Small Town Big Dreams

Episode 254

March 3, 2019

Hometime Proud

I fully recognize that basketball may have very little to do with motorsports, however, when the school I graduated from in 1970 and taught at for 38 years wins their first State Boys Basketball championship in 50 years, I just need to proclaim it. Congratulations also to the Southern Aroostook Warrior girls who defeated Greenville and to the Houlton Shiretown boys who made to the state finals before losing to Winthrop.

I was a member of the Caribou High School Band in 1969 when the shot sent up from mid-court by Mike Thurston with 2 seconds to go went in securing CHS boys their first gold ball.

I remember the dead silence a fraction of a second after the ball  dropped cleanly through the hoop. The call was that the basket was good and within moments I, along with most of the band members and hoards of fans were on the court congratulating our classmates for the great win. The “Cardiac Kids”, as they were called, had done it!

Mike Thurston and I before the big game in Portland. Thurston has always called me “Yogi” since I was his catcher his junior and senior years. He now makes his home in New Hampshire. (Shelley Massey photo)

A view of the Caribou fans at the state championship game Saturday March 2, 2019. The number was quite impressive. (Shelley Massey photo)

The State Championship 1969 jacket owned by New Sweden’s Bob Stedt, a member of that squad. (HTF Motorsports photo)

This photo tells it all! What grit, talent, perseverance, and great coaching can achieve. Caribou was called “Small Town; Big Dreams” Events like this can provide a boost to the morale not only to the hometown but the region. From l to r Parker Deprey, Alex Bouchard, Austin Findlen, and Sawyer Deprey. (Troy Bennett BDN photo)

After being given a police escort through Presque Isle and Caribou the team and fans settled into the gym at Caribou High School in support of the 2019 State Class B Boys champion Caribou Vikings. The bonds they formed will be long-lasting and special. Though they may not always be close friends in the future they will be friends. The team is laughing at remarks made by 1983 State Championship boys team runner-up representative Scott Hunter. (HTF Motorsports photo)

After the recognition ceremony, young fans of the team were given the opportunity to gather autographs and photos of the champion Vikings. Parker Deprey, holding the game ball, poses with one of his most loyal fans, Nolin Jepson, son of Arik and Katie Jepson. Deprey is a junior at CHS. His half court shot just before the buzzer in regulation made a lot of folks think of Thurston’s shot in 1969. Deprey’s shot just missed. (Katie Jepson photo)

3rd Annual Squeeze the Throttle Vintage Races in the books

Fort Kent’s Brandon Ouellette when asked about the Tame The Track races in Hermon remarked, “The Penobscot County snowmobile club put on a great event. The track was a little longer than usual which made for some really great battles and more passing opportunities.”

Joe Pelletier(also from Fort Kent) won the iFS 440 class. The iFS Outlaw class was the feature race this week which was a grueling 33 laps on a track that really deteriorated throughout the day. I won that race and Joe finished second.”

“The final race was the ‘King of the Track’ which was another 33 laps. Joe and I battled head-to-head swapping the lead for 23 laps until my primary clutch fell apart and I had to pull off. Joe went on to win. Overall it was a great day, looking forward to Skowhegan next weekend.”

“It was a pretty grueling day,” remarked fellow Fort Kent racer Joe Pelletier. “Having to do 101 laps total with  the last two 33 lap finals only about 20 minutes apart. It also was very rough at the end of the day, which definitely takes a toll on the body on the older style sleds.”

Results from the 3rd Annual Squeeze the Throttle Vintage and Kids Endurance Snowmobile Races:

Dysart’s Truck Stop KIDS 120cc STOCK —
1st Kaleb Partridge: Charleston, Polaris
2nd  Trenton Hanscom: Benton, Polaris
3rd Malcolm Witham Jr: Carmel, Polaris

Witham’s Heating KIDS 120cc IMPROVED —
1st Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, Polaris
2nd Ben Ciampa: Mount Vernon, Arctic Cat
3rd Nick Ciampa: Mount Vernon, Arctic Cat

Witham’s Paving & Machias Savings KIDS 120cc MODIFIED –
1st Kaden Rose: Skowhegan, Arctic Cat
2nd Evan Witham: Levant, Polaris
3rd Hailey Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Polaris

Katahdin Motorsports & Pro Industrial Plus KIDS 200 STOCK
1st Jayce Rose: Skowhegan, Yamaha
2nd Kaden Rose: Skowhegan, Arctic Cat
3rd Jayden Huff: Hampden, Arctic Cat

Casella Waste Systems WOMEN’S INVITATIONAL —
1st  Alley Ripley: Center Ossipee, NH Yamaha
2nd Haley Frohlich: Auburn, Polaris
3rd Emily Pederson: Corinth, Arctic Cat

1st Austin Witham: Levant, Yamaha
2nd Hailey Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
3rd Anthony Lancaster: Jackson, Arctic Cat

Houlton Powersports & RV TEENS INVITATIONAL —
1st Caleb Morris: Turner, Arctic Cat
2nd Asa Grace: West Ossipee, NH Yamaha
3rd Landon Collins: Wolfeboro, NH Yamaha

Blanchard’s Towing & Recovery SINGLE CYLINDER STOCK
1st Mike Morris: Turner, Arctic Cat
2nd Ryan Sullivan: Auburn, Arctic Cat
3rd Jordan Taylor: Kingfield, Arctic Cat

Harry’s Motorsports & Equipment SINGLE CYLINDER MODIFIED —
1st Mike Morris: Turner, Arctic Cat
2nd Jake Bissonette: Poland, Arctic Cat
3rd Andy Frohlich: Auburn, Arctic Cat

Renegade Race Fuels 340 STOCK —
1st Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH Yamaha
2nd Damien Doughty: Knox, Polaris
3rd Rob Doughty: Knox, Polaris

Savage Paint & Body 340 MODIFIED —
1st Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH Yamaha
2nd Brian Gendreau: Madawaska, Polaris
3rd Nick Huff: Hampden,Yamaha

Bangor Motorsports & J McLaughlin Construction 440 STOCK —
1st Darren Doughty: Knox, Polaris
2nd Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
3rd Shawn Berry: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

O’Reilly Auto Parts 440 Modified —
1st Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Yamaha
2nd Shawn Berry: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
3rd Nick Huff: Hampden, Arctic Cat

1st Rate Bait and Cyr & Sons Repair IFS 440 STOCK —
1st Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, Arctic Cat
2nd Daytona Gould: Dexter, Arctic Cat
3rd Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Ski Doo

Mission Trailers & Unifirst IFS OUTLAW —
1st Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, Arctic Cat
2nd Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, Arctic Cat
3rd Caleb Morris: Turner, Polaris

King of the Track 33 Lap Finale sponsored by Last Chance Motorsports — Winner takes All –$300.00
Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, Arctic Cat

Lightweight young men combined with an Arctic Cat sled win the Couples Combination race in Hermon. (Tame the Track photo)

Couples Combination Race sponsored by Showcase Trophies & Awards — Winner takes All — $ 62.50
Henry Moneypenny & Asa Grace: West Ossipee, NH Arctic Cat

The Tame the Track Tour will be in Skowhegan March 9, 2019 for the “Get Er Done Raceway and Motorsports Vintage and Kids Endurance Races” The races begin at 11 am. This is the 6th race of the series and features triple points for racers competing in points championship races.

The season finale will be the 2nd Annual Mega Meltdown in Caribou, Maine Saturday March 23, 2019 at the Northern Maine Brewing Company. Races will be getting underway at 11 am. Brian’s Ride Cancer Fund will be the featured charity for the event.

St. Francis Sno-Angels Race Your Neighbor Drag Races March 9, 2019

Fort Kent Can Am Sled Dog races feature vintage snowmobile display

Vintage snowmobile collector and restorer, Jim Leighton, Limestone mentioned to me that there was a display of several vintage sleds in Fort Kent this past weekend. Jim said,” The vintage sled show is held each year when the Can-Am sled dog races are run. Once the dogs have all gone, there is a sled parade through town. Russ Boucher runs the event.”

Russ Boucher owned vintage sleds l to r 1968 Snow Prince, 1971 Skiroule, and 1968 Alouette. All have single cylinder engines. (Black Dot Photography)

1965 Bombardier SkiDoo Olympique 247 cc single cylinder engine in sled owned by Shawn Pelletier. (Black Dot Photography)

Sleds on display in Fort Kent as part of the Can-Am sled dog race events. l to r 1970 Ski-Doo Olympique 335 single owned by Jim Leighton,  three Ski-Doos owned by Shawn Pelletier, 1965 Olympique 247 single, 1969 Olympique 320 single , and 1969 Olympique 320 single. The last sled is a 1977 Sno-Jet 440 twin owned by Andrew Pelletier. (Black Dot Photography)

Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame member Tom Peters had his two racing Ski-Doo sleds on display as well as modeling the actual “race suit” which he wore while racing sleds his whole career. Tom said he was not feeling well late last year and lost 20 pounds which allowed him to fit in the suit once again. (Black Dot Photography)

Tearing up the turf in Daytona

Remember that beautiful green turf grass with the Daytona logo painted on it that we admired throughout Speedweeks? The turf has yielded way to the motorcycles and has been transformed into a Supercross and TT race track.

The east turn of the TT track beginning to be formed. Note the Monster Energy logo in the pit entrance area. The TT track was built first with the motocross course built on top of it. After motocross racing the soil will be removed revealing the clay TT track. (Daytona International Speedway photo)

The other end of pit road where the bend in the TT track occurs. The TT racers will actually transition from the clay onto the front stretch asphalt for the first time at Daytona. Should make for some interesting racing especially if the is rain events near that event. (DIS photo)

Motocross jump at the finish line installation in the infield of the tri-oval. (DIS photo)

Work continuing on the motocross course at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for Motorcycle Week March 8-17, 2019. If you look closely in the lower right near the Bobcat loader is Caribou’s Jason Griffeth DIS Grounds Supervisor. Once motorcycle racing is done for this season Griffeth and his crew will sprig the entire area with Bermuda grass and convert back to turf in preparation for the NASCAR July races.  (DIS photo)

Artist’s conceptual drawing of the Ricky Carmichael designed Supercross track layout at DIS. The racers will race in a counter-clockwise direction. (Courtesy DIS)

See Daytona International Speedway site for complete motorcycle schedule

Let’s Go Racing!

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:14-16)


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