Despite Extreme Cold The Snowmobile Racing Shows Went On

Episode 151

March 5, 2017

 Snowmobile Races Held in County Despite Extreme Cold

Snowmobile racers must be a hardy lot. This past Saturday two events were held in the County which had to test the mettle of racers, officials, and spectators. Minus 20 wind chills made conditions at Patten for the Rock Maple Racing (RMR) cross-country race and Central Maine Snowmobile Race Association (CMSRA) at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds drag race challenging to say the least.

From reports I have gathered, it appears both events went well after some weather related glitches and racers want to return to compete at future events.

Savage Brothers On Top Once Again

According to Last Chance Motorsports owner and Tame The Track organizer Jere Humphrey the race at Patten presented some challenges to men and machines. Overall the Rock Maple Racing X-Country group was pleased by the venue and organizing. From what I understand this was the RCR group’s first race in the County.

Caribou resident Mickey Savage on his Yamaha at Rock Maple Racing Cross Country Race in Patten. Phot courtesy Last Chance Motorsports

Caribou resident Mickey Savage on his way to winning the 600cc race on his Yamaha at Rock Maple Racing (RMR) Cross Country Race in Patten. Photo courtesy Last Chance Motorsports

Humphrey said, ” Mickey Savage obviously had his #792 Savage Paint & Body sponsored Yamaha ready for battle at the RMR XC Patten cross-country snowmobile event and was able to fend off the other three Ski Doos in the Trail 600cc division. [Savage] came out on top with his first, first place finish of the 2017 winter season, after accumulating two 2nd place podiums, earlier in the year.”

“Mickey crossed the finish line 21.2 seconds ahead of Toby Caron, Fort Kent, in Caron’s first RCR race in 2nd place. Cameron Young rounded out the Top 3.”

Casey Savage, Patten aboard his Polaris XCR wins the 600cc RCR race saturday. Photo courtesy Casey Savage Racing

Casey Savage, Patten aboard his Polaris XCR 600 wins the 600cc RCR race Saturday. Photo courtesy Casey Savage Racing

Humphrey continued saying, “Casey Savage showed RMR XC officials he definitely was worthy of the 2017 Polaris XCR 600 snowmobile that he was presented earlier in the year at the Rangeley Snodeo Snowmobile Raffle on January 21st.”

“Savage quickly adapted to the new Polaris manufactured machine by grabbing the “Checkers” during the recent Tame the Track SnoX (earlier this year at Houlton) in the Pro Open division, followed up by a 2nd in the Pro 600 class.”

“Casey’s winning ways continue to add up as he ventured back to the RMR XC circuit in West Glover, Vermont and accumulated not one, but three top spots. winning the Nitro Trailers Sport Factory Stock, Choko Designs SOO 600 & the Woody’s Traction Sport Open.”

When snow conditions withered away in southern locations, Savage was given the chance to host the RCR X-Country Races in his hometown of Patten.

“Without letting down his local fans and supporters”, said Humphrey, “the # 85 Polaris XCR piloted by Casey Savage accumulated yet another victory in the Nitro Trailers Sport Factory Stock division for back-to-back victories, followed up by a 2nd place in the Sport Open and a 3rd place in the SOO 600 class with RMR XC.”

Other County racers that Humphrey mentioned were Fort Kent’s Joe Pelletier who finished 3rd in the Plus 30 age group with an Arctic Cat ZR600R owned by his friend Dana Thibeault. Tony Lane of Patten was second in the Trail 800 class.

Humphrey noted that County racers were on the podium in the classes they were entered and were competitive with other racers from New England and New York. There were 91 registrants and 15 classes of snowmobiles.

Central Maine Snowmobile Race Association Drag Races at NM Fairgrounds

View of the starting line and track at the CMSRA drag races at  Northern Maine Fair Grounds in Presque Isle. Photo courtesy Kirk Small CMSRA

View of the starting line and track at the CMSRA drag races at Northern Maine Fair Grounds in Presque Isle. Photo courtesy Kirk Small CMSRA

According to CMRSA President Kirk Small, “We had 73 class entries even though it was the coldest, most brutal conditions we have ever worked or raced in.”

Some of the local racers who had thawed out enough to type their responses to my inquiries included Ethan Rossignol who said, “What a day of great racing, with some big competition! Some races were close calls at the finish line.”

“It was brutally cold and windy but as always, a great day with some awesome friends.  Over all between two machines #169 and #812, we had 2 first place finishes with the 700 and a second place finish with the 600.”

Caribou’s John Holmquist mirrored Rossignol’s sentiments saying, “I am still trying to get feeling back in my fingers, the wind was brutal!! We got a 2nd place in 600 stock with mine and Ethan got a 1st in 700 stock & 700 improved class.”

It appears that the Caribou based team will not be racing again this season and will began the preparation for summer drag races. I am looking forward to seeing them race at the Northern Maine Fair this summer under considerably warmer conditions.

DT 100 Make-A-Wish Fundraiser Race at Maine Indoor Karting

The huge number of drivers who raised money for the DT 100 Make-A-Wish Fundraiser Race at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough Saturday. Lindsay Ellison Photography

The huge number of drivers who raised money for the DT 100 Make-A-Wish Fundraiser Race at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough Saturday. Lindsay Ellison Photography

Unfortunately I was unable to be at the DT 100 Make-A-Wish Foundation race at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough this year. I have been twice including last year’s event. Over 100 of New England’s best racers gather at Maine Indoor Karting to not only race but to raise funds for the Maine Make-A-Wish Foundation.

I was able to secure a couple of photos and comments from Wyatt Alexander, Shawn Martin, and Evan Beaulieu, whose photo you saw in last week’s episode.

Wyatt Alexander, Ellsworth entered his first DT 100. Prior to the race he showed off his Cold Hard Art tee-shirt worn beneath his race uniform. You may recall CHA is owned by Tom Patsis who grew up in Ellsworh and now lives and works in Brownsburg, Indiana. WAR Photo

Wyatt Alexander, Ellsworth entered his first DT 100. Prior to the race he showed off his Cold Hard Art tee-shirt worn beneath his race uniform. You may recall CHA is owned by Tom Patsis who grew up in Ellsworth and now lives and works in Brownsburg, Indiana. WAR Photo

Alexander was one of the top 10 fundraisers for the event. Total raised has nor been announced at publishing time. Alexander commented, “My first DT100 experience was a lot of fun! I picked up a lot of speed throughout the day and was really happy to make the race. I don’t know how many people were there but I believe there was close to 100 drivers. It was a great experience, lots of fun, and most importantly raised money for a great cause. Would love to do it again.”

Wyatt's $1075  was one of the top 10 fundraisers at the DT100. WAR photo

Wyatt’s $1075 was one of the top 10 fundraisers at the DT100. WAR photo

Frenchville native, and new Dad last week, Shawn Martin living in Auburn also raced in the DT100. He has raced in this event several times in the past. When a seasoned veteran like Martin has a difficult time to win this race it should give one an idea how tough this race tends to be.

When I asked Martin how he did, he said, ” [I went from] 6th to 4th in the heat. Won the consi. Started 11th in the feature. Got tangled up in turn one of the first lap and lost spots and time. Made it up to 8th.”

Photo by Lindsay Ellison Photography

Evan Beaulieu, West Durham, with the checkered flag after winning the Light division at the DT100 at Maine Indoor Karting. I have raced Beaulieu at MIK and he is good. His Super Late Model was featured in last week’s UpNorth Motorsports Episode. Photo by Lindsay Ellison Photography

Beaulieu had this to say about the DT100, “Just have to say how fun this event is and raising money for kids from Make A Wish. I’m very fortunate I get to do what I do. Their stories are touching and put a lot of things in perspective. This race is a charity race but with all the talented drivers that show up to run it it’s still a big deal to win.”

Maine Native Stars in Daytona International Speedway Video

Daytona Groundskeeper, Jason Griffeth from Woodland, Maine stars in the video posted by Daytona International Speedway. I am unsure whether Jason will need to keep the turfgrass growing the full year on the car of race winner Kurt Busch. The car is on display at the Motorsports Hall of Fame at the track. After all, turf only needs light, water, heat, and fertilizer to grow.

 From Marlatt Competition Engines from Rushville, Indiana

On the dyno is an  Unlimited Diesel’s P-pump 7.3 Powerstroke. Unfortunately when Gene Robbins and I visited the Rushville, Indiana shop the dyno was out of order. Paul told me he would send me a couple of videos of an actual pulling tractor under load. Thanks Paul.

 

 One of the Coolest Trucks I Have Seen

1937 Trophy Rat Desert Truck built by Keith Northrup, Northrup Fabrication, Kirkland, Washington. Fully functional truck features four link suspension with Sider Trax axle, Nitto tires on Trail-Ready beadlock rims, King Bypass Shocks, Chevy engine. This is one I would like to build; well maybe at least see in person. Photo courtesy Michael Sol Sproehnle, Sol Potraits

1937 Trophy Rat Desert Truck built by Keith Northrup, Northrup Fabrication, Kirkland, Washington. Fully functional truck features four link suspension with Sider Trax axle, Nitto tires on Trail-Ready beadlock rims, King Bypass Shocks, Chevy engine. This is one I would like to build; well maybe at least see in person. Photo courtesy Michael Sol Sproehnle, Sol Portraits

When I saw this truck some months ago I decided I needed to investigate the truck and it’s construction. What I found was that owner Keith Northrup had very similar characteristics with JRT Customs owner, Jason Theriault of Caribou. Both work out of relatively small shops at their homes and both show incredible imagination coupled with excellent fabrication skills.

I asked Northrup some basic questions to which he replied, “I have been married going on 5 years to Gabriela . I have been fabricating since 11 grade in high school when I enrolled in the NEVAC welding program.”

“Been hitting hard ever since. Started building rock crawlers (a type of racer designed to scale sides of rocky mountains) and decorative steel for Nordstrom’s. Then got into construction for 10 years where I learned to love architectural steel, exposed steel railing, and stairs.”

“I never stopped building tube cars and buggies on the side. Four years ago, I started my own business, Northrup Fab, where I knew I needed to build something that would turn everyone’s head. After a year now the Trophy Rat has blown up the internet as planned.”

“When I am not fabbing, I hang with the family as much as possible, mountain bike, snowboard, & wake surf.”

Keith Northrup and son Photo courtesy Northrup Fabrication

Keith Northrup and son, Sage Everest, at the shop where the desert truck was constructed. Photo courtesy Sol Potraits

Trophy Rat Truck in a meadow which could have been taken in Maine instead of Washington. Sol Potraits photo

Trophy Rat Truck in a meadow which could have been taken in Maine instead of Washington. Sol Potraits photo

Still got time to read books? You won’t want to miss my review of a book which has ties to the mystery photos from Speedway, Indiana last week. One of the best I have read.

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.