August 5, 2019
New Hampshire’s Shaw not second place this time
The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model and Modifieds made a stop at Caribou’s Spud Speedway Sunday. After placing second to Derek Griffith at the 2018 edition of the race, Shaw showed that he was the class of the field powering by Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont on lap 112.
Prior to the pass for the lead, Sweet had led every lap of the 150 lap race. (Why did they name the race Firecracker 200…the combined lap total for PASS cars was 200, the Mods ran 50 lap feature) Sweet had never been to the northern Maine track yet used his short track set-up to his advantage until a caution on lap 101 bunched the field allowing Shaw to go side by side for several laps before getting the lead.
The first caution of the day was brought out by Presque Isle’s Kirk Thibeau suffered a flat tire on lap 69. Caution number two flew at lap 92 when Brandon Barker was spun by Derek Griffith on his outside coming off turn 4. The resulting spin was joined late by Mike Hopkins who smacked Griffith. This put Hopkins out of the race while Griffith was able to continue to a fifth place finish with a rear fender flapping.
County native Shawn Martin ran second and third for much of the beginning of the race. He had won two previous 150 lap races at the Aroostook County track and was seeking his third title. Martin said, “Had an absolute blast racing at Spud Speedway today for the PASS 150. Had a great car and was running 3rd with 50 laps to go and lost the alternator belt. Not the finish we wanted but we all had a blast.”
PASS Mods put on a show at Spud Speedway
The last time the Pro All Stars Series Modified Traveling Tour made an appearance at Spud Speedway was 2010. That 40 lap race on September 21, 2010 was won by Alan Wilson, Hebron, Maine.
PASS Mods racers got in the spirit of the event donating $200 to Feed the County before racing began. The sportsmanship and enthusiasm of the mod racers became apparent when in a post race interview, Waterford’s Spencer Morse was given the microphone by announcer Marcel Bosse. Morse went on to amuse the crowd with his sponsor recognition speech and climb to the flagman tower for photos. He said he could not wait to return next year. That seemed to be the prevailing attitude.
Results- 150 lap Super Late Models
1) 60 – DJ Shaw
2) 40VT – Nick Sweet
3) 4N – Ben Rowe
4) 94 – Garrett Hall
5) 12G – Derek Griffith
6) 57 – Austin Theriault
7) 01 – Andy Saunders
8) 47 – Gabe Brown
9) 96 – Wyatt Alexander
10) 8 – Mike Rowe
11) 14 – Scott McDaniel
12) 97 – Chris Duncan
13) 28 – Kirk Thibeau
14) 5x – Bobby Therrien
15) 94x – Shawn Martin
16) 75 – Gary Smith
17) 16 – Brandon Barker
18) 15 – Mike Hopkins
Results 50 laps PASS Mods
1) 11 – Tyler King
2) 21 – Mike Carignan
3) 34 – Spencer Morse
4) 15 – Wayne Allard
5) 85 – Jairet Harrison
6) 10 – Kate Re
|7) 64 – Matty Sanborn
8) 7 – Spencer Vaughn
9) 52 – Colby Benjamin
10) 2 – Randy Sanborn
11) 35 – Bobby Nadeau
Thoughts about the 2nd Annual Firecracker 200…post-race
First my disclaimer, I am the head groundskeeper at Spud Speedway and an employee of Troy Haney.
One of my former students was the number two groundskeeper at Fenway Park under the legendary Dave Mellor for fourteen and one-half years. He then was hired as the Head of Grounds for Daytona International Speedway. You may recall reading about Jason Griffeth in past episodes of UpNorth Motorsports.
I have stayed in touch with the Woodland native over the years and had a chance to visit him at Fenway Park for insider tours a few times. The last four years I cover the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and get to spend time with him. We talk shop on the phone as well periodically. His work inspires me to keep pushing the powers in charge to spend the time and money to improve the fan experience.
I remember thinking when I took this job at Spud Speedway, I want this place to look the best I can, not for my sake, rather to honor my Lord Jesus Christ who said for us in Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
With the help of my fellow groundskeepers, Brent Rafford and Tyler Raymond, we developed a 20 plus item checklist and delighted when we were able to put the date completed next to each.
Working with a clear endpoint in mind (race day) caused us to focus on the job at hand with intensity. We drove each other to have the cleanest bathrooms that our guest could have, the concessions area would be neat and clean, and the property well maintained.
I heard that folks today expect a racing facility to meet higher standards set by middle level amusement parks. Gone are the days of overflowing trash cans, sketchy food service, warm drinks that should be cold and filthy restrooms.
Race day began at 6:30 am mowing the infield near the large Firecracker sign to give it a fresh look. I wanted to have lush turf surrounding the sign, however, a dry July without irrigation negated that plan.
Last minute checks and re-checks of necessary equipment took place and promptly at 10:30 am, the pit gate opened and a long line of racers got checked into their parking space for the day.
The radio crackled throughout the day as we tended to questions and situations as they arose. When the racing ended, I sighed, took a deep breath, and headed for home to send the Bangor Daily News the results. That was a fun day!
Cumberland Motor Club Auto X returns to Loring August 8-10, 2019
One of the least costly forms of motorsports that car or race kart owners may get involved in is autocross. Autocross uses a closed course designated by a series of bright orange cones to test the driver’s skills and vehicle handling in a competitive, safe, controlled setting. Think of it like a temporary race course with esses, sweeping turns, tight maneuvering zones, and full throttle sections at Loring.
Each vehicle is sent out separately at appropriately spaced intervals to eliminate car-to-car contact. Course marshals watch closely to monitor contact with cones which may become displaced. If a cone becomes displaced, a penalty time is added for each incident.
Fast times are achieved by driving fractions of an inch away from cones yet not touching them. It is fun to watch good racers smoothly maneuver through the course running at speed yet not moving any cones.
Part III Last Ditch Racing at NFR 2019 will be inside Episode 276 next Sunday
Let’s Go Racing!
Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)