Mega Meltdown snowmobile race comes to Caribou Saturday

Episode # 203

March 11, 2018

“Mega Meltdown Vintage Racing” snowmobile racing coming to Caribou

Snowmobile racing is not done yet. The Tame the Track Tour will be staging their tenth and final vintage snowmobile race Saturday March 17th at the Northern Brewers race track. The race will utilize a grand prix type track which will be about 1/2 mile in length. Over $2800 in cash and contingency prizes will be awarded to the racers.

Race chairman, Jim Leighton, Limestone, said, “We have been at some races down state and here (in northern Maine). Some (racers) are coming, no numbers to report yet.”

“There are several tight points battles, heading into last points race of season,” according to Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour promoter Jere Humphrey. “Some of the tightest battles are as follows:

“Single Cylinder Group B 1975-85 Mike Eldridge of Ossipee, NH who has indicated he won’t be making the 6 hour trek, has a slight three-point lead over Ryan Sullivan of Auburn, which could name a new Points Champion at the Mega Meltdown.”

“The 340 Stock division has only seven total points, separating the Top 3 in the division. Justin Hartford of Wolfeboro, NH has 226 points, with Rob Doughty of Knox, Maine just 5 points back in 2nd place. Ben Eldridge won his first race of the year last weekend and has 219 total points for the final podium spot. Eldridge has committed to making the journey to Aroostook County along with Hartford, so obviously the 340 championship title will be decided Saturday afternoon.”

“The Teens division could go either way as Damien Doughty has accumulated 187 points and Caleb Morris on his rear bumper with 185 points.”

“Mackenzie Gould has maintained the points lead in the women’s division, right up until the last Series race, and is now facing a fourteen point deficit, headed into the last race.”

“The Kids Stock 200 is one of the most evenly matched contests throughout 2018, with Arctic Cat’s newest debut snowmobile. Both drivers have each won 3 features  and raced 38 laps side by side. Jayce Rose leads Emmett Walker by just five points headed to Championship Saturday.”

Humphrey highlighted the racer’s purse when he remarked, ” $2,800 worth of purse and contingency awards, along with top three trophies will be guaranteed to the competitors that battle for the checkered flag.”

“Double points will be awarded for all active members, due to their performance on the track, which will offer 18 lap features to commemorate the final race of 2018.:

Some of the race proceeds will be going to Brian’s Ride Cancer Fund at Cary Medical Center.

Tractors with snowblowers, driven by Shawn Pelletier, and Mark Madore and Madore Farms front end loader driven by Keith Dumond began the construction of the Mega Meltdown track located near the Northern Maine Brewing across from the Caribou Motor Inn and Convention Center. Jim Leighton Blackdot Photography

Limestone Sno Hawks groomer, operated by Adam Williams, assisted with the grooming of the 1/2 mile grand prix style race course. Jim Leighton Blackdot Photography

A lap around the 1/2 mile Mega Meltdown track as it was being developed. Keep in mind that the track had not been finish groomed. This is what a vintage racer will view next Saturday while racing the grand prix course.

Snowmobile drag racing season winds down in the County

Drag racing snowmobiles on snow and ice, their natural habitat, is winding down after the St. Francis Snow Angels drag races last Saturday. This was the final drag race in the County this winter.

Team OCD Racing owner John Holmquist, Caribou left and driver Ethan Rossignol, Woodland right preparing for a run at the St. Francis Snow Angels snowmobile drag races. Tara Taggett photo


Team OCD Racing trophies won at the St. Francis snow drags. Team OCD photo

The trophy case at Team OCD Racing must be getting filled after the recent drag races at St. Francis. Team owner, John Holmquist reported, “The list is long Tom Hale.”

“Jesse Taggett won the junior class on the 700. Ethan drove the 600 to wins in the 600 improved and 600 pro stock. Ethan’s 700 won 700 stock, 700 pro stock & 1000 stock and got 2nd place in 700 improved stock and 800 stock.”

Because his daughter Mallory Thompson-Willey is recovering from surgery, Jay Thompson, Caribou raced the family Polaris to a win in the Vintage class. In a role reversal his daughter Mallory was his crew chief. Mallory Thompson Willey photo

Fort Kent’s Pelletier continues his winning ways

Joe Pelletier drove the SkiDoo 800 Improver in the foreground for Derek Rioux at the St. Francis Snow Angels drag race. Derek Rioux photo

Fort Kent’s Joe Pelletier has won with almost every type of racing machine he has driven whether it is motorcycles or snowmobiles. At the recent St Francis drag races he added to his collection of trophies.

He recalled, ” I got 1st in 500 stock, 1st in 500 improved, 2nd in 600 stock, 1st in 1000 improved, 2nd in 900 improved and 2nd in 900 pro-stock.”

When asked if he was racing in Caribou, he said he did not own a vintage sled and will not be racing. Someone who has a good sled can improve its performance by putting Pelletier on their machine.

Pro All Stars Series (PASS) race at Spud Speedway title sponsor named

Aroostook Savings and Loan of Caribou and Presque Isle is the title sponsor for the Firecracker 200 PASS race to be held at Spud Speedway July 3 at 7 pm. The race winner will be guaranteed a spot in the Oxford 250 in August or the Commonwealth 250 in October. A huge fireworks show will follow the enduro race. Further information about Aroostook County’s premier stock car race in 2018 will be released soon.

Austin Theriault update

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault, though not racing yet this season, has managed to gather a couple of honors that speak to the County native’s racing talent. named him their “Short Track Driver of the Year 2017”.

In their March 6, 2018 press release they wrote, “In 2017, 20 drivers were nominated for the category (Short Track Driver of the Year) with nearly 300 wins represented between them.”

They made mention that Theriault was the first ARCA driver in the 65 year history of the organization to win a race at short track, super speedway, road course, intermediate track, and dirt track in a single season.

NASCAR via a release to ESPN in an article by Bob Pockgrass, named the top 20 prospects in the sport in an article titled “Christopher Bell, Todd Gilliland lead next wave of NASCAR talent”.

The top five in order are:

1) Christopher Bell (23)

2) Todd Gilliland (17)

3) Cole Custer (20)

4) Ryan Preece (27)

5) Harrison Burton (17)

13) Austin Theriault (24)

Theriault has raced most of the racers on this list and beaten almost all of them at one time or the other. I do not recall him racing Ryan Preece or Chandler Smith. I cannot recall him beating Christopher Bell in any race.

Theriault continues to soldier away on obtaining partners for some of the 2018 season and appears to be making a push toward full-time ride in 2019. No details have been released at this time.

Countdown to Ripchair for Mike Chasse continues!

Mike Chasse’s Ripchair under construction at Howe & Howe in Waterboro. Suspension has been added to his machine which is nearing completion. Tony Tulo photo

Front view of Mike Chasse’s Ripchair with suspension mounted. Looks like it will not be too long before the unveiling at the Howe & Howe in Waterboro. Tony Tulo photo

Grandkids after their Grampy’s heart

Where else would you expect Grampy Hale’s grand-daughters to go to a birthday party other than Maine Indoor Karting. Let’s start them young learning car control, sportsmanship, and racing. Marc Cole photo

Anyone remember the Vel’s Parnelli IndyCar?

Chuck Jones with his wife and their restored 1972 Vel’s Parnelli VPJ-102 at the Amelia Island, Florida, Concours. They took first place in the race car category. Dumans Turn 4 photo

The distinct dihedral wings on the VPJ-102 never worked and were removed shortly after its debut in 1972. The car was driven by Joe Leonard. It recently underwent a three-year restoration by Dumans Turn 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dumans Turn 4 Restoration photo

Though I never saw the VPJ-102 in action, I was privileged to see the team’s Formula 1 car the VPJ 4 in its second race. The Maurice Philippe designed car debuted at the Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport on September 22, 1974. After qualifying 16th driver Mario Andretti finished seventh in the car’s first race.

The Vels Parnelli VPJ4 Cosworth powered Formula 1 car driven by Mario Andretti. Wouter Melissen photo in

A third place qualifying at the United States Grand Prix October 6, 1974 was for not after the engine cut out while on the grid. My friends and I wondered what was going on since the race start was delayed. The PA announcer said Andretti had problems and the race was delayed while the mechanics tried to get it to run.

We were at turn 8, the heel of what was called the boot section of Watkins Glen. This is the part of the course not used by NASCAR. When Andretti went by us after two laps of missing in action we wondered what had happened.

In order to fire the car, which had once again stalled on the grid at the display of the green flag, the Vels Parnelli team push-started the car which eventually led to disqualification.

I remember that race since I got to see both American drivers, Mario Andretti who was being interviewed by National Speed Sport editor Chris Economaki in the garage area where we were located on Saturday.

Directly across the garage was Mark Donohue’s Penske F1 car also on its second race since its debut in Canada. I got to see Donohue and Penske though I was unable to get to speak to them. I do not know what I would have said if I had been given the chance to speak to them.

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

One minor error…the finish time should be 8 pm.



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. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine