Lets Go Racing Football is Done

Episode 198

February 4, 2018

It is hard to imagine that one week ago today I was witnessing the final hours of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Not a sign of snow! The racing was great, however, the human side was as exciting as the race. I hope to have my favorite story, Honda America Racing Team (HART), for the next episode. Meanwhile…

Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) calling on interested kart racers for annual meeting

Northern Maine and western New Brunswick racers are invited to attend the NMKA annual meeting February 19 at 6 pm at Haney Building Specialties located at 236 Van Buren Road in Caribou. Discussion of the 2018 kart racing season will include race dates, rules, availability of race karts, trophy sponsors, and election of officers.

2017 NMKA Maine Invitational Junior class podium finishers. L to r third place, Ronnie-Lynn Kelly, winner Brayden Thibodeau, and second place Madison Gillis. HTF Motorsports photo by Derek Bosse

Kart racing is an excellent entry-level motor-sport with opportunity for seasoned competitors as well. Many well-known racers have found their way to the top levels in racing after getting a start in karting including F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, NASCAR stars Jeff Gordon, AJ Allmendinger, and Global RallyCross champ Scott Speed. NMKA wants to provide that chance for youngsters who may want to climb the career ladder or more realistically simply have a great time racing their friends.

Spud Speedway will continue to host NMKA in 2018. Three race classes includes, Kids Karts (age 5-7), Junior Cage Kart ( age 8-12), and Senior Cage Kart (13+). Engines and tires are closely regulated to maintain affordable racing.

Junior Cage Kart class lining up for the season finale at Spud Speedway. NMKA photo

Check this weeks Mainely Motorsports TV at the 34.00 minute mark to see NMKA Senior Cage Kart Champion Damian Theriault interview.


Kart racing tidbit; Thundering Valley Raceway in St. Albans, will not be open for kart racing in 2018. Owners Nate and Marti Anderson cited low kart counts for the decision. “Arrive and Drive” rental karts program, kart parts sales and service, and Central Maine Quarterscale Tractor Pullers will continue at the track.

Adult Ed Welding course offered at Caribou Tech Center

You have heard me in past episodes extol the benefits of learning how to weld if you are involved in motorsports. With most levels of racing if you at least have an idea what is involved in welding, you make more informed decisions about fabrication and repairs. For example if something made of metal breaks, with a background in welding you have some idea about the feasibility of a repair.

Caribou Tech Center Welding Instructor Keith Dumond, the one doing the welding and I at the welding shop at Caribou Tech Center. Photo courtesy Patrick Bennett

The course will be at the Welding Shop at Caribou Technology Center on Thursday evenings beginning February 8 at 6 pm. Class runs from 6-9 pm. All welding apparel is provided. The fee for the course is $90 payable at the Adult Ed office at the Learning Center on 75 Bennett Drive in Caribou.

Veteran instructor, Keith Dumond, will take students from beginners to those who simply want to sharpen their skills or try new welding processes. Safety is stressed throughout the duration of the course. Further information can be obtained from the Adult Ed office at 207.493.4272.

Back to Back Wins

Ask the New England Patriots the difficulty of back to back wins despite being the overwhelming favorites. The Ford /Chip Ganassi Team had similar expectations placed on them after winning the 2017 version of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Their closest rivals, the Chevy Corvette team run by Pratt & Miller, fell behind early and with only 20 laps of caution in 24 hours it was not possible to make up for lost track position.

I am still amazed that only 20 laps were run under caution. I have been to short track heat races where 20 laps were burned up.

The Ford Performance video sums up the Ford effort in 2018. I heard rumors that 2019 would be the last year for the Ford GT race effort. If anyone knows that for sure I would appreciate that information being confirmed or denied. My email is thale@reagan.com

Now that football is done it time for some racing sounds“Start Your Engines” will be the words us racing enthusiasts have waited all winter to hear. I got my head-start at Daytona last weekend. I thought maybe you might be interested in one of the most radical race cars ever to race in Can-Am, the Chaparral 2J. It has something for everyone including the snowmobile fans.

For those of you, including me, who may have never heard the Chaparral 2J “Sucker Car” here it is. Hit play on James Coker post. Can you imagine following this car with its noise and all the debris shooting out the back as it vacuums the track?


Some of 2J specs:

  • Aluminum Chevy ZL1 427 fuel injected 650 hp engine
  • Clutchless 3 speed “automatic”
  • only 2030 lbs without fuel
  • Auxiliary fan driven by Rockwell JLO 247 cc 55 hp two stroke engine
  • Fans were from M-109 howitzer flowing 9650 cfm @ 6000 rpm
  • Sealed to ground by floating Lexan sideboards (Lexan was new product)
  • 4 inch static ride height shrunk to 2 inches with fan engine running
  • Estimated 2000 lbs downforce allowing 1.2 to 1.5 g’s


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