Pro All Stars Series Mason Dixon Mega Meltdown

Episode 238

November 11, 2018

Thank you veterans

Starting with a tribute to veterans from Austin Theriault

Anyone recognize this veteran of the Korean War? Hint, an all American kind of guy with his 90 mm anti-aircraft gun.

New Englanders fare well at PASS season finale at Hickory taking 6 of top 11 places.

The season began with the 44th Annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut April 8 and finished November 10 at Hickory Speedway in Newton,North Carolina. Of particular interest to me was that the tour raced at Spud Speedway July 3 in the Aroostook Savings and Loan Firecracker 200 won by Derek Griffith from Hudson, New Hampshire.

Four of the competitors at Hickory also raced at Spud Speedway that evening; Ben Rowe, Derek Griffith, Austin Theriault, and Wyatt Alexander. Three of the four finished top ten in the Hickory race, Griffith (2), Theriault (6), and Alexander (9). Ben Rowe finished 18th.

West Boylston, Massachusetts’ Derek Ramstrom led the last 30 laps of the Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown to capture the win. In doing so he had to hold off the 2017 winner Brandon Setzer, who punted a lapped car out-of-the-way with 10 laps to go causing the final yellow. The race finished with Ramstrom and Griffith battling it out after a good restart.

Derek Griffith celebrates the 2018 PASS National Championship in winners circle with his girlfriend Emily Lanpher. (Lindsay Ellison photo)

What does it take to win a national championship? A great crew, From Left to Right, Dalton Myers – tires, Cam Robinson – tires, John Griffith – Derek’s dad, Cassidy Griffith – Derek’s sister, Emily Lanpher – Derek’s girlfriend, Lindsay Ellison- media / PR, Louie Mechalides-crew chief, Dolly Mechalides – spotter and sister to Louie, Chris Tsioulis – team member (Lindsay Ellison photo)

Despite breaking the trailing arm mount on his race car prior to qualifying, Griffith said,”This is just amazing, the guys did a great job to get the car repaired. I can’t thank Brandon and Dennis [Setzer] for letting us use their shop. Ray Christian, my nearest competitor for the championship, he offered to let me use their backup car. I mean, what can you say about that? This has just been a great year and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Trailing by a single point going into the Pro All Stars Series season finale at Hickory Motor Speedway, was #93CT Ray Christian III, Uncasville, Connecticut, in his first season in PASS Super Late Model. Christian, with the help of Crazy Horse Racing, Oxford, Maine, was locked into a tight race points race with #12G Derek Griffith, Hudson. New Hampshire for the national championship. Griffith with a second place and Christian’s 11th place secured the the title for Griffith.. (Speed 51 photo)

And from Fort Kent

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault #57 shows some of the battle scars after finishing sixth at the Mason-Dixon Meltdown at Hickory. Theriault qualified 13th. (AT Racing photo)

Austin Theriault remarked after the race, “Finished 6th last night at Hickory Motor Speedway in the Pro All Stars Series race. I normally get very intense at the track, but yesterday was all fun.”

“Woody and Donnie from Schrader’s team helped me out as well as several other people who I have met in North Carolina recently. They were great help.”

Getting the #57 super late-model ready for PASS race at Hickory. Theriault said, “A lot of late night working solo to get the car ready, but it was well worth it.” (AT Racing photo)

“Thanks to our 2018 Late Model Sponsors- Cross InsuranceDaigle Oil Co.Bangor Savings BankPelletier MotorsVoisine Technology Services, and Saucier and Sons Trucking.”

From Ellsworth…WAR

Some of the PASS Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown post race war wounds. The WAR team left Hickory in much better shape than the April race where Alexander got moved into the wall. (WAR photo)

Wyatt Alexander commented about the Mason-Dixon Mega-Meltdown saying, “Well at one time not so long ago I would’ve been thrilled with a top 10 PASS finish. Really thought I had a top 5 finish lined up for the night.”

“Myself and/or the car were inconsistent on some short runs after a couple restarts. A couple times the car fired off great and I gained track position. On a couple others I lost 4-5 spots.”

“Bit of a rough race. Got bounced around a lot before the break but we’re able to rough everything back in. Just missed a little something towards the end.”

“Still trying to figure out what I missed on couple of those short runs to lose track position. It’ll keep me up at night for a few weeks. Looking forward to my debrief with Joey Coulter IV and CIV Driver Optimization and maybe find something.”

“Big thanks to everyone who was here this weekend; Mom, Dad, Gramp, Lindsey Walker, Quinn, Daniel Stolte, Adam Paul Sturgill, Meridith Wyte, Brandon Lizotte, Dave Farrington, Erika Newman, Alan Grass, Uncle Razz, and everyone who was on board all season long to make it all possible. It is greatly appreciated. Looks like we will have a busy and relatively short off-season. No rest.”

PR Manager and Mom, Jenn Alexander, reflected, “This race season has been so incredible. We just left our last team dinner for the year and to say we are thankful for this crew is an understatement. All year, we have been fortunate enough to have amazing help on and off the track, and endless amounts of fun. Our team has and always will be about family and everyone who helps us out becomes just that.
Thank you all! We can’t wait for 2019 and the places it will take us.”

Discussing the car set up with Crew Chief Bob Alexander prior to the start. (Tammy Rebich photo)

“We had a good race car at Hickory,” said WAR crew chief Bob Alexander. “Finished 9th out of 27 that started. Very strong competition.”

“Leaving the car at CRF (Clattenburg Racing Fabrication),[Salisbury, North Carolina] to be fitted with a new AR Bodies Body for display in the AR Bodies booth at PRI in December [ December 6-8, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana].”

WAR number one fan Quinn Alexander prior to Hickory race. (WAR photo)

What is CIV Driver Optimization?

You may have noticed that Wyatt Alexander was going to debrief with Joey Coulter, consultant/owner of CIV Driver Optimization, Charlotte, North Carolina. I contacted Coulter to find out what kind of services he offers.

Consultant/owner CIV Driver Optimization, Joey Coulter (photo courtesy CIV Driver Optimization)

Coulter explained his business saying, “CIV Driver Optimization is a program I started a couple of years ago. It’s goal is to teach drivers of all levels of experience how to efficiently take notes and use them for future races”

“There are many different aspects to the program. The focal point is the debrief sheets that I custom tailor for each driver, then review with the driver once he/she completes it. During that time I will also review any video or audio that the driver provides.”

“While I do offer feedback, I also push each driver to follow their own feedback in the debrief and help find the trends that show up.”

“It’s a complex program with lots of moving parts but it’s a lot of fun. Very glad to be working with Wyatt!”

It will be interesting to see how the coaching helps Wyatt and the WAR team going forward.

Shocker…Speed moves over to Subaru

Scott Speed celebrates the 2018 American RallyCross (ARX) championship at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) with daughters Juliet on left and Ava. (Scott Speed photo)

Scott Speed has won all four of the rallycross championships, three with the now defunct Red Bull Global Rally Cross(GRC) and this season with the American RallyCross (ARX). He announced a couple of weeks ago that he is leaving the Michael Andretti Autosports VW team for the Subaru team run by Vermont Sports Cars, Milton, Vermont.

I have never met Scott, however, I have met Tanner Foust, his VW teammate, when Foust was at Loring to film an Episode of Top Gear USA March 2014. Danny Raymond and I were “Production Assistants” or “Go Fers”. You can read about it in Episode 11 June 22, 2014 UpNorth Motorsports.

Speed joins Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson at Vermont Sports Cars. They will be driving the Subaru WRX STI. Look for the 2019 season schedule for ARX in the next few weeks.

Brenda Sue Carver

You may remember Brenda Sue Carver from Seguin, Texas. She crashed her motorcycle at the Loring Timing Association Harvest Event September 4, 2016 while travelling over 200 miles per hour.

The accident put her in the hospital at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for months. They were unable to save her mangled right leg and had to amputate just above the knee in order to save her life.

When she made it back to Texas she was fitted with a snazzy prosthetic leg with the help of the San Antonio Amputee Foundation and the Hanger Clinic.

I noticed she had changed her Facebook profile photo and with her permission here it is.

Brenda Sue Carver on her drag bike at San Antonio Dragway in Texas. (Brenda Sue photo)

Brenda Sue mentioned, ” I am up to 222.2 mph on the land speed Busa with no prosthetic and 9.500 @ 150 mph on my drag bike in the quarter-mile with my prosthetic.”

” I am working on a 1/6th turn throttle for the dragbike because since breaking my throttle wrist so badly, I can hardly turn the throttle. I still hope to make it back to Maine. Shooting for next year!”

Lead on Brenda Sue!

Finishing today with a video with Darrell Waltrip in Bathurst, Australia with the V* Supercar Series. This is somewhat like I felt when Jason Brackett drove me around the The Club Motorsports circuit in Tamworth, New Hampshire this August. Enjoy.

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