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Well, we survived it. By “it”, I refer to our now annual trip to Scarborough, Maine for the “DT100”, which is an indoor karting event that brings 100 drivers from all over the northeast to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The event is organized by New Hampshire’s Dave Thomas Jr., and features drivers from all divisions at many speedways, to compete for the top prize in the two separate divisions - which will be called on these pages “normal weight“, and “freakishly light“. (Draw your own conclusion about which division I was in.)
The winners this year were Alby Ovitt, and P.J. Murphy. Ovitt tracked down Ryan Preece, who held a huge lead, to make the pass near the end of the race. And Murphy held off Mike Ordway, Jr., who took advantage of a late-race scramble to get from 5th to 2nd. This event has become a very important race for many, and the winners were very happy this year. Congratulations to ALL of the drivers in the DT100.
The REAL winners, however, were Make-A-Wish, who have received in the area of FIFTY LARGE from event organizer Thomas, and the generous fans of the event over the years. Over $21,000 just this time.
Of “our guys”, (people that I know that I was rooting for), only one made the feature event through the rigorous and multiple qualifying events. That would be supermodified and TQ competitor Joey Payne, who did not fare well in the feature. (Explanation: that kart was a “turd”.)
Other unsuccessful non-qualifiers that we had hoped to see in the “big dance” included: supermodified drivers Randy Ritskes, Joey Scanlon, Jeff Locke, and Mikey Barnes; along with Pete Palmieri, Sara Wygant, Dave Thomas, Brad Wygant, Jessica Ordway, and J.J. Andrews.
No recap of this year’s DT100 would be complete without the coverage of one specific pass in the event. This pass will go down in history as “The Pass”, and this story will be told by children and grandchildren through several generations.
“The Pass” happened during one of the qualifying events, when heralded supermodified driver Michael Barnes was dusted by the one person that he had wanted so badly to beat: Jess Ordway. Everyone saw it, and it was the buzz of Maine when it happened, as Ordway blew past Barnes as if he was chained to a tree. While the subject is a sore one for Barnes, it must be told about my spike-haired friend, to help continue the chops-busting when he straps into the Strong Racing #99 super at Oswego Speedway in 2012. It has been stated that Barnes has received many words of encouragement and humiliation via text.
But the other winners? Those of us who attended the event. The stories that we have from our trips to Maine are endless, and will be with us forever. Stories about chair races and luggage cart races gone bad - one that caused a driver to miss the DT100 event (Barry Kingsley.) Late night burlesque entertainment at the indoor pool (whenever they could find the key). Sabrina’s dog show. DJ Ronzo and Lois’s light and music show. Beautiful karaoke duets. Magic tricks. The appearance of members of the band LMFAO, as well as Captain Badass. Joey Scanlon’s “Red Solo Cup” tournament. Bus rides with Luther. Midget LCR. Window signage. Bead presentations. “Sheets”. Siri the iPhone‘s standup comedy routines. “America’s Next White Rapper” tryouts. And dating services. Great weekend and great times. Special thank-you to all of our friends from the east, as well as the crazy crew from CNY that made it yet another weekend of memories. As well a Comfort Suites of Biddeford, Maine, for putting up with our ridiculous behavior - with a smile.
As for my own results in the event? Not so much. Maybe I’m a bad driver, or maybe I was just unfortunate to land in two of Joey Payne’s aforementioned “turds”. My first attempt saw a dead last starting spot. My second attempt fizzled out when officials black-flagged me to let me know that it is, in fact, against the rules to blow an air horn at a driver when he passes you, or distribute mardi gras beads to your fans during the pace lap. (I have NEVER heard of these rules, which suggest unfair profiling.) “If you pull one moah thing out of ya coat, I’m gonna paahk the kaaht”, the agitated official stated in his New English accent, after letting me off with a warning that cost me a lap or two, and any chance of a successful finish. As a wise man once said. “we may not have won the race, but we never lose the party”.
A special tribute by Thomas to our friend and race fan Ray Gregory, who passed away in 2011, brought tears to the eyes of many of his close friends during the day. Thomas even competed in the event in a special racing jacket, embroidered with “in Loving Memory of Ray Gregory”. Ray will always be a part of this event, and will be remembered by many.
(Note: for my non-regular readers of my “Keepin’ it Real” column in Gater Racing News, this blog is written less frequently than the regular column that appears 37 times yearly in Gater. Just wanted to get the DT100 portion up for my friends in New England to read. And then let you know that ALL of my “Keepin’ it Real” articles can be seen by picking up the paper at the track, or subscribing to E-Gater online for just $19.95 a year at www.gaternews.com. Thanks for coming, and be sure to click the “comments” tab below and add your two cents.) GOTTAGETTAGATER!
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As a driver/owner in the Limited Supermodified division, JJ Andrews covers mostly Oswego Speedway events, from a driver's point of view.