Big Enduro, Bomber classes in jeopardy at Speedway 95

Posted July 01, 2013, at 7:58 p.m.

HERMON, Maine — Two classes could be on their last laps at Hermon’s Speedway 95.

The Big Enduro class for six- and eight-cylinder cars has had only one car during each of its two Wacky Wednesday race nights so the drivers ran a handful of laps in the Trucks class before pulling off the track and collecting their points and purse money.

The four-cylinder Bomber class had just four cars on Saturday night as it continued its decline.

Track owner Del Merritt said if the car counts don’t improve in those classes, they will be dropped.

However, Merritt explained that the Bombers could slide into the Little Enduro class that runs during Wacky Wednesday race nights.

The Speedway 95 website contains a warning pertaining to the Big Enduros stating that the class is in jeopardy, and that Merritt and office manager/head scorer Kim Baker Allen need to know if Big Enduro owners intend to race them at Speedway 95.

They can contact Merritt and Baker at 356-9516.

“We aren’t going to run a division with three cars in it. It’s the same scenario with the Bombers on Saturday night. There’s no sense having them,” said Merritt. “It’s not right for the fans.”

Two Wednesdays ago, there were three Big Enduros set to race but that dwindled to one.

“Roger Smith lost something in his transmission [so he couldn’t race],” explained Allen. “Duane Dunifer was going to race in one of Shawn Racila’s two cars but Shawn rolled his car over in practice so he had to borrow his car back [from Dunifer] to get his points.”

She said Smith was the only driver in the class during the first week of racing.

The closest class to the Big Enduros is the Saturday night Street Stock class but Merritt and Allen said that would be a big jump for the drivers and would require a significant hike in expense.

“To be competitive [with the Street Stocks], it would cost them a lot more money,” said Merritt.

“The Big Enduros run on radial tires. They would have to buy track tires [for the Street Stocks] that run $80 to $120 apiece,” said Allen.

Merritt said he feels they need “five or six cars” to keep the classes going.

Merritt and Allen aren’t sure why the Big Enduros are struggling so much but they said the class has never been a strong one.

“Maybe nobody is building them … they’re a thing of the past,” offered Merritt.

Allen speculated that “no one is keeping big old cars. They’re turning their gas-guzzlers in. Maybe they don’t have the parts to fix them.”

Merritt and Allen said the fact the Bomber and Little Enduro classes are so similar, drivers may be electing to run in the Little Enduros rather than the Bombers.

Allen said another class that is struggling is the Ladies division on Wednesday night.

“We have only four drivers,” said Allen. “I’m very concerned.”

Wacky Wednesday will continue at 7 p.m. this week with the Little Enduros having the second feature in their three-race series to go with the Ladies, Trucks, Big Enduros and Racing Stars of Tomorrow.

The Bombers will have the second of their three-race series on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. There will also be Late Models, Sportsman, Street Stocks and Sport-Fours.

Speedway 95 has float

Speedway 95 will have its first float in Bangor’s annual Fourth of July parade on Thursday.

Members of the Speedway 95 Kids Club will decorate the float and several will walk with the float handing out posters, bookmarks and schedules during the parade.

The Kids Club, for youngsters of all ages, convenes before races in a facility at the track and involves the kids in a number of activities like arts and crafts and learning how to line dance. They also do some activities during the intermission break.

Baker Allen said they have 72 children registered in the Kids Club and it is being sponsored by UPS this year.

She also said some of the race cars from the track will be on display during the parade as they will be pulled by trailers behind the float. Two of the cars will be the ones driven by defending Late Models points champion Andy Saunders of Ellsworth and Alexis Roach of Brewer, who runs in the Stars of Tomorrow.

Allen said the track will receive valuable exposure in the parade.

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