Tractor pulling, family, and Northern Maine Fair go well together

Episode 223

July 29. 2018

All the way from Slave Lake, Alberta to pull at the Northern Maine Fair, Logan Thomas, formerly of Mars Hill on his trial run in the 8500 pound ProFarm class. He finished third. HTF Motorsports photo

All the way from Alberta, Canada to pull at his “home” fair

I usually do not get to attend the Northern Maine Fair tractor and truck pulls, however, a rescheduled kart race allowed me spend a few hours at this year’s International Tractor Pull.

I did get to meet Logan Thomas, a Mars Hill High School graduate and former FFA member. Thomas graduated in 2010 from Central Aroostook High School. After going to UMPI and NMCC he moved to Alberta where his father, Jim Thomas, formerly of Centreville, New Brunswick, now lives. Thomas works in the oil industry.

Logan Thomas with his ProFarm International “Never E Nuff”. Contributed photo from Facebook

Since flying in to the County on Tuesday the 24th, Logan spent many hours getting his tractor, “Never E Nuff” ready for competition.  Friday evening was the teams first good night’s rest.

“We hauled the tractor to the farm and put it in the shop,” said Thomas whose step dad Neil Grass has a farm in the Mars Hill area B.D. Grass & Sons. ” We spent the next three days completely rebuilding the motor.”

“We had to put sleeves and pistons; a complete rebuild. As you know, nothing bolts up when you get new parts; there was a lot of fabrication, missing components we had to try to make work”

“I did not have high expectations of that first run. It was more of a trial run to see where we were at. We had an oil leak that hindered the power output as well as a slipping clutch.”

“I am not sure what the ground speed was, probably around 15 miles per hour. It should have been 10 mph faster. We will try some parts and have it ready for our next pull in the 8500 pound Light Pro Farm class.”

Thomas credited some of his success to membership in the Mars Hill FFA when he became a member in 2006. His freshman year, the agriculture mechanics team placed first in state competition held at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor.

That team went on to compete at the National FFA Convention and Expo at Indianapolis, Indiana. Mars Hill FFA did not win, however, they did compete against the best from every state. Thomas enjoyed the welding portion of the contest.

His father, Jim Thomas of Centreville, New Brunswick, got Logan interested in pulling tractors. Jim was a competitor for many years not only at the Presque Isle Fair but at most pulls in Maine and New Brunswick. Though Logan will be unable to attend, Team Thomas with their tractor “Under-Pressure” will be competing at the National Tractor Pulling Association Super Nationals in Bowling Green, Ohio August 16-18. The event is being live-streamed on WatchNTPA.com or on RFD-TV.

Other tractor pullers in action

Glenn Mockler, New Denmark, New Brunswick (right) with his International 706 ProFarm “Puddle-Jumper” on the scales before his pull in the 8,500 pound class. HTF Motorsports photo

After his first attempt, Mockler who was puffing huge clouds of white smoke, got back in line and re-pulled. His distance of 310 feet netted first place in ProFarm 8500 class. After the pull he told me he thought he had put a hole in a piston. HTF Motorsports photo

Carol Bell of Presque Isle seems to be urging her Ford antique tractor onward. Bell a member of the Northern Maine Antique Tractor Club, may not have won, however she said she had fun. HTF Motorsports photo

Teen-ager Reese Pelletier, Frenchville, in his first major tractor pull with a 1949 Farmall H in the 8000 pound class. The tractor is owned by his father Ryan Pelletier. HTF Motorsports photo

Logan Longley, Caribou, in action with his Allis Chalmers that he won in the Northern Maine Antique Tractor Club’s raffle two years ago. The 14-year-old has taken a liking to tractor pulling and now does the majority of the work on his tractor. HTF Motorsports photo

Dennis Quint, Monticello, drives his Allis Chalmers to victory at the Northern Maine Fair International Truck and Tractor Pull. HTF Motorsports photo

Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the remainder of the tractor and truck pull. The last time I was able to watch the International Truck and Tractor Pull I reported on a couple of the truck pullers. Maybe someday I will get to see the whole show. I was encouraged to see some young folks involved in tractor pulling which bodes well for the sport.

Rod,Rides, and Relics Show shows growth

According to Joe Chamberlain, one of event organizer Rick Guerrette’s helpers, the show was the largest yet with 96 cars, 24 snowmobiles, and numerous trucks and miscellaneous vehicles on display. Chamberlain felt sure that makes the Presque Isle show the largest indoor car show in New England.

Joe Fiduccia, Pennsylvania, with his Optimus Prime Replica truck which was a part of the Rods, Rides, and Relics Show at the Northern Maine Fair. Fiducia had the 2017 Western Star 5700 XE modified to look like the Transformers version. Fiduccia will be traveling next to Tampa, Florida to display at the Tampa Bay Comic Convention. HTF Motorsports

Wade Bright, Fort Fairfield, examines the Breen Bell 1934 Chevy Sedan. The car was one of my show favorites as well. HTF Motorsports photo

Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame newest member and first snowmobile racer inducted to the Hall of Fame, Tom Peters, Presque Isle, was in charge of the snowmobile section of the Rods, Rides, and Relics Show. Peters (left) is pictured here with event volunteer Joe Chamberlain. HTF Motorsports photo

With the Loring Timing Association’s (LTA) entry in the “Hay Bale Decorating” contest. I may be biased, however, in my opinion, the LTA entry was the best. HTF Motorsports photo

WAR prepares for Oxford 250 in late August

Wyatt Alexander Racing sporting their new Valvoline decal as the winner of the Fast Track to Fame contest sponsored by the oil company. Sandy Haley photo

The Wyatt Alexander racing (WAR) team is getting primed for a shot at the 45th Annual Oxford 250 which will be held August 26, 2018 at Oxford Plains Speedway. With a boast from Valvoline after Alexander won the Fast Track to Fame contest, the team hopes to make the field in one of America’s most prestigious short track races.

Crew chief Bob Alexander summed up today’s results, an eighth place finish in a 51 car field by saying, “It was an interesting day for sure. The car was decent in practice. Not as quick as we should have been, but ok. We kept tweaking the setup in order to get it where it needed to be . We were 16th fast of 51 cars in the final practice.”

“Wyatt finished 5th in his heat race just one spot shy of the cut for the feature. Three more cars would advance from three consolidation races. Wyatt started outside pole in consi one and drove away for a commanding win. This meant that we were in the feature.”

“We finishes 8th after a hard battle from 35th following an early pit stop for minor adjustments. This was a great confidence booster for the team. I think we will be in great shape for the Oxford 250. We will be racing again at Oxford next weekend.”

I have used several photos from Caribou’s Stacy Robey in past episodes. She was recognized for her photography skills at the art section of the Northern Maine Fair, winning three blue ribbons. This was her motorsports selection. Photo by Stacy Robey

Upcoming events at Spud Speedway include the Northern Maine Karting Association’s sixth race of the season August 11 and a huge Monster Truck Show September 8th. HTF Motorsports photo

New England’s largest autocross is coming to the former air force base at Loring on August 10-12. The Cumberland Motor Club celebrates their 50th anniversary as a club this year. Event information can be found at their website www.cumberlandmotorclub.com/cmc/

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