Keselowski Goes 244 Miles Per Hour

Episode 115

July 17, 2016

Bob Keselowski, Rochester Hills, Michigan set the fastest time for cars at the Summer Event of the Loring Timing Association. Keselowski went 244.527 mph. HTF Motorsports photo

Bob Keselowski, Rochester Hills, Michigan set the fastest time for cars at the Summer Event of the Loring Timing Association (LTA). Keselowski went 244.527 mph. HTF Motorsports photo

Brad’s Dad Can Go Fast Too

Bob Keselowski, the father of Brian and Brad Keselowski the NASCAR racers showed that he still has it. His Dodge Charger went 244 + mph at the LTA’s Summer Event held at the former Loring Air Force Base the past four days.

Keselowski set the top speed earlier in the day Saturday before packing it up and making his way south to Charlotte, North Carolina where they keep the car.

“This was a car my older son Brian raced in NASCAR. It was wrecked in Martinsville about 2011. It set for a couple of years then a new generation Cup cars came out and it was kind of obsolete so he gave it to my brother Ron and I. We’ve been playing ‘land speed racer’ for four years now”

“This car was a Ganassi built car driven by Juan Pablo Montoya before Brian raced it.”

“I had a goal of 250 mph to tell you the truth. That was kinda wishful thinking. I figured that 245 was a number where this car should be able to run and we were pretty close to that with our 244.527.”

” I think Loring is great. I had a really good time up here. The people especially. Wow, very friendly, very cooperative, very laid back. My kind of people, blue-collar folks having fun enjoying working on race cars.”

Bob Keselowski prepares his Dodge Charger for it's next run at Loring. The car has an older SB2 engine with a single 4 barrel carb without any power adding additions yet was able to approach the 250 mph mark. HTF Motorsports photo

Bob Keselowski prepares his Dodge Charger for its next run at Loring. The car has an older SB2 engine with a single 4 barrel carb without any power adding additions yet was able to approach the 250 mph mark. HTF Motorsports photo

Keselowski is retired now. Both he and his brother Ron raced stock cars with much success in the Michigan and Wisconsin area.

Keselowski remarked, “I still have that itch  to go fast. That is why we did this. We are too old to be out on those oval tracks now”

When asked about Austin Theriault he replied, “He’s doing a good job. I think he is near the top in points and getting faster. I wouldn’t be surprised if he won a race before the season is over.”

Greg Neal aboard the Peter Campbell bike at the LTA Summer Event. Campbell had passed away earlier this year and per family request had his ashes spread at the Loring track. Track officials and fellow competitors lined the start area in tribute to the very popular driver. Pete Freeman capture24.com photo

Greg Neal aboard the Peter Campbell bike at the LTA Summer Event. Campbell had passed away earlier this year and per family request had his ashes spread at the Loring track. Track officials and fellow competitors lined the start area in tribute to the very popular driver. Pete Freeman capture27.com photo

Loring Timing Association Motorcycle Racer Honored

Greg Neal explained,”Phillip Campbell was a good friend of all, a fellow racer and a volunteer for the Loring Timing Association. He passed unexpectedly earlier this year (March).”

“He loved the time he spent in Maine and the track at Loring. His wife Paula wanted his ashes spread at Loring and I was the person to do it. We took Phillip for a,last ride on his bike to spread the ashes. I popped the container at about 7/8ths mile. It was my honor to be able to honor a true friend, a competitor and someone who if you met him, you loved him.”

“His bike is being auctioned by the LTA to raise money for his wife.”

For more information about the motorcycle auction go to loringtiming.com.

 

Caribou Native Persistent in Spite of Adversity

Carl Theriault formerly from Caribou now living in Northborough, Massachusetts, was optimistic about his chances to set new records in his Zoom Zoom Racing Mustang #1. In racing the best laid plans do not always work out the way one may plan.

In Carl’s words,”It was a long but rewarding week. I got in town last Saturday night knowing that I had to pull my motor and rebuild it. It was out and down to a short block the first night. Then it was torn down and back to a short block by Sunday night. Monday night it was all rebuild and back in-car. Although I was still busy all day Tuesday getting the car to 100% and the motor broken in.”“On Wednesday we went to the track and got all set up in the pits and went through tech without any issues.”

“My first goal was to take my dad for a ride in Betsie. I got him all set up in safety gear and we did 192.960 MPH in the mile. This was a new record in A/GALT. His hand was steady before and after the ride. Not bad for a 73-year-old man! Although he was disappointed that he didn’t go 200 mph.  “

“Then I took my cousin for a ride at 193.919 MPH. He take’s his vacation every year so that he can help me at the Maine Event so this was a well deserved bonus for him. This bumped my last run and set a new record A/GALT again.”“It was close to the end of the day so I decided to finish off the day with a full NA (normally aspirated) pass to see how much it picked up in the 1/5 mile. I slipped the clutch and it launched hard with the new cam!”

“This was setting up to be a better pass than the first two until in the middle of 4th the motor went flat, followed by the cab filling with smoke. The scent was clearly oil so I started moving to the left to get off the track and reached over and shut off the motor.”

“I coasted to a stop and upon exiting saw a line of oil leading up to my car… and a puddle was developing under the car. A closer look and there was a crack in the bottom of the oil pan and some dents pushing out. It was an instant indictment that the 427R was done for the week. ““Thursday morning I looked at a couple of stock car motors a local friend was willing to sell. They were a couple of really nice stock car motors, but not the best for land speed racing. To get the MPH I’d want to go, they just didn’t have the right set up.”

“This led to me deciding to get my street car with a 331 small block and 5 speed out of storage, fix its gremlins and race it in a few stock classes. I’ve run it at LTA before and it did really well for a street car. However, last year it starting having issues that we couldn’t fix and it wasn’t drivable on the street, let alone performing like it would need to for a good LSR car.”
After losing the engine in his primary car, Carl Theriault went to his "back-up" car a 1988 Mustang. Zoom Zoom Racing photo

After losing the engine in his primary car, Carl Theriault went to his “back-up” car a 1988 Mustang. Zoom Zoom Racing photo

“Unfortunately we failed to get the EFI fixed on Thursday.. and we were out of ideas until I thought about some pieces and parts I had from a land speed motor I built/used in the past.”

“I didn’t have everything that I’d needed to convert it from EFI to a carburetor, but I placed a next day air order from Summit and took off for Poland, Maine so I could get the parts I had ordered.”
“Although this sounded like an easier option that would also have my car on the road again, it turned out to be more work than we thought it would be… and luckily a few friends had some gaskets and a throttle cable that we had overlooked.”
” I went for a test drive around 5:30 on Saturday night and found a few issues… Then around 11 pm the car was ready to race.”

“Sunday I went to the track with Mustang #2 for the week. I went through tech without issue and started making passes in multiple classes trying to set some records.”
“The first pass was in the AA/BGSS Super Stock class and resulted in 143+ in the mile and 154+ in the 1.5 mile. Both new records! Nice passes for a street car, but about 3 mph slower than passes a few years ago when it was an EFI.A plug read showed that we could add another degree of timing. “

“I switched to A/BFSS for the second pass. The degree of timing was good for about 1 MPH as it went 143+ in the mile and 155+ in the 1.5 mile. These were good for two more new records. A plug check showed that the timing was perfect and the plug had good colors so it was burning well also. Time to add some tape to make it a little slicker in the air. We also removed the antenna and windshield wipers.”
“For the 3rd pass I switched to the Real Street class and ran in A/FRS. The tape job and other changes were good for just under 1 MPH as it ran almost 145 MPH in the mile and almost 156 MPH in the 1.5 mile. Two more records, but it was still about 1 MPH slower than EFI. Time for some more tape and to add some air to the tires. “”Unfortunately for the 4th pass I missed 3rd gear and slowed down about 1.5 MPH. Hard to make changes based upon the results.. but I really wanted to get to 160 MPH, so I needed to make some more changes.”
“We decided to remove the thermostat to try to get it to run a little cooled, let it sit for a while to cool off as much as possible, and remove the side mirrors to make it sleeker.”

 

“For the 5th pass it was down around 140 degrees at the starting line. The combo of changes we made were HUGE!!! We did 150.571 in the mile and 161.415 in the 1.5 mile. Two really good numbers for a true street car and the carb was likely making more power than EFI did. Oh yeah, it was two more records as well. That made 8 records for the day.”

“I turned around and got right back in line to make another pass in AA/BGSS. The motor was warmer than the pass before and it showed as it slowed down to 146+ and 158+. These were still good enough to bump up my record speeds from earlier in the day so it was a good pass and it was a good day of racing. I can’t wait for the next event.”

Austin Theriault in the Belgard/Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota qualified 5th for the K & N NASCAR Pro series race at New hampshire Motor Speedway. He fished fifth in the race won by Corey Lajoie. Austin Theriault Racing photo

Austin Theriault in the Belgard/Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota qualified 5th for the K & N NASCAR Pro series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He finished fifth in the race won by Corey Lajoie. Austin Theriault Racing photo

Co-driver Dave Getchell, Camden on left and driver John Cassidy, Bangor prepare to do battle in the New England Forest Rally in Newry. Last Ditch Racing photo

Co-driver Dave Getchell, Camden on left and driver John Cassidy, Bangor prepare to do battle in the New England Forest Rally in Newry. Last Ditch Racing photo

Bangor Based Rally team Toughs Out Setbacks

Maine’s only Open class Rally America team led by veteran John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell raced in the New England Forest Rally Friday and Saturday. The team experienced a measure of success despite problems which cropped up over the course of the 2-day event.

Cassidy described his race saying, “Lots of challenges this weekend. Yesterday had drivability issues. Finished off the podium.”

“Today we replaced some sensors for the ECU and the car ran better until the turbo failed. We broke both strut tops. No turbo. Drive what we had as best we could and stayed out of trouble on the road. Served us well the last few stages with very little power”.

Bangor's Last Ditch Racing at speed at the New England Forest Rally. Joel Sanford Rally America photo

Bangor’s Last Ditch Racing at speed at the New England Forest Rally. Joel Sanford Rally America photo

“Started the day 11th in the road. Finished 4th on the road overall. Ended up third in the regional today.”

Team members included Duncan Matlack, Ryan Rice, John Cassidy V,  and Dana Dickson.

Northern Maine Kart Association Results

Friday Night racing Series Presented By Machias Savings results from Spud Speedway were:

Spud Speedway Kids Kart participants Kayden Haines, Machias Savings Bank Assistant Vice-President Karen Thibodeau, Avery Lloyd, and Parker Bosse. NMKA photo

Spud Speedway Kids Kart participants Kayden Haines, Machias Savings Bank Assistant Vice-President Karen Thibodeau, Avery Lloyd, and Parker Bosse. NMKA photo

Spud Speedway Kids Karts:
Parker Bosse,Limestone
Kayden Haines,Caribou
Avery Lloyd, New Denmark, New Brunswick

Haney Building Specialties Junior Champ Karts:
Bryan Searles, Presque Isle
Noah Coventry, Van Buren

Aroostook Federal Savings and Loan Senior Champ Karts:
Damian Theriault, Caribou
Jason Theriault, Caribou
Tom Hale, Westmanland
Matt Lloyd, New Denmark, New Brunswick

The next race is July 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Free admission to the grandstands and only $10 for the pit area. Several door prizes will be given away at the races

Professor Richard “Dick” Hill Passes Away at 97

According to Bangor Daily News Staff member Judy Harrison, “Well-known educator and media personality Richard C. “Dick” Hill died of metastatic prostate cancer Wednesday night at his home on College Avenue. He was 97.

Hill was professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and director emeritus of the Department of Industrial Cooperation at the University of Maine, where he taught for 46 years.

I first met Professor Hill when I was an Agricultural Mechanization  student at University of Maine, Orono in 1972. I was working with Professor Ed Huff in the Agriculture Engineering Department shop. We were developing a super efficient wood chip furnace.

Concurrently Professor Hill in the Mechanical Engineering Department was developing a system which used firewood in a special combustion chamber where the wood was burned quickly and the heat was then stored in an external storage vessel from which warm water was drawn to provide heat for the building.

A rivalry developed between the two camps to see who could make their case for utilizing Maine’s natural resource, wood, efficiently and inexpensively. Neither system was commercially viable although some aspects of the projects did make their way into modern wood stoves and pellet stove technology.

What impressed me about Dick Hill was his ability to explain complex topics in common terms. He also did not yield to politics when it came to nuclear energy or hydropower. To his dying days he touted the cost efficiency of both systems.

His methods of research always impressed me even though I was not smart enough to be taking engineering level courses. He was a practical man seeking practical solutions. I tried to emphasis this to my students during my 38 year tenure as an agriculture instructor.

He is missed and will be difficult to replace.

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.