51's Northern Exposure Compiled by Mike Twist
Snowmobiling for a Good Cause, Race Shows and What's New With Sanborn, Rowe, Ricci and Lovejoy
Playing in the Snow

The month of February brought plenty of snow to the state of Maine.  The depth of the snowbanks can be measured in feet, not inches, and there has been storm after storm that has hit the state this winter.  The City of Portland is closing in on the 100-inch mark for total snowfall this season and points North are already above that. 

NASCAR Busch East (now Camping World East) cars of Andy Santerre Motorsports teammates Sean Caisse and Jeffrey Earnhardt.  There were also firesuits donated by Matt Kobyluck and Bessey Motorsports and a score of other wearables from Fadden Racing.

All told there were 300 raffle items and 50 auction items up for grabs.

Among the drivers who attended were NASCAR Busch East Series driver Mike Johnson, PASS Outlaw standout Mike Fowler and former Busch East driver Rick Bell, who has been keeping busy by racing a vintage Can-Am car on road courses.
While that is bad when it comes to shoveling, it is very good for the sport of snowmobiling.  And thanks to the efforts of those in the racing community, it has also been good for some charities as well.

The charity snowmobile events took place earlier this month with racing themes.  The first was the ninth annual Busch East Scene Charity Snowmobile Ride in Rangeley.  In years past, the ride had featured a poker run.  This year however, event organizer George Campbell was notified by the State of Maine days before the ride that newly enforcement regulations meant that special licenses were needed because that would be considered a gambling event – even with the charity tie-in.  Without enough time to satisfy the state’s waiting period before the ride, it instead became a fun run along the picturesque trailers of the Western Maine mountains.

After the riding was over, participants met up back at The Clubhouse restaurant, where a charity auction and raffle were held with items donated by various race teams, tracks, competitors and friends of the ride.  Among the items on the block were hoods from the

Busch East’s Joey Logano; ACT Late Model’s Jean-Paul Cyr; ISMA Supermodified’s Chris Perley, True Value Modified Racing Series’ Kirk Alexander and Ben Seitz of the NEMA Midgets will also take part in a “We are the Champions” autograph session at 5pm on Saturday.
The pit stop contest and a tire rodeo, which will showcase the skills needs to quickly mount and unmount racing rubber will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday.

Seminars are planned that will cover everything from tires and weight transfer to accounting and media relations.

For the complete list of weekend activities, please visit the Speedway expo website at www.SpeedwayExpo.com or by clicking on the Speedway Expo link on the front page of Speed51.com.

-  It has snowed enough this winter in New England, that it appears that Tony Ricci’s True Value Modified Racing Series machine has grown a snowplow on its nose.  Actually, the higher bodywork around the hood area on Ricci’s #4 was said to cost a little bit less to build.  It sure was different to look at and attracted a few second glances at the show.

-  Mike Rowe tells Speed51.com that he plans to tow down to North Carolina for the March 22nd Easter Bunny 150 PASS South race at Hickory Motor Speedway.  Rowe won the first Easter Bunny 150 in 2006 and backed that up with that season’s PASS South title.

-  Joe Lovejoy has been all over the short tracks in recent seasons as a crew member for Ben Rowe, father of a winning kart racer at Richmond Raceway (ME) and even a lawnmower racer himself.  Late last season, Lovejoy tried out one of Mike Lux’s Late Models in a weekly show at Lee USA Speedway and was quick in it right away.  That has led to Lovejoy putting together a Late Model to run regularly at the track this year.  The sharp looking #23 machine was on display at the Racin’ Preview.

Speedway Expo Set For This Weekend

New England biggest off-season event of the year is set to take place in West Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend with the second annual Speedway Expo show. 

The show, which is organized by the people who bring you Speedway Illustrated magazine, is a three-day event that took the place of the long-running Racearama show.  It is held at the Big E expo center and features displays from just about every track in the region, vendors, seminars, a pit crew contest, special events and chances to meet dozens and dozens of drivers.
Joe Lovejoy had a new Late Model and Tony Ricci had a new nose on his Modified at the Racin' Preview.  (51 Photos)
Sanborn Has Different Deals for ‘08

Speed51.com ran into Trevor Sanborn at the Racin’ Preview in Portland, Maine this past weekend.  The 2007 PASS North Rookie of the Year has a busy season of racing ahead of him – on a few different fronts.

Sanborn will continue to drive for the #29 Cushman Competition team, although he probably won’t be chasing points in PASS North.  He’ll also run a team car, adorned with the #29, to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (ME) track champion Bub Bilodeau at that track on his off-weekends.

“I’ve got a few different deals for this year,” said Sanborn.  “I’m not sure of all of my plans yet, but I definitely want to run the four PASS National events and try to make something of that series.  We’ll try to run some ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour races too.  That looks like a good deal and the races are televised, so we’ll see what we can do with that.”

Ricci, Rowe and Lovejoy Too…

Also at the Racin’ Preview, we ran into a few other touring drivers and saw a few of their rides for the upcoming season.  Here’s what we found out…
“It was fun,” said Fowler.  “I’ve come up with my family for this before.  We have a camp up here in Rangeley, so I’m usually up here when this is going on.  We always have a good time.  It’s good to see different people in the racing family.  It’s good anytime that you can help out a charity.”

Proceeds from the Busch East Scene ride benefited a number of charities which included The proceeds the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maine Special Olympics, Travis Roy Foundation and the Busch East Series Women's Auxiliary.

One week after the Busch East Scene ride came the Andy Santerre Snowmobile ride in the far Northern reaches of Maine.  The ride took place just miles from the Canadian border in Aroostook County, with the Caribou Inn and Convention Center serving as a homebase.

There were 270 riders in the Santerre event, which raised over $40,000 for AMHC Sexual Assault Services.  The money will be used to help provide "free" rape crisis and support services to the victims of sexual assault in Aroostook County.

Riders who motored along in the 100-mile tour included Santerre along with Camping World east drivers Peyton Sellers, Jamie Hayes and Jeffrey Earnhardt.

The Santerre ride also featured a charity auction and dinner.
Mike Johnson catches some air at the Busch East Scene snowmobile ride.  (Ken Spring Photo)
George Campbell auctions off some of the items of the Busch East Scene snowmobile ride.  (Ken Spring Photo)