June 30, 2019
Is Theriault’s 52 a good sign with NASCAR Monster Energy Cup debut
Since I met Austin Theriault and did my first interview with him at Spud Speedway after he won the Spud 150 in 2009. He had just began to branch out into the American Canadian Tour (ACT). His goal was and continues to be to race in the top series in NASCAR.
“I’ve been working extremely hard to get the opportunity to race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” commented Austin Theriault. “I remember sitting in the NHMS grandstands and watching my favorite driver, Mark Martin, win the last race of his Cup career in 2009. It never crossed my mind, that I would have the opportunity to make my Cup debut at a track that means so much to my family and I. The support we’ve received from New England is humbling, and I’m excited to say I’ll be debuting with the support of New England based companies.”
Tickets and race information can be found at http://www.nhms.com
Big Rig Puller
All the time while he was growing up, John Forbes, 27 of Caribou, loved to go to the truck and tractor pulls at the Northern Maine Fair. He dreamed of someday being able to participate in the sport.
With 20 pulls in an assortment of trucks, Forbes decided a year and a half ago to purchase the International 9370 and turn it into a Big Rig puller. Forbes is a truck driver for Star Enterprises in Caribou a job he has held since he obtained his CDL.
“I drive one of these every day and just wanted to pull one; now I have two. Forbes built a Trans Star 2 cab over which was to be driven by his friend Adam Williams. That did not materialize with the wash out of the truck pulls in Presque Isle.
He was named Caribou Technology Outstanding Student in the Commercial Driving License (CDL) class. His image is posted on the wall at the school to inspire others in their quest for a career.
I asked Forbes about his Big Rig truck while we waited out a down pour at the Northern Maine Fair venue (the pull was cancelled after a few more moments of driven rain), “It is a 9370 International with a six-inch chopped cab that is also dropped 3 inches closer on the frame. The engine is a Cummins engine of ‘good size'” he said with a smile. “We’ll see how good she pulls”.
“My favorite track is the Presque Isle track since it is nearby to my hometown. Every track poses a new challenge every time, depending on whether it is wet, dry, along with all the other conditions. It is always a new challenge no matter where you go.”
Forbes plans to travel to the Bangor Fair Truck Pull July 26 & 27 as well as compete at the Skowhegan Fair later.
Young guys help reduce average age of local tractor club.
Many times an organization wonder how they will be able to continue on after the older members move on for whatever reason. The Northern Maine Antique Tractors Association (NMATC) does have its share of grey haired folks participating in their tractor pulls.
I caught up with a couple of the youth who were participants at the club’s Limestone pull held at the Community Park last Saturday. Reece Pelletier and Brandon Pelletier, both Frenchville residents are classmates at Wisdom High School. Both listed tractor pulling as their favorite sport. Ouellette and Pelletier got into the sport last year.
Ladies enjoy thrill of competition in the NMATC pulls
Rods, Relics, and Rides
Because of my schedule for the weekend, I got a sneak preview of the Rods Relics, and Rides show at the Northern Maine Fair in the Forum. The owners of these cars featured were around when I had my tour. Organizers say it is the largest car show under one roof in New England. Thank you to show organizer Rick Guerrette for the guided tour.
Swanson extends his lead in USAC Silver Crown Series
The winningest driver in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown Series, Kody Swanson, Kingsburg, California now living in Indianapolis, Indiana added his 27 win at the Bytec “Dairyland 100” at Madison International Speedway, Oregon, Wisconsin Friday evening. Swanson led laps 1-12 then went by leader Kyle Hamilton on lap 76 when Hamilton got caught up in three car traffic jam.
Richie Murray, USAC Media recounts the last two laps of the race after a caution came out on lap 97, “Swanson had no trouble on the final two lap sprint, opening up a 1.678 gap at the finish to score his 27th career series win, which is in a stratosphere all his own just one year following his Madison victory that tied him for the all-time win record. Hamilton hung on for second despite getting clipped in turn three by Byrne in a battle for the runner-up spot. Hamilton maintained the grip and hung on for second over Byrne, Bobby Santos and Eric Gordon.”
“It was a change of scenery for Swanson and the Nolen Racing team following their last pavement outing at Lucas Oil Raceway in May where they led for 53 laps before an engine let go on them while leading. Swanson credits the turnaround to the countless hours and sacrifices he and his team made to make sure everything was in order to give them a shot at winning, which they’ve been doing so much of in 2019 with three wins in six races already after the famed, yellow Nolen Racing No. 20 hadn’t been victorious in the decade prior to this year.”
“We’ve been putting in a lot of hours,” Swanson explained. Not only my family and I, but a lot of guys that are part of this race team. Dale Latty and Rick Laughlin met my wife and I at the shop at 7am Wednesday so we could go to Salem (Ind.) Speedway to shake it down and make sure we had all the bugs worked out, but we weren’t sure. We came home, started at 7am and worked until 11 at night, and never gave up.”
“Yesterday, we did all our homework to make sure I was ready to deal whatever handling challenges were thrown at us,” Swanson continued. “It was a completely different racetrack to me than we had a year ago. We made changes all the way through driver introductions on the front stretch. I wasn’t sure if we had done it right, or if I had made the right calls, but the longer it went, we stayed in the hunt. You never know what’s going to happen in the end. Luckily for us, persistence kept us in it and gave us a chance.”
Rained out NMKA kart race rescheduled
Mazda finally wins in IMSA
Pay attention to the GRASS!
Make sure you pay attention to the turf grass on the front stretch at Daytona International Speedway. I will be having some insight into how that grass with the help of an Aroostook County man, made the transition from January to July. Happy Fourth of July!
Let’s Go Racing
Soli Deo Gloria