June 22, 2018
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Ricky Craven, Steve Park to be featured at 25th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo this weekend

Mark Gaier | ESPN
Mark Gaier | ESPN
Former NASCAR driver Ricky Craven of Newburgh will be at the Northeast Motorsports Expo at 8 p.m. Friday at the Augusta Civic Center.
By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Two race car drivers who each won races in all three of NASCAR’s major series will be among the headliners at the 25th annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center this weekend.

Newburgh’s Ricky Craven, who will be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame on May 5, and New York native Steve Park will be featured in the “Passing the Mic: Voices of Experience” segment at 8 p.m. Friday.

They will share their experiences and answer questions from the fans.

Craven and Park each won two Sprint Cup races. Craven also won four Nationwide Series races and a Craftsman Truck Series race while Park won three Nationwide events and one truck race.

Craven is a NASCAR analyst on ESPN-TV.

Park and Craven will also be signing autographs Friday, and Park will be around on Saturday as well.

The “Passing the Mic” segment will follow the announcement of the 25 most influential people involved in auto racing in the northeast.

That will begin at 7 p.m.

“What I did was put a list of 70-80 people on my Mainely Motorsports TV website and had the fans vote for their top 25,” explained expo promoter and Mainely Motorsports television show owner and co-host Steve Perry. “Then I sent their list of 25 names to several media representatives and they put them in order of importance.”

Perry tallied the media votes and put together the final list in order of importance.

All 25 have been invited to the unveiling.

“They were ecstatic about being chosen and honored by the fans,” said Perry.

There will also be a series of pit stop challenges.

“I had always wanted to do it but I didn’t want to do it just for the sake of doing it,” said Perry. “Jere Humphrey of Last Chance Motorsports [in Washburn] has done a great job putting it all together.”

Perry explained that there will be three levels for the pit stop challenge: the touring teams, Saturday night teams and the midweek teams.

“Each team will have five members and they will change four tires,” said Perry.

The top three teams in each of the three levels will vie for the championship at noon Sunday.

Three preliminary challenges will be held at 6 p.m. Friday and at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday.

There will also be a “Passing the Mic” segment on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. involving a panel comprised of Perry, four-time K & N Pro Series East points champion and current Hattori Racing competition director Andy Santerre of Cherryfield, Karl Fredrickson of Speedway Illustrated, Travis Barrett of GWC Motorsports Marketing, and Mike Twist of Speed 51.

The expo is a week later than usual by design, according to Perry.

“We wanted to give people a little more time between Christmas and New Year’s,” said Perry. “And the racing seasons go longer and longer so there isn’t that much of a break between the end of the season and the (Motorsports show).”

There will be several exhibits and vendors and more than 80 prizes will be given.

“We want the people who come to the show to have an experience,” said Perry.

The show will run from 5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $9 for adults, $7.50 for senior citizens and $5 for 6-12-year-olds. It is free for children 5 and under.

If fans bring their ticket stubs from Friday or Saturday, they will get $3 off their Sunday ticket.

There is also a three-day pass available for $20.

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