Mega Meltdown snowmobile races benefit cancer victims

Episode 204

March 18, 2018

Final turn action at the Mega Meltdown snowmobile snow-cross race in Caribou. Brandon Tweed, Turner, spun his vintage SkiDoo off the track. He was able to get back on track and finish the race. Jim Leighton BlackDot Photography

Mega Meltdown Caribou in the books

For weeks the temperature in Caribou has been in the 30’s with a few dips into the 20’s at night. Those temperatures make the maple sugar people smile. That all changed on Friday when temperatures dipped to near zero with high winds. Wind chills were in the negative numbers.

Despite cold conditions the Tame the Track Tour Snowmobile Races Mega Meltdown race Saturday behind Northern Maine Brewery in Caribou, attracted a record 135 entrants. Dozens of spectators braved the elements to watch fifteen classes of vintage snowmobiles and kids classes race.

Pre-race, Miss Caribou 2018, Sheridan Blackstone, daughter of Dan and Sherri Blackstone, sang the United States and Canadian national anthems while Loring Job Corp Center Honor Guard presented the colors. HTF Motorsports photo

Mega Meltdown Grand Marshall and first snowmobile racer to be selected for the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame ,Tom Peters of Presque Isle. Peters induction into the Hall of Fame is April 14, 2018 at the Augusta Civic Center. HTF Motorsports photo

Mega Meltdown Kids 120 Improved ten sled feature race line up before the race. The race was won by Riley Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, second place was Aroostook County’s Gage Theriault, Limestone, and third was Ben Ciampa, Mt. Vernon.  G.T. Racing photo

Gage Theriault, Limestone, making an inside pass on Hailey Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Theriault won the heat race with Hartford second. Jamie Hathcock photo

Broken handlebars on the Landon Collins’ 1979 Yamaha Enticer after he flipped just before the start/finish line. Collins broke a rib and suffered a bruised spleen. Collins, 14, is a member of the Hartford Racing Team, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The team brought nine sleds and five drivers. Jamie Hathcock photo

Typical turn one action. Landon Collins #55 on the outside with Hailey Hartford #56 middle and Caleb Morris #427 inside battle for position. Jamie Hathcock photo

Limestone’s Adam Williams at speed on the final turn before the start/finish line. His father, Jerry Williams, also from Limestone, drove this sled to second place in the Brian’s Ride One Lap Shootout. BlackDot Photography

Results of the Mega Meltdown:

Kids 120cc Stock

Kaleb Patridge, Dover Foxcroft

Cayleigh Rose, Turner

Trenton Hanscom, Benton

Kids 120cc Improved

Riley Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Gage Theriault, Limestone

Ben Ciampa, Mt Vernon

Kids 120cc Modified

Riley Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Jack Faulkner, Levant

Kaden Rose, Skowhegan

Kids 200 Stock

Jayce Rose, Skowhegan

Emmett Walker, New Vineyard

Teens Open 

Caleb Morris, Turner

Damien Doughty, Knox

Hanna Valley, Ossipee Valley, New Hampshire

Women’s Open

Alley Ripley, Center Ossipee Valley, New Hampshire

Heidi Dunn, Mt Vernon

Mackie Gould, Dexter

Masters 50

Derek Gould, Dexter

Calvin Rose, Sr, Turner

Rodney Soucy, Grand Isle

Single Stock Group A (1974 & older)

Ryan Sullivan, Auburn

Daytona Gould, Dexter

Brian Craig, Turner

Single Stock Group B (1975-85)

Cody Craig, Turner

Mike Eldridge, Ossipee, New Hampshire

Ryan Sullivan, Auburn

Single Modified 

Caleb Morris, Turner

Mike Morris, Turner

Cody Craig, Turner

340 Stock

Rob Doughty, Knox

Ben Eldridge, Effinsham, New Hampshire

Daytona Gould, Dexter

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire’s Justin Hartford on his way to a win in the 340 stock class at the Mega Meltdown Snowmobile races. Jamie Hathcock photo

340 Modified

Justin Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Brian Gendreau, Madawaska

Mike Morris, Turner

440 Stock

Daytona Gould, Dexter

Justin Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Darren Doughty, Knox

440 Modified

Matt Weeks, Carmel

Shawn Berry, Center Ossipee, New Hampshire

Dawson Eldridge, AR Ossipee, New Hampshire

IFS Stock (up to 1992)

Justin Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Derek Gould, Dexter

Stephen St Peter, Woodland

Special Event —Brian’s Bracket Challenge – Single Elimination, one lap –

$150.00 Winner Take All

1st Matt Weeks, Carmel

2nd Jerry Williams, Limestone

Special Contingency Awards – Willette’s Automotive Holeshots    $25.00 bonus money each division

Kids 120 Modified— Riley Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Single Cylinder Stock— Ryan Sullivan, Auburn

Teens Open— Christian Hanscom, Benton

340 Stock & Modified— Justin Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

440 Stock— Damien Doughty, Knox

440 Modified— Matt Weeks, Carmel

IFS Stock—Cody Thibodeau, Woodland

Sign up for Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Aroostook County native Tom Peters will be inducted into the Class of 2018 Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame, Saturday April 14, 2018 at the Augusta Civic Center. I have attended five Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and I can report to you that they are impressive. The meal is catered and the atmosphere is electric as some of the most famous names in motorsports in Maine receive their recognition. Typically there will be about 600 in attendance.

You may order your tickets by clicking here, download the form, and send you money in to the address on the form before April 1st. The cost per person is $45. I hope to see you at the ceremony. Come out to support another County racer.

Find this form at the Maine Vintage Race Car Association website www.

Ripchair Update

The unveiling of Mike Chasse’s Ripchair keeps getting closer. This week the roll cage and joystick controls were installed. For more information about Mike and his Ripchair refer back to UpNorth Motorsports Episode #202 March 4, 2018. Howe and Howe photo

Daytona International Speedway transition from turf to motocross

You may recall earlier this year, I went to Daytona International Speedway to cover the 24 Hours of Daytona in January. One of the highlights of my visit was to getting together with Woodland, Maine and Caribou High School Alumni Hall of Fame’s Jason Griffeth (also one of my former students).

Griffeth is in charge of the turf at the world’s most famous super speedway. After spending 14.5 years with the Boston Red Sox as Fenway’s Assistant Groundskeeper, Griffeth took the Director spot at Daytona November 2015.

While eating at the Daytona Brickyard Grill we talked about the transition the area at the start/finish line would undergo over the course of the next month and one half. I thought you might want to see the photos showing this change from turf, to motocross, to flat track TT clay track.

The track will next be sprigged with warm season turfgrass which will ready for the July stock car races at the speedway. Once the sprigging is accomplished I will update you with a photo.

If you want to see the transition video go to:

Look for Daytona TT Track Build Time Lapse. I did not secure permission to display it directly in my blog, however, you can view it on the American Flat track site.

This is what the turf looked like for Speedweeks 2018. Directly after the Daytona 500, the turf disappeared and eight inches of clay for a flat track was put down with a motocross track on top of that base. Daytona International Speedway photo

Fireworks before the start of the Monster Energy Supercross March 10 on the same area where the turf was only days before. Daytona International Speedway photo

Looking from the infield toward the grandstands at the TT clay flat track used by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) for the races on March 10. All that clay had to be removed before the finale on March 17th, the Daytona 200 which used the infield and high banks for their races. Daytona International Speedway photo

HART has heart

Jim Coughlin, one of HART Racing mechanics at Sebring for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring race. HART photo

You may remember Honda America Racing Team (HART) from my Daytona episode. They are a group of Honda engineers, designers, fabricators, and other Honda personnel who get together at HART’s Ohio Transportation Center shop to build and campaign a 2018 Acura NSX GT3 on the IMSA Endurance Series.

This group of volunteers perform some interesting tasks which allows them to be competitive in the GTD (GT Daytona) class. This class includes the winning Lamborghini Huracan G, and includes Ferrari 488 GT3, Audi R8, Mercedes-AMG GT3, Lexus RC-F, Porsche 911 GT3-R, and BMW M6.

The HART Racing Acura NSX GT3 in action at 12 Hours of Sebring. HART photo

The HART team at the midway point, 200 laps, was in the top 5. Unfortunately they were hit by debris from an incident in turn 17 which forced the team to pit for repairs.

A Facebook request was sent out for the return of their carbon fiber hood which went missing in the turn 17 dust-up. I assume they were able to recover the hood since the team was able to send driver Tom Dyer back out to finish the race.

Dyer said this about the on-track accident, ““This was just one of those freak situations that we got caught up in. I had nowhere to go, but the guys had everything ready right when I arrived at the pit box.”

“I thought our race was done but the HART Racing guys managed to get me back out there so we could finish the event. I’m so grateful for the hard work put in this weekend by everyone and for the team giving me the opportunity to get back in an Acura NSX GT3.”

The next race for HART Racing is the Sahlens Six Hours at Watkins Glen, New York  June 28-July 1.

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Tame the TrackTour Snowmobile Races making a donation to Brian’s Ride a cancer support group at Cary Medical Center. Accepting on behalf of Brian’s Ride l to r Kevin & Sharon Pelletier, Pamela Caldwell (sister of Brian Caldwell), and race promoter Jere Humphrey. Final donation was $2475. Jim Leighton BlackDot Photography










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