Snowmobile racing series in Monroe makes its debut on Sunday

Posted Jan. 03, 2013, at 4:43 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — James Gallant and wife, Sara, had the land.

Kyle Gallant had the idea.

The result is a snowmobile racing series in Monroe beginning on Sunday.

Salt Works Motor Crossing will make its debut beginning at 10 a.m.

There will be seven classes and heat races will kick things off.

Riders can test their snowmobiles from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

James and Sara Gallant bought the seven-acre piece of land along with the Monroe Salt Works building and James was discussing ways to use the land with his younger brother Kyle, a stock car driver at Hermon’s Speedway 95.

“We were kicking ideas around while we were cleaning up the place and I said there isn’t a lot of snowmobile racing around here,” said Kyle. “I thought we ought to try it. And we could hold mud runs in the summer.”

“Kyle is very tight with some of the auto racers and they suggested mud runs [in the spring and summer] and snowmobile races [in the winter],” said James Gallant, who also plans to hold a demolition derby next summer.

The snowmobile track will be approximately one-sixth of a mile.

“It won’t be your traditional snocross with big moguls and 12-foot jumps,” explained Kyle Gallant, who will serve as the race director. “We won’t have any real jumps. There will be a six-foot dip which could be sort of a jump depending upon how fast you’re going. And there will be one 90-degree turn along with straightaways.”

Kyle Gallant noted that a lot of his auto racing friends have snowmobiles and have embraced the idea.

Kyle Gallant and a crew are still building the track and he said he expects it to be “99 percent done” by Friday night.

“There will be some tight corners, so this will test the gamut of the drivers’ abilities,” said James Gallant, who also owns Bangor Lawn and Landscape.

Kyle Gallant said he is hoping to get at least 25 snowmobiles for the opening weekend and said the response has been excellent.

“I’m returning 15-20 emails a day. It’s bigger than I thought it was going to be,” said Kyle Gallant.

“It has been amazing,” said James.

They will hold races every other weekend, although there will be a couple of back-to-back weekends on Jan. 20 and 27 and March 24 and 31.

There will be points champions in all of the classes at the end of the season and the last two races will be double-points features.

Riders who finish in the top five in points in each class, except the class for 10- to 14-year-olds, will receive money.

Kyle Gallant said the first year will be a “learning curve for us.

“We’ll find out what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said. “There are kinks we’re going to have to work out. It’s not going to be perfect and I hope people realize it.

“We’re trying to build a place where they can have fun,” he added.

There will be an initial $20 registration fee for the first class entered but if competitors want to enter other classes, there will be a $15 fee per class.

There will be a $10 fee for competitors who want to test their snowmobiles on Saturday and fans can watch for $5.

On Sunday, there will be a $10 admission fee for fans and crew members; $5 for seniors and spectators with a military ID. Youngsters 10 and under will be admitted free.

There is some limited space in the old Monroe Salt Works building for spectators.

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