On Oct. 7-9, 2016, Action and Excitement came to Down East Maine. A small town called Steuben came to life for two days of Off Road Mud Mayhem.
Steuben, Maine is a small town, nestled deep in Downeast Maine. It’s your typical Downeast Maine town, with beautiful scenery, and although it only has a official population of just over 1,100 people(according to the 2010 Census), it has a everything one might need and more in a small town. Locals span different lifestyles, from Fishermen and Boat Builders, to Contractors, and even Performance Engine Builders and, of course, Mud Racers.
Well, Now little Ol’ Steuben is now home to Downeast Maine’s Newest Off-Road/Mud Racing Destination. The last weekend event held on October 7-9th showed the Northern Mud Community that Mel Lane/Moosabec Mud Park is serious about bringing the sport to another level in the Downeast Maine area, which as of now, is mostly limited to Deep Mud events. Mel Lane/Moosabec Mud Park is a Joint Effort between Cliff and Mandi Garnett of Mel Lane Mudrun, And Jeremy and Maria Beal of Moosabec Mudrun. They were joined forces and we’re joined by many other Downeast area race teams, now known as #teamdowneast, to help with renovating Mel Lane, getting the word out, and really coming together, for not only the better of our sport in our area, but to better the sport as a whole. There are too many names to list here, but there was huge help and support from many local racers and fans. You all know who you are!!
What started this spring, as a small deep mud pit in a gravel pit, has changed and transformed over this season, once mid-season, to add a Obstacle Course, then another massive makeover for this last event, so they could also host Hill n Hole, Fast Track, and a Mega Jump. The work put into this park has been amazing. And all that work got to be put to use on October 7-9. I personally got to promote for this event, as it’s in my local area. We had never tried to do anything like this in our area, so we didn’t know what to expect. Gates opened at 5pm on Friday and I was blown away when I got there a little after 7…
Mel Lane/Moosabec Mud Park is a continuing work in progress, it’s not a huge place yet, expansion is ongoing as we speak, and we did clear more room for campers and what not, but when I arrived it was already apparent that we hadn’t cleared enough. The place was packed and booming! Everyone was hanging out, having a blast. While we held no events that night, it was a awesome evening to see Team Downeast’s hard work start to come to life.
Saturday I got out there around 8am and there was already a good crowd, and more trucks coming in all the time. I’m not sure on the official truck count and attendance numbers, and I’m not trying to make it sound huge, because it wasn’t compared to some parks numbers, but I do know it was the largest event ever held at Mel Lane, and it was very well received with racers and spectators.
First order of business, around 9:45am, The drivers congregate for the drivers meeting near the tower. Then the announcer, Rondo “The Voice” Dunphy, says a prayer and we stand for the national anthem. Then we start the day with Obstacle Course Mega class.
The Mega’s are always exciting to watch and the blast and jump their way around the various obstacles and jumps on the course. Next up were the small tire trucks, everything from race/mud trucks to stock trucks pulled right out of the back yard. This class is always a crowd pleaser as well, as you almost always see someone “go big” and do something outrageous.
After Obstacle, we moved on to the first 5 classes of Deep Mud. The mud was super thick that weekend, and although some did make full pulls, slot of smaller trucks really struggled to pull ahead. It made for some good racing, but also interesting to watch everyone’s different strategy to try and get those few extra inches.
After the First 5 classes of deep mud, We then moved to the All New Hill n Hole. Hill n Hole was a great time to watch the trucks catch some air, and some great chances for photo ops. After that we finished out Deep Mud, and Then ended a very full day of action with the All New Fast Track. The side by side drag racing was awesome to watch.
All in All, the weekend event was a wonderful success, not a huge event by some standards, but a huge step forward for the mud racing scene in Downeast Maine. The action was non stop, spectators and racers were all very respectful, and everyone had a great time. Mel Lane/Moosabec Mud Park will be expanding more over this winter, and hope to bring a full schedule of high quality, Mud Racing Entertainment for 2017! I highly recommend that anyone should make the trip to beautiful Downeast Maine to check this park out! You won’t be disappointed!!!