For every Ricky Craven there was at least one person behind the scenes giving power to a boyhood dream.

Craven highlights the 2019 class to be inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame on April 14 at the Augusta Civic Center. And while the Newburgh native and former NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver, who enjoyed a 10-year career at stock car racing’s highest level, has the most recognizable name among the six inductees this year, he’s not the only person in the class to have influenced motorsports across the state.

Bob Bailey, owner of Hi-Torque Engines, has spent the bulk of his career as an engine builder providing the power plants that drove many of the state’s most successful drivers to victories. Along with Bailey and Craven, drivers Billy Clark of Farmington and Dale Chadbourne of Woolwich will be in this year’s class. Championship-winning car owner Dick Fowler of Scarborough will also be inducted, as will drag racer Lomer Pelletier.

“It’s a very well-rounded class,” said Maine Vintage Race Car Association president Andy Austin. “I think in the last couple of years, we’ve really opened things up to have people like snowmobile racers and drag racers in (the Hall of Fame), too. Even though it’s a subsidiary of the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, we wanted to be more encompassing, bring more forms of motorsports to it, so it’s really representative of all forms of motorsports in Maine.”

Clark is a 21-time feature winner at Oxford Plains Speedway and a two-time winner on the old NASCAR Busch North Series. As a crew chief for his son, Cassius Clark, Billy Clark has 15 wins and a championship in the Pro All Stars Series.

Chadbourne has more than 150 career wins as a driver, car owner and crew chief in a variety of divisions at Wiscasset Speedway. Fowler, a Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Hall of Famer, has 10 championships as an owner at that track over the last 40 years. He currently works in the track’s technical inspection area.

“The difference between our Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Hall of Fame or the baseball Hall of Fame is that the fans in the stands who were watching these drivers achieve what they achieved in real time are such a huge part of their stories,” Austin said. “It makes complete sense to us that anyone who was a big fan of Ricky Craven or Billy Clark or Dick Fowler — or anybody who drove for Dick Fowler — can be there for this as they’re inducted.”

Tickets for the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame are available to the public. Information on tickets can be found on the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame facebook page. The deadline for ordering tickets is April 1.

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While the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is the unofficial beginning of racing season here in this state, it’s not the first event of the season to involve local motorsports personalities.

The Pro All Stars Series will begin its season in earnest with the Commonwealth Classic at Richmond (Virginia) Raceway on March 30. Three separate 75-lap events highlight the race day, with individual races for open Super Late Models, crate engine Super Late Models and Modifieds.

Former PASS champions Travis Benjamin, Ben Rowe and D.J. Shaw are all entered in the open race, along with two-time Oxford 250 winner Eddie MacDonald. In the crate race, former Beech Ridge Motor Speedway champions Dan McKeage of Gorham and Garrett Hall of Scarborough are entered. Manchester’s Reid Lanpher, a two-time Beech Ridge champion, is entered in both Super Late Model races.

One week later, the PASS North season kicks off with the Icebreaker 100 at Thompson (Connecticut) Speedway Motorsports Park on April 7.

•  • •

Wiscasset Speedway will hold open practice sessions on both April 6 and April 13 before rolling out its 2019 season the following two weekends.

The track’s Group 1 divisions (including Pro Stocks and Super Streets) begin on April 20, with Group 2 (Late Models, Modifieds, Strictly Streets) hitting the track on April 27. Both of those race programs are scheduled for 2 p.m. green flags.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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