Maine racer makes final four in national contest

Episode 212

May 13, 2018

Racer with County roots named national finalist

Wyatt Alexander named one of the final four drivers in the Valvoline Fast Track to Fame $50,000 contest.

Wyatt Alexander from Ellsworth, now living in Charlotte, North Carolina where he is studying Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on Motorsports at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, was named by Valvoline as one of the Final Four in their Fast Track to Fame online contest.

Alexander qualified for the contest by a selection committee. Finalists were determined by fan votes, interview process, and social media links. The field was narrowed down to the four finalists from 840 entries.

Alexander competes  in the family owned super late-model and his Legends car in southern races as well as Spud Speedway in Caribou, where his grandfather, Hall of Fame member Bob Alexander, got his start. They will be one of the favorites at the Firecracker 200 July 3rd.

Grand prize winner will receive a prize package valued up to $50,000 in cash, prizes and/or experiences. Runners-up will receive cash prizes and sponsorships. Voting will take place until July 3 and winner announced July 11. You may vote once each 24 hour period.

The four finalist include  Alexander, John Baker, French Lick, Indiana, Jonathan McKennedy, Chlemsford, Massachusetts, and Morgan Ward, Watertown, South Dakota.

Register and vote by clicking below

Quinn Alexander campaigning for her brother Wyatt in the Valvoline Fast Track To Win contest. WAR photo

Crouseville drag racer begins season with victory

Drag racing season has begun for Gene Cyr, Cyrious Motorsports, whose race shop in Crouseville is the breeding ground for speed in a straight line. A winter of rebuilding the Ford Mustang included changing to a new engine builder, TRE, Cleveland, Texas, netted Cyr a first place last Friday with a 5.94 second 116.8 mph speed at the eighth-mile Oxford Plains Dragway.

Cyr was planning to race at Winterport Dragway on Saturday, however a leaking  o-ring behind their transmission pump on their final pass at Oxford finished their weekend of racing. The racing automatic transmission will be shipped back to Connecticut for rebuilding.

Cyr commented, “We currently lead in points in the Top Eliminator class at Oxford. The next point race is Friday May 18. We will try to be there.”

Cyr is assisted in his racing effort by his father Dan, a veteran in New England racing.

Crouseville’s Gene Cyr in Victory Circle with Kim Guptill  at Oxford Plains Dragway in the Top Eliminator class. Photo courtesy Oxford Plains Dragway Arundel Ford Racing Series

Gene Cyr’s Mustang in preparation for drag racing at Oxford Plains Dragway. Cyrious Motorsports photo

Locals with ties to Maine at Formula SAE Competition this past weekend

Many of you may know about Philip Lapointe from Van Buren, Maine now living and working in Marysville, Ohio. I have featured Philip in several episodes of UpNorth Motorsports. He works for Honda Americas as the Technical Information Manager. He also worked for Honda Performance Development in England and California before moving back east a couple of years ago.

Philip enjoys being a judge at the FSAE contests. I believe it is because he can relate to the college age engineering students from all around the world who, like him, have dreams about working with high performance motor cars.

Philip Lapointe judging design at the Formula SAE competition at Michigan International speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan. The University of North Carolina-Charlotte team is being judged by Philip. This is the same school that Wyatt Alexander attends. Photo courtesy UNCC

Overall winner of Formula SAE at Michigan International Speedway was Rennteam Universitat Stuttgart, Germany. This was the teams third year in a row winning. They placed first in braking, second in business marketing plan, first in autocross, twenty-eighth in acceleration, and thirteenth in skidpad. Their were 130 teams signed up for the international competition. Philip Lapointe photo

“EU competitors are much higher quality and have higher skills,” said Lapointe about the competitors he judged. “The Wisconsin car was one of the best domestic for design.”

The University of Wisconsin -Madison FSAE car. The team placed eighth overall. Philip Lapointe photo

Graz Technical University, Austria placed second overall in the FSAE competition at Michigan International Speedway. Philip Lapointe photo

“I judged brakes, composites in the main design, and composite wing structures in the finals. [There were] plenty of great students out there. It was cold and rainy yesterday (Friday May 11),  42 degrees most of the day.”

Travis Elliot front row right with sunglasses, was the team leader on UMaine-Orono’s last team to build and compete in FSAE in 2013. Elliot now works for Roush Industries, Livonia, Michigan. He is from Mount Vernon, Maine.Cyndy Rogers photo

Travis Elliot with Roush Industries said, “I was there recruiting but it was another great time with lots of very interested students coming to talk to us. We received quite a few applications and resumes from prospective and promising students.”

Travis Elliot was part of the Roush contingency at the FSAE competition. His job was to encourage FSAE members to look at Roush as a possible job after graduation. The Michigan based company brought their RoushDrift car in black and their Roush 729 car in green.Travis Elliot photo

For more information about Formula SAE and results go to their homepage here:

Miscellaneous Motorsports photos

IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan at Kroger in Indianapolis area was giving out autographs. Kody and Jordan Swanson’s son, Trevor, fits right in. I wonder if they swapped autographs??!!! Jordan Swanson photo

How many of you remember Sunoco 260? This ad featured Mark Donohue. One of my stock car sponsors was Pat’s Sunoco, now Pat’s Automotive in Caribou. I used to get my five gallons of Sunoco 260 before a night of racing at Spud Speedway in the mid 1970’s.

Big announcement about the Aroostook Savings and Loan Firecracker 200 on July 3rd coming soon. I think the racing community will be pleased.

Do not forget to vote for Wyatt Alexander!

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