The decision by East Coast Snocross officials to move from Bass Park in downtown Bangor to Hermon’s Speedway 95 was a rousing success this past weekend.
Racing had been held for three years at Bass Park but poor attendance and a $5,000 fee for the use of the facility prompted the move to Speedway 95.
“It was fabulous. We were pretty happy for our first year,” said Josh Little, the director of marketing and promotions for East Coast Snocross. “We had 301 registrations, which is the most in over five years and maybe back to the mid 1990s.
“It was a pretty nice setup. We had plenty of snow, the track conditions were favorable and the course was challenging. The back side of the track was pretty sporty. It was a handful for most of the riders,” said Little.
The weather was also a positive with temperatures in the 40s each day.
Little said the series intends to return to Speedway 95 next season.
Little said having two of the primary sponsors, Lane Construction and Dysart’s Restaurant/Truck Stop, within a mile of Speedway 95 made it a much easier platform.
Lane Construction was instrumental in the building of the track by trucking in snow.
“It made everything so much easier and so much less hectic,” said Little.
He also praised local sponsors and Jennifer Khavari, the director of the Eastern Maine Community College Foundation and the project coordinator.
The event is the primary fundraiser for the EMCC Foundation and EMCC provides several volunteers for the events.
“She was awesome,” said Little.
Little said Speedway 95 owner Del Merritt told them that he would welcome their return.
Little called a return to Speedway 95 “a no-brainer.
“It’s a good fit for us,” said Little.
Vintage snowmobile event Saturday
The Anah Temple shrine will hold another benefit snowmobile racing event on Saturday behind the Shrine building at 1404 Broadway in Bangor.
The event is the Tame the Track Snowmobile Tour for vintage snowmobiles built during or before 1985.
Race director and organizer Jere Humphrey explained that the vintage series is different from snocross because the racing does not involve jumps.
“The vintage snowmobiles aren’t built for that type of deal,” said Humphrey.
“The (half-mile) track is flat but it has a bunch of tight turns because that leaves it more up to the driver [rather] than the driver who has the most money. This gives everybody a chance,” said Humphrey.
The 10-race series involves events from Rangeley to Caribou and there will be a March 3 series hosted by the Penobscot Valley Snowmobile Club in Hermon that will also feature some night racing and a snowbike class.
Humphrey said Saturday’s event will benefit the Keystone Cops unit of the Anah Temple Shriners.
There will be 14 classes in which the riders compete for points and one special event class, a 28-lap race that will pay the winner $140.
Humphrey said there is $2,000 purse for the 15 classes.
Registration will be held from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and racing begins at 11.
The Anah Temple Shrine building will be made available to riders and fans.
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