WISCASSET SPEEDWAY SET TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARSby Ken Minott
A special weekend is approaching for Wiscasset Speedway, a weekend that has been 50 years in the making. The track will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening with a pair of special events July 27th & 28th. The track, which was built by Wiscasset entrepreneur Wilford Cronk, held its first race on Sunday, July 27, 1969, and from that day forward has enjoyed the distinction of being Maine’s fastest track. The track has seen many changes over the years, including name changes to Lincoln County Speedway, Superior Speedway, and Wiscasset Raceway. The track is currently owned and operated by Richard & Vanessa Jordan, who changed the name back to its original Wiscasset Speedway. Many of the states most accomplished racers have turned laps around Wiscasset’s high banks and added it to their Hall of Fame resume’s (Stan Messerve, Mike Rowe, Ralph Nason, Dave Darveau, Bob Hallee, Ricky Craven, and more).
Saturday, July 27th is the track’s 50th Birthday night celebration. As is the case with all shows, admission is just $5 with kids 6&under free. When the gates open at 3:00 pm, fans will get the chance to meet many returning track champions, and take in a special new display of the track’s history. Then at 5:00 pm the race program will be highlighted by a 50-lap Pro Stock main event. The showcase of the evening will be the honoring of Wiscasset Speedway’s inaugural Hall of Fame Class and recognizing the Cronk family for their work building and opening the track. The Hall of Fame class spotlight’s a group of individuals (drivers, car owners, track officials, pioneers) who played a significant role in the initial success of the speedway. The night’s festivities will end with a huge fireworks display.
The 2019 Wiscasset Hall of Fame class includes former track champions Bill Bailey, Teddy Palino, Lawrence Reno, Buster Grover, Doug Ripley, Vern Hodkins, and Championship driver & car owner Dale Chadbourne; Track pioneers Ken Seigers and Elaine Grover; championship racer & track owner Dave St Clair; Car owner Harold Hinkley, and track officials Leo Tanger Sr and Willis Alexander. A special 2019 Hall of Fame display will be unveiled in the track’s front stretch tower on Saturday.
Sunday, July 28th, from 10a – 2p, Wiscasset Speedway will host “Summerfest”, an annual event put on by the Maine Vintage Race Car Association. The day is filled with vintage race cars, the Maine Vintage Mobile Museum, Maine Motorsports Hall of Famers, The Wicked Good Vintage Racers, Bingo’s Barbeque Competition, and a live band. The event is open to the public and is the largest fundraiser of the year for the organization, which works to preserve the rich history of Maine racing, Admission is $5 for MVRCA members and $7 for non-members and includes a hotdog/hamburger lunch. People can upgrade to a $20 VIP ticket which will include the barbeque feast and voting in the competition’s Fan’s Choice Award.