MEDWAY, Maine — East Branch Sno-Rovers Club members hope to create a carnival atmosphere for their first venture into grass snowmobile races in August, a race organizer said Friday.
The Katahdin Area Snowmobile Racing Affilliates, or KASRA, will host the three-day event Aug. 24-26 to turn their winter foray into snowmobile drag racing into a year-round thing, said Jim Stanley, a volunteer who is helping organize the event with another half-dozen club members.
“Grass racing actually draws more spectators than ice racing, basically because of the weather,” Stanley said Friday. “We are targeting two different groups, the amateurs and the pros. If we could get 50 amateurs to come race and another 50 professionals I would say we are doing really good for the first time.”
Club members formed KASRA to celebrate snowmobiling, carve a unique niche in the Maine outdoors sports scene with snowmobile drag racing and develop a new revenue stream for the Katahdin region economy, which already has world-renowned snowmobile trails.
Located at the clubhouse on Hathaway Road, about a mile from the East Millinocket line, the snowmobile drag racing track is the only one in Maine not built on a waterway, club members have said. Club members have run KASRA races at the track two or three times a winter over the last two years, drawing several thousand spectators to the area.
Club volunteers will be out in force this weekend starting work on the grass track they hope to use in August, Stanley said.
Maine hasn’t had a large-scale, racing-organization sanctioned snowmobile grass racing event in more than a decade, Stanley said. Club members hope to create an event that rivals in size events such as New Hampshire’s Race Into Winter event on Oct. 5-7 in Fremont, which draws several thousand spectators.
The East Branch event, which is as yet unnamed, will feature a dance on the night of Aug. 25, a pig roast, a snowmobile and ATV parts swap meet and plenty of space for vendors for restaurants, sporting goods outlets and other retailers and social service organizations, Stanley said.
Anyone interested in renting vendor space, volunteering for the event or otherwise contributing to it can call Stanley at 746-5058, he said.