WAR on the move to the top

Episode 364

June 12, 2021

Alexander dominates in first Pro Stock win of the season

After finishing on the podium for most of the races this season, Wyatt Alexander took the top spot in Saturday’s 100 lap Pro Stock feature at Beech Ridge Speedway. Alexander started from the pole position and led every lap. Alexander will be one of the favorites in the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) at Beech Ridge Saturday June 12, 2021. (WAR photo)

“Just very appreciative to be in the position I am and thankful for every time I get to go to the track,” said the Ellsworth based driver. In addition to driving responsibilities this summer, he is an engineering intern at Fisher Plows in Rockland which he said, ” I am a little anxious and very excited to take on something new for the summer and step out of my comfort zone a bit. Hoping for the best!”

Alexander’s crew chief and Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame member, Bob Alexander added, “First place is awesome for sure. We have gotten lucky with our draw three weeks in a row. Certainly helps to be able to start up front. Having a fast car doesn’t hurt either. Also, might be the fact that I wore my Spud Speedway shirt today.”

Dean Clattenburg, Clattenburg Racing Fabrication (CRF) located in Salisbury, North Carolina paid tribute to the young racer, “Congrats to the family-based W.A.R team on your wire-to-wire victory in 100 laps of competition at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, capping off a heat win and having the fastest Pro Stock in the pits.”

“Young Wyatt Alexander did a tour of duty working at CRF, graduating Gas Axe 101 with flying colors. We couldn’t be more proud of all his accomplishments. We salute you and all the young racers out there in the trenches using their skills to make dreams reality!”

Alexander defending 2020 GSPSS win at Beech Ridge

Granite State Pro Stock Series takes center stage at Beech Ridge this Saturday. Thanks to Kyle Souza, Souza Media for this race preview.

After a month break, the summer stretch begins for the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) this Saturday, June 12, with the first of two stops at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The flat, tricky, Maine oval will play host to the fourth race of the season in what will be a battle between the GSPSS stars and the local Pro Stock division regulars.
Last year, in the GSPSS debut at Beech Ridge, track favorite Wyatt Alexander stormed into Victory Lane with a late pass of another track favorite, Corey Bubar. There are multiple others in the field with track experience — including Joe Pastore, Rusty Poland, David Oliver, Travis Buzzell, Don Colpritt Jr., Bill Rodgers, Barry Poulin and more. The entry list soars over 25 cars with a mix of track winners and champions, and GSPSS winners, champions and veterans.
Additional entries include Travis Benjamin, Alan Tardiff, Trevor Sanborn, DJ Shaw and Garrett Hall. All five of these drivers have proven to be winners in the Super Late Models and should be challengers for the checkered flag.
Racing gets underway Saturday afternoon with time trials beginning at 4 followed by qualifying heats and feature race with $3000 to win.
New territory for WAR in 2021
The Ellsworth based Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) team embarked on a new adventure in 2021, quest for a track championship. When you consider grandfather Bob Alexander and owner/father Brett never have pursued track championship dating back to the early 1970’s when Bob began at Spud Speedway in Caribou. Until this season the family-owned team raced where they had opportunity.
Is it different making weekly appearances at one track utilizing a car that is set up for that particular track? I spent some time on the phone with Bob Alexander discussing that situation.
With the nomination as one of the seven national finalists in the Alan Kulwicki Driver Development program, the Alexander family decided to concentrate on winning a track championship at a NASCAR sanctioned track. Beech Ridge is the closest type track with that distinction.
With a win in 2020 in their debut with GSPSS, WAR felt that the Pro Stock class at Beech Ridge is filled with talented drivers who for the most part have competitive cars and experienced drivers, many who also are former track champions themselves.
When asked if racing at the same track on a weekly basis has advantages Bob said, “By running only one track, we have the opportunity to refine our setup on a weekly basis. When touring, we are limited to only 2 to 3 practice sessions.’
‘It is possible to rent a track in order to try different things. I credit our success to our team of specialists whom we rely on for such things as driver coaching, tire selection, chassis data, and race spotting. We have some fantastic sponsors who provide funding and materials necessary for us to compete.’
‘We have one of the best chassis builders in the business in CRF (Dean Clattenburg) who is able to keep us up to date with the latest trends in chassis development.”
“Finally, you have the Alexander family of dedicated racers who arrive at the track prepared to win. Each week we spend countless hours on the maintenance and preparation of our racecar.”
Garrett Holler like a kid in a candy store
UpNorth Motorsports has been following the career of Garrett Holler, owner of Holler Customs since I first met him at Restoration and Performance Motorcars, He was the lead autobody technician working on Ferrari, Porsche, VW, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and other expensive and often rare motorcars at the Vergennes, Vermont location several years ago.
The talented autobody specialist went on his own in 2018 opening up Holler Customs shop in nearby Addison, Vermont. He and his wife and co-founder Heather decided to move to motorsports friendly Mooresville, North Carolina in 2020 during the pandemic.
Since then, a couple months ago, Heather Holler the bride of Garrett Holler, and co-owner of Holler Customs, Mooresville, North Carolina, announced that she had accepted a position with Hyundai Motorsports, Alzensu, Germany. Earlier this year she left for Germany to follow her dream of working at the top level in rally the World Rally Championship (WRC).
After several weeks apart, Garrett traveled to Germany to visit his wife. While in Germany they saw some of the local sites including a tour of the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The historical significance of the 130 years of Mercedes and the 160 vehicles on display was not lost on Holler as he pondered the craftsmanship and artistry that went into making some of the most famous cars on the planet.

One car that Holler was anxious to view was this T80 streamliner with nearly 3000 horsepower. Heather was able to show Garrett the race shop where she works. Understandably no photos were allowed. Garrett said, ” Wow what a shop! You can definitely tell they know what they are doing!” (Heather Holler photo)

Garrett Holler deep in thought as he contemplates the Mercedes Benz 300SLR on top of a replica of the original high speed race car hauler of Mercedes that was designed to be able to haul a car at a top speed of 105mph from the track back to the factory and back to the track quickly. ( Heather Holler photo)

SRX is finally here

Weather is supposed to be good as the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) six consecutive Saturday night short track race series kicks off tonight at 8 PM on CBS at Stafford Springs Speedway, Connecticut. Doug Coby will be the local racer in tonight’s race. (SRX photo)

I have featured the SRX Series in previous episodes and look forward to the kick-off event live on CBS. I cannot believe I actually get this series on my television with only a rooftop antennae.

STAFFORD – Doug Coby, June 12, 2021
KNOXVILLE – Brian Brown, June 19, 2021 Hallie Deegan replaces Kanaan
ELDORA – Kody Swanson, June 26, 2021
LUCAS OIL – Bobby Santos III, July 3, 2021
SLINGER – Slinger Nationals 2021 Champion, July 10, 2021 Hallie Deegan once again replaces Kanaan due to schedule conflicts

Cold Hard Art builds SRX trophies

Cold Hard Art’s owner/artist Tom Patsis had a pleasant surprise for me in my inbox. He has built the trophies for the Camping World SRX Series. (Cold Hard Art photo)

The unique Cold Hard Art SRX trophies will be welcome trophies to all the winners of the six race challenge. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Swanson June schedule includes a stint with SRX

Five-time USAC Silver crown Champion Kody Swanson will be “local favorite” at Eldora June 26. Maybe one of those CHA trophies will find its way to Swanson’s trophy case in Zionsville, Indiana. (Kody Swanson photo)

Sting Ray Robb at Indy Lights Detroit

Sting Ray Robb qualifies ninth for the first race of the Indy Lights Detroit Grand Prix Belle Isle Doubleheader weekend. Race one begins just before IndyCar with a noon start. Lear Corporation chose Robb to carry its logo for the race. (Road to Indy photo)

Art work of the week

Indy four-time winners AJ Foyt, Al Unser Senior, Rick Mears, and Helio Castroneves drawn by Gary Varvel Brownsburg, Indiana resident, More of his work can be found at https://garyvarvel.com/

Another work of Gary Varvel depicting all of the Indy 500 champions. This poster and more are available for purchase at https://garyvarvel.com/

UpNorth Motorsports number 9 in motorsports blogs 2021
The top 60 motorsports blogs in 2021 was listed by Feedspot.com with The Paddock Magazine featuring Formula 1 lifestyle and business blog in the top spot. UpNorth Motorsports listed at number nine. Neato!
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