.
Fifteen-year old Messer from Harvey, New Brunswick came from third place and nipped fellow Harvey resident Jacob Bradley Logan at the finish line. Drew Greenlaw, Eastport, Maine was less than a second behind the leaders.
Crew chief Robb Messer said, “We had a good car right off the trailer. We made some changes a couple weeks ago and are really happy with how the car turns now.”
“Ryan did an awesome job! He continues to gain both experience and confidence so he’s really starting to get up on the wheel.”
“We now have an off weekend coming up before heading into the Clark’s Chevrolet Fire Cracker 150 on July 24. This race will bring in a ton of competition so it should be a great show.”
Moultroup Family Racing
You cannot keep the farm boys on the farm forever. In 2012 twenty-one year old Luke Moultroup of Richmond, Vermont underwent some life altering events including marrying his high school sweetheart Angela. It was also the year when he and his brother Sam went looking for ways that they could get involved in motorsports.
According to Sam, who I interviewed in the Moultroup Valley Farm house while in Vermont, they went to their first hill climb put on by the New England Hillclimd Associaion at Mt. Ascutney State Park in Ascutney, Vermont. Sam said, “After stumbling across the Association’s website we went to the Mt. Ascutney Hillclimb to find out what it was all about. We watched from the bottom start line where cars were taking off up the hill. We were like, ‘Hey this looks like fun!””.
The two beef farmer’s sons chose the sport because racing was for the fun of it with no prize money involved. The most one could win was a dash plaque and no cash. They felt the sport was affordable and family oriented.
Once an interest in competing was expressed a suitable car needed to be selected. Both Moultroup brothers have hot street cars; Luke a 2012 Dodge SRT Challenger and Sam a late model Volkswagen Rabbit GTI.
Neither wanted to risk damaging their new cars so the search was on. Angela and Luke were corner workers at one of the fall of 2012 hill climbs with Robert “Smokey” Smolinski from Rutland, Vermont when Smokey mentioned that he was thinking of selling his purpose built race car.
In February 2013 Luke had his first hill climb car, Smokey’s 1995 Howe modified chassis powered by a small block Chevrolet. With no prior racing experience Moultroup trailered his race car to the kart track at St. Laurence Motorsports Park in Quebec in early May a couple weeks before the first hill climb. Several sports car racers use the 3/4 mile track for shakedown runs before the season begins.
Shortly after Sam acquired his first hill climb car a 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT with a mid mounted 2.8 liter engine and five speed manual transmission.
Luke has competed in several events and has frequently came home with fastest time for the vent. Sam has raced a half-dozen times and works corners as well as photographs cars in other race events.
Angela commented that the reason they got into hill climb racing was.” I was drawn to the family aspect. People were nice and it was not super expensive. It gives Luke a chance to go real fast legally.”
Luke and Angela are building a home on the family farm this summer which will limit their participation in events this season. Their “race shop” is the old dairy barn which is spacious yet still carries much of the accumulated dust from years of housing animals.
Luke is an Airframe and Powerplant jet engine mechanic for Pratt and Whitney based out of the Burlington Airport.
Sam is an environmental lab technician at Endyne Inc where he tests water for the presence of volatile compounds.
They whole family still helps when they can carve out time in their busy schedules, the Moultroup Valley Farm located in Richmond which specializes in grass-fed Angus and raspberries.
Luke hopes to compete in the 2017 Climb to the Clouds at Mount Washington. The hill climb attracts some of the best hill climbers as well as rally racers.
Meeting With Ken Squier and Phil Scott at Thunder Road Speedbowl
One more item on my bucket list was erased when I went to Thunder Road Speedbowl. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Ken Squier prior to the races at his Barre, Vermont track.
The 81 year-old Stowe, vermont resident got his start announcing races from the back of a logging truck at age 14. I often listen to Motor Racing Network online since I do not have the races on my TV. MRN was started by Ken in 1969.
In 1960 he opened the .25 mile Thunder Road Speedbowl. I asked him why he chose Thursday nights as race night?
“Simple”, he replied, ” The other race tracks run Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. However the quarry workers got paid on Thursdays and sometimes would have no money for races by the weekend.”
The crowd on this Thursday evening was huge. The parking lot was nearly full and the grandstands, hillsides, and turn four viewing area called Forsythe Hill had large numbers as well..
The races went off very rapidly as one race finished the next flowed onto the track. Ken Squire said he wanted no more than a three hour show. Many prizes were given away and fans seemed to enjoy the action.
The following Thursday the Late model race was won by John Donahue by less than one hundredth of a second as both cars were sideways coming across the finish line. There were 24 late models; 22 Tiger class, and thirty four cylinder cars in the pits.
I also had the chance to converse with Vermont Lt. Governor Phil Scott from Middlesex, Vermont who is running for governor this year. He told me that the run for governor took up most of his time, however, he wanted to make as many stock car races as possible since this is where he got a lot of name recognition. He is the only candidate for Governor that actively races stock cars.
Scott currently holds a 45 point lead in the latest poll over his fellow Republican challenger Bruce Lisman. The primary is August 9th.
The 30 year business owner’s campaign slogan is “Listen, Learn, and then Lead”.
Scott’s racing career spans 25 years with several track championships as well as a multitude of race wins. He currently sits fourth in the driver’s championship only 81 points behind points leader Nick Sweet.
NMKA Race Results From Friday Night Kart Series Action
Racing at Spud Speedway’s kart track resumed after a couple week break. There were several new karts as well as returning veterans.
Racing at the track this week was presented by Plourde & Plourde of Caribou.
Spud Speedway Kid Karts
1st: Gage Theriault, Limestone
2nd: Avery Lloyd, New Denmark, New Brunswick
3rd: Kayden Haines, Caribou
4th: Parker Bosse, Limestone
Haney’s Building Specialties Junior Champs
1st: Bryan Searles, Presque Isle
2nd: Noah Alexander, Orrington
3rd: Noah Coventry, Van Buren
Aroostook Federal Savings and Loan Senior Champs
1st: Damian Theriault, Caribou
2nd: Jason Theriault, Caribou
3rd: Tom Hale, Westmanland
4th: Ethan Rossignol, Woodland
5th: Dan Haines, Caribou
Next event for NMKA at Spud Speedway is Friday July 15 at 6:30 pm. Grandstands admission is free and pits are $10.
Swanson Wins Again
My friend Kody Swanson was back in action this weekend winning Saturday night at the 6th Annual Dick Spencer Memorial race at Waynesfield Raceway Park in Waynesfield, Ohio. Swanson was driving a non-wing sprint car in the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint series (BOSS).
Friday night Swanson finished second in the Sutton Bank/Central Ohio Farmers Night race at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, Ohio. Luke Hall of Ludlow Falls, Ohio was the race winner. Both nights had 24 sprint cars in the pits. Racetracks in Maine should be so fortunate.
BIG, BIG, REALLY BIG RACE WEEK AHEAD!
This week promises the most race action in our area so far this season. There is no way I can get to all the events.
Loring Timing Association Summer Land Speed races at Loring Tuesday through Sunday. Local as well as national land speed racers will be making their appearance at the track. One can expect lots of new records to be set.
New England Forest Rally at Newry featuring David Higgins and Travis Pastrana. I will be following Bangor’s Last Ditch Racing’s John Cassidy.
Gene Cyr of Crouseville and Dale Hanson of Fort fairfield will be competing in Miramichi, New Brunswick Northeast Nationals at the quarter-mile Miramichi Dragway July 15-17th.
Austin Theriault will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday July 16th in the Hattori Racing Enterprises Belgard New England Toyota. Theriault currently sits fifth in the NASCAR K & N Pro Series East standings. And of course the Sprint Cup cars at at New Hampshire on Sunday.
All this combined with local racing means there will be no lack of competition this week!
So…Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria