September 22, 2019
My first snowmobile grass drags
Ya I know, you live in snowmobile country and you have never been to an actual grass drag race?! That was correct until Saturday when I was able to attend the Big Woods Grass Drags in Ashland, Maine for three hours.
Host Lendell Buckingham and crew made me feel welcome and provided as much information as they could in the midst of racing finals. Warm 60 plus degree weather made those times I have covered snow drag races look and feel very cold. I prefered the warmth of this day.
I was impressed with the pre-race set up where the on deck sleds were in what I called the “bullpen”, a gated area about 50 feet from the start line that reminded of a gate at a rodeo where the rider on the bull await their contest which pits one against the one other. Once the wooden gates were open, the two sleds would proceed to the hot deck for warm up then to the start line in preparation for the race.
Another great idea was the race status board which allowed racers to determine when they would be racing and allows them to get in line thus speeding up the racing to help reduce lag time.
Sinclair Ryan back at after Hay Days mishap
Sinclair Ryan was at the Big Woods 2019 Grass Drags after crashing his Arctic Cat Pro Stock at Hay Days September 8,2019 in North Branch, Minnesota. The crash twisted his chassis and bruised the veteran racer.
View the video clip of Ryan at Hay Days here:
The chassis was stripped of its components and placed on a different chassis a little over a week before making the seven hour drive from Havre Boucher, Nova Scotia. At Ashland he competed in the Pro Stock 800 and 1000. As of publishing time the results were unknown to me.
When asked how he would do, the Nova Scotia native replied, “As long as the sled stays down it should be alright. This track is pretty good,pretty good. We just came back from Hay Days in early September. You cannot get any bigger than that!”
Caribou High School Freshman wins three of three
Jesse Taggett, Woodland, Maine, a freshman at Caribou High School went three for three in racing Saturday at the Big Woods Grass Drags. Taggett the son of Tara and Rick Taggett, won the Stock 500, Improved Stock 500, and Junior Class races.
When asked about the win in the 500 race, Taggett replied,”It was fun! I just didn’t think about it while getting ready. I looked at the tach to get the engagement up so it was ready to go when it hit.”
“You just wait for the light, hit it when it goes. I saw that first yellow light (on the Christmas tree start signal in between the two lanes) I left. Then just try to go straight”.
Team OCD does well at Grass Drags 2019
Driver Ethan Rossignol remarked on Facebook, “Yesterday was such a great event, minus the fear of almost losing the ripcord down inside the recoil AGAIN! With best reaction time of the day on a .008 and 4 big 1st place wins my 700 stocker pulled through in the 700, 800, 850, and 1000 stock classes. With John Holmquist’s 600 we were able to come home with a 2nd in the 600 stock class along with Jesse Taggett bringing home the win in the stock 500.”
“With a little more homework, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be headed for Epping (Race Into Winter Grass Drags and Watercross, Epping, New Hampshire October 11-13, 2019) in October! Great job well done by all who pull together to make this event happen!”
Complete race results will be posted on the Big Woods Grass Drags Facebook page soon. The event was hosted by Portage and Ashland Snowmobile clubs. There were numerous venders on site with food and product. Day two featured Race Your Neighbor and swap meet. I was unable to attend Sunday. Race officials estimated Saturday attendance near 600.
Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) Season Finale
The NMKA hosted a triple header race event at Spud Speedway Saturday Presented by Machias Savings Bank and JRT Customs. The event had been postponed due to rain twice. As a result the field of racers was limited, however, the twelve races featured some close finishes and a one point championship title win.
The Senior Cage Kart Championship was won by Kyle Wells by a single point. Wells came into the event leading by eight points. He finished third in the three features and third in two of the three heat races. A second place finish in heat two combined with a third place finish by Tom Hale gave him the edge needed to win the championship by narrowest of margins.
The Championship was the closest in the six-year history of the NMKA at Spud Speedway. Wells also was the Rookie of the Year.
The NMKA will hold their annual meeting this winter for members and interested racers. Look for that announcement to come. Racing this season was sponsored by Coastal Auto NAPA and Spud Speedway.
Let’s Go Racing!
Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)