AUGUSTA — More than 2,000 people flocked to the Augusta Civic Center over the weekend for the 34th Annual Northeast Motorsports Expo and Trade Show, which featured more than 50 vendors, slot car racing, a seminar co-hosted by a NASCAR safety official and drivers who traveled from as far as Rhode Island or Connecticut.

Tim Attaya began the event in 1989 and ran it for more than two decades, before Steve Perry took the reins.

“(Attaya) saw the need for a show up here in Maine,” Perry said, “so he started it and ran it for 21 years, and then he and his wife decided they were done with it. It ran its course for them.”

From there, Attaya, who has since died, reached out to Peter Prescott, owner of Everett J. Prescott Inc. of Gardiner and a major sponsor for the annual expo, and determined Perry would be the best person to take over the event.

While others were in the running to lead the event, Perry said he was chosen because he was known for hosting a weekly television show, “Mainely Motorsports,” and because he was not affiliated with a certain racetrack.

Perry said he had an interest in motorsports even before hosting the TV show and expo. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of motorsports, including driving, owning cars and managing crews and promoting and sponsoring races.


“I started going to the racetrack when I was 5 years old,” he said.

Perry has about eight staff members who set up the event every year.

“Once the doors are open, the people taking tickets are the only ones doing anything,” he said. “The rest are just there to be a part of it.”

A guest examines a racing truck Sunday during the 34th Annual Northeast Motorsports Expo and Trade Show at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Ken Minott, who is both promoter and announcer at the Wiscasset Speedway and president of the Maine Vintage Race Car Association, said he has been coming to the event for about 20 years.

Minott got into racing through his background in radio and public speaking.

“I’ve always been a bit of a gearhead and always liked to drive fast, but never really had the background,” he said. “I just found myself in the business, and it’s been great ever since.”


The expo also allows fans to meet their favorite racers, many of which had their cars on display.

Wesley Labbe, 7, examines the hood of a race car Sunday while sampling candy during the 34th Annual Northeast Motorsports Expo and Trade Show at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

Garrett Lamb, a racer who recently won the Pro All Star Series Modified Championship, said he has been into racing for most of his life.

“My dad worked on race cars his whole life and just brought me up on it,” Lamb said, adding he began racing in a go-kart when he was 4 years old.

Lamb said he has known Perry for most of his life and been coming to the expo for as long as he can remember.

“We’ve always supported the show,” Lamb said, “and come here any chance we get.”

He said it is an important event during the offseason for those in the motorsports world.

“It’s the kickoff to the next year’s race season,” Lamb said. “It’s always been the traditional kickoff.”

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