October 5, 2014
I know the racing season is winding down locally as well as nation wide, however, I am gearing up to go to Bogota, Colombia where a County organization known as Neighbors First will return to the area to put the top floor on a church in the neighborhood of Bosa Esmeralda. My 38 years as an Agriculture Instructor at Caribou Tech Center has made me acutely aware of the need for skilled labor training.
The third floor will contain vocational training for commercial sewing in order that local women might earn a living from home or in the commercial garment industry. I am a strong advocate of vocational training here at home as well as abroad.In this case it helps give these families hope.
I will report back to you after our return. We will be there November 17-24, 2014.
Looking Back on the 2014 Season
I have spent the last year doing some things that I never would imagine doing.I was part of the Spud Speedway Pit Stop Challenge crew at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in january. I was a Production Assistant (gopher) on the crew filming the Top Gear episode at Loring and Spud Speedway. I got to meet and mingle with the hosts of the show Tanner, Rutledge, and Adam as well as several crew members.
The Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame ceremony in Augusta was next where the County’s own Chink Maynard and Bobby Alexander were inducted as the newest members bringing with them the largest contingent of supporters of any inductee.
I took on the job of groundskeeper for Spud Speedway as well as writer for special events at the track as you have seen through the blog. My highlight had to be working with Joe Brissette and Tyler Raymond making that facility look the best and be as safe as we could make it. Hard work yet rewarding.
The Motorsports Fair held at the track was a busy time with over 2000 visitors in the three days that I was there. I lost my glasses at one of the kart races and never did find them. They must have been ground into dust by the Monster trucks.
It was with mixed feelings that I reported the closing of the County’s only stock car track for 2015. I understood, but still felt it was tough to say good-bye to an old friend where I have spent many hours beginning when I would try to sneak into the track in the 1960’s as a teenager.
As I worked alone last week in the pits at the track, I stopped doing what I was doing and listened. Except for the occasional farm truck,tractor or car moving by the front gate it was silent. The wind blew through the quaking aspen yielding their distinct rustling noise.
I thought about the track and what it is. It is only a tool, a gathering place where like minded racers, fans, and motorsports enthusiasts would gather to make memories with race cars. Without the people, the cars, the hustle and bustle of workers and crews it could have been someone’s back yard or one of the myriad agricultural fields the County is known for.
I hope that track owner Troy Haney can enter into serious negotiations with a someone with the wherewithal to promote stock car racing or whatever motorsports would or could be successful at the Caribou facility. Fifty years of racing history has passed with names often only known by a few as the stars of their era. Will there be more memories of future drivers and crews? I am not certain.
There will be kart racing at Spud Speedway in 2015
Track owner, Troy Haney,assured members of the press as well as racers that regardless of the situation with stock car racing there will be kart racing in 2015 utilizing the new kart track as well as possibly developing a road race course using the stock car oval. Classes would remain the same with a schedule to be determined by kart racers at a winter meeting of current racers and those interested in getting into kart racing.
WAR Ends on a positive note
The race report next is courtesy Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) and is used with permission.
“Wyatt Alexander Racing ended the season with a second place finish at Wiscasset Speedway Saturday Wyatt Alexander drove like a seasoned veteran in his final race of the 2014 season. Driving his #96 Speedway Sports Park/K&B Auto Super Late Model, he finished a career high second place in just his fifth start in the Pro Stock ranks during the Fall Fury on Saturday afternoon. Wiscasset Speedway has quickly become one of Alexander’s favorite places to race, and thanked his team and the track for the great finish.
‘I owe it to my family and our great team for this,’ Alexander said after the race. ‘I was able to get to a quick start and get on the bottom, and our car was just working really well down on the bottom at the start and we had a great battle for second there, I’m really proud of this, I want to keep coming back here next year, the Jordan family has been great to us and the whole crew here is top notch.’
“Under overcast and misty conditions on a cool Maine day on the coast, the teams were forced to rush the event to get the racing in, giving them only one practice session and feature events only. Alexander would start the feature from the sixth position. By the time the field got going into turn one, Alexander’s spotter Evan Beaulieu cleared him to the bottom, and he set sail from there. By the time lap four was over, he was up to second and looking to take the lead from multiple time track champion, Scott Chubbuck. Alexander dueled for the rest of the race with current track champion Mike Orr for the second spot. At the end of 30 laps, Alexander held on to the second spot at the finish, a huge boost for the young driver in his young Pro Stock career”.
What do you do if it is an off weekend? Check in with Austin Theriault
With the postponement of the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont where Austin Theriault was to fill in for Travis Starnes this weekend, it appears the Theriault family has pulled the Ground Pounder II pulling truck out of hibernation to compete at the Fryeburg Fair Truck Pulls. Austin is the third generation modified 4 X 4 pulling truck driver. His grandfather, Richard, began with Ground pounder I in 1982. His Dad, Steve, continued the tradition with 4 x 4 Modified pullers.
Theriault showed he can drive a modified truck as well as stock cars winning two classes as of the posting of this article.
Next weekend Theriault goes back to work in a stock car at the Winchester, Indiana 1/2 mile high banked track for the CRA Winchester 400 one of the toughest races in American short track racing.
Kody Swanson preps for season finale
USAC Silver Crown racing series heads to the one mile dirt track at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York. Points leader Kody Swanson holds on to a slim 12 point margin over Tracy Hines.
I asked my friend how he was preparing for the upcoming race and his shot at winning the National USAC Silver Crown title.
“We’ve had a good season already, but our goal has always been to clinch that championship. This weekend, we’re heading to the race shop in Alvada, Ohio to help finish the prep work on the Silver Crown car for next weeks run in Syracuse. They call that track the ‘moody mile’ so it is known for being challenging and a little spooky. I like tracks with character like that, so I’m looking forward to the challenge and seeing where we stand at the end of the day and our season.”
The last time USAC Silver Crown raced at the New York Stae Fairgrounds was in 2003 when Phoenix, Arizona’s J.J. Yeley won the race.
USAC Silver Crown drivers have included Pancho Carter, Kenny Schrader, AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Rich Vogler, and Dave Darland to name a few. So stay tuned to this column for results and comments.
I may be a little late posting next weekend since we are visiting grandkids (and Kids). I also hope to test my skills at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough against some of the Cumberland Motor Club folks who autocross at Loring for the past five years.
Let’s Go Racing!
Soli Deo Gloria