Sunday, June 23, 2024

County high school student national competition bound

Episode 422

March 19, 2023

Taggett captures state title…again

In preparation for the Skills USA competition in Bangor, Woodland’s Jesse Taggett immersed himself for a time at the NMCC Welding shop to touch up his welding technique and procedures. By taking this contest so seriously, Taggett earned first place in Friday’s competition.

At Maine Skills USA welding competition March 17, 2023 in Bangor, Woodland, Maine, friends Rylan Masse second from left and Jesse Taggett to his left swept top honors in the competition. Masse won the college level and Taggett the high school portion. Their win qualifies them to represent Maine at the Skills USA National Leadership & Skills Conference in Atlanta June 19-23, 2023. Over 5000 Skills USA Students will compete in 108 different trades, technical, and leadership career areas. (Team OCD photo)

Named the Skills USA Collegiate Advisor of the Year was Rick Taggett who is the welding instructor at Northern Maine Community College. Taggett is receiving his award from State Skills USA officials in Bangor Friday evening. He was selected for going above and beyond the call of duty with his students at the school. (Team OCD photo)

Early the next day Jesse Taggett, Team OCD in foreground, was lining up at Piscataquis Radar Runs in Dover Foxcroft with Bar Harbor’s Tim Lary who was on Red Barn Racing 59X Arctic Cat F6. Red Barn Racing is based out of Trenton, Maine. I am unsure who won this race; however, Taggett was in four races and finished second in each. Lary won three classes and finished second in three others. (Aroostook Unmanned Aerial Services photo)

WAR at Hickory for 2023 season opener

Once again UpNorth Motorsports will be following the exploits of Wyatt Alexander Racing team in 2023. Their County roots run deep. They plan run fewer events than the 2022 season. WAR won the Speedway 660 Pro Stock championship at Geary Woods, New Brunswick.

The team, based in Ellsworth, headed south on Tuesday March 14th to race at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. They were to race in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) St Patrick’s Day 150 on Friday followed by the Easter Bunny 150 on Saturday.

On the way south the team stopped at Caraway Speedway near Asheboro, North Carolina to test. Crew chief Bob Alexander said, “We tested today at Caraway, car was solid. Had to adjust the nose for more track clearance”.

Upon deceleration the team noted some oil smoke, so they swapped engines Thursday morning. Though not totally sure, Alexander thought it may have been caused by an intake manifold not sealing correctly.

In the pits at Hickory after a strong practice the new Clattenburg Racing Fabrication (CRF) chassis was ready. The team borrowed Treadwell Racing’s trailer for the trip south. Note the international flair with Speedway 660 on the rear quarter. (Gerald Greenlaw photo)

The Friday race was rained out forcing Saturday to be a doubleheader with St. Patrick’s Day 150 in the morning and the Easter Bunny 150 in the afternoon.

In their first heat race, WAR’s beautiful front end got banged up necessitating quick repair by the crew. It was all hands on deck as the #96 was put back together and readied for racing action. (WAR photo)

The St. Patrick’s Day race was won by Cole Butcher, from Nova Scotia followed by Max Cookson, Pittsfield, Maine, and Ryan Kuhn, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, rounded out the podium. WAR finished 22nd in that race.

Butcher made it two for two in the Saturday doubleheader once again beating second place Max Cookson, the Oxford Plains Speedway 2022 track champion now competing full-time in the PASS events. Hermon, Maine’s Mike Hopkins finished third. WAR finished 13th two laps down after having a tire go down with 50 laps to go and having only 9 psi in the right front tire at the end of the race.

Future motorsports pool of racers exposed

Sometimes the future crop of motorsports enthusiasts come from often overlooked places. I happened upon one such potential source today, The Cub Scout Pinewood Derby.

While perusing social media, I noticed one of my Facebook friends posted something about the Pinewood derby his son was participating in today. I had written some about Pinewood Derby in Episode 44, February 22, 2015. Time for an update.

Cub Master of Pack 184 Caribou, Lori Clayton mentioned that today was the Pinewood Derby for her young charges. The scout members received an official BSA Pinewood Derby car during the pack’s Christmas party. About a month prior to the Derby, a workshop is held to assist members who may not have tools at home to construct Derby cars and to give construction hints.

A sampling of the 2023 Pack 184 Pinewood Derby cars that took part in today’s Derby. (Jeremy Thomas photo)

The night before the actual race is a “Test and Tune” session where youngsters can get multiple runs on the electronically timed gravity powered track. Clayton mentioned that the race was held today at the Caribou Community School with 40 Scouts participating.

Tech inspection began at 11 am to ensure all Derby cars met the BSA specifications including a weigh-in and trial fit to make sure the car will fit on the track. Post inspection, the races began.

Pack 184 Pinewood Derby racers on stage at Caribou Community School. (April Stallings photo)

Place Avg Time Avg MPH Last Name First Name Car#   Rank
1          3.1242   158.22        Stallings    Parker          36    Webelos I
2          3.1818   155.36        Theriault   Amelia           15     Wolves
3          3.1827   155.31         Plourde    Hunter           24       Bears
4          3.2187   153.58         Cochran   Bailey            42 Arrow of Light
5          3.2409   152.52          Parent     Branson          5      Lions
6          3.2613   151.57        Wickstrom   Karter          38    Webelos I
7          3.2621   151.53          Dyer           Amos          10      Tigers
7          3.2621   151.53         Hartley        Blayne         34    Webelos I
9          3.2883   150.33        Jandreau      Autumn       16      Wolves
10        3.3012   149.74          Gagnon      Benson         1        Lions
11        3.3058   149.53           Cote          Trevor            9       Tigers
12        3.3194   148.92         Bechtel        Ethan          30    Webelos I
13        3.3251   148.66         Powers        Eamon        17      Wolves
14        3.3364   148.16       Wickstrom       Zay            37    Webelos I
15        3.3441   147.82       Mitchell        Michael         13      Wolves
16        3.3493   147.59         Markle        Rhyan           39    Webelos I
17        3.3646   146.92         Markle       Elijah                6       Lions
18        3.3655   146.88        Stallings       Jase              18      Wolves
19        3.3704   146.66           Cote          Corey            31    Webelos I
20        3.3834   146.1           Richards      Caleb            35    Webelos I
21        3.3892   145.85        Anderson      Adley            14       Wolves
22        3.4124   144.86        Wickstrom  Giovanni           4        Lions
23        3.4151   144.74           Hopper        Ari                 3        Lions
24        3.4182   144.61        Mitchell          Devon          28    Webelos I
25        3.4223   144.44       Jandreau     Jeremiah         11      Tigers
26        3.4285   144.18        Shackett      Benjamin          7      Tigers
27        3.4323   144.02           Cook          Parker           21       Bears
28        3.4375   143.8           Clayton         Liam             25    Webelos I
29        3.457     142.99        Hopper          Levon            22       Bears
30        3.4992   141.27         Devoe          Thomas         33    Webelos I
31        3.5138   140.68          Babin          Nathaniel       29    Webelos I
32        3.596     137.46       Hamilton          Evan            43    Arrow of Light
33        3.6208   136.52         Habeeb         Cooper         12       Tigers
34        3.6568   135.18         Graves          Easton          23        Bears
35        3.6887   134.01        Anderson         Abel             40     Webelos I
36        3.8583   128.12         Michaud         Ryan            26     Webelos I
37        4.1286   119.73          Thomas        Everett          20      Bears
38        4.3819   112.81          Thomas        Wesley          41     Arrow of Light
39        5.0172     98.52          Cochran       Chase              2         Lions
40        7.0096     70.52         Hamilton      Grayson          19          Bear

Explanation of ranks:

Lion- kindergarten

Tiger – 1st grade

Wolf – 2nd grade

Bear – 3rd grade

Webelos – 4th grade

Arrow of Light – 5th grade

First place Parker Stallings (April Stallings photo)

Second place Amelia Theriault (Brittany Theriault photo)

Third place Hunter Plourde with Cub Master Lori Clayton (April Stallings photo)

Fourth Place Bailey Cochran (April Stallings photo)

With Cub Master Lori Clayton is Cooper Habeeb voted most creative by fellow competitors. (April Stallings photo)

“The ‘Geezer’ race,” said Clayton, “is likely one of the most competitive (for bragging rights throughout the year) is for any adult in the Scouts life that would like to race, including Den Leaders.”

Cub Master Clayton mentioned, “Pack 184 has doubled in size since last year with our current Pack at 184 Scouts ranging from Kindergarten thru 5th grade. This is my second year as Cub Master. I’ve been involved with Pack 184 as a Den Leader for 5 years. Our Den Leaders are AMAZING and the reason our pack is so successful.”

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)