Should Wyatt Use This Photo For High School Yearbook

Episode 124

September 25, 2016

WAR Unique Senior Yearbook Picture?

This Wyatt Alexander senior portrait certainly would be unique in the Ellsworth High School yearbook. Despite the excellent photo it is almost certain Alexander will use a more traditional pose. John A. Miller Photography

This Wyatt Alexander senior portrait certainly would be unique in the Ellsworth High School yearbook. Despite the excellent photo it is almost certain Alexander will use a more traditional pose. John A. Miller Photography

Maine Man on Winning  Sprint Cup Team at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Oxford, Maine native, Michael Morneau, the rear tire carrier on the Kevin Harvick #4 car celebrates in Victory Circle at NHMS. The pit crew has put in lots of hard work to help put Harvick at the top. Contributed photo

Oxford, Maine native, Michael Morneau, the rear tire carrier on the Kevin Harvick #4 car celebrates in Victory Circle at NHMS. The pit crew has put in lots of hard work to help put Harvick at the top. Contributed photo

Where’s Austin?

Austin Theriault during driver introductions at the Oxford 250 in August 2016. HTF Motorsports photo

Austin Theriault during driver introductions at the Oxford 250 in August 2016. HTF Motorsports photo

Austin Theriault was at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past weekend. Though he currently does not have a ride with a NASCAR team he continues to make his presence known at the track by networking with key people in the industry.

“Being at the track”, said Theriault, “is key to advancement in NASCAR”

If you are like me I see the move of Daniel Hemric to Xfinity Series with Junior Motorsports (JRM) as a chance for someone to fill that hole in the Brad Keselowski Racing Team Camping World Ford..

Theriault has experience with that team and has done well for them. It is time for someone to step up and partner with the County man.

Theriault gave no words or hinted nothing about such a move. I was simply thinking out loud. Good thoughts I think. Let me know what you think at thane@reagan.com.

What Does Dad Do When Son’s Not Racing?

When your son's not racing at Loudon what do you do? Dig out GroundPounder 2 and compete at Millinockett. Despite brushing off the cobwebs I received word that Steve finished second by one half inch. Austin Theriault Racing photo

When your son’s not racing at Loudon what do you do? Dig out GroundPounder 2 pulling truck and compete at Millinockett. Despite brushing off the cobwebs I received word that Steve finished second by one half-inch. Austin Theriault Racing photo

Kody Swanson Finishes Second in USAC Silver Crown Series

 Long-time UpNorth Motorsports readers know that I follow Kody Swanson’s exploits in sprint cars all season since the inception of this column. Swanson was attempting to win his third straight USAC Silver Crown points championship this weekend at the season finale at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Despite his best efforts he lost the championship by a slim 5 point margin to Chris Windom. Going into the race Swanson held a 10 point lead.

Windom started from the outside pole with Swanson just behind him in fourth spot. Swanson needed to finish third or better and Windom even with a win would be unable to wrestle the crown away.

At the green flag Windom showed he was doing everything he could to win the race and let the chips fall where they may. He jumped out to a 1/2 track lead on second place Swanson. No matter how dominate Windom was on the track, as long as Swanson held a top three position he could not win the championship.

Disaster struck the #63 Swanson car on lap 15 when he ducked low in turn one only to discover the lapped car of Dakota Jackson. Contact between the two ensued with both spinning and coming to a stop on the track bringing out the yellow.

Swanson limped into the designated work area of the pits during the caution where the DePalma crew rapidly assessed the damage. A broken bumper and front wheels that no longer pointed in the correct direction meant the drivability of the car was in question.

If you look closely at the left front tie rod you will notice it is bent causing major toe-out. TK Motorsports photo

If you look closely at the left front tie rod you will notice it is bent causing major toe-out. TK Motorsports photo

Another photo of the left front of the Kody Swanson car with noticeable damage to the steering components. TK Motorsports photo

Another photo of the left front of the Kody Swanson car with noticeable damage to the steering components. TK Motorsports photo

The #63 team sent Swanson back out onto the track to see how the wreck would affect the handling. Swanson promptly brought out the caution with a spin as he attempted to get a feel for how the car was going to handle.

After the yellow he man-handled the poor handling machine to a fifth place finish in a field of 22 Silver Crown sprint cars. That should give you an idea how capable Swanson is as a driver. Third place was where he needed to be thus Chris Windom became the 2016 champion, his first.

The pride of Illinois 2016 USAC Silver Crown Champion Chris Windom in Victory Circle at Eldora Raceway after winning the race and the championship . Rich Forman Photo

The pride of Illinois 2016 USAC Silver Crown Champion Chris Windom in Victory Circle at Eldora Raceway after winning the race and the championship . Rich Forman Photo

Windom deserved the title having won three races and never finishing out of the top five all season. Swanson’s crash at Gateway Speedway earlier in the year with a finish in the 20 something position made the difference despite him having won 5 races.

Swanson, ever the classy guy, stopped his car and gathered his thoughts and went to Victory Circle with a smile on his face and congratulated Windom on the win and championship.

I asked Swanson for his reactions about the race and the second place finish. He replied, “Thanks! I’m doing ok.”

“This past week, I prayed for God to take control, keep me safe, but that his will be done.”

“That was such a help to me in terms of peace and comfort preparing for the weekend. In the end, that it what still brings me comfort and peace. He has blessed me with an amazing wife and son, a great family, and a great racing family – what more can a guy ask for -”

“I would like to congratulate Chris Windom on his season and his Championship. I am still proud of our season, and to be part of this DePalma family #63 (we did still win the car owners championship). I am thankful for all of the opportunities I have had, and all of the people who God has put into my life.”

“As far as the race, it was a challenge. Windom was very good, and got to the lead, but we quickly got to 2nd. We hustled through and were pulling away from 3rd and I got caught up with a lapped car around lap 15.”

“We ended up with serious front end damage, and I could barely steer it to the pits. While the field was trying to get back in order, the team quickly did what they could to improve what was left. We pushed back out with a front axle bent probably 6″, and kinked on both ends.”

“The first restart I promptly spun back out, not intentionally – but just misjudged what the car was now capable of. I had to completely change the way I drove, and I could never back steer the car (which is kind of important on dirt ) or it would spin out.”

“We never gave up, rallied to start passing cars and by the end had driven all the way back up to 5th. It was a great run considering, but a disappointment that things didn’t work out like we’d hoped. Even still, we have had a great season and a lot to be thankful for !”

TVR Season Champs Crowned, County Fares Well

Bryan seamless, Presque Isle with his third place points championship trophy at Thundering Valley Raceway (TVR) St. Albans. Searles placed fifth in the season finale. BAS Racing photo

Bryan Searles, Presque Isle, with his third place points championship trophy at Thundering Valley Raceway (TVR) St. Albans. Searles placed fifth in the season finale. BAS Racing photo

Top three points champions at TVR l to r Caleb Ladd third, Jason Morse champion, Damian Theriault second with Bridget Casey named Outstanding Performer. Theriault finished third in the Fall Shootout race. It was announced that TVR will no longer run sealed engines. They will use WKA spec engines. JRT photo

Top three points champions at TVR l to r Caleb Ladd third, Jason Morse champion, Damian Theriault second with Bridget Casey named Outstanding Performer. Theriault finished third in the Fall Shootout race. It was announced that TVR will no longer run sealed engines. They will use WKA spec engines. JRT photo

Presque Isle’s John Dixon Races at Unity

Presque isle’s John Dixon made the trip to Unity to run in the Wildcat Division’s Chicken Dinner 52. Dixon finished seventh in the race won by Bobby Seger who earned $540 dollars and a chicken dinner from Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Both Dixon and JR Howlett plan to compete at Unity on the Long John Weekend October 14-16.
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Tom Hale
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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.