Roar of drag racing snowmobiles on grass track a hit in the County

Episode 235

October 21, 2018

Grass Drags staged on premier facility and it is in the County

Custom made starting area sign for the first Big Woods Grass Drags, a joint venture between Portage Lakers and Ashland Sno-mobile Clubs. The event drew 62 competitors and over 700 spectators and crew members. (Black Dot Photography)

Aroostook County may not be the hotbed of motorsports activity when compared to some locations, however, I believe in a variety of ways County folks can view some top-notch racing. Examples would include world-class land speed racing, snowmobile racing in the winter, stock car racing at rejuvenated Spud Speedway, and the  largest autocross facility in New England at Loring.

Add to this the Big Woods Grass Drags on October 14, 2018 at the same site where the last grass drags were held 23 years ago. The land is owned by Glori and Barry Baronowski, a long-time members of the Ashland Sno-mobile Club.

The race and track preparation was a joint effort between the Ashland club and Portage Lakers. By the looks of it, the track included ideas garnered from other similar tracks.

Aerial view of the facility in Ashland. It is located next to the Dalton Inn and across the road from the Ashland Trotting Park and former tractor/truck pulling track on Route 11. (Photo courtesy Big Woods Grass Drags)

The wires to the Christmas tree lights at the start line ran underground eliminating loose wires. The start line features one hundred feet of packed clay. A chain link fence surrounds the track for spectator and racers safety.

Comments made by racers and spectators after the race indicated that the clay starting line held up well. The wall behind the starting line was not plastered with mud and rocks according to one race team member.

Race day in Ashland

Aerial view of the race day crowd at the Big Woods Grass Drags 2018. (Kris Collier photo)

Race Director Lendell Buckingham described the events leading up to the race, “It was a joint effort between Portage Lakers and the Ashland Sno-mobile clubs. We wanted to revive snowmobile racing in the area. We do a lot of fundraising but have not held a snowmobile event in almost five years and our last grass drags were 23 years ago at the same site.”

“Something we absolutely wanted to accomplish was to get the community out and involved and we feel we achieved that. The local FFA group sold ice to the racers and sold homemade french fries. Other local snowmobile and atv clubs and project grad all had booths and sold a variety of things.”

“We also held a vintage snowmobile show and had vintage race classes. The feedback has been amazing both from the racers and the community and we will be back next year bigger and better.”

Vintage single cylinder class was won by Limestone’s Jim Leighton, left and Dan Robinson, Caribou, placed second. (Black Dot Photography)

A comment was also made that the grass after the 100 foot clay starting area held up well to the multiple passes it was subjected to during the races. Top speed for the day belonged to Fort Kent’s Kyle McBrearity 106.635 mph.

Kyle McBrearity Arctic Cat “Driveshaft” was the fastest for the day at 106.635 mph with ET of 4.65 seconds. (Black Dot Photography)

Fort Kent racer, Joe Pelletier had this to say about the race, “It was very good for their first event in many years. Seemed to be a good turnout of both participants and spectators. Overall I think everybody was happy with how it turned out.”

Joe Pelletier aboard Derek Rioux’s 2004 Ski Doo MXZX 800. Pelletier won the Improved Stock 800 class and placed third in the Improved Stock 1000. (Black Dot Photography)

Jesse Taggett, 13 years old from Woodland aboard his 2004 Arctic Cat F5. Taggett’s father, Rick, on left analyses the start.Taggett made his grass drag racing debut the previous weekend at New England’s largest grass drag event in Epping,New Hampshire. He won the adult 500 Stock class. At Ashland he placed third. (Black Dot Photography)

“It is a great family hobby,” said Jesse’s father Rick Taggett. ” It can be hectic at times but, Jesse truly enjoys racing and it keeps him away from all the bad stuff kids can get involved in today’s world. We owe much thanks to Kurt Dumond our mechanic, and Ethan Rossignol and John Holmquist of The OCD Race Team for taking him in and showing him the ropes.”

Beau Glasscock, Caribou,  getting last-minute advice from his father Dusty before he made his run. Beau finished second in the Mini class. (Black Dot Photography)

Team OCD at Big Woods Grass Drags. Crew chief Kurt Dumond, Sanford on left chooses the line, sled owner John Holmquist, Caribou, at rear of sled with driver Ethan Rossignol, Woodland, on right. Rossignol placed third with this sled and first in the 850 stock class with his sled. He also placed third in the Stock 1000 class. At Epping the week before, Rossignol won the 600 SS class on amateur night Friday and finished third in 600 SS on Sunday’s Pro Event. (Black Dot Photography)

Tim Lary, Bar Harbor, won the most races with first in Stock 700, Stock 800 Shootout, Improved Stock 700, Pro Stock 600 and Pro Stock 800. (Black Dot Photography)


Result from the October 14 race courtesy Big Woods Grass Drags

Update on the Kody Swanson family

Four-time USAC Silver Crown Champion Kody Swanson and wife Jordan in the hospital with new-born son Adam Brian, and first-born Trevor shortly after she gave birth to the baby boy on October 17 at 4:54 pm. Adam weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and was 21 inches long. Rumors that he is being scouted by NASCAR and IndyCar have not been substantiated. (Kody Swanson photo)

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Matthew 5:16



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