Maine Man Wins In Canada and Solidifies Points Lead

 

Eastport’s Drew Greenlaw in Victory Circle at Speedway 660 with win number two . In Victory Circle with Greenlaw,left to right Roy Greenlaw (Grandfather),Samantha Wilder, Alex Condly, Madison Greenlaw (Sister), Lisa MacIntosh (Major Sponsor), Christina Greenlaw (Mother)Judy Turner (Grandmother), Gerald Greenlaw (Father) and Drew. Mike Francis photo

Maine Man Wins Big At Canadian Track

The only Maine person racing at New Brunswick’s Speedway 660 located in Geary Woods on a regular basis is Eastport’s Drew Greenlaw. Greenlaw, 19, is majoring in Survey Engineering at UMO. Greenlaw has been racing at 660 since 2010.

He races in the Late Model Sportsman class. His sponsors are Lisa MacIntosh from RE/MAX Group Four Realty, Lonnie Sommerville Racing, Lighthouse Lobster, Pub’s Bottle Exchange, The Friendly Restaurant, and Raye’s Mustard.

Three generations of Greenlaw race drivers, Drew Greenlaw, grandfather Roy and father Gerald. Gerald and Drew both race(d) at Speedway 660. Mandi Milligan photo

Drew’s Dad, Gerald, had this to say about the win, “Drew started the night by taking the green in heat one in the 4th spot and drove his way to the win which gave him the pole of the Late Model Sportsman feature.”

“The feature went 40 laps caution free and Drew lead all 40 laps. [The] win was his second feature of the year at Speedway 660. The win now puts Drew in the points lead going into next weekend’s point finale race.”

Swanson Back-to-Back at Salem Speedway

 

Kody Swanson became the second winningest driver in USAC Silver Crown racing history. With his win, Swanson now has 18 wins. Only “Jumping Jack Flash”, Jack Hewitt has more wins with 23. Swanson won this race in 2016 which has only been accomplished by four other drivers including Parnelli Jones.

From Richie Murray’s piece in USAC Racing.com used with permission.

“This place is incredibly difficult,” Swanson said.  “It’s so high-banked and physically demanding just on the load and the force that you go through.  With an open wheel car, you carry so much speed and you don’t have a lot of grip.  That makes it hard to drive.  On top of that, Salem has some character on both ends.   I used to fear coming here because it was a track that made me feel uncomfortable.  I always felt like I was behind.  I was just trying to react.  I wasn’t able to race because I was just trying to survive each lap.”

” Running this car last year and running with these guys made It fun.  Today, when I came through the gates, instead of thinking ‘oh my gosh, I’m at Salem,’ I was excited for the challenge.  No one’s going to have a perfect handling racecar here, so it’s time to get up in the seat and do your job.”

Kody and Jordan Swanson with their son Trevor in Victory Lane at Salem Speedway after winning the USAC Silver Crown race. Swanson credits much of the success to his wife who is his spotter. Jordan Swanson photo

“My wife spots for me.  I trust her with everything,” Swanson said.  When you hear the ‘clear by 3’ go up to ‘clear by 5,’ you have a little reassurance.  It was tough in lapped traffic.  We seemed to catch them at the wrong time and it allowed them to close.”

“The longer the race went, the better I felt.  In the last 20, we were able to click off pretty smooth and consistent laps.  With bumps, it’s fun as a driver because you can always move around and you’re constantly trying to figure out, ‘can I use it better or can I dodge it better?’  As your car wears out, if you can figure it out, it will pay dividends.”

Swanson reiterated much of what he said in the Murray interview when he mentioned  to me, ” Salem is just one of those places that gets your attention from the moment you walk in. The high banks, high speeds and rough corners make the racing intense to say the least.”

“I’m very thankful for a team that helped me get comfortable running at a place like Salem, and it’s an honor to have won the Joe James / Pat O’Connor classic for them!”

Both Swanson and Austin Theriault race next weekend at the Illinois State Fairground on the one mile dirt track. Theriault will run the ARCA race Sunday and Swanson the USAC race Saturday. This will be Theriault’s first dirt race in any race series not only the ARCA Series.

Both men are leading their respective series. With his win Saturday, Swanson leads last year’s champion Chris Windom by 63 points. Theriault’s lead over second place Dalton Sargeant is 175 points.

The Herr’s Potato Chip 100 ARCA race get’s under way on Sunday August 20 at 2:30 EST. The Bettenhausen 100 USAC Silver Crown race will be Saturday August 19 at 3 pm EST. My desire is that the two meet and get a photo together.

One of the County’s Motorsports Legends Passes Away

Leo Kieffer on left with his son Rob discussing one of their restoration project sleds.I had the honor of talking with Leo about that sled and many other related topics. HTF Motorsports photo

When I heard the news about Leo Kieffer passing I thought about how God’s timing is amazing. I asked Rob Kieffer to meet for an interview about his sled restoration hobby for my March 8, 2015 Episode #45. When I arrived at his home, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I would get the chance to interview not only Rob but his dad, Leo, as well.

We talked at length about the history of snowmobile racing in the County in the 60’s and 70’s. Along the way I saw how Leo fit into the picture and the part he played.

I had opportunity to meet Leo at several snowmobile events. Inevitably discussion would lead to some story about snowmobile racing history.

Leo often would be called upon to rebuilt engines for Ski Doo enthusiasts. I always thought that he must be incredibly talented to have folks look to him for restoring their favorite restored sled. As far as I could determine, Leo, 86, was still putting together engines with Rob.

He made me feel welcome and his cordial manner, even when I asked him the same question more than once, made him an easy interview. You are missed Mr. Leo Kieffer.

“The Flying Farmer” Back In Action at Fort Kent

Former two-time Senior Champ Kart Points Champion at Spud Speedway, Tyler “The Flying Farmer” Raymond had the chance to display not only his driving technique, but his tractor set up prowess. In action at the Fort Kent Ployes Fest Antique Tractor Pull, he put his Farmall Super C into the Winner’s Circle in the 3000 pound class and finished second in the 3500 pound class.

With the help of his crew chief and dad, Dan Raymond, the Caribou-based team moved weights around and dialed in the tractor for the 3500 pound class and finished second. Their pull showed just how close some finishes may decided by fractions of a foot.

Crew Chief Dan Raymond said this about the team’s 3500 pound pull, “Unfortunately took 2nd  in the 3500 lb class to Monticello’s Roger Quint’s Ford 980 by over 10 feet. But sneaking by New Brunswick’s Steven Wright 168.2 feet to Tyler’s 168.5 feet.”

“Tyler also  pulled for the first time his 1940 Farmall BN  he wasn’t in the placing but finished strong with a 4th and 5th place finish  in the Fork Kent Ploye Festival . Thank you Dr John Bouchard  for sponsoring such a great day.”

 

Tyler “The Flying Farmer” Raymond, Caribou, aboard his Farmall Super C at the Fort Kent Ployes Festival Pull. Flying Farmer photo

Thunder Road Thoughts

Last week I flat-out ran out of time, space, and energy and was unable to share a couple of stories from my recent visit to Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont. When I left my daughter’s home in Huntington to drive to Thunder Road, about 45 minutes south, I saw black skies with multiple lightning flashes. About ten miles from the track I hit a wall of water as the rain cascaded from the swollen sky.

I made it to the track pit gate at 6:15 for a 7:00 o’clock start. As I sat in the parking lot, the thought that came to mind was, ‘There are a lot of cars in this lot despite the rain. They must know something I do not. My second thought was, ‘Should I strike it for home since this rain was just hammering the track?’

At 6:45 the rain stopped, the sun came out, and track vehicles immediately began circulating around the newly paved 1/4 mile oval to dry it out. I was amazed that by 7:15 the race cars began practice sessions and at 8:00 racing began.

I did not know anyone in the pits so I whispered a little prayer and said, ‘ God would you help me meet someone with an interesting story?’

Wouldn’t you know it, I met two guys with very unique stories, Brendon Moodie, the current points leader in Tiger Sportsman and Alan Maynard who is third in Street Stock.

Wolcott,Vermont’s Brendon Moodie with his #94 Tiger Sportsman car at Thunder Road. HTF Motorsports photo

Points Leader Brendon Moodie

Moodie leads the Tiger Sportsman class points race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. His Chevy Monte Carlo is built on the GM metric chassis.

He mentioned that he had been racing since he was very young, I think he said twelve years old. He grew up going to the Speedbowl and could not think of any thing he would rather be doing.

A mechanic by trade, Moodie does much of the work on his race car by himself. His mom and dad, Deb and Brendon Sr. are in the grandstands every week watching their son race.

Moodie also races at Speedway 51 in Groveton, New Hampshire. He dominated the street stock division and at last check had a 200 plus point lead and has locked up the track championship.

A fourth place finish in the 40 lap feature at the banked 1/4 mile oval was the best he could do that night after starting 12th in the feature. He was not too concerned about not winning since the second place in points car finished behind him.

He said it was tough to get by the leader who was sliding in the corners thus making it hard to pass. Moodie could have punted him out-of-the-way but chose otherwise. Despite running second near the end of the race, he was shuffled back when the third and fourth place cars at the time took advantage of Moodie being held up by the leader thus slotting him into fourth place.

Professor Al Maynard in Street Stock Mustang II

Professor Al Maynard, Fairfax, Vermont, prepares for the Street Stock heat race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Maynard finished well in the heat race yet met the “Widowmaker” turn 4 wall in the feature. He was okay, the car was not. HTF Motorsports photo

It must be the educator within me that drew me into conversation in the pits with Professor Al Maynard who owns and drives the #10 Ford Mustang in the Street Stock Division at Thunder Road. Maybe it is the #10 since that is the same number on my race kart.
Regardless, I found out that Professor Al is at the University of Vermont, Burlington where he is the Director of Athletic Training Education, He is currently teaching

  • Organization, Administration, and Leadership in Athletic Training
  • Therapeutic Modalities/Physical Agents

His crew chief is Eddy Champion who was a racer in the same division at Thunder Road until a bad wreck forced him from the driver’s seat. Just to show you what a small world it sometimes can be, Eddy Champion was the Best Man in Justin S. Louis’s wedding last year. Al Maynard was also a member of that wedding party.

My daughter Jessica married Christian Courtemanche who grew up with Justin St. Louis who is a motorsports writer and promoter. Christian attended Justin’s wedding and Justin went to Christian’s. How cool it was to meet all these folks while at Thunder Road.

On with the story. Al Maynard on lap eight of the 40 lap Street Stock feature was driven into the turn four wall and almost flipped over. In a post race interview Maynard said, “We had the car to win tonight. That was a hard lick. I have rolled these over before and broke my wrist in six places as well, however, that was the hardest I have ever hit. The “Widowmaker” does not move.”

Professor Al Maynard’s Mustang on the hook after massive crash in turn four. HTF Motorsports photo

I thought you might be interested in what the crew did to get the Mustang back in action last Thursday night. According to Al, ” We got a strut tower from a donor car and welded it in. We ended up replacing the steering rack, tie rod ends, sway bar end links, ball joints, control arms, struts, rear shocks, and the left axle. Oh, and one rivet. The body was almost unharmed.”

Crew Chief Eddy Champion led the repair brigade. Maynard said, “He led the effort along with Chad, the other guy that was there on the crew the night you were there. Also, the announcer, Aaron Maynard (no relation) came two of the days and helped. Chad brought a couple of friends one night. Eddy even had his 2-year-old there with a wrench in his hands. ”

That dedicated crew allowed Maynard to maintain third place in Street Stock.

My NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Driver Places Fifth

 

One of my favorite NASCAR Monster Energy Cup racers is Trevor Bayne. Bayne finished fifth at Michigan in the #6 Roush Fenway Ford. Photo courtesy Trevor Bayne Racing

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

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.