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What a trip 2020 for UpNorth Motorsports

Episode 343

December 26, 2020

Better of 2020 Current Guide learn

Better of newest learn, The Soul of a Modified; Lennie Boehler’s Ole Blue by Lew Boyd. Obtainable from Coastal 181. (Photograph of canopy by HTF Motorsports)

When Cary Stratton of Coastal 181 despatched me the Lennie Boehler ebook to assessment, my thoughts instantly went to the gathering of Inventory Automobile Racing magazines in my attic. I knew that someplace in that assortment had been some articles concerning the Massachusetts modified constructor.

As Lew Boyd laid out the chronological path of Boehler and his modifieds nicknamed Ole Blue, my curiosity acquired one of the best of me. I needed to make a enterprise into the attic to seek out the journal(s) with Boehler featured.

With LED gentle in hand and heat clothes, I shoved the heavy insulated door into the air, and ventured into the not-that-cold attic, the nice and cozy climate had tempered the air.

I discovered the three-by-three foot cardboard field of Inventory Automobile Racing magazines amongst the bins of Sizzling Rod, Automobile & Driver, Speedway Illustrated, Racer, and miscellaneous different titles. The field was fairly massive and full, so I knew my hunt can be lengthy.

As daylight light, my gentle got here in helpful as I learn the dates on the covers and narrowed the search to 1972. I didn’t discover each challenge in 1972, nevertheless, I did discover the important thing ones. As I used to be trying my thoughts wandered again to what I used to be doing in 1972.

I feel I bought these points from Habeeb’s Smoke Store in Caribou after I was house from college at UMO. I most likely thought the 75 cents cowl value was extreme to this poor school child.

I hit the jackpot when I discovered November 1972 challenge which featured interviews of Cecil Gordon and Lennie Boehler. After I turned to web page 50, there it was. The picture which in my thoughts characterised Lennie Boehler.

Lennie Boehler in his East Freetown, Massachusetts storage the place many Ole Blue modifieds had been launched. Boehler together with associates Tony Cortes and Oscar Norton attended New Bedford Vocational Excessive College. Boehler targeting auto mechanics graduating in 1956. (HTF Motorsports picture of picture by Dr. Dick Berggren)

Boyd’s ebook particulars the greater than 65 years of lifetime of Ole Blue the race automobile. Boehler died on Mom’s Day Could 13, 2001 solely two weeks after attending the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. When he returned house to Freetown his spouse Janice and son Michael took him to Mass Normal Hospital.

They hoped past hope that Lennie would make one other comeback. That by no means occurred when he by no means wakened from unconsciousness. The physician revealed he had a tumor on his backbone on high of all the pieces else.

The subsequent Thursday, the funeral on the Rock Funeral Residence in New Bedford was enormous. The whole Boehler household was current in addition to dozens of New England space racers. After the funeral, the racers within the crowd headed to Nazareth Nationwide Speedway in Pennsylvania for the following race. Tommy Cravenho completed sixth in Ole Blue at that race.

The exploits of drivers of Ole Blue together with Bugs Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Tony Cortes, Don Corridor, Leo Cleary, Ron & Ken Bouchard, Doug Heveron, Mike McLaughlin, Bruce “Gomer” Taylor, Bobby Santos, Matt Swanson, Ted Christopher, and Jerry Marquis are portrayed within the ebook.

The New England Auto Racing Corridor of Fame inducted Lennie posthumously in 2004 citing his six NASCAR Modified Championships together with a number of race wins and previous time racecraft abilities.

The duvet of the 1972 Inventory Automobile Racing journal with a canopy unfold of two concepts of modified race vehicles. (HTF Motorsports picture of canopy)

The coloured middle unfold confirmed the distinction between Lennie Boehler coupe and the Beebe Velocity Store Vega bodied mods. (HTF Motorsports picture of Dick Berggren picture)

I’ve no drawback recommending this ebook. Get the ebook and several other different regional race titles at

My high tales in 2020…good and dangerous

Tame the Monitor Snowmobile Racing Tour had 42 one-lunger entries at Turner, Maine occasion. The Tour was effectively on its method to a profitable yr proper as much as the season finale at Caribou which needed to be cancelled. The 2021 season is in peril with no races scheduled resulting from restrictions on crowd dimension and different COVID associated concepts. (Photograph Elizabeth Agnew Hartford)

One in every of my best disappointments in 2020 was the everlasting closing of Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough, Maine, within the spring. Not solely had been they a loyal sponsor however in addition they offered a first-class karting facility which at all times challenged me. I had over 130 races on the indoor observe together with this opportunity to race with Staff JRT in 2016. (Staff JRT picture)

One in every of my most fascinating days at Maine Indoor Karting in Scarborough was with Cumberland Motor Membership members. Entrance left to proper Ben Spatafora, Portland, Dan Morency, Freeport, and Rachael Clukey, Portland. Again row left to proper Fernando Stelser, Brunswick, Mark Danielle, Pownal, yours actually, Michael from Freeport, Christian Banker, Scarborough, and Scott Guimond, Standish. (HTF Motorsports picture)

One in every of my greatest surprises in 2020 was my six week journey studying concerning the hydroplane racing within the County which lasted about 2 1/2 many years. This journey started with a Fb dialog with Fran Cyr of Caribou about Glenn Campbell from Fort Fairfield. I acquired to interview Campbell proven right here with with a two-blade prop, typical of what was utilized in that period. His Paul Castagneto Casta Craft constructed race boat was restored by Campbell, who raced it within the 1960 period. (HTF Motorsports picture)

Gary Locke on left with Glenn Campbell after a race. Campbell thought this was a river race within the Sixties. (Glenn Campbell assortment)

Hoisting aloft the massive Wilson Trophy after profitable it on the 1967 Lake Maranacook Regatta sponsored by the Winthrop Lions Membership. Castagneto is holding the trophy and on the left is Don Pigeon who helped Castagneto and raced with him for a few years. Pigeon’s boat constructed by Casta Craft in 1961 and raced by Castagneto to a Nationwide Championship in “D” Inventory Hydro was purchased by Pigeon and after racing it two years bought to Glenn Campbell whose story was advised in Episodes 310 by means of 313. That boat was restored by Campbell who owns it in the present day. (LaVallee picture)

Whereas researching hydroplane racing within the County, I used to be privileged to speak to CastaCraft builder Larry Castagneto at his house. He was very cooperative and mailed me valuable paperwork and trusted me to return them unhurt. (they had been returned). One was this journal clipping of younger Larry Castagneto Junior on proper along with his father Larry Senior. They’re trying over the plans and scale fashions of latest hydros to be constructed within the basement of their Melrose house. Senior was an influence gross sales engineer and Junior can be heading to Northeastern in Boston. (Castagneto Assortment picture)

My subsequent interview was with Van Buren native, Lyn Michaud. His race profession adopted that of the Campbell period. A considerably grainy picture of Lyn Michaud on the Van Buren Regatta June 30, 1989 only a 1 1/2 months from the race in Thompson, Connecticut the place he was severally injured which modified him from racer to race boat proprietor. (Gregg Cyr video screenshot)

Lyn Michaud retired Van Buren Ski Store proprietor, holding certainly one of his Dewald Props, Studying, Pennsylvania #0349 serial numbered three blade racing prop. Word the distinction in racing props from the Glenn Campbell two blade props used within the 1960’s. The dialog with Michaud detailed what can be the ultimate organized hydroplane racing period in northern Maine. (HTF Motorsports picture) 

The “Thriller” hydroplane at the start of Fran Cyr of Caribou restoration undertaking. The boat had spent a few years sitting in an space potato storage. View of Scat Cat after rotten and damaged components had been painstakingly eliminated. Word the fundamental framework was principally intact. (Fran Cyr picture)


The “Thriller” Scat Cat is again on the water at Monson Pond in Fort Fairfield in 2020 with restorer Fran Cyr on the helm. He hopes to incorporate a day in 2021 with Glenn Campbell at Monson Pond with Glenn’s boat and others of that period. (Fran Cyr picture)

Fred Ashmore, Hancock, Maine, at Purple Ball Storage in New York Metropolis on morning of report setting journey. The ocean-to-sea report by a solo driver can be shattered by Ashmore in 25 hours and 55 minutes in a rented Ford Mustang GT. The run was preceded by a run in 2018 in a 1963 Ford Galaxie coupe with a 187 gallon gasoline tank permitting a continuous no-fuel added run. He set the Pre-1965 automobile report at 37 hours quarter-hour.   In 2019 aboard a film prop 1979 large physique Cobra with a co-driver, he made the journey in 31 hours and 47 minutes. ( Fred Ashmore picture)

Off exit 211 Kellyville/Drumwright on Interstate 44 in Oklahoma waited Grant Goss on proper and Brady Mullins middle with 150 gallons of excessive take a look at pump fuel. Their 20 gallon per minute pump allowed them to make the cease in underneath eight minutes. Lower than one minute later, an Oklahoma Freeway Patrol officer was on that spot on the lookout for any suspicious exercise. By that point Ashmore was transferring at 104 mph on I-44. (Fred Ashmore picture)

The win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway of the Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) crew appeared to resume the spirit of the crew for the rest of 2020. Alexander beat among the finest professional inventory racers within the Maine/New Hampshire space. (Tom Morris Racing Images picture)

Edwin Walker, Caribou, Maine along with his 1983 VW Rabbit GTI gave me a trip in his freshly restored automobile to Spud Speedway for a photograph shoot. The automobile, now sporting new Felgenwerks wheels and Achilles tires was certainly one of 4 bought from me and is the second of two GTI he restored. Walker is now an aviation scholar in Florida. (HTF Motorsports picture)

Mike Morneau previously from Oxford, Maine now dwelling in North Carolina, is the tire provider for the Stewart Haas #4 entry pushed by Kevin Harvick. Harvick received each of those trophies within the Cup races weekend doubleheader at Michigan Worldwide Speedway. The 2 wins assured Ford Motor Firm the retention of the Michigan Heritage Trophy for the highest producer on the Michigan observe. The 2 races had been wins 5 and 6 this season for Harvick and crew. Harvick went on to win essentially the most races in 2020 with 9. Denny Hamlin was subsequent with 7 wins. Harvick didn’t make the ultimate 4 regardless of these race wins. (Mike Morneau picture)

5-time USAC Silver Crown Champ, Kody Swanson within the Legacy Autosports #20 leads the #2 Juncos Racing automobile pushed by Sting Ray Robb. Robb received the sequence final race at Mid-Ohio a pair weeks earlier than. Swanson received the race at Lucas Oil Raceway, a observe the place he has dominated in USAC Silver Crown races. Kody raced yet one more RTI occasion at Gateway Worldwide Raceway the place he completed one lap down in twelfth place. 

The winner of the Highway to Indy Freedom 90 at Lucas Oil Raceway Kody Swanson in his first drive in an aero rear engine race automobile. Swanson didn’t have a lot time to savor the victory for the reason that Silver Crown race instantly adopted the RTI occasion. Swanson shall be racing for Doran Racing based mostly in Lebanon, Ohio in USAC pavement occasions.(RTI picture)

Juncos Racing’s Sting Ray Robb in prayer previous to racing within the Highway to Indy Professional 2000 Sequence races at Mid-Ohio Sports activities Automobile Course, Lexington, Ohio. The final race at Mid-Ohio turned out to be the turning level of the 19-year-old from Payette, Idaho. He went out into the wooded space in Mid Ohio the place he may very well be alone and laid out his worries to God in prayer. He got here again with a way of peace that this was all a part of the plan. He went on to win 7 of the 14 races. (SR2 picture)

Championship picture says all of it! Sting Ray Robb from Payette, Idaho, not essentially the breeding grounds for race champions. With the championship, Robb received a season scholarship to race within the Highway to Indy Indy Lights Sequence in 2021. The scholarship is price over $600,000. Sting Ray shall be saying shortly his alternative of race crew with which he shall be affiliated within the Indy Lights Sequence in 2021. With a reputation like Sting Ray, I hope he does very effectively. (Highway to Indy picture)

Washington Soccer Staff quarterback Alex Smith with the leg stabilizer that was changed into soccer artwork by Tom Patsis. Smith suffered a severely damaged proper leg in 2018 and endured 17 surgical procedures. When an infection set in amputation was talked about and a return to soccer appeared distant. He’s again with the crew in 2020 and the crew could make the playoffs. (Photograph by Elizabeth B. Smith, his spouse)

NFL Quarterback Alex Smith leg stabilizer changed into soccer artwork by Chilly Exhausting Artwork artist Tom Patsis.(Chilly Exhausting Artwork picture)

NASCAR/IndyCar star, Danica Patrick commissioned Chilly Exhausting Artwork to make this lotus flower for her. She picked up the artwork at Patsis’ Brownsburg, Indiana store. With Tom Patsis is his daughter, Luna. I featured a number of Chilly Exhausting Artwork tasks this season and I believe will do many extra in future episodes of UpNorth Motorsports. This man is wonderful. Expertise on mortgage from God. (Chilly Exhausting Artwork picture)

2020 was the yr that I used to be launched to the Northern Maine Off Highway Tour Membership. I featured this membership twice and count on to in 2021 as effectively. The primary time I wrote about them was when the toured the previous SAC base at Loring. This members picture taken by a drone was within the car parking zone of the US Fish and Wildlife headquarters which now oversees a lot of the 15,000-acre former Strategic Air Command facility (SAC) (Fickett picture)

Thanks! Thanks! Thank YOU!

Thanks to all of the sponsors and dependable readers of UpNorth Motorsports this yr. I urge you to subscribe by merely going to the tip of this episode and search for subscribe. Subscribing to UpNorth Motorsports is free.

If in case you have story concepts, be at liberty to electronic mail me at

See you subsequent yr!

Let’s go racing in 2021,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Isaiah 9:6)