Daytona Speedweeks begins with sheet metal crunching

Episode 302

February 9, 2020

Daytona Baby! Crashes mark beginning of week.

Speedweeks is under way at Daytona International Speedway with the ARCA race on Saturday afternoon which was won by Michael Self followed closely by second place Hailie Deegan in her Daytona debut.

Ricky Stenhouse Junior won the Daytona 500 pole on Sunday afternoon in his debut with the JTG Daugherty Racing #47 Camaro. Starting beside him will be Alex Bowman in the Hendricks #88 Chevrolet Camaro. Stenhouse will start the Bluegrass Vacations Duels race #1 from the pole position at 7 pm Thursday February 13. Bowman will start from the pole in duel #2 which begins directly after race number one. These races will determine starting positions for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

New Hampshire’s Andy Seuss went for a wild ride on lap one of the ARCA race. This is the front end of his torn up race car. Seuss qualified on the outside pole for the race. (John Mayhan photo)

Tire carrier for the #4 Ford of Kevin Harvick, Mike Morneau, stretching before the 2020 Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway. (John Mayhan photo)

Mike Morneau and crew in action during a green flag pit stop during the Busch Clash 2020. Video courtesy John Mayhan.


Maine’s Mike Morneau is a pit crew member of the Kevin Harvick #4 Ford which sustained heavy damage taking him out of the Clash on lap 77. William Byron’s #24 Chevy Camaro is in background displaying the damage that took him out on lap 74. (John Mayhan photo)

Side view of the #4 Kevin Harvick car after a wild time during the Buch Clash 2020. (John Mayhan photo)

The #22 Penske Ford of Joey Logano showing some of the damage which occurred on lap 78 taking him out of the race. (John Mayhan photo)

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones with the help of drafting partner/team-mate Denny Hamlin(one lap down) won the wreck marred Busch Clash which saw only six cars finish of the 18 that started. Jones car shows some of the race damage. (Toyota Racing photo)

Snowmobile racers prevail despite cold weather

Near zero temperatures at the Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour races in Eustis Saturday did not slow down the race teams who must be tough! Fifteen feature races plus heat races were run.

According to Promoter/Race Director Jere Humphrey, ” We had several familiar faces reached the podium this week, a few new first time winners and some veterans returning to the sport after battling fierce competition, all day long.”

Dysart’s Truck Stop, Crabbie’s Racing, KLIM KIDS 120cc STOCK —
1st place Keegan Reynolds: Hermon, ME, Polaris
2nd place Trenton Hanscom: Benton, ME, Polaris
3rd Place Brannen Keaton: ME, Arctic Cat

Recreational Motorsports & Machias Savings Bank KIDS 120cc IMPROVED/LO 206 —
1st place Colby Martin: Turner, ME, Polaris
2nd place Aubrey Keaton: ME, Arctic Cat
3rd Place Mason Lavanway: Auburn, ME, Arctic Cat

Witham’s Paving, Daigle Oil Company KIDS 120cc MODIFIED
1st place Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Polaris
2nd place Evan Witham: Levant, ME, NH, Polaris
3rd place Mason Silva: Hudson, ME, Polaris

Cayleigh Rose, Turner, Maine rode her Arctic Cat to victory in the KIDS 200 Stock class. Photo from the Rangeley Snodeo 2020. (Acorace Photography)

Corinth Village Creamery & Willette’s Automotive KIDS 200 STOCK
1st place Cayleigh Rose: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
2nd place Kole Alexander: Hermon, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd Place Carley Polvenien: Hebron, ME, Arctic Cat

Katie Letourneau at making her 2020 race debut at Rangeley Snodeo. At the Tame the Track Ladies Invitational in Eustis, she rode her Polaris to a third. She came back from her 2019 race where she rolled her sled three times. (Acorace Photography)

Casella Waste Systems/ Pine Tree Waste WOMEN’S INVITATIONAL —
1st place Alley Ripley: Center Ossipee, NH Yamaha
2nd place Haley Frohlich: Auburn, ME, Polaris
3rd place Katie Letourneau: Turner, ME, Polaris

TNT Road Company & Last Chance Motorsports JUNIORS INVITATIONAL —
1st place Riley Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH Yamaha
2nd place Xander Devine: Columbia, NH Yamaha
3rd place Owen Buck: Newport, ME, Yamaha

Workstore and Houlton Powersports & RV TEENS INVITATIONAL —
1st place Henry Moneypenny: West Ossipee, NH Yamaha
2nd place Asa Grace: West Ossipee, NH Yamaha
3rd place Christian Hanscom: Benton, ME, Yamaha

Stock single class start at 2020 Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour in Eustis, Maine. The race was won by Aroostook County’s Brandon Ouellette from Fort Kent.(Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Blanchard’s Towing & VIP Tires SINGLE CYLINDER STOCK
1st place Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, ME, Sno Jet
2nd place Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Sno Jet
3rd place Jordan Taylor: Kingfield, ME, Arctic Cat
4th place Calvin Rose, Jr: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
5th place Bob Kent: Mount Vernon, ME, Sno Jet

Harry’s Motorsports & Equipment & UniFirst SINGLE CYLINDER MODIFIED —
1st place Adam Polevenin: Hebron, ME, Arctic Cat
2nd place Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH Sno Jet
3rd place Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat

SnowStuds, Star City Rentals & PowerMadd 340 STOCK —
1st place Henry Moneypenny: West Ossipee, NH, Yamaha
2nd place Mike Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Yamaha

Savage Paint & Body and Dead River Company 340/440 MODIFIED —
1st place Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH,Yamaha
2nd place Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Nate Alexander: Orrington, ME, Yamaha

Bangor Motorsports & J McLaughlin Construction 440 STOCK
1st place Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Arctic Cat
2nd place Jake Bissonnette: Poland, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Alley Ripley: Center Ossipee, NH, Yamaha

Tame the Track awards ceremony at the Hartford table displaying some of their trophies. l to r Riley, Hailey, and Justin Hartford, MacKenzie Gould, Kevin Weeks and Ronnie Weeks seated. Justin Hartford races Ronnie Weeks #22 Ski Doo, the 27 and 66 Sno Jet of Tim Ferreira and Rom Nason, and the #56 Yamaha for Hartford Racing in 340 stock 440 stock and 340/440 modified He placed in 4 classes with over 100 racing laps. Riley placed in 2 classes. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

1st Rate Bait and Pelletier Ford IFS 440 STOCK —
1st place Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Ski Doo
2nd place Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Jake Bissonnette: Poland, ME, Arctic Cat

Mission Trailers & Briarwood Motor Inn IFS OUTLAW —
1st place Joe Pelletier: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2nd place Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Caleb Morris: Turner, ME, Polaris

Fort Kent Powersports, Mike’s & Sons & Jeff’s Catering Trail 600 Introductory —
1st place Brandon Ouellette: Fort Kent, ME, Arctic Cat
2nd place Daytona Gould: Dexter, ME, Arctic Cat
3rd place Justin Hartford: Wolfeboro, NH, Ski Doo

The next regularly scheduled race is the combined venue event with the Lincoln Snowhounds race “Line Em Up” at the Lincoln SnoCross in Lincoln, Maine which will be held on both Saturday & Sunday: February 22nd/23rd, during the Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour regular season schedule.

Check each organization’s Facebook page or website for specific information.

Racer John Andretti take final lap at Indy

Entering turn one, Crown Hill Funeral Home hearse bearing the body of 56 year-old John Andretti, who died of colon cancer, takes a final lap of Indianapolis Motor Speedway at his funeral February 6.  (Indianapolis Motor Speedway photo)

As 2020 drag racing gets under way…thought you might want to know

What 10,000 horsepower does to a top fuel tire at launch. (photo courtesy


* One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic-inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower (10,000 HP) than the first 5 rows at the Daytona 500.

* Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1.2-1.5 gallons of nitro methane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.

* A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to merely drive the dragster’s supercharger.

* With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.

* At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitro methane the flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F.

* Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug.
This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

* Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.

* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.

* Dragsters reach over 300 MPH before you have completed reading this sentence.

* In order to exceed 300 MPH in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate an average of over 4 G’s. In order to reach 200 MPH well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8 G’s.

* Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

* Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.

* The redline is actually quite high at 9500 RPM.

* THE BOTTOM LINE: Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, & for once, NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1,000 per second.

0 to 100 MPH in .8 seconds (the first 60 feet of the run)
0 to 200 MPH in 2.2 seconds (the first 350 feet of the run)
6 g-forces at the starting line (nothing accelerates faster on land)
6 negative g-forces upon deployment of twin chutes at 300 MPH. A NHRA Top Fuel Dragster accelerates quicker than any other land vehicle on earth . . quicker than a jet fighter plane . . . quicker than the space shuttle.

The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.420 seconds for the quarter-mile (2004, Doug Kalitta). The top speed record is 337.58 MPH as measured over the last 66′ of the run (2005, Tony Schumacher).

Putting this all into perspective:

You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged & ready to launch down a quarter-mile strip as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the ‘Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line & pass the dragster at an honest 200 MPH. The ‘tree’ goes green for both of you at that moment.

The dragster launches & starts after you. You keep your foot down hard, but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums & within 3 seconds the dragster catches & passes you.
He beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile away from where you just passed him. Think about it – from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 MPH & not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long race!

That’s acceleration!

Book review of The Art of Race Car Design, by Bob Riley and Jonathan Ingram

A quick review of this book read by Philip LaPointe an actual race car designer for Honda. ” Bob Riley had an excellent career in race car design. It’s amazing how small the design groups were back then. Now it takes teams of engineers as the cars are complicated and refined. It was a very good read.  Riley’s race car stories opened the door behind the scenes why some drivers and teams excelled” (HTF Motorsports photo of Riley book)

Let’s go racing!

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 11:28-30)

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