Race fans will be able to turn back the hands of time Sunday at Summerfest 2006, with the Maine Vintage Race Car Association and the Wicked Good Racing Club on hand at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the public to remember and appreciate the way we once were.

Visitors to the Scarborough track will be able to see, hear and get up close with the race cars and drivers that make up so much of the color and fabric of auto racing history in the Pine Tree State.

Photo opportunities will abound as members of the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame will be on hand for autographs, pictures and stories.

For vintage enthusiasts and race fans there will several new cars as well as familiar faces in attendance.

The children of the late Phil Libby have had extensive work done on their dad’s 1961 A Class #99 championship car, and it will be on hand with the family. Rick Hannon of North Saco has finished work on a vintage Super modified #24 driven by Skip Ambrose at Beech Ridge in 1972 and the vehicle will make its debut Sunday.

Phil Foster of Gray will bring one of Maine’s most well known race cars:.the P-38 “Covered Wagon” of Bob Bushey and Homer Drew. It will be the first time back in the public eye for some time. Alan Gassett, formerly of Windham, has done a fine job replicating the family’s #62 B Class Bomber, which was driven by Larry Tanguay and Homer Drew in the early 1970s.

In addition there will be other cars at Summerfest that local fans may recall. The V8 B Class car of Windham’s Bob and Larry Tanguay carried the brothers to multiple wins as well as rookie-of the-year titles in 1966 and 1970, respectively.

Bruce Elder’s 1971 championship #9 C Class car will be on hand and giving rides as well. Of the 2,500 cars built for this division during the nine years the class existed, this is the only known survivor.

Oxford 250 winner Dick McCabe’s first winning Coupe Bomber #0 will be on hand, along with the 1970-71 championship #2 A Class racer of the late Dick Garrett, and the #24 A Class of Del Stinson of Woolwich.

Dick Wolstenhulme, “The Ironman of Windham,” is working on his last LMS ride, the #99 Yankee Trader, and hopefully the recent inductee into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame will be on hand with it as well.

Also last year a few cars were shown dragged right out of the field where they sat “as is” for many years and more plan to be on hand this year. Along with memorabilia displays, fans will be able to see vintage race cars from the state’s other speedways, including the famous “Rocket #98” of Unity veteran Blackie Hilliard, and the ’65 Chevelle Late Model Sportsman cars of Al Hammond and Stan Meserve, and New England runner Pete Fiandaca.

To highlight a historic moment, club members hope to put together a short display of the cars of Phil Libby, Dick Garrett and Homer Drew. This would mark the first time ever that these three famous race cars will be together again at the place where they carried their famous chauffeurs to glory. Be sure to bring a camera. This chance may not come again for some time.

The Beech Ridge gates open at noon. Parking is in the lot across from the pit area at the speedway. There is no admission charge, although donations to the non-profit Maine Vintage Club are gratefully received. Food and refreshments are provided. There will opportunities for rides in some of the old race cars as well.

Grab your cameras and recorders and come celebrate the culture that was, and honor the men and women that were Maine’s racing pioneers at Summerfest 200 The rain date is the following Sunday.

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Steve Pellerin is a director of the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, New England Antique Racers and the Wicked Good Racing Association. He is a selection committee member for the Maine Motorsports and New England Auto Racing halls of fame and is an owner and restorer of nine vintage race cars.


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