It is Pro-Stock again for New Brunswick Ryan Messer

Episode 187

November 12, 2017

Change of mind at RYAN Motorsports

As reported in Episode # 181 October 1, 2017, this is the pro-stock the RYAN Motorsports team returned to Andy Fox at McLaughlin Racing after they raced the  2017 season at Speedway 660. They earned one Pro-Stock win and the Rookie-of-Year Award. Ryan Motorsports photo

After mulling over their decision to pursue the Late Model Sportsman championship at Speedway 660 in Geary Woods, New Brunswick, in 2018, the Messer family reversed that decision and decided to race for the Pro-Stock championship, the top class at the New Brunswick track.

November 4th the team announced the following on their Facebook page, ” So, against all common sense and good judgement… we are pleased to announce that Ryan will again campaign a Pro Stock in 2018. We just knew in our hearts that we weren’t ready to give up on this challenge, so we’ve traded our Sportsman car and now have our own SLM (Super Late Model) in the shop!”

“We are such a competitive family that we really want to try this again,” said Robb Messer the father of driver Ryan Messer. “The Sportsman class is very competitive, but it still just felt like a step backwards.”

“We’ve talked about running some of the big Sportsman races around the Maritimes next year, but if we did that, we’d be spending the budget needed for a Pro Stock anyway. So, we just gotta try!”

A change of mind by the Messer family resulted in the purchase of this former Dave O’Blenis super late model race car. RYAN Motorsports will compete for their second year in the tough Pro-Stock Division. RYAN Motorsports photo

” Messer continued, saying, “We traded our Sportsman car to Dave O’Blenis, from Moncton, for his Pro-Stock. Our car will be driven by his youngest daughter, Courtney, as she heads into her second season in the division. The Pro Stock car was formerly run by Dave to three championships at 660. It was prepared for his oldest daughter Alexandria to run last season, but she opted to only run in the Sportsman car as well.”

The #74 as raced by Dave O’Blenis in the foreground with the RYAN Motorsports late model sportsman in background. The photo was taken at O’Blenis’ shop in Moncton, New Brunswick by RYAN Motorsports.

The team has begun doing a partial rebuild over the winter in order to be ready to go the track sometime in early May. Ryan, who celebrated his seventeenth birthday last week is a senior in high school. His sport is auto racing.

Look for updates on RYAN Motorsports in future episodes.

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers build bikes for injured motocross/Supercross riders

I have been a long-time fan of Dan Gurney and his All American Racers in California. In previous episodes I have explained how I even penned a name for my imaginary race group in the late ’60’s called “All Aroostook Racers”.

One of AAR’s latest exploits was the building of two recumbent high tech racers for the Race Across America event held in late June of 2017. The annual event starts in Oceanside, California and heads east across the United States  3,070 miles to Annapolis, Maryland.

The Eagle bicycles were built for Doug Henry and David Bailey who both were motocross champions injured in their sport. Henry was paralyzed after a crash in SuperMoto in Florida March 2007. Bailey was paralyzed at practice for a motocross in California, January 1987. Both are wheelchair bound as a result of those injuries.

Bailey approached the folks at AAR early in 2017 for help developing bikes for the race.He emphasized the need to develop fast yet durable bikes. The other two riders, Jeff Ward and Micky Dymond rode conventional road race bikes.

They commissioned All American racers to build these special one-off recumbent machines for the injured Henry and Bailey. Both were ready before the start of the race June 17, 2017.

Team-mates Doug Henry on left with David Bailey checking their bikes for fit at AAR’s Santa Ana, California race shop. AAR photo

The always smiling, motocross legend David Bailey on left shares some stories with AAR founder and motorsports legend, Dan Gurney. AAR photo

The bikes were built using carbon fiber for the frame and other components. They used Shimano Dura-Ace road bike and XTR mountain bike parts as well as Di2 electronic shifters.

Bailey and Henry with their newly completed Eagle race bikes prior to race day. AAR photo

On June 17 the four riders making up the “Legends of the Road” team headed east from Oceanside, California. Along the way they battled extreme desert heat in Arizona along with rain and wind on their way to Maryland.

The team finished second in the four person 50-59 class with a time of 7 days, 19 hours, and 58 minutes averaging 16.33 miles per hour. They were supported by Road2Recovery Foundation (  raising funds to help motocross and other action sports athletes who suffer serious injury.

“Legends of the Road” team spraying champagne at the finish of the Race Across America event in Annapolis, Maryland. AAR founder Dan Gurney has been credited with victory lane champagne spraying when he started it at Le Mans after winning the 24 hour race in 1967. RAAM photo

That’s not all Dan Gurney’s up to…

Venerable 84 year-old Dan Gurney said he has this idea running around in his head about a gasoline engine with remarkable qualities of smoothness and power. He had previously been a key person developing the Formula One and Indy Gurney-Weslake engines as well as stock block Chevies for Indy.

This “Moment Cancelling” 4-Stroke Engine was developed by his crew at the AAR shop in California and is expected to run for the first time in December 2017. The name and engine received patents in August 2015.

Dan Gurney’s patent drawing of the “Moment-cancelling” engine. AAR drawing

End view of Dan Gurney’s patented “Moment-cancelling” engine. AAR photo

And Dan Gurney is a veteran

Dan Gurney signed up for the draft and served in Korea for 18 months. This is his weapon assignment, a M51 Sky Sweep 90 mm anti-aircraft gun. Photo courtesy of Dan Gurney and the All American Racers Facebook group

Speaking of cross-country bike adventures

My good friend Carl Lussier, now living in West Virginia is starting his next great bicycling adventure Monday November 13 from the first mile marker in Fort Kent, Maine. This will be his third such excursion. In 2013 he went from the first mile marker 2369 miles to Key West, Florida closely following US Route 1.

I believe in 2015 he rode his recumbent from the east coast to the west coast experiencing high winds in Texas causing him to put his rig onto the support truck for several miles. Yet he was able to dip his toes in both oceans.

The 2017 adventure may or may not end in Key West according to Lussier. Just as the other two adventures were based upon prayer for the people and pastors along his route, he plans to do the same this year.

The idea for the 2017 ride was birthed in a vision the Kidz Turn Ministry leader saw not to long ago. He saw a tsunami spreading from the east coast to the west as he rode south with people getting close to God once again. He plans to stop and encourage pastors of small as well as large churches as they share the “Good News” of the Gospel of Christ.

With the recent shooting at a small country church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Lussier looks forward to sharing with folks along what he considers a God chosen path south.

Carl Lussier’s “rig” for Adventure III from mile marker one in Fort Kent to points south. Photo courtesy Kidz Turn Ministry

For the ride Lussier will be aboard his Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE) Recumbent trike, built in the UK, assisted by a 1.6 horsepower 38cc gasoline engine. On the flat with no wind he expects to reach 30 miles per hour. Most hills will require pedal assistance.

Building on past experience from previous rides, he has designed his tow-behind RV where he will spend most evenings enjoying some of the comforts of home. I told the Navy veteran it looks like a torpedo tube.

Lussier describes his ride this way, “On November 13th or 14th I will be starting another adventure from Fort Kent, Maine at least to home in Hedgesville, West Virginia via my brothers house in New Hampshire for Thanksgiving, and maybe beyond.”

“This will be my ride and home during that time. I’ll be testing it out in the Northern New England temps. The bike RV has an extension pop-up bathroom and shower area using a ZODI portable hot water shower.”

You can follow his adventure at the following hashtags:  #motorizedtrike #icetrike #bicyclervcamper #touring#bikepacking #wintercamping #prayerride17

I am looking forward to seeing how Lussier will be used by the Lord as he rides south on Route 1. Who knows maybe you will see him in your travels as well.

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