Chris Moulton is putting his foot on the gas and leaving the competition in the dust.
The Lowell native has been all revved up as of late, finishing in the top four of his division at the fifth annual Milton CAT Midsummer Classic 250, Saturday at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire.
The Pepperell resident placed fourth overall in the Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis race. It was the latest test of endurance for the local thrill-seeker.
“I had a great run,” said Moulton, whose race went non-stop, running from the green light to the checkered flag for just the second time this season. “Pretty clean door-to-door racing.”
According to the Greater Lowell Tech graduate, there’s nowhere he’d rather be than on the track, putting the pedal to the metal.
“It’s an addiction that I was warned about by many beforehand,” said Moulton, 41. “They were right. I don’t drink, smoke or do any drugs. Motorsports are my addiction.”
Burning down the track at top speed, the 25-lap course tested Moulton steely-eyed resolve, as he navigated his way through a highly competitive field. A member of HD Motorsports and the team’s points leader, Moulton had to battle back after being forced to start the race in the second heat. Despite being in eighth place for much of the early going, he managed to work his way into the thick of things by lap 16. Clearing through the congestion on the track, while simultaneously pursuing the frontrunners, the crafty driver held firm placing behind first place finisher Les Washburn of Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Fellow Granite State drivers Donnie Baumgardner (North Woodstock, NH) and Jack Hayes (Littleton, NH) rounded out the top three.
“Unfortunately, I ran out of laps just as I caught the three of them and had to settle for fourth,” said Moulton, noting the arduous task it took just to get there. “Getting past the No. 16 car, Adam Sicard (was key). He uses the whole track and it’s tough to get by him without damage it seems.”
The local stars of White Mountain Motorsports Park have given the near capacity crowds a taste of what weekly racing looks like each week in North Woodstock, with touring teams from across New England and Quebec, Canada, all taking part. Moulton is thrilled to be part of the Northeast contingent, ushering in plenty of local horsepower.
A lifelong gearhead and mechanic by trade, Moulton has always been a big racing fan. It was only a matter of time before the spectator jumped into the driver’s seat in the amateur ranks.
“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” said Moulton. “I love fast cars and manufacturing. This is definitely not professional (racing), but I treat it like I’m a professional. I work really hard on the car. I paint the nose and rub off all the rubber almost every other week it seems. I like the car to always look new and care for. I treat it the same mechanically and it has been as reliable as a car could be for two seasons so far.”
Building his stock minis are just half the fun for this freewheeling mechanic. The four-cylinder rear wheel drive compact utilizes performance and stock production parts, chassis, engines and tires. The mini-modified cars also require a stock driveline and suspension.
Moulton’s handiwork is all over his current ride, completely gutting an Acura Integra, before welding in a full cage into its frame.
“I bought two beat up old Integras for $800,” he said. “I built one out. The second one is for parts. I have about $4,500 invested into the car to date. which is a drop in the bucket compared to what a late model owner spends. With no crashes, some of those guys budget is (around) $800 weekly. I go through a lot of tires, but I push it pretty hard.”
The 1,900-pound muscle car sports 143 horsepower, giving the Lowell native plenty of added kick.
“It moves right along,” said Moulton whose best time around the quarter mile oval is 15.2 seconds this season. “Your late model cars are 400 hp, and around 3,200-pounds. They turn 12.8 -13 second lap times on average.”
In his rookie year of 2021, Moulton christened his mean machine competing in five of 16 races. After tearing his bicep at work, an injury that required surgery, the 6-foot, 260-pound rookie returned to action early sporting a cast, with a little added help from Mother Nature in the form of three subsequent rainouts.
“I drove a little timid, but I was able to grind out the season and finish eighth in points,” he said.
He’s appeared to raise the stakes even high his sophomore season.
“This year I came out of the gate with a vengeance,” said Moulton. “I made slight changes to the car, and I’ve been able to push it to the podium three out of eight races so far, with two of them being wins. I’ve been the point leader for the whole season so far, and as crazy as it sounds, I’m going for a championship just a little over one year into this. It feels pretty cool.”
Born and raised in Lowell, Moulton was never far from the road growing up at the end of the Lowell Connector on Walnut Street. He attended Greater Lowell Tech and New Hampshire Tech, where his love of automotive work soon took hold.
Currently a diesel tech at a Thomas Bus dealership, Moulton is no stranger to getting his hands dirty with these top fueled motors.
“I was born into it really,” said Moulton. “As a boy I dreamt about racing go carts, pit bikes or whatever I could get my hands on. When I got my license, I was hell on wheels.”
He bought his first sport bike at 21, channeling his inner Evel Knievel with some nail biting results.
“I thought I was Jonny stuntman,” he admits. “I crashed it a lot and even got myself in enough trouble to earn some police-issued bracelets, but I did a lot of growing up after that.”
Although he’s matured, Moulton’s love of hitting the accelerator has never dissipated.
“I’ve always had a need for speed and getting into racing was just what I needed,” said Moulton, who attended his first White Mountain event as a spectator five years ago. “I went to watch a very young Tyler Thompson race in the kids division. Fast forward five years and he’s now my direct competitor, and only 12 points behind me in second right now.”
He’s also gotten plenty of support from his family. His daughters of him have slow a hand, with his oldest working in the pits, while his youngest of him helps him in the garage.
“It’s become a lifestyle,” said Moulton. “They both want to race/ I think this is a good way for them to build knowledge and also learn how to deal with pressure situations and strategy.”
So what’s been the biggest secret behind Moulton’s recent success?
“Consistency and a good backbone,” he said. “Something I’ve finally figured out, I think. And some of it is just good luck. Also having good sponsors backing me so I can buy the best tires and replacement parts helps. I work on the car a lot to make sure nothing will fail during a race. I put a wrench on all bolts. I check alignment every week and check over all four tires and suspension after every ride in the car. When all this is right, consistency enters the picture.”
As for the future, Moulton’s mindset remains focused on the next competition. He’ll return to the Granite State this Saturday for the Wayne’s Market Dwarf Car Special, Aug. 6 at White Mountain Motorsports Park. Post time is set for 6 pm with full race day of action scheduled.
“People should come check it out,” said Moulton. “It’s the cheapest fun you’ll have.”