There will be racing at Caribou’s Spud Speedway this season thanks to Limestone’s John Albert.
The 74-year-old Albert, who is still driving race cars at Spud Speedway, has agreed to lease the track from owner Troy Haney.
The lease is for one year with a renewal clause.
Albert and Haney wouldn’t disclose the financial arrangement but Albert termed it “very reasonable” and said Haney was “very easy to work with.”
The paperwork is expected to be completed within a week.
Haney, who bought the track in 2009, said he didn’t intend to open the track for racing this season other than for go-karts because he didn’t have the time to run it and it was losing money.
“Last year was my best season and I lost $26,000,” he said.
Haney has two jobs and one includes extensive travel.
“I travel all over the country and the time constraints made it too difficult to continue running the track at the level I had the past couple of years,” said Haney, who is the regional director of sales for Quebec-based Berger Peat Moss.
He also owns Haney’s Building Specialities in Caribou.
Albert was the owner-operator of the one-third of a mile oval track for four years back in the 1990s and has been the track’s promoter.
“Spud Speedway is a passion for me,” Albert said. “I’ve been racing there since I was 21 years old and I’m going to be 75 [soon]. I didn’t want to see the track close.”
Albert intends to bring Pro Stock cars back and hold races Sunday afternoons.
The Pro Stocks, also known as Super Late Models, are the most expensive and fastest class of stock cars in the state.
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Oxford Plains Speedway and Wiscasset Speedway have a Pro Stocks class but the less-expensive Late Models represent the top class at Speedway 95 in Hermon and Unity Raceway as they have at Spud Speedway.
Albert said the Pro Stock class has “potential” to be a strong division.
“If we can get them all to come, we’ll end up with 10, 12 or 14 each week,” he said. “That’s not bad.”
He will also have a Street Stock class, a Northern Lights division for four-cylinder cars and an entry-level Enduro class.
“The Street Stocks is a very affordable class. That will probably be our biggest class,” Albert said. “Since we’re racing on Sunday, I wouldn’t be surprised if we got some cars from Speedway 95. Unity is also racing on Sundays but they split their divisions so their classes run just once every two weeks.”
Albert will try to make the track profitable by being an aggressive promoter, bringing in downstate drivers and getting sponsors.
Albert said being a promoter involves “beating the bushes to get cars [to race at your track].
I did it before and I can do it again.”
He also intends to have a couple of big races: a 100-lap Street Stock and 150-lap Pro Stock feature.
“When I ran the track before, I had very good communication with racers from downstate like [Bangor’s] Gary Smith and [Liberty’s] Dave St. Clair,” said Albert, who is hoping to lure some of those downstate racers up to Caribou to race at Spud Speedway.
Albert said he has landed some sponsors and some help from a variety of people through this endeavor.
“I’m not in this alone. I have had a lot of help from people who have stepped up and helped out financially,” Albert said. “Everything is coming together. If you can get the cars, the people will come.”
He is looking at opening the season on Sunday, June 14.
Haney feels Albert can be successful.
“He should be able to make money and keep it going,” Haney said. “He has run it before. He knows the track. He has been racing here for over 40 years.”