TURNER — Recovering from a bad back and planning to leave for a Florida vacation next week, Greg Letourneau told himself to take it easy, race smart.
No crazy turns. No falling off.
Then, atop a 40-year-old snowmobile, he took the lead in Lap 2 and held it.
Letourneau won the signature event at the One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Race on Saturday by just over a second.
Fifteen-hundred people turned out to the 0.42-mile, horseshoe-shaped track on Caldwell Farms for the 13th annual event put on by the Turner Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club. The bzzzz-bzzzz-bzzzz of sleds by the track largely drowned out the announcer offering play-by-play.
With five of 50 laps to go: "These guys come out here without a seat and get it done!"
Ed Morris, one of the organizers, said the afternoon was broken into two major races for the first time, a 25-lap race for modified sleds and a 50-lap race for stock. Everything had to be a 1973 model or older.
"We noticed over the last couple of years, 'To heck with that, I can't compete with that guy with $5,000 into his machine when I've got $100 into mine,'" Morris said before the race. "Ninety-nine percent of them want to have a good time."
Racers came from all over, the farthest flying in from Pennsylvania. For the Ridge Riders, it's their largest fundraiser of the year. The group maintains 70 miles of local snowmobile trails.
"The weather cooperated," Morris said. "Even the crowds cooperated."
Scott Kieffer of Saco brought a folding chair and his Labrador retriever, Sammie, to watch the races.
"I've been sledding all my life," he said.
Yolend Gauvin thought about riding his sled down from Jay, but there wasn't enough snow on the ground. It's a day of good friends and good food, he said. He declared the weather perfect: "Snowmobilers, we like it cold and snowy."
Jenna Ginsberg, the owner of All Sports Events, said speeds were a little slower this year than last year: 30 mph during qualifying races versus 31 in 2012. She pointed to the deeper snow base last year as the reason.
This year, the track had turned brown with mud by the end of the 50-lap race.
Letourneau, of Minot, was racing his eighth time in the One Lunger and it was his first victory. He was part of a four-sled group of friends and family who also race stock cars together in the summer.
"When you race, you love the race, so you race something else," he said.
Earlier in the day, his daughter Katie, 18, won the Women's Powder Puff, a 10-lap race, on his machine, a 1973 Ski Doo Olympic without much suspension.
"Tomorrow we'll be sore, very sore," Letourneau said. "I didn't know if I was going to make it to the end, my arms were so tired."
Forty-four sleds raced in the stock race. Twenty-eight competed in the modified race, which was won by Richard Marston of Turner.