May 21, 2017
Motorsports Hall of Fame Member Recognized by FFA For His Volunteer Work
The Maine State FFA Association (formerly Future Farmers of America), honored Hall of Fame member Bob Alexander with the Honorary State Degree at their 87th Annual State Convention Thursday evening in Bangor.
Alexander was recognized his work with the Agriculture Mechanics and Technology contest over the last decade. The contest involves students in agriculture education state-wide. These FFA members showcase their skills in electricity, small engines, welding, special problems in agriculture, and general knowledge.
The small engines segment has been run by the former County resident where his background in mechanics lends real world experience to enhance the quality of the contest. Problems ranged from spray pump engines to fertilizer augers driven by gasoline engines.
While in high school in Mars Hill in the mid-1960’s, Alexander was an active member of the FFA at his school. He credits his FFA Advisor Whitaker with steering him in the right direction both while in high school and after graduation.
In 2015 Alexander became the first racer from Spud Speedway in Caribou to be elected to the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. His career has many branches ranging from stock car builder, racer, agriculture research technician, tool sales, automotive shop owner, tech center instructor, and University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) recruiter.
He is retired and lives with his wife Kristi in Ellsworth. He serves as the crew chief on his grandson, Wyatt Alexander’s family owned super late-model stock car.
Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) will be competing for the first time next Sunday, May 28th, at Speedway 660 in Geary Woods, New Brunswick. The team placed fourth in Saturday’s season opener for Super Late Models at Wiscasset on Saturday evening.
Austin Theriault Places Sixth at Toledo Speedway
In his debut at the Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio, Austin Theriault finished sixth after spending most of the afternoon in the top ten. Theriault’s #52 had Ohio-based Midwest Logistics Systems and K & L Ready Mix on board this weekend.
The Menards 200 was won by 16-year-old Harrison Burton, the son of Jeff Burton. This was Burton’s first win in the ARCA Series.
Before the race, Shane Lee held second place in the points standings. Lee had problems in the race finishing 22nd and now is in third Dalton Sargeant who placed second took over second place in the series championship. Theriault’s sixth place put him unofficially 110 points in front of Sargeant.
The ARCA Series next races at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota June 3. The race will be shown on MAVTV at 8 pm.
Ryan Motorsports Debuts in Pro Stocks at Speedway 660
Van Buren Honda Engineer Volunteers at Formula SAE Again
Philip LaPointe, whose exploits with Honda, Honda Performance Development, and Research & Development have been well documented in previous episodes, served as a judge at the Formula SAE International competition May 10-12. The competition was held at Michigan International Speedway.
The FSAE is a college aged competition which pits some of the best engineering schools in the world in a contest to build a formula type race car with well documented cost analysis and on-track tests.
LaPointe has volunteered in previous FSAE events and noted that the Stuttgart team impressed him with their excellent endurance race results. He felt the German and Austrian teams were brilliant.
And Maine FSAE at UMaine @ Orono
While I am at the FFA State Convention at the University of Maine at Orono, I always make my way to Crosby Lab where mechanical engineering student are always working on neat projects. This year Dan Raymond and I found out that senior capstone projects this spring were autonomous vehicles that had to get their primary power from a 3.5 horsepower gas engine.
We met Crosby Lab Manager Stephen Abbadessa who introduced us to the Mechanical Engineering You Tube site where students tested their autonomous vehicles. In addition, he showed us the 2012 edition of the FSAE car built by UMO students was back in the lab.
You may recall FFA members and welding class members from Caribou Tech Center built pieces of UMO’s version one and two FSAE cars. Version two actually made it to the national competition where it finished in the middle of the pack, no small accomplishment for a rookie team.
After the members of that team graduated the FSAE project went away. I am unsure if it will be resurrected by gearhead oriented students in the future.
Grainger Video Showing Six Post NASCAR “Shaker” Test
It May Not Be Motorsports, However, Local Man Wants to Compete Once Again at Olympic Level
Even though the sport of biathlon may not be a motorsport, I like to follow Stockholm native Russel Currier as he once again attempts to make the 2018 Olympic team that will be competing in Pyeong Chang, South Korea.
I have known Russell and his family for many years having graduated from high school with his mother Debra Gregory Currier and Chris Currier. My daughter, Jessica, worked for Maine Winter Sports, as it was called at the time, for one winter showing kids in New Sweden and Stockholm Elementary school how to cross-country ski.
Russell happened to be one of those in the classes that Jessica was in charge. She said they all would start out together and Russell would take off and lap them. He was very motivated even as a youngster.
I am asking you to consider Russell’s request and if you are able to help this young man with his dream please feel free to do that.
Northern Maine Karting Association & Spud Speedway Friday Night Racing Series Season Opener
Kart racing season begins June 2, 2017 race presented by Burger Boy in Caribou. The Caribou track is located on the Thompson Road. Kart racers will be practicing Saturday May 27 in preparation for the season opener.
The 10 race series will continue on Friday nights until the special invitational race on Saturday September 8. The season finale will pit teams from all around Maine and western New Brunswick for the First Annual Karting Challenge. Complete details about the season finale will be released soon.
Let’s Go Racing,
Soli Deo Gloria