by Ken Minott
It was a chilly night Saturday at Wiscasset Speedway. Fans huddled into the coastal Maine race track to cheer on Group 2 racers along with an appearance from the Wicked Good Vintage Racers. Despite the cool temps, the action in the Late Model Sportsman class was as hot as ever. The last two winners of the prestigious Coastal 200 each made a statement to rest of their competitors in the 40 lap feature, starting deep in the 23 car field and grabbing the top 2 spots in victory lane. Harrington’s Andrew McLaughlin, the defending Coastal 200 champ methodically picked his way through the pack from his 12th starting position to grab the lead at the halfway marker and run to the feature win; his first since the 2017 Coastal. “If you’re gonna win one race a year (as a Late Model driver), that’s the one. I still get chills thinking about that race last year”, said McLaughlin. “I want to be the first one to win it back to back”. One driver that may have a say in whether that happens is 2016 Coastal 200 champ Chris Thorne of Sidney.
The 4-time LMS champ had perhaps the strongest car in Saturday night’s 40 lap tuneup race but never got the opportunity to challenge McLaughlin for the win. The race was slowed by just one early caution. Thorne started 15th and turned in a strong 2nd place finish, still closing in on the leader in the closing laps. In victory lane, Thorne gave a sly grin when saying “If this car goes this well in 2 weeks, everyone may be in trouble, but we’ll see”. J.R. Robinson of Steuben made up the most ground in Saturday’s race, starting 18th and reaching 2nd with 10 laps to go. He would give that spot up to Thorne, but still land a solid 3rd place finish in his season debut. The top 5 was rounded out by rookie’s Brandon Fowler and Logan Melcher.
In the 30 lap spotlight feature for the K&A Property Services Modifieds, opening day winner Adam Chadbourne of Woolwich made it 2 or 2 on the young season, grabbing an early lead and rolling uncontested for the feature win. The best battle of the race was between Nick Reno and Ryan Chadwick for the runner-up finish. Reno held off the challenge over the closing laps to finish 2nd. Chadwick notched a 3rd place trophy for his season debut. The race went caution free.
The Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis race was slowed by just one caution, on lap 1 of the 25 lap feature. Defending champ Jake Hendsbee of Whitefield, who was a runner-up 5 times in his 2017 championship campaign, finally sealed the deal Saturday night in securing his first career Outlaw Mini win. He was chased across the line by former champ Zach Audet of Oakland, who started at the back of the field because he had missed his qualifying race. He had rolled in late after picking up a win at his home track of Speedway 95, adding a 2nd place finish at Wiscasset to his trophy haul for the day. Matt Glidden of Chelsea turned his front row starting spot into s 3rd place finish.
The Norms Used Cars Strictly Streets are quickly turning into one of Wiscasset’s most exciting and competitive divisions. Their opening day feature went caution free, and Saturday’s 25 lap feature netted just 1 caution. The action was fast and furious with several contenders working their way through traffic to take a shot at the lead. However, Jonathan Emerson of Sabattus had other plans. The 3rd generation racer, who had picked up his first career win just a year earlier, ran a strong race up front and led wire to wire for the feature win. He was joined in victory lane by his father and defending champ Zach Emerson (3rd place) and Dave Whittier the runner-up. 5-time Strictly champ Maurice Young of Chelsea and Ethan Dinsmore of Hope filled out the top 5.
Wicked Good Vintage Racers made their first of three appearances on the 2018 schedule. Winners included Bobby Symonds of Casco in the Early Late Models, Adrien Williams of Warren in the Hobby Class, and Scott Tucker of Winthrop in the Outlaw Class.
Wiscasset Speedway returns to action Saturday, May 19th with Group 1 in action. The Cahill Tire 4-cylinder Pros will have the spotlight feature, while the “flex” race for the night will be a 100 lap Enduro. Pit gates will open at 1:00 pm, grandstand gate at 3:00 pm and the green flag will fly at 5:00 pm. Grandstand admission is just $5 with kids 6&under free. Pitside admission is $20 for all. Fans will also have one more opportunity Saturday evening to purchase advanced tickets for the Monster Truck Throwdown show presented by Bozzutos Inc on May 25th & 26th. Showtimes & details can be found on the Wiscasset Speedway website www.wiscassetspeedway.com.
WISCASSET SPEEDWAY OFFICIAL FINISH ORDER 5/12/18
K&A PROPERTY SERVICES MODIFIEDS (30 laps – spotlight)
|2||77||Nick Reno||West Bath||30||0.918|
|6||7||Spencer Vaughan||Canton||29||1 Lap|
|7||8||Richard Jordan||Kingfield||29||1 Lap|
|8||15||Joseph Williams||Woolwich||6||24 Laps|
KENNEBEC EQUIPMENT RENTAL OUTLAW MINI (25 laps)
|6||10||Jimmy Childs||Leeds||24||1 Lap|
|7||6||Brain Dolloff||Jay||0||25 Laps|
|8||99||Scott Trask||Richmond||0||25 Laps|
|9||66||Leo Hatch||Augusta||0||25 Laps|
WOOD PELLET WAREHOUSE LATE MODEL SPORTSMAn (40 laps)
|8||30||Ryan St. Clair||Liberty||40||7.77|
|16||66||Bryan Robbins||Montville||39||1 Lap|
|17||3||Richard Jordan||Kingfield||39||1 Lap|
|18||21||Shane Clark||Winterport||22||18 Laps|
|19||15M||Frank Moulton||Clinton||13||27 Laps|
|20||8||Luke Romanoski||Freeman||12||28 Laps|
|21||35||Gerald Frost||Montville||9||31 Laps|
|22||36||Megan Frost||Montville||2||38 Laps|
NORMS USED CARS STRICTLY STREETS (25 laps)
|15||05r||Glenn Reynolds||Turner||21||4 Laps|
|no score||55||Kurt Hewins||Leeds||0|
|dns||66||James Grover Jr||Newcastle||dns|