Spud Speedway is nestled in the heart of "the county" in Caribou, Maine. These days, you don't see much racing at the speedway, but that's all going to change this upcoming Tuesday, July 3rd.
The speedway will be welcoming the Pro All Star Series back to the county with an ultra special 200-lap event, the Firecracker 200. The event is presented by Aroostook Savings and Loan and will be the track's single racing event of the season.
This will only be the second time ever that the Pro All Star Series has made a trip up to Spud Speedway. The event will be a qualifier for either the Oxford 250 or the inaugural "Commonwealth Classic" at Richmond Raceway in the fall. The top-5 finishers will receive a provisional to race in the event of their choice. A lot is on the line with the qualifier and the winning prize of $5,000.
This week, there has been a lot of buzz generating around the event as 2017 ARCA champion and Fort Kent native, Austin Theriault, announced that he is making the trip back up to Spud Speedway to compete in the event. Maine writer and radio personality, Tom Hale, hopes that Austin's presence at the race will bring in fans from the St. John Valley area, increasing the crowd count and bringing more happy faces into the stands.
Other notable drivers that will be competing in the event include Derek Griffith, DJ Shaw, Ben Rowe, Cassius Clark and Wyatt Alexander. Wyatt's home track is Wiscasset Speedway and he's excited to come to Northern Maine for the event.
According to Tom Hale, Wyatt was up at Spud not too long ago to turn some laps at the track. He was the only driver since 2015 to hit the speedway for practice, which was pretty monumental for both Wyatt and Spud Speedway. 2018 has been a busy year for Wyatt, as he's been attending school full-time at the University of North Carolina down in Charlotte. He's also a finalist in the Valvoline "Fast Track to Fame" contest, where the grand prize winner will receive sponsorship and race experiences that are valued at $50,000.
The event will also bring some drivers down from Speedway 660 in Canada. Chris Duncan, Kyle Reid, Greg Fahey and Lonnie Sommerville are among the Canadian natives that are on the entry list for the event. Kirk Thibeau is also the big-time "hometown hero" from Aroostook County that is entered into the event.
The event will also feature a 50-lap Enduro race, where Bobby Anderson will be competing. Tom Hale notes that Anderson is "probably the most-winning driver ever at Spud Speedway," seeing that he's won more Enduro races than you could ever count. Anderson's step-son, Josh Knoll, is also rumored to be coming up from Southern Maine to compete in the event.
Speedway 95 promoter, Chuck Hall, has also been working hard to organize the Street Stock race that will also be taking place on Tuesday night.
The night will be capped off with a beautiful fireworks display, which is sure to be a sight to see and an event for the whole family to enjoy.
Community involvement has been instrumental throughout the entire process of making this race become a reality for track owner Troy Haney and team. Businesses and fans are encouraged to become "lap sponsors" to help both the drivers and "Feed the County", a program established by Catholic Charities that supplies 25 food pantries across Northern Maine.
For every $50 lap sponsor, $35 will go towards Feed the County and $15 will go towards a bonus for the racers. There are different levels of lap sponsors, from "friend" lap sponsors to "platinum" lap sponsors. All levels have different perks, ranging from physical lap displays to free race passes and advertising. You can learn more about lap sponsorship packages on the Pro All Star Series website.
Troy Haney and his team at Haney's Building Specialties have been hard at work over the past month getting the track race-ready. Tom Hale says that 505 bleacher planks were removed, replaced and repainted for the event. In addition to this, over 1,000 feet of fencing has been replaced and some pole reconstruction has been done. Caution lights have also been properly mounted, ensuring driver and crew safety for the event.
If the event is successful and garners enough fan attention, there is a chance that we could see a limited schedule at Spud Speedway in 2019.
The fate of this event lies in the hands of Maine race fans. It's important to support the track's resurgence and support the drivers that we've come to know and love.
The event doesn't begin until 7:00 pm, so that leaves plenty of time to make the trip to Spud Speedway from any location here in Maine, or even New Hampshire.
Please join us in supporting Spud Speedway and their efforts to bring racing back to Northern Maine.
We hope to see you there!
For more event details, click here.
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