This Could Have Been Bad

Episode 165

June 11, 2017

Safety Equipment Works

The beginning of a spectacular barrel roll at Richmond Karting Speedway by Marcel Bosse of Caribou. A chain malfunction locked up the rear axle starting the whole process. Katherine Fogg photo

It is too late to be wondering if your safety equipment is adequate and that it is used properly when you have gone this far into a roll. Fortunately Caribou’s Marcel Bosse has good safety equipment and it is adjusted properly. This and the hand of God allowed him to survive with only bruises and bumps.

Bosse said, “Well after the dust has settled and the cob webs have cleared from my head, I would like to send a shout out and huge thank you to JRT Customs for all the work he has done on my kart. I walked away from a kart crash this weekend that could have ended bad if all the safety gear didn’t work as well as it did. Thanks Jason. ”

Bosse and his daughter Janet worked on the kart post flip and had it ready for the next heat. ”¬† Oh yeah,” said Bosse, ” we fixed it that day and I drove it in a heat and the feature. It wasn’t until on our way home that night that I realized how bad it was.”

Moments before the final lift off estimated to be more than 6 feet off the ground before landing on all four wheels. Katherine Fogg photo

The cage kart class depends on a rollover bar system and includes a minimum of 5- point harness, arm restraints, gloves, full face helmet, racing jacket, and neck collar. If you read UpNorth Motorsports Episode # 156 on April 9, 2017 you will note my stance on safety equipment in racing.

In that episode you will note that I recommend a Snell 2015 SA helmet. In the Bosse crash you will see in a couple of photos not published that he hit the cage and the ground with his head probably rendering him unconscious for a seconds.

Snell 2015 standards specifically test impact with a roll bar. Which by the way is why you do not want a motorcycle helmet in a cage type kart. M rated or motorcycle helmets are not roll bar tested for obvious reasons. They are tested more for abrasion and road strikes.

You will note the arm restraints worked keeping Bosse’s arms within the cocoon of the roll cage preventing broken arms, wrists or pinch injuries should a hand get outside that cocoon and get crushed between a roll bar and the ground.

The only part of the crash that concerned those who viewed the photos was the left leg extending outside the kart. If he had landed on that leg damage may have occurred. I am unsure how the leg got out of the kart and do not have an immediate answer for keeping legs within that protected space.

As with any racing accident, we hope to learn how to not only prevent such incidents from occurring, but how can we protect the driver in future circumstances. One positive about the incident is the drivers and crew members are paying special attention to properly fitting safety equipment before leaving the pits for practice or a race.

NMKA Race Karts on Display

Nine race karts were on display at the kick off of “Thursdays on Sweden Street” in downtown Caribou. The karts and their owners were a hit as several youngsters wanted to sit in racers and have their photo taken.

The photo below was taken minutes prior to the 6 pm start time. The streets filled very rapidly with a great crowd on hand to hear the “Rock Docs” and view the multitude of displays.

The NMKA handed out schedules answered dozens of questions about kart racing, as well as signed up folks for a chance to win two free passes to Maine Indoor Karting made available by HTF Motorsports. Ryan Plante of Biddeford was the lucky winner of the tickets to the Scarborough karting facility.

Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) static display at Caribou Chamber of Commerce’s “Thursdays on Sweden Street” first event of the 2017 summer series. HTF Motorsports photo

Friday Night Karting Series at Spud Speedway Postponed Due to Rain

Karts were lining up in pre-grid and everyone was in place to begin Round Two Presented By JRT Customs when the skies opened up at the Caribou track. With showers lingering and low track temperature to dry out rain wetting the course, race officials had no choice but to postpone racing until another time. Make up date will be announced in the future.

Despite a rained out event a couple NMKA teams went to Richmond Karting Speedway on Sunday to race. JRT Customs Racing and BAS Racing made the jaunt to Richmond with some interesting results.

Damian Theriault continued his winning ways in the Animal class that is almost entirely made up of County racers. They are hoping to inspire more kart racers to enter the class and increase the competition.

Animal Engine Class at Richmond Karting Speedway left to right 4th place Marcel Bosse, 3rd place Jason Theriault, 2nd place Janet Bosse and race winner Damian Theriault. All are from Caribou. Team JRT photo

Bryan had a good day. We tried several gear combos, and think we have an idea of what to do for Friday’s XXX Series opener! Oh and… Bryan got 5th place! First trophy of the season at Richmond! Getting better everyday!Stephanie Ball (Mom) changing gears while daughter Ronnie Lynn looks on. BAS Racing photo.

Austin Theriault Finishes 9th At “The Tricky Triangle”

Some people may be disappointed with a ninth place for the Fort Kent, Maine driver after a close win last weekend. No reason for disappointment since Theriault got all of what the Chevy had in it and brought it home without any major problems.

The Ken Schrader Racing team looked for speed all weekend and were disappointed when qualifying got cancelled due to time restraints with NASCAR practice. The team was twelfth fastest in practice which was what determined the starting spot for the race.

Riley Herbst in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota won the race by a few seconds over Brandon Jones. Herbst is the Gibbs driver of choice and had the vast resources of the team to help him at the event. It certainly does not hurt ones chances when those come into play.

The ARCA series heads up to Brooklyn, Michigan for the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Friday the 16th from 6 to 8 pm on Fox Sports 1. Theriault won this race in 2014 in his ARCA debut driving the Venturini Motorsports race car.

Factory Five Racing Holds Open House

One of these days I hope to make it to Factory Five Racing in Wareham, Massachusetts. They are a kit car manufacturer with cars ranging from Shelby Daytona replicas GTM Supercars, Cobras, and the 818 Sports Car which uses Subaru running gear. Cumberland Motor Clubs’ Dan Morency built an 818 which I saw when he brought it to the autocross at Loring a couple of years ago.

Once again I relied on Lou Masciarelli of Bellingham, Massachusetts to report what he saw at the open house. You may recall that Lou went to the Global Rallycross at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut last episode.

The jig built Factory Five frame on display. The frame was on a rotisserie style mount allowing access to all sides of the frame. Lou Masciarelli photo

Cobra and Daytona replicas on display inside Factory Five racing. Lou Masciarelli photo

Some of the customer cars on display at Factory Five racing Open House. Lou Masciarelli photo

Unique Dyno Test at Viking Performance 

I have never viewed a Formula Ford on a chassis dyno until I saw this one posted by Chris Moberg owner of Viking Performance Tuning. Moberg said, “An unusual visit this morning from Mike and his Formula Ford. An air cleaner fire had gummed up the carb. After cleaning the carb and prior to racing, he wanted to make sure the engine was running right and to check the air fuel ratio. Mission accomplished”

24 Hours of Le Mans

After watching the Daytona 24 Hours race in person in January, I have gained a new perspective on the endurance racing scene. I now view the teams with more interest having seen several of them in action at Daytona.

This years edition of the 24 hour race begins at 3 pm Saturday June 17 through 3 pm Sunday. Portions of the race are televised. The race commentary can be followed on Radio Le Mans on-line.

Ford Performance celebrates 51 years from the first Le Mans win and 50 years from win number two. The video below tells some of the feelings of Dan Gurney and AJ Foyt who won for Ford in 1966.

High performance enthusiasts mourn the loss of Victor Edelbrock Junior at the age of 80. Edelbrock died Friday June 9 from complications from a cold. Edelbrock Company photo

Vic Edelbrock Senior on left with his son Vic Jr. Senior developed intake manifolds after World War Two in Southern California. Edelbrock Performance grew into one of the premier racing parts companies in the world. Edelbrock Company photo.

Update On My Crew Chief Dick McNeal

My current crew chief, Dick McNeal and I when he was first in points in 1983 and I was second. HTF Motorsports photo

Last week I asked for prayers for my crew chief Dick McNeal of Presque Isle. At that time he was scheduling an appointment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to have a cancerous mass removed from his brain.

It turns out that the location of the tumor has made it inoperable. The oncologist has now worked up a chemo-therapy regiment for McNeal which will begin soon. He hopes the administration of the cancer fighting chemicals can be administered in the County thus not requiring trips to Portland.

Wade Bright, the end-of-season program co-ordinator for NMKA’s finale September 9, decided that McNeal’s latest bout with cancer makes him the focus of the fundraiser efforts for CANCER (Caring Area Neighbors for Cancer Education & Recovery) that day. CANCER is a volunteer Aroostook County group that aids folks with some of the necessities dealing with the dreaded disease.

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli D



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. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine