Episode # 120
August 29, 2016
Racers With County Ties Have Tough Day
Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault finished 35th after winning heat race number six. He was dropping back steadily from his sixth place starting spot until lap 121 when smacked in the rear of the car by Jeff White. Theriault attributed his rearward march to a slowly deflating left rear tire.
Frenchville native Shawn Martin finished second in his consolation race thus qualifying him for the feature, however, he was bumped in the front stretch on lap 212. By the time he got the car slowed down in turn one the nose of his racer was beat up. He had reached as high as third yet had to settle for 20th place still on the lead lap.
Wyatt Alexander Racing suffered a terrible weekend after something in the rear end caused trouble on lap one of practice on Saturday putting the primary car hard into the wall. The team was unable to get the back-up car competitive despite trying a multitude of possible solutions.
After finishing at the back in both the heat race and consolation race the team decided to pull the plug on their attempts to make it into the 2016 Oxford 250. I have never seen the Alexander family so down in many years of following this team with County roots.
Student Team Makes the Oxford 250
The Aspire Higher Racing team from Oxford Hills Middle School and High School continued the achievement ladder when their driver Tim Brackett, multi-time Oxford Speedway Champion raced their Super Late Model (SLM) into the 43rd Annual Oxford 250.
The car was eventually withdrawn from the race after suffering from nagging handling problems and finished 40th. The team was not discouraged, however, when I talked with them as they were setting up their pits within pit road before the race.
They were encouraged when jackman William Perrault drew the number one starting position for the first heat. The team had never done live pit stops and were looking forward to that aspect of the race. They knew the car was not handling great but were nonetheless looking forward to their new experience.
County Folks At the Race
I recruited Derek Jepson and Gary Saucier to help with the blog report once I knew they were going to be at the HP Hood Oxford 250. Their grandstand seats near the start finish line helped give a different perspective to the race. I asked them for their pre-race picks and post-race comments.
Unfortunately their pre-race favorites which included Austin Theriault to win did not pan out. I might add my picks of Cassius Clark, Joey Pole, or Theriault were not any better.
Both men reported that the side-by-side racing over the last 30 laps of the race between eventual winner Wayne Helliwell and Travis Benjamin had the crowd on its feet.
“Helliwell used the number 64 as a pick eight laps from the end, ” said Saucier.
I was looking for a good descriptor for the way that Benjamin lost the race and Saucier provided it for me. Benjamin himself attributed the loss to Helliwell’s fresher tires (40 laps fresher) and the “pick” on lap 242.
Presque isle’s Matt Reynolds picked the same three that I did Theriault (#57), Cassius Clark (#13) or Joey Polewarczyk (#97).
Matt Farnum, Mapleton, also picked Theriault and the number 7 car driven by last year’s 250 winner Glen Luce. As you can see none of us picked the winner.
Loring Timing Association (LTA) Fall Event Labor Day Weekend
Loring Timing Association will be hosting their final land speed race of the 2016 season September 2-4 at Loring Commerce Center. Typically the fall race will have fewer cars allowing participants many runs over the course of the weekend.
One team I will be following is the Jason White Recycling Mechanical of New England (Rec-Mech) based out Northwood, New Hampshire. After the summer race I talked to White about his plans for the fall.
After suffering some problems with body flex White hopes to strengthen the Corvette in the right places to eliminate the issue. The Corvette with it’s 427 LS engine with a Pro-Charger F1X supercharger with a custom air to water intercooler that takes six bags of ice per run. was built in his three car garage behind his house. He thanks Joe Timney Delaware Chassis Works for the roll cage and chassis set up as well as Granite State Dyno and Tune in Hudson, New Hampshire.
“I am thrilled,” said White. “We are so far beyond what I expected. The goal for the car is 250 if I can figure out these body issues.”
The C6 narrow bodied Corvette went 243 mph this past summer.
The cooler late summer temperatures should lead to fast speeds and many records. Check the Loring Timing Association website for information.
Let’s go racing!
Soli Deo Gloria