Gerry sweeps both major Oxford Plains Speedway races in 2017

Episode 183

October 15, 2017

Forty-five PASS super late models compete for 32 spots


Qualifying action at Pro All Stars Series (PASS) season finale at Oxford Plains Speedway #53 Cole Butcher, #88 Brandon Baker, #57 Austin Theriault, and #54 Johnny Clark. Photo courtesy Phil Whipple

I was unable to get to the PASS Season finale at Oxford, however, I was in contact with Phil Whipple of the Sun Journal and he reported that the super late-model lineup was nearly as competitive as those attempting to get in the Oxford 250 in August. Phil is credited with the quotes from Curtis Gerry and Travis Benjamin in this episode. Thank you Phil.

The warm weather helped attract a good crowd and 45 cars to the track. There were 32 starting slots available thus 13 had to sit out the race. The County’s Kirk Thibeau, Presque Isle, was unable to break into the field. Thibeau as you may recall had a tenth place finish at Speedway 660 McLaughlin Trusses 250 Labor Day weekend.

Austin Theriault, on break from the ARCA Racing series, dug his old reliable T-Rex out of storage and put on a decent show finishing in 16th place one lap down.

A side-by-side comparison of Dennis Spencer’s new super late model #46 on the outside and Theriault’s older T-Rex #57 inside. Both cars were built by Crazy Horse Racing in Oxford. Theriault’s began life as a prototype ACT Late Model converted to PASS SLM specs. Spencer’s was  built to PASS latest specifications. Photo courtesy Phil Whipple.

Gerry wins, season championship goes to Benjamin

Podium finishers at PASS season finale; left to right third place DJ Shaw, Center Conway,New Hampshire, winner Curtis Gerry, Waterboro, and second place Travis Benjamin with his son Kaiden, Morrill. Gerry Motorsports photo

It would seem that super late-model racing ends this season strong with the car count seen at the PASS finale. Forty-five cars at the end of the season seems to bode well for this class in 2018.

The 2017 Oxford 250 winner, Curtis Gerry of Waterboro, completed his season on a high note with the win at Oxford. It appears that his Gerry Motorsports team had the set-up for the end of both races at Oxford. The 47 year-old the 2016 Beech Ridge Motor Speedway champion obviously has the driving talent.

“It’s been an unbelievable season,” Gerry said. “To win the 250 and come back to win this one today is unreal. Between winning the points title last year at The Ridge, the 250 and today’s season finale, we’ve really been blessed. I have to thank God, my sponsors and a great race team for this success.”

Travis Benjamin and son Kaiden celebrate the 2017 PASS North Championship at Oxford. Photo courtesy Ken MacIsaac Racing Photos

Travis Benjamin finished second which gave him a 25 point lead over Glen Luce who finished seventh in the race and second in the points race. Benjamin started 15 races and had 12 top tens, 9 top fives and two race wins.

In Phil Whipple’s article he quotes Benjamin, “These guys are just unbelievable,” he said pointing to the Petit Motorsports crew. “We have such big fun at the tracks, but they work very hard and know exactly what they’re doing. I’ve raced about every kind of car there is and worked with a lot of people, but this car and race team are the absolute best.”

“To run this series, it takes not only hard work, but smart work, and good partners. I’m blessed to have a fast car, a great team and sponsors who make a title run possible. I thank this team and my family for helping me win this second championship. It means a ton and wouldn’t have happened without them.”

Benjamin has raced at Spud Speedway in Caribou as well as helped others who were racing at the County’s only stock car racing track. He is no stranger to race fans in the north.

DJ Shaw, finished third followed by Reid Lanpher, Manchester in fourth and Joey Doiron, Berwick,  rounded out the top five.

Frenchville native, Shawn Martin had a rare DNF (Did Not Finish) dropping out on lap 108. Shawn Martin racing photo

“Halloween Howler” at Richmond Karting Speedway well attended by County racers

After nearly six months of making the 5 hour drive to Richmond Karting Speedway(RKS) in Richmond, a couple County race teams put a bow on their 2017 season. The annual Halloween Howler at RKS featured two days of racing with Saturday heat races and Sunday features.

Saturday was warm and humid lending one to believe it could be a typical summer race. Contrasting weather greeted racers back for day two of the Howler. Wet and cool conditions delayed racing and tested the racers ability to adapt to a different set-up from the previous day.

Team JRT had finishes which mirrored their season results with Damian Theriault first, Jason Theriault second, Janet Bosse third and Marcel Bosse fourth. Jason entered the Senior Sportsman class with his Briggs Flathead and took first place.

Some of the hardware won by County kart racers at Richmond Karting Speedway’s “Halloween Howler”. L to r fourth place Marcel Bosse, Caribou, Janet Bosse, Caribou, third place, Bryan searles, Presque isle, second , Damian Theriault, Caribou first, and Caribou’s Jason Theriault second and a first. BAS Racing photo

Bryan Searles featured in

Presque Isle kart racer, Bryan Searles was featured in and article by Chris Roy in, “Bryan Searles #07, Mr. Determination!!!” Roy described how the Presque Isle Middle School student raced at three different venues in 2017 netting him two track championships, one at his home track, Spud Speedway, and the other at Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans.

My favorite quote is when Searles is asked what he was doing now that racing is done for the year, he replied, “I plan to just stay home and hang out with the cat. I just want to take it easy in the off-season.”

In racing at RKS, crew chief, mechanic, cheerleader, public relations director, transportation specialist, and most important of all, Mom, Stephanie Ball described BAS Racing weekend like this, “Saturday was a great start to the 2017 Halloween Howler . Sun, warmth and a dialed in kart!The Junior Sportsman class produced a great heat race and Bryan came out on top!”

“Sunday was completely different. It was cold and drizzling at thetrack and we were postponed several hours.”

“Bryan entered the feature starting on the pole which had him leading for a while. With only 3 laps to go Bryan and his competitor, Josh, got hung up on each other- bringing out a caution. Bryan’s front wheel was wedged into the nose of Josh’s kart and it was a mess to get a part.”

“After some intense ripping and pulling the boys were separated and still in one piece. They lined back up and went again. Bryan finished strong in second place. It was a great day for racing. All of the county brought home trophies!”

Grampy ends his kart racing driving career

Marcel “Grampy” Bosse hung up his driving helmet for the last time after the “Halloween Howler”. A short time ago he made the decision to stop driving and spend more time spectating, working on his grandson Damian Theriault’s race team, and/or helping out at the race track.

After the completion of the Howler race, track owner Jen Anderson, asked Bosse to make a few remarks to the crowd. In typical fashion he had the crowd laughing. Stephanie Ball photo

Marcel Bosse carries the checkered flag one last time on his retirement lap as the crowd cheered the retiring kart driver at Richmond Karting Speedway. Janet Bosse photo

Plow-Days in Fort Fairfield

I know you are wondering what in the world is he thinking; plow days in UpNorth Motorsports. I had that same thought for a moment until I remembered that plowing is an international sporting event that requires great skill in operating a tractor/plow unit.

When I heard that the Northern Maine Antique Tractor Club was having their annual “Plow-Day” at Phil Kilcollins Farm in Fort Fairfield, it gave an idea to look into the sport.

Granted the Northern Maine Antique tractor Club was in no way, shape, or form a competition; rather a demonstration of old tractors pulling a plow to show how it used to be done.

The thirty five acre field was turned over by ten tractors beginning early Saturday morning and included plenty of home cooked food and much conversation about old iron. Several farmers stopped by as well an occasional passer-by who watched for awhile before moving on with their day.

A spectacular fall day provided the backdrop for the Northern Maine Antique Tractor Club Plow-Day demonstration. Members make their way across the oat stubble field showcasing their skill while filling the air with a sound not heard any much in the County anymore, the steady throb of less than 100 horsepower engines turning over fresh sod. Flying Farmer photo

Caribou’s Danny Raymond prepares to plow with Joe Cheney’s Ford tractor at Plow-Days in Fort Fairfield. Flying Farmer photo

Tyler “The Flying Farmer” Raymond on Joe Cheney’s Ford tractor at Plow-Days. Flying Farmer photo

World Plough Days

These folks take the skill of plowing or “ploughing” as it is called by the World Ploughing Organization to levels of perfection. The WPO sanctions yearly international contests in a host country.

The 2017 ploughing contest, the 64th annual event, will be in Kenya followed by Germany in 2018, then the USA in 2019. The USA hosts are already preparing for this event.

The 2019 WPO will be a 10 day event in Greenville, Ohio located in Darke County on the western side of the state near Dayton. Over 500,000 people are expected to attend making it a significant sporting event in Ohio. Over 1.5 million dollars are being raised to put on the extravaganza.

Reversible plough in stubble at the 2016 Scotland Finals WPO photo

Andrew Mitchell Junior of Scotland, a three time-WPO winner, is expected to compete at the Kenya event in 2017 and who knows, maybe the USA in 2019. WPO photo

Like I said you never know what you might see in UpNorth Motorsports. Stay tuned for next weeks episode as we watch Austin Theriault crowned on Fox Sports 2 Friday evening at 8:30 EST.

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Psalm 115:15




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