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Wyatt Alexander Racing featured in national magazine

Episode 261

April 28, 2019

WAR featured in national publication

Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) got a PR shot-in-the-arm recently with a feature article in Speedway Illustrated May 2019. The article found in pages 38-41 was written by motorsports writer Jason Beck.

Wyatt Alexander and Lindsey Walker pose for “The Art of WAR” written and photographed by Jason Beck in the May 2019 Speedway Illustrated. Jason Beck photo

Beck concentrated on how a low dollar Super Late Model race team is able to compete in one of the most competitive and expensive series in the United States. Alexander mentioned that they pick and choose the races they compete in during the race season.

Alexander currently resides in the Charlotte, North Carolina area where he attends engineering school at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. His location has allowed him to work at race shops such as chassis builder Clattenburg Racing Fabrication (CRF), World Karting Association (WKA), and others.

He has been able to race at tracks where the legends of NASCAR raced and visit other venues in the heartland of stock car racing in America.

Alexander earned first place in the Valvoline Fast Track to Fame contest in July 2018. Valvoline provided cash, contingency prizes, coaching, and graphics assistance to the racer from Ellsworth, Maine.

In the article, chassis builder Dean Clattenburg outlined suspension/chassis information and crew chief Bob Alexander provided engine information. Great to see someone with County connections recognized on the national scene.

Alexander’s next race is the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset Motor Speedway May 26, 2019. In the meantime college finals take center stage for the sophomore engineering student.

Mystery Solved

Which driver from the United States has the most wins, in fact the only wins, on the World Rally Championship or its predecessor the European Rally Championship? Ken Block? No. Travis Pastrana? No. Paul Choiniere? No!

John Buffum is the correct answer. Buffum won the 1983 Sachs Rally in West Germany and the 1984 Cyprus Rally in an Audi Quattro becoming the first and only American to reach victory circle.

Buffum was born in Wallingford, Connecticut October 4, 1943. He did his first rally , a Time, Speed, Distance (TSD) event in 1964 when a fraternity brother at Middlebury College invited him to be his navigator. He eventually went on to race rally cars. His race shop, Libra Racing, in Colchester, Vermont was where he prepared rally cars, eventually landing the Hyundai Factory Racing contract with his step son Paul Choiniere as the driver.

Buffum was the subject of Tom Grimshaw’s 1993 book, “In Like A Lamb…Out Like A Lion” which is still available online. Grimshaw was one of Buffum’s co-drivers.

Buffum last race he won was the Lake Superior POR Rally in 1999. He was one of the group who restarted the Mount Washington Hillclimb in 1990. That race has become New England’s premiere hillclimb event and will be run in July 2020.

Currently Buffum works as a rally consultant for Vermont Sports Cars in Milton, Vermont. I will be given an inside look at Team Subaru USA organization new shop when I am in Vermont in August.

Buffum won 11 National Championship titles and 117 National Championship races. I first met him at Mount Washington Hillclimb around 1990. I was at the event with my family who were not big hillclimb fans. I learned to attend these events solo.

At one of the New England Forest Rally events in Maine, not sure which one, I along with several other spectators were on a race stage where we could not leave until all rally cars had raced by. They and I were treated to about an hour of instruction with Buffum who told us about racing lines, braking, positioning for turns, and throttle response. I will not soon forget that session.

Since I knew of John Buffum, I wondered where is Libra Racing? Does it exist today? What did the race shop look like when it was in its hay-day?

For some unexplained reason, I was unable to make connection with someone, anyone who knew where this elusive, to me, Libra Racing was located.

That all changed when a couple of weeks ago my wife and I made our spring pilgrimage to Huntington, Vermont to visit grandchildren and their parents.

Prior to leaving home, I set up interviews with Holler Customs, Garret Holder and his fiance Heather Herskowitz and hillclimb racer Luke Moultrop. THe night before I was to meet with Moultrop at his home/shop, he said he would be home later in the morning since he was going to friend’s race shop to fabricate a couple of pieces for his newest hillclimb project Super Chicken 1 which he purchased from Paul Tingaud.

Luke mentioned nothing about Paul in the actual message, however, a race shop is a race shop and very rare in Vermont so I asked if I could meet him at the shop.

He said his friend approved and with directions in hand, I set out to meet at the race shop. After missing the exit off I 89 I went to the next exit to try again. It was then that I realized this Colchester exit was the same one I used to visit Vermont Sports Cars old shop probably a half-dozen times.

I had literally been within 1/2 mile from the race shop which I was about to visit. When I made the corner to drive to the last big door at this nondescript building, I had to sit there a few moments when I realized that the shop that Paul Tingaud Super Car Machine Shop is renting is the old Libra Racing shop!

There it was in front of me. I had quite by accident discovered the location of Libra Racing. Of course several outside photos were taken before heading inside to meet Paul and Luke.

The sign on the door says it…John Buffum & Co, Libra Racing now rented by Paul Tingaud Super Car Machine Shop. (HTF Motorsports photo)

One can tell it has been quite awhile since Libra Racing was active as this sign attests. If you look closely the words are barely visible(HTF Motorsports)

A fading poster on the wall acclaiming the exploits of John Buffum circa 2004. (HTF Motorsports photo)

One of four cars under cover inside the former Libra Racing Shop is the Michele Mouton and Fabrizia Pons Group B Audi Quattro. Mouton from France,  won 4 World Rally Championship races. She went on to co-found the international Race of Champions (ROC) in 1988. The ROC continues to feature NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, LeMans, and MotoGP racers in identical cars. Mouton was inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame in March  2019  (HTF Motorsports photo)

Paul Tingaud’s Super Chicken 2 was being prepped for a dyno test the next day. Note the gearbox reverser in lower left of the car. Tingaud’s Super Chicken homebuilt hillclimb cars are crowd favorites wherever he shows up to race. I will be featuring more about Tingaud’s Super Chicken 1 now in possession of Luke Moultrop and Super Chicken 2 in a future episode. Tingaud was the winner of the New England Hillclimb Association “King of the Hill” in 2013, 2015, and 2016. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Kody Swanson wins round two of USAC Silver Crown season

Kingsburg, California native Kody Swanson, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana continues to set the bar higher and higher when he won his record 26th USAC Silver Crown race, The Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness  Rollie Beale Classic held at Toledo Speedway, Toledo, Ohio. After the race Swanson said, “Everyone on the Nolen Racing team works so hard. Yesterday we worked in the parking lot for six and a half hours before the rain came to make sure we were as ready as we could be for today’s race.” (Rich Forman photo)

This race is a classic example of what has been said in racing circles for decades, the race, more often than not, is won in the garage before the race car goes to the track.

This video shows some of the work the Nolen Racing team did to prepare for the Rollie Beale Classic.

https://www.facebook.com/swansonkody/videos/2266088076783890/

Swanson humbly remarked ,”I’m thankful to my team and our sponsors, and to the organizers, promoters and sponsors of this race. I’m thankful to the fans that braved the cold to be here, and I’m thankful to my wife and spotter, Jordan. In two days it’ll be our eighth wedding anniversary. I have a lot to be thankful for.”

“The race worked out well, but it was nerve-wracking. I had a really good car, and I just wanted to execute at the end. I knew Bobby Santos was there; he’s always a threat at the end.”

“I’ve been putting in a lot of hours myself as have a lot of the guys and gals on this team. It’s great to have a result like this for all of their efforts.”

The race had to be delayed 24 hours due to rain and snow that hit the Toledo area Saturday. The delay did not deter the Nolen Racing #20. Swanson took pole position and led all 100 laps on the 1/2 mile banked asphalt track. Bobby Santos III was second and Aaron Pierce third.

Thanks to Linda Mansfield, Restart Communications for the next segment dealing with Kody Swanson and Nolen Racing’s very busy May schedule.

May is one of the busiest and most important months of the year for Nolen Racing. There are two USAC Silver Crown races in two days, as the 64th and final “Hoosier Hundred” is scheduled for the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis on Thursday, May 23. After that the historic dirt oval will become just a chapter in the auto racing history books, as the current fair board plans to add crushed stone to the surface and use the track solely for harness race horse training and automobile parking.

The following day, Friday, May 24, the USAC Silver Crown series is back on an asphalt track at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. Swanson won both of those USAC Silver Crown races last year, but the story gets even better.

The next day, Saturday, May 25, Swanson will try to win his second consecutive Pay Less Supermarkets Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, which is the most famous asphalt sprint car race in the world. Nolen Racing will field two cars in that race, as Shane Hollingsworth of Lafayette, Ind., who finished third at the Little 500 last year, will again join Swanson under the Nolen Racing tents.

Mutt Strut kicks off the month of racing at Indy

One of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway traditional events kicking off the races at Indy in May is the “Mutt Strut” where dog owners are allowed to walk their “Mutts” on the most famous bricks in the racing world. Makes you wonder when the winner kisses the bricks what deposit may have been left behind. Enjoying the day is Cold Hard Art’s Amanda Patsis with daughter Luna in stroller, Lucy on the infield wall, June Crawford Sanning (Amanda’s mom) and Tom Patsis. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Only drag racer from Maine competing in Canadian Bracket Super Tour

Crouseville’s Gene Cyr, now working and living in Canaan, New York, will be contesting the 2019 Bracket Super Tour in Canada this summer. Cyr has done his pre-season work including new fibreglass doors and rebuilding his engine from the 2018 season. Cyr said the Tour has excellent payouts at each of the events. He may also include a few other races in his 2019 schedule. Follow Cyr here at UpNorth Motorsports for results from his season beginning June 1 & 2. (Cyrous Racing photo)

Isetta history needed

BMW Isetta acquired by Edwin Walker from a gentleman in Crouseville. The Isetta is undergoing an extensive frame off restoration. Walker is seeking information about this car. Contact him at walker.c.edwin@gmail.com (Edwin Walker photo)

I heard from Edwin Walker recently and discovered he has a 1958 BMW Isetta 600 that he is restoring from the frame up. Edwin had some questions which I have included along with a few photo:

“I am hoping you can help me find information on a car I am restoring. It is a 1958 BMW Isetta 600. I am inclined to believe it arrived in the County through Loring somehow. I bought the car as it sat with no background on it, on paper at least. No idea who owned it before.”

As for the background, I have little to no information. This is where i need your help. The seller gave me everything he had on the car in terms of paperwork but this stack did not include service or ownership history. The only thing to indicate the car came from elsewhere is an oil service sticker just inside the front door, I’ll include a picture of that.”

“I have talked to various people who *think* they may have seen the car in or around Loring AFB back in the 1960s or 70s. My guess is it was brought here by an airman in the 60s who soon realized how impractical it was on our roads, not to mention the winter roads. I’ve already reached out to Cuppy Johndro since she is the administrator of the Loring Facebook pages. It generated a lot of interest, but no leads.”

“Perhaps you may know of, or have heard of this car? It sat outside this guy’s house outside Washburn for 10-15 years. I now own it and I am doing a frame-off restoration.”

1958 BMW Isetta engine and frame during restoration process being performed by Edwin Walker. He is seeking information from anyone who may know the history of this unique car found in the County. (Edwin Walker photo)

Spud Speedway highlights two events to be held at the Caribou track

 

 

 

Sign up for the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience at Spud Speedway continues. One idea that is growing in popularity is some companies are shutting down for the day, or part of the day, and treating their crew to several laps in the super late-model race cars that Rusty Wallace Driving Experience will be bringing to Spud Speedway for June 14. Check them out at their website. https://racewithrusty.com/

 

Sunday August 4, 2019. Contact the website at http://www.feedthecounty.com for information how you can sponsor a lap or more at the race. The goal is to exceed the $12,000 raised at last year’s event.

50 lap Enduro race rules for Firecracker 200 Sunday released

ENDURO RULES for August 4th race:
1: ANY 4 OR 6 CYLINDER American or foreign street car, mini-van or mini-truck allowed:
All 6 cylinder cars must be front wheel drive. Only four-cylinder pickup trucks allowed. No 4 wheel drives or all wheel drives allowed. No t-tops allowed. Sunroof must be removed and covered with minimum 22-gauge steel on top and bottom of opening. Car numbers must measure a minimum of 3 feet tall. Numbers will be assigned first come, first serve basis. *
2: Cars must be completely stock. Removal of upholstery allowed. All body panels must remain as manufactured. All doors must be welded or chained shut.
3: Front and rear bumpers must be chained or cable to prevent dragging.
4: No anti-freeze allowed. Water is the only allowed engine coolant. It will be checked.
5: Suspension – No modifications allowed. All parts must be stock for make and model. No spacers. No reinforcing, cutting, heating or bending of any suspension front or rear ends components allowed. Front Camber limited to stock adjustments not to exceed 1 inch
maximum. No racing or performance parts allowed. NO rear camber allowed.
6: Tires – All tires must be exact same size, numbers and letters, and tire rating. Must be stock passenger DOT tires only. 60, 65, 70, or 75 series only. No bias ply tires or retread tires are allowed. Directional tires allowed. All tires must have a readable tread wear numerically of 360 or higher and painted white.
7: Wheels – Must be OEM stock wheels. No aftermarket wheels allowed. One-inch lug nuts suggested on right front.
8: Engine – Must be stock for make and model. Stock carb throttle body or fuel injection only. Stock fuel pump only. No after-market fuel systems allowed. Battery must remained in stock location and be secured and covered.
9: Transmission and Driveline – Must be stock for make and model. No lock or posi-trac differentials.
10: Gas tank must be original stock position or secured in center of trunk. Fuel cell or boat tank secured in trunk.
11: Exhaust must extend to rear-seat area and secured to ground. No exhaust may exit outside of the car.
12: Driver protection roll bars are optional but 4 point cage highly recommend. No outside bars. Roll bars or cage must be professionally welded but not through the firewall. Rear bars may not extend to the strut towers
13: All doors must be welded or chained shut. Hood and trunk latch must be removed. Pull-pin hood pins must be used.
14: All glass lights in trim chrome and plastic must be removed. Full- front windshield
mandatory. (Lexan is allowed) No badly cracked windshield allowed. Full screen is also legal with driver shield or goggles.
15: Driver seat with seatbelt in shoulder strap required. Three-point harness recommend. All carpet and upholstery must be removed. All cars must have a fully charged fire extinguisher mounted within drivers reach.
16: Safety Equipment – Helmet with a minimum Snell 90 rating. Long pants, shirt with
sleeves, and gloves are required. Driving suit and driving gloves recommended. Must have driver’s side window net mounted at bottom with quick release on top.
*Number requests will be accepted on a first come first serve basis, there will be NO
DUPLICATE NUMBERS
**ALL INFO MUST BE COMPLETED LEGIBLY IN ORDER TO RECEIVE PAYMENT**
ENTER EARLY! All drivers and cars must be entered and at the track 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled starting time of the show
.
TECH INSPECTION AREA CLOSES ONE HOUR BEFORE SESSION IS SCHEDULED TO START.

ENTRY BLANK
Mail to: Spud Speedway, 236 Van Buren Road, Caribou, Me. 04736
Name________________________________________________ Age______
Phone:___________________
Social Sec.#____________________
Address_______________________________________________
City _____________________________ State___________ Zip_____________
I have read the rules and regulations and the participators rules, and accept them as read and acknowledge that the decision of the judges is final. I elect to use the ground and track in its present condition. I hereby hold harmless Spud Speedway Inc.and derby officials of any liability or injury as a result of this event.
Date: ___________________
Signed: _________________________________________________________
CAR#_______________________

MIK bound Friday

I will be at Maine Indoor Karting, Scarborough, Maine Friday evening, May 3rd if anyone is in the area and wants to race and/or talk racing. A group of us will be down for Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference on Saturday May 4th. Love to see you Friday at MIK.

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:14)

 

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