OAKLAND, Maine — Kevin Purnell II figures he has been working 20-hour days over the last five weeks.
That’s because the owner of the Granite Leisure Time Hobby Shop and Raceway in Oakland is preparing for the King of the Dirt remote control truck/buggy event at his facility on Sept. 20-22.
Some of the proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.
Purnell said it will be the fourth year of the event but this is the first year it is affiliated with the Komen foundation and the magnitude is much larger than ever with racers from all over the country and Canada heading to Maine.
One of the primary reasons for the draw is national champion Matthew Olson from California is planning to attend thanks to his friendship with Bangor-area racer Rob Jones, whose wife, Lindsay, is doing the Komen Race for the Cure in Bangor on Sunday. Olson is editor of Velocity RC Magazine and a professional racer.
“When we confirmed Matt’s plane ticket, the event really elevated. It went from a one-day event to a three-day event,” said Purnell, who has been joined by six people in feverishly preparing the 140-by-105-foot outdoor dirt track and 60-by-48 indoor track.
“We have already landed 53-54 sponsors,” said Purnell, who is looking for about 100 competitors.
“It will be a huge, groundbreaking event for the state of Maine,” said Andrew Trask of Pittsfield, who competes at tracks across the Northeast virtually every weekend during the season.
There will be eight classes. An initial entry fee is $35, of which $10 will go to the Komen foundation. If racers want to enter any more classes, it will cost them $10 per class.
Trask said there will be seven-minute heat races in each class and times will determine starting positions of the racers for Sunday’s finals, where each feature will consist of a seven-minute race.
In addition to the racing, there will be a tent with live entertainment and the tracks will have remote control helicopter and rock crawler demonstrations.
Friday, Sept., 20, will be a practice day starting at 10 a.m. Practices followed by racing will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Racers can pre-register at www.graniteleisuretime.com.