‘Mega Meltdown’ snowmobile races in County Saturday

Snowmobile racing is not done yet. The Tame the Track Tour will be staging its tenth and final vintage snowmobile race Saturday, March 17, at the Northern Brewers race track in Caribou. The Mega Meltdown Vintage race will utilize a grand prix type track which will be about 1/2 mile in length. Over $2,800 in cash and contingency prizes will be awarded to the racers.

Race chairman, Jim Leighton, Limestone, said, “We have been at some races down state and here (in northern Maine). Some (racers) are coming, no numbers to report yet.”

Team OCD Racing owner John Holmquist of Caribou, left, and driver Ethan Rossignol of Woodland prepare for a run at the St. Francis Snow Angels snowmobile drag races on Saturday, March 10. (Tara Taggett photo)

“There are several tight points battles, heading into last points race of season,” according to Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour promoter Jere Humphrey. “Some of the tightest battles are as follows:

“Single Cylinder Group B 1975-85 Mike Eldridge of Ossipee, New Hampshire, who has indicated he won’t be making the 6 hour trek, has a slight three-point lead over Ryan Sullivan of Auburn, which could name a new Points Champion at the Mega Meltdown.

“The 340 Stock division has only seven total points, separating the Top 3 in the division. Justin Hartford of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, has 226 points, with Rob Doughty of Knox, Maine, just 5 points back in 2nd place. Ben Eldridge won his first race of the year last weekend and has 219 total points for the final podium spot. Eldridge has committed to making the journey to Aroostook County along with Hartford, so obviously the 340 championship title will be decided Saturday afternoon.

“The teen division could go either way as Damien Doughty has accumulated 187 points and Caleb Morris on his rear bumper with 185 points.

“Mackenzie Gould has maintained the points lead in the women’s division, right up until the last series race, and is now facing a fourteen point deficit, headed into the last race.

“The Kids Stock 200 is one of the most evenly matched contests throughout 2018, with Arctic Cat’s newest debut snowmobile. Both drivers have each won 3 features and raced 38 laps side by side. Jayce Rose leads Emmett Walker by just five points headed to Championship Saturday.

Humphrey highlighted the racer’s purse when he remarked, “$2,800 worth of purse and contingency awards, along with top three trophies will be guaranteed to the competitors that battle for the checkered flag.

“Double points will be awarded for all active members, due to their performance on the track, which will offer 18 lap features to commemorate the final race of 2018.

Some of the race proceeds will be going to Brian’s Ride Cancer Fund at Cary Medical Center in Caribou.

In addition to snowmobile racing, the event will feature outdoor music, a bonfire and food. Admission to the event is $10 for adults and $5 for students and those under 12. There is a $20 registration fee per sled entering the racing program. Pits for sleds will be open at 8 a.m. and racing starts at 11 a.m.

Snowmobile drag racing season winds down in County

Drag racing snowmobiles on snow and ice, their natural habitat, is winding down after the St. Francis Snow Angels drag races Saturday, March 10. This was the final drag race in The County this winter.

The trophy case at Team OCD Racing must be getting filled after the recent drag races at St. Francis. Team owner, John Holmquist reported, “The list is long Tom Hale.”

“Jesse Taggett won the junior class on the 700. Ethan Rossignol drove the 600 to wins in the 600 improved and 600 pro stock. Ethan’s 700 won 700 stock, 700 pro stock & 1000 stock and got 2nd place in 700 improved stock and 800 stock.”

Fort Kent’s Pelletier continues winning ways

Fort Kent’s Joe Pelletier has won with almost every type of racing machine he has driven whether it is motorcycles or snowmobiles. At the St.Francis drag races on March 10 he added to his collection of trophies.

He recalled, “I got 1st in 500 stock, 1st in 500 improved, 2nd in 600 stock, 1st in 1000 improved, 2nd in 900 improved and 2nd in 900 pro-stock.”

Joe Pelletier of Fort Kent drove the SkiDoo 800 Improver in the foreground for Derek Rioux at the St. Francis Snow Angels drag race on Saturday, March 10. (Derek Rioux photo)

When asked if he was racing in Caribou, he said he did not own a vintage sled and will not be racing. Someone who has a good sled can improve its performance by putting Pelletier on their machine.

Austin Theriault update

Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault, though not racing yet this season, has managed to gather a couple of honors that speak to The County native’s racing talent. named him their “Short Track Driver of the Year 2017.”

In their March 6, 2018, press release they wrote, “In 2017, 20 drivers were nominated for the category (Short Track Driver of the Year) with nearly 300 wins represented between them.”

They made mention that Theriault was the first ARCA driver in the 65 year history of the organization to win a race at short track, super speedway, road course, intermediate track, and dirt track in a single season.

NASCAR via a release to ESPN in an article by Bob Pockgrass, named the top 20 prospects in the sport in an article titled “Christopher Bell, Todd Gilliland lead next wave of NASCAR talent”.

The top five in order are: 1) Christopher Bell; 2) Todd Gilliland; 3) Cole Custer; 4) Ryan Preece; and 5) Harrison Burton.

Theriault, who was ranked 13th, has raced most of the racers on the top 20 list and beaten almost all of them at one time or the other. I do not recall him racing Ryan Preece or Chandler Smith. I cannot recall him beating Christopher Bell in any race.

Theriault continues to soldier away on obtaining partners for some of the 2018 season and appears to be making a push toward full-time ride in 2019. No details have been released at this time.

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.

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