Theriault Wins Close ARCA Race By Two Feet

Episode 164

June 4, 2017

Win Number Two Is A Big One For Theriault

If there were any doubts about Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault’s short track ability they were dispelled by the win at the ARCA Shore Lunch 250 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota. Theriault grew up racing on that type of track which he said were similar to Oxford Plains Speedway and had some similarity to his home track, Spud Speedway in Caribou.

Practice found Theriault at the top of the charts yet fell to 5th in qualifying. During the race it appeared that he had a fourth or fifth place ride until he took on four new tires at his last pit stop.

The four tires seemed to boost Theriault’s confidence with the grip they provided as he became a contender for the top spot. If you have not seen the video yet I have added it below.

Christian Eckes could have driven Theriault into the wall if he had desired when he slid beneath Theriault in turn four with 3 laps to go. Instead he chose the high road. This allowed Theriault in the #52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota to do a crossover move and the classic “bump and run” passing Eckes. Eckes never gave up as he reciprocated in the final turn of the last lap yet was unable to catch Theriault. The margin of victory .029 seconds or about 2 feet.

Aroostook Imports Car Club Formed

Some of the members of #AroostookImports Car Club on display. Matt Beaulieu photo

Matt Beaulieu of Caribou was contacted for information about an Aroostook County Car Club called Aroostook Imports. I noticed several posts began to show up on my Facebook page earlier this spring and I became curious . Matt gave me the run down.

“AroostookImports was spawned accidentally last summer when myself and a few close friends took our “Tuner” cars for a 6 hour road trip to Oxford Plains Dragway for a car show and race event called Wicked Pissah.”

“We grouped up and rode down together in a pack of four. Two Subaru WRX’s and two Mitsubishi 3000GTs. On the way down, the driver of one of the GT’s took a photo of the four cars inline and posted it to Facebook with the comment, ‘#AroostookImports'”.

“From there it took off. Local interest in the cars and event was crazy. We got a lot of comments and remarks about our photos and videos from the trip, along with other Subaru WRX owners reaching out to us. From that point, we set up to have ‘Cruise’ event with a few other local enthusiasts and have a get together at a local restaurant.”

“This event never took shape, but the idea intrigued me. This spring, I pushed the issue and officially started what is now known as #AroostookImports. With support from a few close friends, we have successfully organized multiple meets, trips to car shows, cruises, and get-togethers.”

“It has almost become a weekend routine to have some type of gathering with the group. With each week and each event we hold. more and more interest and attention is drawn to us.”

“The Facebook community is over 100 members strong, with at least 25 active members who each have a unique ‘Tuner’ car. It’s become such a popular group that it even draws non-import car enthusiasts. And we have opened our arms to those who wish to take part, as long as they keep in mind the roots of the club.”

“We have had cruises with everything from a turbocharged Impreza RS, to a 600+ Horsepower Supercharged Mustang. As long as you are an enthusiast with an open mind to the next guy’s car, you are welcome to the club.”

“As a group, our main focus is to provide a means of gathering all the local enthusiasts into one group, so we can share knowledge and enjoy one another’s cars and company at events, shows, races, and anything else we can come up with. So far the summer of 2017, #AroostookImports has plans to attend this years version of the Oxford Plains event, ‘Wicked Pissah Again’, as well as the Loring Autocross presented by the Cumberland Motor Club (August 4-6).”

“We will also be attending any local car shows and events such as cruises, rallys, and more. Our last event was the United Way Aroostook Auto Rally. We’ve also tossed around the idea of having a ‘Tuner Vs. Muscle Car Show & Shine’ as a way to get the local muscle car crowd involved with some of the things we do.”

We have a lot of great plans, and a lot of great members that are willing to put in the effort to make cool things happen, and this is just the start of what is to come for #AroostookImports.”

Photo of some of the cars at the United Way of Aroostook’s County Cruise. Photo courtesy Matt Beaulieu

Spud Speedway Friday Night Karting Series Season Opener

The 2017 kart racing season began at Spud Speedway Friday evening. Three new kart racers made this one of the largest field of karts in the senior division since the new kart track was built four years ago.

NAPA Auto Parts Winner Circle for June 2

◇Blacked Out Window Tint Kid Karts
1. Parker Bosse, Limestone

2. Kayden Haines, Caribou

 

Kids Karts racers at Spud Speedway Northern Maine Karting Association’s Season Opener left to right Kayden Haines, Race Director Ed Murphy, and Parker Bosse. Janet Bosse photo

◇Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Division

1. Gage Theriault, Limestone
2. Bryan Searles, Presque Isle
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly, Presque Isle

Junior Cage Kart podium finishers l to right Gage Theriault first, Bryan Searles second, and Ronnie-Lynn Kelly third. Race Director Ed Murphy in back row. Photo by Janet Bosse

◇ Aroostook Savings & Loan Senior Cage Division

1. Damian Theriault, Caribou

2. Jason Theriault, Caribou

3. Marcel Bosse, Caribou

4. Janet Bosse, Caribou

5. Tom Hale, Westmanland

NMKA Senior Cage Division podium finishers l to r Winner Damian Theriault, second place Jason Theriault, and third Marcel Bosse. NMKA Race Director Ed Murphy in back row. Janet Bosse photo

NMKA will have their karts on display at Caribou Chamber of Commerce’s Thursday Nights on Sweden Street June 8th at 6pm. Racers will be available to answer questions about getting into karts locally. In addition, free passes to Maine Indoor Karting will be given away.

JRT Customs is the presenting sponsor for Friday June 9 at Spud Speedway. Team JRT photo

The next race is Presented by JRT Customs Friday June 9th at 6:30 pm at Spud Speedway. Pits cost $10 and grandstands are free.

Local Racers Fare Well at Richmond Karting Speedway

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Pre-race lineup for the Animal Engine class at Richmond Karting Speedway front row left Jason Theriault, right Damian Theriault, row two in yellow kart Marcel Bosse, row three in blue kart Janet Bosse and Scott Wyman on right. Janet Bosse photo

Damian Theriault continued his weekend winning ways at Richmond after winning the season opener at Spud Speedway. He was followed across the line by Scott Wyman in second and Jason Theriault in third. Marcel Bosse was uninjured after flipping his kart earlier in the day during practice. Despite bumps and bruises and some broken parts, he was able to race in the feature.

Team BAS Bryan Searles pre-race at RKS. Despite some mechanical glitches, Searles was able to finish seventh. BAS Racing photo

NHRA Comes to New England Dragway

National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) made their appearance at Epping, New Hampshire’s New England Dragway. The three-day event played to huge crowds on hand to see the premiere drag racing show in the world.

A view of the sold-out crowd on pit road at New England Dragway Sunday. Jenn Waltman photo

Washburn’s Jenn Waltman made her first trip to the NHRA drag races at New England Dragway this Sunday for the final rounds. I was curious what she thought of the racing as well as if she had any favorites.

She replied,” Top Fuel  was my favorite part! I am a big Team Force fan. So seeing John, Brittany, and Courtney race was great.”

“The Harley race was awesome too!”

Top Fuel winner Brittany Force’s car being prepared in the pits for the final. She beat Antron Brown .007 seconds in the final. Jenn Waltman photo

Brittany Force post race said, “We had really been struggling and we got lost for a while but we really seemed to figure it out last week at Topeka. I knew we had a good race car, we had our Monster car back, our team back, and I knew that first win was right around the corner.”

“Our last final round was Phoenix and that whole time in between was tough for the team.  But we never lost focus, and we never gave up and that was what was important.  That is what held us together as a team and got us here today.”

Troy Nichols of Presque Isle with Robert Hight. This was Hight’s 50th top qualifier race. He lost in the first round when he broke traction. Jenn Waltman photo.

Global Rallycross Comes to New England

For the first time Global Rallycross (GRC) Series made their appearance in New England in a Saturday/Sunday doubleheader at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Connecticut. The iconic track played host one of the hottest new short track rally events on the planet.

I met Lou Masciarelli of Bellingham, Massachusetts at the 24 Hours of Daytona this January. He travels to many races and sent me some photos from Thompson on Saturday.

Pre-race at Thompson Motorsports Park on Saturday. Tanner Foust’s VW Andretti Rallycross on left won the race that day only to hit the tire wall on Sunday and finish last. Patrik Sandell, Subaru Rallycross Team USA finished 5th in Sunday’s final. Lou Masciarelli photo

Lou commented,” I like the heat race style format. Fans seemed to like it. [There were] a lot of younger fans”.

WAR Back in Action at Wiscasset

Wyatt Alexander Racing team was back in action at Wiscasset Speedway in the 50 lap Pro Stock feature. Wyatt worked his way up to second in the race when he went inside race leader Darren Ripley only to be taken out of the race. It appears there was some question whether Ripley failed to give Alexander the line or if Alexander came in too hot for the corner.

Action in turn 4 during the Pro Stock feature at Wiscasset Speedway. Darren Ripley in the 09, Wyatt Alexander in the #96, and the number 15 of Scott Chubbuck.
Contributed photo from WAR

Crew chief Bob Alexander said, “It was some exciting racing to watch. The outcome was not what we had hoped for but we came away with the knowledge that we had a great setup for the evening and a really fast car.”

“Our driver showed that he would not be intimidated and could hold his own on and off the track. We look forward to returning to Wiscasset Speedway for the next pro-stock race of the season.”

Ripley finished 8th 3 laps down, Alexander 9th 13 laps down, and Chubbuck placed 5th 1.203 seconds behind race winner Phil Richardson.

Swanson Wins Again

Kody Swanson was back in the Winners Circle this time at Waynesfield Raceway Park in the K & L Racing #21K non-winged sprint car. Jordan Swanson photo

Swanson had this to say about the win,” Thankful to be driving this K&L Racing #21K for Kent & Lynn and happy to help get it to victory lane tonight at Waynesfield Raceway Park!

“Thankful for all of the people who work on this car, Jon Burke getting us ready at the shop, and all the businesses and manufacturers that support us. Special thanks to Jeff Helman. He’s always been a huge help but tonight he took it up another level. Picked up the truck & trailer, was my only guy to start the night. Kent and I really appreciate everything he does for us.”

Kody Swanson’s “secret weapon”, his son, Trevor, prepares the race car for another winning night, Jordan Swanson photo

I Need Your Assistance

My current crew chief, Dick McNeal and I when he was first in points in 1983 and I was second. HTF Motorsports photo

As you can see in this newspaper clipping from 1983, Dick McNeal and I have been racing karts many years. Dick is unable to race at this stage of his life due to several surgeries that were necessary to help rid him of cancer. He currently serves as my crew chief on the HTF Motorsports #10 kart.

I need you to pray for Dick. He recently found out that the cancer he has been fighting so long is back. They found a mass inside his skull behind his right ear. The location requires skilled surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to attempt to remove the tumor.

Would you pray for Dick since he hopes to have this surgery this month. I appreciate your prayers and I am sure Dick does also.

See you at Thursday Night on Sweden Street in Caribou this week.

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.