Big Woods Grass Drags and Milk Bowl results are in and more

Episode 283

September 29, 2019

Big Woods Snowmobile Grass Drag results are in, Epping next?

Race Director Lendell Buckingham released the results from the Grass Drags at Ashland September 21, 2019. He commented that they are already fixing things and getting ready for bigger event in 2020. (Facebook post by Big Woods Grass Drags)

Four time winner at Big Woods Grass Drags, Ethan Rossignol, Woodland, is leaning towards going to the New Hampshire Grass Drags and Watercross, Brookville Farms, Freemont, New Hampshire October 11-13, 2019. He rated the competition at the New Hampshire event almost as good as Hay Days held in the summer at North Branch, Minnesota.

Preparation for the New Hampshire Grass Drags includes jetting the carb for lower elevation and track conditions which are different than the Ashland track. Rossignol plans to use the amateur night on Friday with someone else on his sled to help dial in the air:fuel ratio and clutch settings.

Caribou’s John Holmquist, Team OCD Racing, most likely will go. He is bringing his 600 Arctic Cat to the event as of publishing time this evening. Taggett Racing, another member of Team OCD Racing will be bringing their 500 Arctic Cat for high school freshman Jesse Taggett to race.

Vermont Thunder Road Speedbowl hosts largest motorsports event of 2019

August 18, 2019  I documented my trip to Thunder Road Speedbowl , Barre, Vermont in Episode 277 of UpNorth Motorsports. I made mention of the numerous track and spectator enhancements as well as the large crowd for a regular Thursday night of racing. At the races that evening track personnel were already preparing for the 57th Milk Bowl 2019.

The Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl is a two-day adventure with lots of racing both days. The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) were in action on Saturday with the PASS 150 which was won by Barre, Vermont’s Nick Sweet. Sweet was the runner-up at the Firecracker 200 at Spud Speedway August 4th. Sweet ran the Milk Bowl, however, was not competitive and finished 21 of 30 entries.

Senoia, Georgia’s short track star,  Bubba Pollard was not super competitive with 15th in segment one, 14th in segment two, and a 7th in the final segment for a total of 36 points which landed him in 12th place.

The Milk Bowl winner is determined by a rather unusual method. The race is run with three separate 50 lap segments with drivers getting points for each race. The Milk Bowl winner will have the lowest overall score after three rounds. The races are inverted after each segment requiring fast cars to race through the pack yet still avoiding race ending crashes.

Members of the media interview Milk Bowl 2019 winner, Bobby Therrien, Hinesville, Vermont. Therrien started from the pole and won segment 1, finished second in segment 2, and with a fifth in segment 3 had overall score of eight points. Brooks Clark, Waitsfield, VT finished in runner-up spot with 15 total points and Tyler Cahoon, Danville, VT was third with 19 total points. Single digit totals are rare in the 57 years of the Milk Bowl in fact was not accomplished for the last 20 years.  This was however the second consecutive single digit total. (Justin St. Louis photo)

In addition to $12,000 dollars in prize money and having his name engraved on the Milk Bowl trophy, the highlight is a chance to kiss a cow in Victory Circle. Therrien lays a smooch on the snout of 10-year-old Ayris a Ayrshire dairy cow. (Alan Ward photo)

Local Big Rig truck puller second at Cumberland Fair

John Forbes, Caribou owner/driver of two International Big Rig pulling trucks, made the trip to the Cumberland Fair in Cumberland, Maine to participate in their truck pulls. The first evening his 9370 International conventional cab pulled 206.38 feet before losing a turbo.

Forbes had better luck in his International cabover placing second on night one and second on night two with his friend Steve Dumais, Presque Isle in the seat.

John Forbes Silver Star Enterprises International cabover on its way to a second place finish at the Cumberland Fair. Five Big Rigs made up the class both evenings. (Jess Doucette photo)

Silver Star Enterprises sponsored 9370 International of John Forbes, Caribou, on its way down the track at the Cumberland Fair. The Big Rig pulled 206.38 feet before losing its turbocharger putting it out of commission the remainder of the truck pull. (Jess Doucette photo)

Swanson Five-Time USAC Silver Crown Champion!

Kody Swanson needed to only present his car on the grid for the 4 Crown Nationals at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Raceway, Rossburg, Ohio. Swanson’s lead over second place Justin Grant was insurmountable. The question up in the air was whether Swanson could overcome a 15 point deficit in the owners points race.

Followers of UpNorth Motorsports may recall that Swanson had to jump in Patrick Lawson’s Silver Crown car Labor Day weekend at the one mile dirt track at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds after not one but two Nolen racing engines would not run. He charged forward in this unfamiliar race car from 29th place starting position to 14th at the end.

Swanson got the points as the driver, however, Nolen Racing did not pick up points thus shuffling to second in the owner’s points race. Klatt Enterprises led them going into their final race of the season at Eldora.

Brady Bacon wins the USAC Silver Crown race at Eldora Raceway and secures the owner’s championship for Klatt Enterprises and Bobby East. (USAC Racing photo)

Brady Bacon needed only to finish fourth or higher to secure the owner’s title for the Klatt Enterprises team. Bacon was not taking it easy however, blasting by the race leader and pole sitter Kevin Thomas Jr. with less than 10 laps to go and held onto the lead. His first place finish gave the owner’s title to Klatt Enterprises and Bobby East (Beast Chassis), their first overall win.

The top five finishing order USAC Silver Crown 4 Crown Nationals at Eldora Raceway:

1 Brady Bacon

2 Kevin Thomas Jr.

3 Justin Grant

4 Kody Swanson

5 Shane Cottle

Kody Swanson, family, and crew of the #20 Nolen Racing Silver Crown Championship team celebrate his fifth driver’s title on stage at Eldora Raceway. Swanson finished the race in fourth his personal best at the Rossburg, Ohio dirt track. ( Sydney Andrus photo)

After the race Swanson commented, “After a season filled with long hours and late nights, it is hard to believe just how quickly a year can go by.”

“Last night, we celebrated my 5th USAC Silver Crown Championship, and I want to draw direct attention to the fact that I didn’t do any of it alone. I am incredibly grateful for my wife Jordan Swanson, our children, and our family that have supported me in so many ways throughout my career, and again this year. I am so thankful for Gene and everyone on the Nolen Racing team, for accepting my family and I as part of their own, and for all the long hours, hard work and effort that they each put in for this season.”

“I know and want to recognize that any accomplishment in racing is truly a team effort, and I am grateful to been part of this team this season, and believe that we are all USAC Champions together. I appreciate each one of our team members, and the sacrifices that they and their families have made in the past year, so that we could all chase after our goals this season. Thank you to all of the sponsors and manufacturers, and everyone who has been there to support me and this team! Thank you all again!”

“And I want to make a special point to say – Thank you to Patrick Lawson and his team for their kindness, and the opportunity to drive his car in the feature at DuQuoin this year. His (& their) selflessness that night played a key role at a critical time for my season, and want to recognize them for what they did for me, and for being part of this Championship.”

Baer Motorsports Park has a great idea

Baer Motorsports Park located in Fort Wayne Indiana has what I consider a fun event which may get several drivers and fans involved in the motorsports scene. They call this event the “Grocery Getter Classic”. This was year two of the popular (non-race). Fifty cars and drivers entered the Classic II.

I found out about the Grocery Getter Classic when I read about Tom Patsis, Cold Hard Art owner, joining this team in 2018 using  this Chevy Caprice. L to r Chad Wood, Kyle Heins, Vickie Balhoff, Richie Price owner, Brock Price and his friend Mason. Cold Hard Art (CHA) owner Tom Patsis is in the background. The team placed seventh and completed 3085 laps around the 1/2 mile oval. They were down 302 laps to the winner. (Richie Price photo)

The race runs 24 hours in cars which are literally grocery getter cars right off the street. Absolutely no contact is allowed during the race with severe penalties assessed to those who make contact with another car.

The Grocery Getter Classic II features a large payout and emphasizes the endurance aspect. I believe  a shorter version of this race might be a viable option for Spud Speedway. Let me know what you think. Here are their rules directly from their website:

1 – ALL CARS shall come to the facility RACE READY.  All glass, headlights, and tail lights should be removed along with other excess parts like spare jack, spare tires, old parts, trash, etc.  Car’s interior must remain in stock condition.  No truck based vehicles will be permitted.  Cars and vans are eligible but MUST be 22 feet in length or SMALLER.  Stock fuel cell, no reinforcements of any nature may be added to the vehicle (bumpers, sides, roof, etc), No roll cages or other such modifications may be conducted.  Must have WORKING AM/FM radio in vehicle.  THIS IS NOT A RACE CAR!!! Must remove A/C, can remove the cat most replace with pipe must have muffler

2-Fueling shall be conducted in ONE DESIGNATED FUELING AREA.  Driver MUST EXIT THE VEHICLE before fueling can be conducted on ANY competitors vehicle.  Crew members/teammates must have a fire extinguisher present when fueling is taking place.

3-Helmets are required to be worn by ALL competitors along with a long-sleeved shirt (Fire-suits ARE PERMITTED!).  ALL competitors must also have a neck collar on while on track.

4-During competition, no vehicles will be permitted to remain in competition with a flat tire.  Driver will be given 2 (TWO) courtesy laps to acknowledge the flat tire and take the vehicle to the service area.  Failure to do so will result in a stoppage in the vehicles scoring with grounds for disqualification.

5-Jam vehicles may be used as necessary to remove disabled vehicles from the racing surface.  Should the yellow lights be activated (caution warning lights) and the “Jam Vehicle” have its yellow lights flashing, ALL VEHICLES ON THE SURFACE MUST YIELD TO THE JAM VEHICLE.  NO EXCEPTIONS!!!  ANY vehicle that does not abide by those guidelines will be subject to disqualification.

6-Vehicles may carry ONE person while on the racing surface.  NO PASSENGERS OF ANY SORT ARE PERMITTED!  Any violation will result in disqualification.

7-Shall a vehicle be in the work area, NO crew members are permitted to be under a vehicle without the proper use of jack stands.  A simple “floor jack” is not sufficient.

8-A strict 5 MPH Speed Limit will be enforced while in the pits / service area.  The speeds will be monitored and any violation of pit speed will result in a penalty and possible disqualification.

9-ALL TEAMS must have a 5 LB fire extinguisher in their pits at ALL TIMES!!!

10-ROUGH AND AGGRESSIVE DRIVING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED!  Any vehicle/competitor found blocking or intentionally trying to crash/retaliate at another competitor shall be penalized or disqualified at the discretion of track officials.  You wouldn’t make contact driving down the highway, DO NOT DO IT HERE!

11-Each vehicle in competition must have a MINIMUM of 4 (FOUR) drivers registered with the vehicle.  Each registered driver must turn at least 1 (ONE) LAP in the vehicle(s) they are registered to compete in.  Failure to do so will result in disqualification.

12-Have fun and let’s remember THIS IS NOT A RACE, ITS AN ENDURANCE TEST!

13-Be creative.

Will this be Heather Holler’s last rallycross event?

With a pending move to North Carolina from Vermont, Heather and Garrett Holler (Holler Customs) hope to purchase a house with a garage , of course. This will require both to work outside the home to meet financial obligations.

Heather Holler working on the DirtFish ARX2 racer driven by Brad Deberti at Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas last Saturday. Helping Holler to prep the car is Kelsey Shelton. Deberti won qualifying race one and finished second in qualifying race two before difficulty with a heim joint in the shifter put him down in the finishing order. (Heather Holler photo)

Heather, who has worked at Vermont Sports Cars Subaru USA rally team and DirtFish Motorsports feels that she may not be able to breakaway to travel to some of the American RallyCross Series (ARX) races. The season finale is at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course October 5 & 6, 2019. Deberti will not be racing at that event thus no need for race prep mechanics.

She was pleased with the driver’s performance at the penultimate round of the 2019 season at the specially designed rallycross track at Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

DirtFish Motorsports ARX 2 rallycross cars being prepared for action in the one-day event at the Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas. Holler free lances as a race prep mechanic. (Heather Holler photo)

“Well we kicked butt winning our qualifiers, but unfortunately a rose joint (heim joint) broke on the gear shift linkage knocking us out of the final. ☹️ We had it fixed in minutes and were hoping that one of the cars was too broken to make it to the final. As the cars were called to the line, Alex Keyes (Buhl Motorsports) was missing. Luckily we were ready to go. But as we got about 20 feet to the line, Keyes came hauling around the corner to the start, barely making the final. ☹️ Brad Deberti was one if the fastest cars out there today, so it was a big hit for me”.

“Must Go” Event in Vermont for motorsports fans

Vermont Sports Cars in Milton, Vermont announced that an Open House will be taking place at the new race shop Saturday October 12 from 9am to 5pm. From 9:30 to 11:30 the truck bay area of VSC will be filled with race car parts and miscellaneous old stuff no longer needed by the team. Who knows what type of bargains one might find.

I will be writing about this team after visiting with PR Director Chris Yandell in August 2019. Let me know what you think of the Open House and Garage Sale.

The front doors at Vermont Sports cars will be thrown wide open as the Milton, Vermont Subaru USA race team will be opening the brand new shop for the general public October 12, 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm. A race parts garage sale will be taking place until noon. (Vermont Sports Cars photo)

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)

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