July 8, 2018
Firecracker 200 in the books and it was good
July is loaded with motorsports events in the County or nearby New Brunswick. Car cruises abound and warm weather is cooperating to allow people to enjoy what the short season in northern Maine allows us gearheads to participate in.
For me, the Aroostook Savings and Loan Firecracker 200 culminated months of preparations. The staff and volunteers at Spud Speedway wanted each and every fan to have a positive experience. Whether it was clean restrooms, well prepared food, and manicured facilities.
Track owner Troy Haney was pleased with the crowd turnout for the Firecracker 200. He and I were talking about crowd size about 5 pm. We both commented that we hoped more people would make it to the track. From that point on it was like a floodgate had been opened as race fans poured into the Caribou facility.
” I would say this was a phenomenal event that went off as well as anyone could have expected”, said Haney. “I don’t have an official number but I would guess there were 2500 our so in attendance.”
And the races…
My guess is that most of the people came to see the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) drivers in action. They did not disappoint. Despite local favorite Austin Theriault unable to finish the feature due to a clutch and electrical malfunction, race fans were treated to door-to-door action throughout the 200 lap race.
Local connected Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) never found the handling to run with the front pack yet was able to hang on for a seventh place finish. Alexander is one of the four finalists in the Valvoline Fast Track to Fame contest which ended the night of the Firecracker 200. They hope to hear results this week. Their next race is at Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Massachusetts for the Pro-Stock Nationals.
One of the reasons that PASS made the trip to the Caribou track was the confidence that Spud Speedway multi-time points champion and PASS racer, Kirk Thibeau expressed to management of the touring series being successful with this race. Despite having to revert to his old reliable Ford when some parts for the new super late-model he is building did not fit, Thibeau placed 11th.
Race winner Derek Griffith commented, “The track was a cool place! Tough, goofy little track. It was real racey. Good door to door racing! I was just hoping those last 15 laps the motor would hold. I was lucky it did. I knew DJ (Shaw) was close I just didn’t want him to have a chance at a bump and run.”
Griffeth who sits second in points behind D J Shaw, finished with water streaming out his overflow pipe. He said his crew chief told him to hold it to the floor no matter what.
Check out this aerial view of Spud Speedway during the Firecracker 200 courtesy of Derek Patten
What is next for Spud Speedway?
Track owner, Troy Haney mentioned some possibilities for future events at the track. He put out feelers on the Spud Speedway Facebook site about holding the Long John race, previously hosted by Unity Raceway, at Spud Speedway in the approximate same time this fall. Typically that is an October race.
Haney is looking for input from racers and fans about their interest in such a race. I am not sure what classes would race in that type of event. Contact Haney for more information and your ideas on the Spud Speedway Facebook page.
He also has said in the past that he would like to see four special once-a-month motorsports type events at the Caribou track since experience has shown him that weekly racing is not viable at this time.
Currently Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) runs their ten race schedule on every other Saturday utilizing the special built kart track.
I would hope that motorsports fans and racers might take advantage of this window of opportunity and momentum to come together with ideas, races and events in the future at the Caribou track.
Speed is coming to the County
The only drug more powerful than the illicit ones is the “need for speed” addiction which will be assuaged at the former Strategic Air Command (SAC) Air Force base in Limestone July 10-15.
The 1.5 mile runway is known throughout the land speed world as the place to go fast in northern Maine. With its wide runways and smooth surface the track holds within its clasp the possibility for new records in both motorcycle and automobile classes.
I am not privy to the list of entrants, however, I suspect New Hampshire’s Jason White will have his Corvette at the track to attempt to move his current record speed of 258.630 miles per hour to at least 260 mph.
Will Pam and Gary Beinke be bringing their Aeroforce funny car back for another shot at the 300 mph mark despite having suffered severe damage to their car in the Harvest 2017 event. The body blew off at over 200 mph.
Will three-time Bill Warner Award winner for fastest motorcycle, Scott Davis, return for another attempt at holding his title? The LTA event always attracts a host of different motorcycles, cars, and upon occasion outlandish race vehicles.
One of the most outrageous was the Harley Davidson powered luge. I am uncertain of the driver’s name or speed. I remember he controlled direction by dragging his feet.
These unique land speed racers will be worth the price of admission. I do not know what LTA will be charging at the gate for the Maine Event. Racing begins Wednesday July 11. Tech inspection will begin July 10 and be available all six days of the race.
For more information check out the Loring Timing Association Facebook page and/or their website. http://www.loringtiming.com/
NMKA Double Header next Saturday at noon
Due to conflicts in racing schedules the Northern Maine Karting Association moved their July 28 race to July 14. The race will now be a double-header with hopes that promise of several races will attract kart racers from other tracks to Spud Speedway.
Pit gates open at 9:30 am with racing at noon. As always the grandstands are free for viewing while pit entrance is $10.
#AroostookImports make trek to Oxford Plains Dragway for Wicked Pissah Stage 3
New England Forest Rally coming to Sunday River Resort in Bethel July 20 & 21, 2018
More about the New England Forest Rally in next week’s episode. Bangor’s John Cassidy is making his 19th appearance at the national event. This time his son John Cassidy V will be making his competition debut as the navigator/co-driver. Read more about the event in next week’s episode. Meanwhile make plans to attend this race.
Click here for the event’s website
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria