Young County racer honored at Heroes Breakfast

Episode 264

May 19, 2019

Local Racer awarded Red Cross Real Heroes Awards

Recognized at the 21st Annual Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast event Friday at the Stone Ridge Event Center in Presque Isle was snowmobile and kart racer, Gage Theriault of Limestone.  A fifth grader at Limestone Middle School, Theriault was nominated by Galen Morrow. He was at his 73-year-old grandmother’s house when a fire broke out. He called 911, helped put the fire out, and then got his wheelchair-bound grandmother, along with her oxygen tank, out of the house safely. (Gage Theriault Racing photo)

Van Buren native serves as judge at International FSAE Event at Michigan International Speedway

Philip LaPointe , a Van Buren native now living in Marysville, Ohio was once again a judge at the Society of Automotive Engineers student competition, Formula SAE (FSAE) event at Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, Michigan. LaPointe works for Honda as an R & D engineer having previously worked eight years for the performance arm of Honda, Honda Performance Development in California and England. Before the stint with HPD he worked in as a design engineer.

LaPointe worked at one of the 15 design cues which featured 6 or 7 judges with 7 – 8 teams in each group. LaPointe’s group featured the overall winner the last three years, University of Stuttgart, as well as a nicely put together University of Illinois entry.

Philip LaPointe on left acts as one of the many FSAE judges May 8-11, 2019. This 2018 photo shows him judging the University of North Carolina Charlotte FSAE team.  (2018 File photo University of North Carolina, Charlotte FSAE Team)

Overall FSAE winner and design stage winner, University of Stuttgart, Germany. Design features include 383 pound overall weight, composite monocoque frame, naturally aspirated four-cylinder Yamaha YZF R6 engine running on E85 fuel, and 10 inch Hoosier shod wheels. The team featured nice aero package with quality workmanship. They also did brake testing on a dyno. (Philip LaPointe photo)

Team Ecole De Technologies Superieure Montreal (ETS Montreal) placed second in the design segment. They had one of the lightest cars at 325 pounds. Their engine featured a custom block fashioned after a single 450cc Yamaha with supercharger. They had the lightest monocoque with extreme attention to mass. Judges noted the bonded construction featured mechanical redundancy. (Team ETS Montreal photo)

University of Connecticut with one of their best finishes, eleventh place overall, in FSAE. They had the best finish of any New England school in 2019. (U Conn FSAE team photo)

LaPointe noted that University of Stuttgart had the best fit and finish, very professional similar to what one might expect in an IndyCar.

Engineers from Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda, Tesla, Space-X, and level 1 suppliers like Bosch, AP brakes, were all present at the event.
Takeaway notes for FSAE teams sounded very similar to the recommendations Jeff Braun made during the Ross Bentley Webinar “Free Stuff to Make You and Your Car faster”.
Summarized they are:
1) Reduce weight
2) Lower the weight
3) Centralize the weight
And remember:
1) Building these cars takes longer than anyone can imagine
2) The more time you spend simplifying, it will work simpler and it makes it look like there is less to it.
LaPointe at Mid Ohio IMSA race and Indy Qualifying Day One
LaPointe’s central Ohio location proved advantageous allowing him to attend the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio May 5. LaPointe.

Overhead view of the Penske Acura #7 of Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves during their pre-race weights and alignment session at Mid Ohio. The Acura went on to finish 5th one lap down to the winning #6 Penske Acura driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron. (Philip LaPointe photo)

LaPointe was also on hand to see the Indy Pole Day Qualifying Day on May 18th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He commented that the Chevrolet’s looked fast, however, after the qualifying day extra boost, the Chevy and Honda teams should be evenly matched.

Racing, Racing, Racing!

If you want to know where I will be during one of the busiest weeks in racing this season here is my schedule of to be watched or listened to events:

  1. Kody Swanson at USAC Silver Crown Hoosier 100, Indiana State Fairgrounds Thursday May 23 (USAC Radio)
  2. Kody and Tanner Swanson at USAC Silver Crown Dave Steele Classic 100 at Lucas Oil Raceway (USAC Radio)
  3. Saturday evening at Anderson Speedway, Anderson, Indiana, I will be listening to Kody Swanson attempting a repeat win in 2019 on
  4. Sunday afternoon I will be at my brother’s house watching the 103rd edition of the Indy 500 on NBC at 12:45 pm followed that evening at 6 pm by the World 600 from Charlotte on Fox.

It makes me tired just thinking of it. Reminder that locally, Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) will be holding their Test, Tune, Arrive and Drive Day at Spud Speedway June 1st. Racers will be practicing with their karts from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. At noon those folks interested in trying out a kart may drive. This will require a NMKA  insurance wristband to drive and be in the pit area.

Rusty Wallace Driving Experience will be at Spud Speedway June 14 with their fleet of Super Late Model short track cars. Interested drivers mat get information about pricing at their website

There are a few local businesses that are utilizing this day for a company employee appreciation day. In addition several individuals are signed up for the event. The 3 lap ride along experience is sold out according to their posting as of tonight.

Local racers help the FFA 

Small Engines portion of the FFA State Ag Technologies and Mechanics contest at EMCC. Antique Tractor puller and former NMKA series champion Tyler Raymond on left with his father Dan Raymond, Caribou on right supervised this portion of the event. Dan Raymond later that day was honored with the Maine State FFA Degree, the highest honor a state association can bestow on a person. The four unidentified Ashland FFA members listen to pre-competition instructions. (HTF Motorsports photo)

The FFA, formerly Future Farmers of America now FFA, the Student Organization of Agriculture Education, held their annual Maine State FFA State Convention at UMaine at Orono and Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC) May 16-17, 2019.


Welding segment of the Ag Technologies and Mechanics contest held at EMCC Welding shop run by Presque Isle Regional Technology Ag Mechanics instructor Darrell Espling on left, Robb Smith Air Gas Corporation, and Scott Moir Agriculture instructor at Caribou Tech Center on right. (HTF Motorsports photo)

I had the privilege to be in charge of the Agriculture Technologies and Mechanics contest held at the EMCC Diesel, Truck, and Heavy Equipment Technology program shop run by Lowell Gardner and the Welding Technology shop run by Roland Clukey. Presque Isle Regional Technology Ag Mechanics Instructor Darrell Espling and Caribou Tech Center Agriculture instructor Scott Moir assisted with running the contest concentrating on the welding and general knowledge portions.

The FFA members who competed in the contest had to show basic proficiency in electrical wiring, welding, small engines and take a general exam. Sixteen FFA members from Maine competed in this year’s contest. The Presque Isle FFA team took top honors followed by, Caribou FFA and Mars Hill FFA.

Prior to the FFA Ag Technologies and Mechanics contest Shelby and Tyler Raymond in foreground, arrange the written portion of the General Knowledge exam. In the back on the left is Lowell Gardner EMCC Diesel Technology program chairman and Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame member Bob Alexander who helped run the Small engines portion of the contest on right. (HTF Motorsports photo)

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