May 30, 2020

Young driver from Canada solid at Spud

For a kid who does not have his driver’s license, 16-year-old Dana Duncan can handle himself pretty well on four wheels going 90 mph.

The 16-year-old Fairvale, New Brunswick, resident has already proven his driving abilities this summer as a late model sportsman regular at Spud Speedway in Caribou.

In his first year of racing at Spud, Duncan is sixth in the standings with one second place finish and one third.

“Dana is doing remarkably well for a kid. He’s already got girls coming over to him for autographs,” said Bob Duncan, Dana’s father and a long-time racer at the quarter-mile track in Hammond River, New Brunswick. “He just hasn’t got the experience. That’s what hurts him. Once he gets that confidence, just you wait.”

It’s really not a surprise that Dana Duncan has become a stock car driver. He’s been go to races since he was in diapers. As a young boy, he got a promise from his father that when he was old enough to drive, he would get the chance.

“I said when I was 50 that I would give it up,” said the elder Duncan. “I didn’t know why I said that until we both got out onto the track and he was a tenth of a second faster than me.”

The soft-spoken Dana, who would like to make a career of driving a stock car, is just happy to be competitive at this level.

“It’s what I want to do,” he said. “The first time I took the car out, I couldn’t believe how much faster it was compared to the other cars I’ve driven. But I like it a lot better.”

According to Bob Duncan, Dana will be joined by his older brother, 19-year-old Chris, next season. That means the whole Duncan family will take the four-hour trek on “Mickey Mouse roads” from Fairvale to Caribou.

Who knows. Maybe Dana will drive the family truck to the track.

Ricky Craven’s seventh place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Aug. 1 could have been a lot better.

In the waning moments of the race, Craven, the Newburgh native racing on the NASCAR Grand National circuit, was running fourth and within seconds of the leader.

The second-place car of Robert Pressley got into the leading car of Todd Bodine, sending both cars out of contention and taking Tommy Houston, in third, and Craven with them.

Houston and Craven pitted for repairs, but Craven could get no higher than seventh.

“We had something for them, but we got involved in the accident just when we were going for the lead,” Craven said. “But, we ran well and we’ll go to Michigan in two weeks and try to win that one.”

One plus for Craven was that the J&J Racing crew and car were selected as “Best Appearing” in an annual competition among Grand National drivers.

Mike Johnson of Hollis used his third-place finish in the sixth race of the Maine Late Model State Championship at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough on Aug. 1 to pass Dale Shaw of Center Conway, N.H., and take the series lead.

Johnson holds a three-point edge over Shaw, 376-373. Bobby Babb of Windham is third (346) with Jeff Taylor of Farmington fourth (330) and Mike Rowe of Turner (325) fifth.

Billy Penfold of Yarmouth won the race and climbed to eighth.

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