Snowmobile Hillclimb,Squirrels,Phoenix Racing, Cold Hard Art and the Ghost

Episode 207

April 8, 2018


Climb the Pines snowmobile hillclimb at Lonesome Pines Trails ski area in Fort Kent

Snowmobile Hillclimb finishes snow season at the Fort Kent facility, maybe. Fort Kent Sno-Riders Club poster

Fort Kent Sno-Riders Hillclimb

The next to the last event for snowmobile racing in the County was run Saturday at Lonesome Pines Ski resort. The 2500 foot uphill course featured four slalom type turns.

Fort Kent’s Joe Pelletier at speed on the slopes of Lonesome Pines Trails Ski Resort. Contributed photo

I spoke via Facebook to one racer who I knew was involved in the event, Fort Kent’s Joe Pelletier. Joe raced his 2018 SkiDoo MXZ 600rs which took five first place trophies, three seconds, and a third in nine races. His other sled, a SkiDoo MXZX 440 carried him to a first place and second place finish.

Casey Savage foreground and Joe Pelletier background, line up for one of their many head-to-head races up the slopes of Lonesome Pines. Contributed photo

Casey Savage displaying his winning awards at the Climb the Pine Hillclimb Saturday April 7 in Fort Kent. Photo courtesy Savage Racing

Sherman’s Casey Savage provided great competition at the Hillclimb. His Polaris IQR prepared by Mitchell Chandler of Chandler Farms Polaris in Mapleton took three first place trophies and two second place awards.

Season Finale for snowmobile racing at BigRock Mountain Saturday April 14

The County’s final snowmobile racing event this weekend at BigRock Mountain. Contact them for more details.

New winter maintenance item for Toyota Tacoma?

Leaving home on Tuesday for John Deere Days at Theriault Equipment in Presque Isle started out like a typical drive to town. My mind was on the myriad things I needed to accomplish before picking my wife up and bringing her to the John Deere dealer for supper.

Okay hold the comments about what a cheapskate I am; John Deere Days has always had great food and good conversation. My wife and I have been several years, it’s like a tradition.

Before I drove a mile from home on the back-roads of Westmanland where we live and HTF Motorsports is headquartered, the truck sputtered. I pushed the clutch in and pumped the accelerator to keep it running.

I thought maybe I would turn the truck around in the Westmanland School driveway and attempt to keep the sputtering truck running long enough to make it home. Once the truck was home, I would call Wardwell’s Service in Caribou and have Rod rescue me once again with his rollback wrecker.

My truck sputtered a few more times as I roll down the hill toward the swamp where it finally came to a halt well off the main road. The truck was not going to start again.

I decided to hoof it to home, about 3/4 miles away. If I got there fast enough I would call my wife who was to meet me in Caribou so we could ride to Presque Isle together.

I tried several times to reach her unsuccessfully, she is new at using her cell phone. When I finally reached her about 5 pm, I asked if she would come home and pick me up then go to Presque Isle on our supper date.

Being the loving wife she is, she drove all the way home, 14 miles, and to Presque Isle we went. Our truck was picked up by Wardwell’s Service and given a ride back to their shop.

When I talked to Kim Wardwell two days later, I asked if the truck was ready. Yes it is, however, you have a problem, squirrels.

When I went to their service center, Rod showed me the new air filter you see above with the large holes. A squirrel or squirrels had made a nest inside the air-box of my truck and were quite content to have their home heated upon occasion.

A new preventative maintenance item for my HTF Motorsports/Hale Tree Farms Toyota Tacoma…the air filter in winter months. HTF Motorsports photo

The filter debris was packed into the air-box, however, some made it into the air intake manifold and plugged up the sensors for the fuel injection system thus the no-run condition.

This is the third such incidence with my Tacoma pickups. It was the second invasion on this particular truck. I attempt to do preventative maintenance on my vehicles to keep them running as long as I am can. This truck has 240,000+ miles.

Next winter I will need to include checking my air intake for the presence of those rascally squirrels. Expensive bunch they are!

Cold Hard Art at NHRA Four-Wide Las Vegas drag races

You may remember from several previous episodes, Tom Patsis, owner of Cold Hard Art (CHA), Brownsburg, Indiana. He spent his high school years at Ellsworth, Maine before heading off to school at University of Northwest Ohio (UNOH) in Lima, Ohio where he majored in Automotive High Performance, Welding and Alternative Fuels.

After graduating from UNOH, Patsis spent many years as a fabricator at Don Schumacher Racing in Brownsburg, Patsis along with his wife Amanda went full-time at their business, Cold Hard Art (CHA). They produce a plethora of art which typically feature a motorsports theme with actual parts from race cars. Their work can be viewed at

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Four-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway included the $50,000 to win K & N Horsepower Challenge Saturday. The challenge was won by Greg Anderson, Mooresville, North Carolina in his Summit Racing Camaro. This was Anderson’s third Challenge win in a row and seventh overall.

Greg Anderson hold high the trophy made by Tom Patsis denoting his win of the $50,000 K & N Horsepower Challenge Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NHRA photo

This is the same trophy after construction at Patsis’ CHA shop in Brownsburg, Indiana. Thus you might say that Anderson’s win at Las Vegas had a “Maine” component. Cold Hard Art photo

USAC Silver Crown season opener at Phoenix

The United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown season opener ran Saturday afternoon as part of the Indy Car race weekend. The USAC race was held at 3:15 pm followed by the IndyCar Phoenix Grand Prix beginning in the early evening.

Once again this season I will be following three-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson as he attempts to win his fourth drivers championship in the last five years.

The 30-year-old from Kingsburg, California now living in Indianapolis, Indiana sat on the pole for the 100 lap Phoenix Copper Cup race. He worked his way into the lead on lap 66 until he lost that lead to Bobby Santos, a Franklin, Massachusetts native, who lead the final 20 laps.

Santos came back from a pit-stop during a yellow flag on lap 17 to adjust the car. He methodically worked his way through the pack finally passing Swanson for the lead on lap 80.

Kody Swanson said this about the USAC Silver Crown season opener winner Bobby Santos. “Santos is extremely good, and an excellent racer”, said three time champion Swanson.  “We had a really good car, but just wasn’t enough to hold him off.”

“We had a few things going on, but I can say everyone on this team gave it their all, and that is all I can ask. We had a good weekend, just wanted one more!”

Second place finisher Kody Swanson on the inside of race winner Bobby Santos at ISM Raceway’s USAC Silver Crown 100 lap event. Al Steinberg/USAC Racing photo

Franklin, Massachusetts’ Bobby Santos celebrates in Victory Lane at ISM Raceway Phoenix, Arizona after coming back from deep in the pack to win the USAC Copper Cup 100. Notice the dedicated crewman still gathering data though in Victory Lane. USAC Racing photo

Theriault wins Pinewood Derby 

Limestone’s Gage Theriault on right won the Cub Scouts Northstar District Pinewood Derby held at Caribou Recreation Department over the weekend. Jacob Edgecomb in center placed second while Brayden Thibodeau on left placed third. All are members of Pack 193, Limestone. Theriault and Thibodeau are also Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) kart racers at Spud Speedway. Gage Theriault Racing photo

Mrs Whitney Williams, science teacher and FFA Advisor at Mars Hill Middle/High School,was awarded her second place racing trophy won at last year’s NMKA season finale at Spud Speedway. The trophy presentation was made by me at her FFA Chapter’s Annual Awards Banquet. HTF Motorsports photo

Thought you might like to see

Ray Evernham’s 1936 Chevy sedan nicknamed, “the Ghost”. The race car was built by Evernham in his race shop with the help of  Dan Baker, lead fabricator and paint, and Eddie Bohn, lead mechanic. Matt Weaver photo

Car Specs:

  • Body: 1936 Chevrolet Sedan
  • Chassis: Purpose-built rectangular 2-inch x 3.125-inch mild steel tubing main frame rails with a NASCAR-style 1.75-inch round .095-inch mild steel DOM tubing integral roll cage
  • Height: 52.5-inches
  • Weight: 2,650 lb with driver and full load of fuel
  • Front Tread: 63-inches
  • Rear Tread: 67-inches
  • Engine: Aluminum Chevrolet SB-2 by Pro Motor Engineering
  • Engine Displacement: 410 cubic-inches
  • Peak Horsepower: 850
  • Peak Torque: 626 ft/lbs
  • Motor Oil and Lubricants: Valvoline

The 1936 Chevy sedan was unveiled at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Evernham has already raced the car at Road Atlanta in a vintage event. He plans to race at other venues including Pikes Peak and maybe a land speed event. Maybe if readers send messages to Evernham about the Loring Timing Association’s speed trials they would consider racing in Limestone. Matt Weaver photo

Built low and ready to go “the Ghost” incorporates modern safety and “go-fast” components in a vintage body. Matt Weaver photo.

You can find the 10 part build of “the Ghost” sponsored by Valvoline here:

Let’s go racing!

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Casey Savage displaying his winning awards at the Climb the Pine Hillclimb Saturday April 7 in Fort Kent. Photo courtesy Savage Racing


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