Snowmobile racing action underway

Episode 196

January 21, 2018

Snowmobile racing galore this weekend

Drag Racing Coming to Caribou the 28th at the Lodge on the Van Buren Road

Stockholm native, Tom Peters now living in Presque Isle, will be honored at the Caribou Snowmobile Club’s drag race. Peters is the first snowmobile racer to be named to the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. HTF Motorsports photo

Snowmobile racing at Speedway 95 in Hermon. East Coast Sno-Cross back in the greater Bangor area.

From their press release:

“Eastern Maine Community College is excited to host the 4th annual Dysart’s Sno-X event! Experience some of the best mid-winter snowmobile racing in the Northeast on Saturday and Sunday, January 27-28, 2018 from 8am to dusk. The action happens at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine. Tickets are $10/day, $15/weekend, or $20/VIP seating! Children under 7 are free.”

“In addition, please join us for a race fan appreciation party at the Dysart’s on Broadway Flatbed Pub, Saturday, January 27 from 5pm-9pm! Meet the racers, have some great food and drinks, and enjoy a live performance by OneSixtyOne!”


The next race in the Tame the Track Series, The Fast and Furious 50 in Skowhegan next weekend.

And from last weekend at Rangeley 


Single Cylinder Showdown 37 lap main event at Rangeley Snodeo. Drivers are left to right Jacob Bissonnette, Poland #427, Mike Morris,Turner on #61 and eventual class winner, Dan Place, Verona Island collected $137.00 piloting Nick Nichols #5 Single Modified Sachs powered snowmobile. LMN Photography

Shane Grindle on the Jeff Brown Racing Polaris 340 Free-air TX. He placed first in 440 mod and second in 340 mod at Rangeley Lakes Snowmobile Club’s 35th Annual Snodeo 2018. Grindle has been racing since 1997 and is the tire changer on the Travis Benjamin’s super late-model stock car racing team. LMN Photography

Frenchville native and super late-model driver, Shawn Martin, now living in Auburn, vintage snowmobile racing. With his 1972 SkiDoo, he won a heat race and broke a safety tether in the feature. LMN Photography

Kart racer Colby Martin, son of Shawn and Michelle Martin, Auburn, on his Arctic Cat ZR 120. Martin will be racing at the Dysart’s Sno-X next weekend at Speedway 95. LMN Photography

Chassis shots in preparation for the 2018 season

Pre-season work is being done on the Ryan Messer super late-model Port City chassis in preparation for Speedway 660 races in 2018. Messer, a senior at Harvey High School, Harvey, New Brunswick, won his first super late-model race in 2017. They will be competing for the points championship this season. RYAN Motorsports photo

Wyatt Alexander, going to school at University of North Carolina at Charlotte majoring in mechanical engineering with emphasis on motorsports, at work on what would eventually be his new chassis in 2018. Chassis was built by Clattenburg Racing Fabrication, Salisbury, North Carolina. WAR photo

Wyatt Alexander and his crew chief Bob Alexander (Wyatt’s grandfather) check their new Clattenburg Racing Fabrication super late-model chassis in Salisbury, North Carolina. WAR photo

Kody Swanson photos and comments on the Chili Bowl last weekend

Kody Swanson confers with his crew at the Chili Bowl while his son Trevor looks on. Jordan Swanson photo

Kody’s remarks about the Chili Bowl won by Christopher Bell,  “The Chili Bowl Nationals is such a unique event, and offers something a little different for everybody. While our final results this year weren’t what we were aiming for, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to drive the Dunlap Performance #32, and to have been able to work with a great group of people.”

“The format at Chili Bowl places utmost importance on your preliminary night heat race, and could be the most critical 8 laps of your week, and I failed to deliver. I got ‘stuck’ in traffic, and after narrowly avoiding disaster a few times, it caught up with me and I stalled in the middle of the racetrack, collected another car and did not finish that important heat race.”

“From then on, we were buried. Brian, Mike, Casey, Craig, John, and Casey Shuman – along with help from a few more friends and good neighbors – got the 32 back together and ready to start digging out from our hole, at least as far as we could make it. We won our preliminary D-Main, came from 13th to 6th in the C-Main, and would be finished for the night.”

“Saturday’s I-Main nearly had us part of the ‘Breakfast Club’ at the Chili Bowl, as we started racing just after noon. After starting 8th we won the I-Main to advance to the H. Starting 13th, we passed a lot of cars in a short amount of time to finish 5th, but that is where my run ended.”

“Casey Shuman carried the Dunlap torch driving the #32D from the E-Main to the D-Main, rounding out the 2018 Chili Bowl for the team.”

“Like I said earlier, it wasn’t the end results we wanted, but I was impressed by and grateful for the effort put forth by Brian & Mike Dunlap, as well as Casey, Craig, John, and Casey Shuman – not only preparing a top-notch program and race-car, but for their perseverance when things didn’t go our way. I am thankful that they took the chance on me for this year’s Chili Bowl, and for the opportunity to have raced for them!”

Click on this link to take a ride with Kody at the Chili Bowl Nationals aboard the Dunlap #32 Midget

Tracy Hartt’s Performance Printing and Design of Fort Kent has the official Austin Theriault 2017 ARCA Championship shirts and hats. HTF Motorsports photo

Daytona Bound!

Philip Miller, Caribou and I will be heading to Daytona International Speedway to join up with my brother, Bill Hale, to cover the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. This will be year three for me covering the race. With new cars and fifty race cars circling the combination oval and road course, the race is unique to cover.

While at Daytona, we will be meeting up with Jason Griffeth, the man responsible for the beautiful turf and logo on the front stretch. Friday we will be meeting at the Daytona Brickyard Grill for the best hamburger I have ever eaten. We will unveil the 2018 logo next week (Hint it has something to do with a world speed record set at Daytona Beach).

Thursday we have a meeting with “Big Daddy” Don Garlits at his Ocala Museum of Drag Racing. We will attend the events at One Daytona that afternoon.

Saturday will mark the beginning of the 24 Hours of Daytona at 2 pm and concludes at 2 pm Sunday. We will not be staying all night, rather relying on IMSA  and Fox Sports to keep us up-to-date while we are back at my brother’s house in Orlando.

Who are my picks?

GT Daytona

#33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports being off-loaded from the Grassroots Motorsports ramp truck after being featured on the GRM Wednesday night live show. Photo courtesy David S. Wallens Grassroots Motorsports

The 2017 Mercedes-AMG #33 before the 24 Hour race in 2017. HTF Motorsports photo

Drivers Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Adam Christodoulou, and Luca Stolz

Sentimental pick:

Honda America Racing Team #69 Acura NSX GT3 at the Roar Before the 24. HART photo

This group of volunteers make up the Honda America Racing Team which will campaign their Honda NSX GT3 at the Rolex Daytona 24 Hours. Most of the team work for Honda in some capacity. Van Buren native Philip Lapointe helped start the team in 1991-92 while at Honda Ohio. Drivers will be Chad Gilsinger, Ryan Eversley, Sean Rayhall, and John Falb.

GTLM pick

Tough class to pick a winner since most of the teams are very well matched. I have shifted my pick from Corvette to Ford to Porsche and back again multiple times. Since I must pick someone, I pick the 2017 winner, the #66 Ford GT driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller, and IndyCar’s Sebastian Bourdais.

Daytona GTLM class winning Ford GT #66 in the Horseshoe Bend at the 2017 Daytona 24 Hour race. HTF Motorsports photo

My sentimental pick, the Corvettes #3 or #4

Corvette Racing number 3 and 4 run by Pratt and Miller at the Roar Before the 24 night practice session. Chevrolet Racing photo

Daytona Prototype International (DPi)

With 20 cars entered in the Daytona Prototype International (DPi), my pick a repeat for last year’s winner Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi V.R #10 (my racing number). LAT Images , Jake Galstad photo courtesy IMSA

My sentimental pick

Acura DPi at the Roar Before the 24. My sentimental pick could very well win this race considering the Penske Organizations reputation. New team bugs are all that would prevent me from them as the overall favorites. photo courtesy Honda Racing

I want to close with this video showing the Gurney Flap. This aerodynamic device was first utilized on a race car by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) team. As a tribute to Dan who died last Saturday, we will be getting as many Gurney Flap photos on real race cars as we can next weekend.

Gurney Flap video

Due to the race in Florida next Sunday, I suspect I may not be publishing that evening. Keep checking since I am sure you will enjoy our coverage of the race and the Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum.

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