I was a Richard Petty fan growing up as a kid in the 60’s on Grimes Mill Road in Caribou. I would dream of watching the races at the local track Spud Speedway as racers towed their stock cars by my house to compete later that day. If I listened closely I could hear the faint roar as the races began.
Little did I know that I would not only watch races but would compete in the top class at the track and win 14 races in my three years as a stock car racer. I would then build a modified pulling tractor with my agriculture students and campaign it in Northern Maine for three years.
After growing tired of lugging heavy weights, I decided to purchase a racing kart dealership and raced karts in Northern Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec. I forget how many four-cycle titles I won.
In the early 90’s my students and I decided to take on the challenge of National Electrathon racing. This was basically a large kart- size battery- powered racer that attempted to go the greatest distance at the fastest speed for one hour utilizing one 24 volt battery. My students won the first Electrathon held east of the Mississippi in Portland, Maine in May 1995. We went on to finish fourth in the high school division at the Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.
After taking time off to be the assistant varsity baseball coach at Caribou High School, I decided to get back in to kart racing as an owner/driver in the Senior Champ karts at Spud Speedway.
I began my freelance writing efforts as the Spud Speedway track reporter in 1975. I wrote reports of the weekend racing and would jump in the pace car to deliver those results to all area newspapers in Northern Maine. It was a good way to pay off my race tire bill.
For 14 years I wrote freelance for the Bangor Daily Sports covering events similar to what I plan to cover in Up North Motorsports. For 6 years I covered the Indianapolis races from Lucas Oil Raceway Park and Indianapolis Motor Speedway concentrating on the folks involved in the sport from Maine. One day my dream came true as I was interviewing my childhood hero, Richard Petty, in the Chris Economaki Pressroom at Indy.
I recently retired as the Agriculture Instructor/FFA Advisor at Caribou Tech Center in Caribou, Maine after 38 years of service. Several of those years I lead my students on the “Gearhead Tour” which I organized so my students would be inspired by seeing some of the most famous race shops and talking with inspiring personalities in Indianapolis. I call Indy my second home having spent more time there than practically any place. Maybe I will sprinkle some of those experiences into future columns.
I am married to Donna (37.5 years) and have three grown children and three beautiful grandchildren. I am a follower of Christ who has given me these wonderful opportunities that I could only dream about.
Soli Deo Gloria