JOSH ST CLAIR CONTINUES HOT STREAK, WINS 2021 COASTAL 200 AT WISCASSETby Ken Minott


     It’s a great time to be Josh St Clair. That could be the understatement of the year when it comes to the start of the 2021 season at Wiscasset Speedway. He only opened the season by winning four feature races over three different classes, leading the points in the track’s two “premier” divisions, and earned honors as the track’s May Driver of the Month. So, how could he possibly top that? By winning Wiscasset Speedway’s most prestigious race in exciting fashion no less. The Coastal 200 is a race that every Memorial Day weekend showcases the region’s top Late Model Sportsman drivers and their quest for the $5000 winner’s take of a (near) $30,000 purse. The race which was rained out from its original date was made up on Saturday evening in front of a large crowd of over 2,200 fans, including many veterans and active-duty military personnel who were welcomed to the event free of charge. Shortly after the sunset behind the backstretch of the 3/8 mile speedway, Josh St Clair was celebrating his second victory in the crown-jewel race with his family and friends. Many fans left saying it was one of the most exciting Coastal 200 ever. Other winners on the evening included Zach Audet in the Outlaw Minis, Adam Chadbourne in the Modifieds, and Bernie Dinsmore in the Strictly Streets. The Senior Tour Auto Racers were the flex division of the weekend with Kurt Snow of West Warren, Ma and Mike Rucci of Warren, Ma taking the checkered flag in their Modified and Sportsman division features.


     27 Late Model Sportsman drivers lined up for the 2-week delayed Coastal 200. Heat winners Tiger Colby, Shane Clark, and Ben Ashline took the top 3 spots in the starting lineup. Ashline came in as the 2-time reigning Coastal 200 champ. Other former winners (Chris Thorne and Andrew McLaughlin) were poised to make a run at the victory from the middle of the pack. At the drop of the green flag Shane Clark drove around polesitter Tiger Colby and secured the lead by the time they returned to the front stretch. From there he held the lead until (as expected) Ashline arrived and took it from him on lap 29. While Ashline was moving forward toward the front of the line, Josh St Clair, who started beside him on row 2, started to fall back in the running order with an extremely loose race car. Following the race’s first caution on lap 39, the battle of the race ensued between Ashline and 2017 Coastal 200 champ Andrew McLaughlin. The two traded the lead back and forth over the next 100 laps. A handful of cautions for minor spins kept the field bunched up and the action exciting throughout the field. Ashline held the lead through the mid-point of the race, collecting the $500 halfway leader bonus. As the race moved into its second half, with tires worn, many drivers were waiting for the chance to make their all-important stop for new tires. That opportunity came with a caution on lap 120, sending all but one car to the pits for tires & adjustments. That one car that remained on the track was 73-year-old Hall of Fame driver “Boss Hogg” Dave St Clair, who inherited the lead in (what he insisted) would be the final race of his 56-year racing career. Ben Ashline would be the first car to emerge from the pits and line up to St Clair’s outside the restart. It only took one lap for Ashline to regain the lead and McLaughlin to resume his battle with the defending race champ. The intensity ramped up as McLaughlin hooked up on the outside and the two raced wheel to wheel for the next twenty laps and McLaughlin holding the lead by less than a 1/10th of second each time by the flag stand. Tucked right in behind the pair was the 2017 Coastal champ Chris Thorne, making the top 3 spots occupied by the winners of the past four Coastal’s. Things took a major turn on lap 155 when the only wreck of the race collected polesitter Tiger Colby and Jake Hendsbee. Under the caution, McLaughlin suddenly took off for pit road with power steering problems, and although he did return to the track, it essentially took him out of the running for the win. 
     With Ashline back in command of the race, Thorne was the next to challenge for the lead. He roared into the lead on lap 183 when Ashline started developing engine issues and began fading back. All the while, almost unnoticed, Josh St Clair had picked his way back into contention snd raced his way into the top three. Thorne looked to have the race in hand and his second Coastal 200 crown within sight thanks to a comfortable five-car-length lead with five laps to go. But another minor spin would bring out the 11th and final caution of the race, and set the stage for an exciting finish. Thorne and St Clair lined up for the pivotal restart. St Clair had a strong run out of turn two and took the lead down the backstretch into turn three. Thorne drove into the turn hard and moved St Clair up the track and retook the lead by the time they returned to the front stretch. Thorne held the lead for one more lap, as St Clair returned the favor and executed the same bump and run maneuver in turn two. The two drivers stormed onto the front stretch wheel to wheel and deadlocked for the lead as the signal went up for two laps to go. St Clair took the lead for himself heading into the final lap, but Thorne wouldn’t give up that easily. He pulled a fender alongside St Clair coming out of turn four to the checkers, but St Clair wouldn’t be denied, taking the victory by just 7/100 of a second. Much the same as his 2014 victory, St Clair led only the final two laps of the race. Thorne finished a strong second despite arriving at the track late and missing all three pre-race practice sessions. Clinton’s Frank Moulton wasn’t a factor in the win, but ran his usual steady race and lurked around the top ten for much of the race. He made a late-race charge into the final podium spot. The pair of drivers that started on the front row filled the 4th and 5th positions. Shane Clark finishing 4th and Colby 5th, despite a damaged car from the lap 155 incident. The top ten were completed by McLaughlin (6th), DC Alexander (7th), Mark Lucas (8th), Nick Jenkins (9th), and Ashline (10th). Jenkins was the Hard Charger fo the race, starting 24th and after making several pit stops throughout the race. Ashline held on to be the final car on the lead lap with his engine losing a cylinder in the closing laps. The race featured 9 lead changes among 5 drivers.
     Zach Audet of Norridgewock took the lead on the first lap of the 25 lap feature in the Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis and cruised to his second feature win of the season. 3-time defending champ Jimmy Childs of Leeds finished in second, followed by Richmond’s Scott Trask. The 30 lap feature for the 88.5FM Modifieds was an action-packed race that featured heated battles between Ryan Ripley and Brian Treadwell and then Ripley and co-point leader Adam Chadbourne. Ripley was the first to pass under the checkers and appeared to secure his second win of the season, however, his car failed post-race inspection, dropping him down to the last place in the running order. Chadbourne took the victory, followed by Brian Treadwell and Lisbon’s Jeff Prindall. The 25 lap feature for the Portland Glass Strictly Streets saw veteran racer and former champ Bernie Dinsmore of Hope lead wire to wire for his first victory in 12 years. He was joined in victory lane by Mike Haynes of Livermore Falls and Mac Hannan Jr of Washington. 
     Wiscasset Speedway returns to action on Saturday, June 19th with Group 1 in action, featuring the Norms Used Cars Pro Stocks, Maxwell’s Market Super Streets, Brackett’s Market 4-Cylinder Pro’s and Schooner Bay Taxi Thunder 4 Minis, plus the Nelcar Legends will make their first appearance of the season. The pit gate will open at 1:00 pm, grandstands at 4:00 pm and racing action begins at 5:00 pm. Grandstand admission is just $5 with kids 6&under free. For more information, go to the track website at www.wiscassetspeedway.com

WISCASSET SPEEDWAY OFFICIAL FINISH RESULTS 6/12/21
WOOD PELLET WAREHOUSE LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN – COASTAL 200 

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
114jJosh St. ClairLibertyMe20016.0102
217Chris ThorneSidneyMe2000.0760.07615.928126
315mFrank MoultonClintonMe2000.6180.54215.9063
421Shane ClarkWinterportMe2000.9260.30815.8164
578Tiger ColbyWiscassetMe2001.1960.27015.8333
626Andrew McLaughlinHarringtonMe2001.5800.38415.96444
730aDC AlexanderCarmelMe2001.8150.23516.1187
815LMark LucasHarpswellMe2002.4740.65915.9754
932Nick JenkinsBrownvilleMe2002.7670.29316.047142
1015meBen AshlineFairfieldMe2009.2926.52515.7386
1114HKurt HewinsTurnerMe1991 Lap1 Lap15.912145
1225Will CollinsWaldoboroMe1991 Lap0.42416.0856
1373Matt BourgoineStetsonMe1991 Lap0.79315.9073
1426rBrent RoyVassalboroMe1982 Laps1 Lap16.2384
1510Scott HallJayMe1982 Laps1.19716.12510
1647Brandon BaileyWiscassetMe1946 Laps4 Laps16.15640
1721bJames BarkerTurnerMe1946 Laps4.67816.3056
1820Garrett LeiterWinslowMe19010 Laps4 Laps16.41911
1911James DoucetteSkowheganMe18416 Laps6 Laps16.4785
2015Nick HinckleyWiscassetMe18218 Laps2 Laps15.963139
2127Jake HendsbeeWhitefieldMe15149 Laps31 Laps16.2604
2214Dave St ClairLibertyMe13763 Laps14 Laps16.10647
2300Alex WaltzWalpoleMe11981 Laps18 Laps16.0886
2424sDeane SmartMilfordMe76124 Laps43 Laps16.2493
2551Ryan St ClairWiscassetMe68132 Laps8 Laps16.0503
2655Tyler BaileyWiscassetMe56144 Laps12 Laps16.2325
2781Ray DinsmoreLimerickMe22178 Laps34 Laps16.2753

..KENNEBEC EQUIPMENT RENTAL OUTLAW MINI (25 laps)

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
119Zach AudetNorridgewockMe2516.8744
210Jimmy ChildsLeedsMe254.0484.04817.1415
399Scott TraskRichmondMe256.9132.86517.2084
427Mike DelanoWoolwichMe2510.3303.41717.44810
541Shane  SmithAugustaMe241 Lap1 Lap17.3565
669Paul ThurlowWest GardinerMe232 Laps1 Lap18.41613
766James Grover JrWaldoboroMe178 Laps6 Laps19.4845
830Ryan VarneyOxfordMe817 Laps9 Laps17.9206
992Mike WilsonChelseaMe619 Laps2 Laps17.8816

..88.5FM MODIFIEDS (30 laps)

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
11Adam ChadbourneWoolwichMe300.8470.84715.8953
248Brian TreadwellHancockMe302.7391.89216.1836
324Jeff PrindallLisbon FallsMe305.0622.32316.35420
439Mike BrownHopeMe305.0930.03116.0993
59sMark SimondLewistonMe305.6410.54816.2854
689Faith CleavesPownalMe307.6231.98216.5128
709Ryan RipleyThomastonMe3015.77929

..PORTLAND GLASS STRICTLY STREETS (25 laps)

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
13Bernie DinsmoreHopeMe2517.5533
267Mike HaynesLivermore FallsMe250.9090.90917.6063
308Mac Hannan JrWashingtonMesee note0
474Keith DrostEtnaMe251.4680.55917.66210
551Josh St ClairLibertyMe251.8650.39717.51514
678Brady RomanoLivermore FallsMe252.1910.32617.5364
723Zach EmersonSabattusMe253.9481.75717.7303
824Jonathan EmersonSabattusMe254.1900.24217.7185
914Ashton ReynoldsLibertyMe254.6610.47117.7904
1083Dan BrownPeruME254.9800.31917.8486
1127Scott EckLisbonMe255.7250.74517.90013
1200Chad WillsOxfordMe256.0060.28117.7896
131Dylan LancasterSkowheganMe205 Laps5 Laps18.2492
1426Scott WigginSomersworthNH1510 Laps5 Laps17.8893
154Caleb Emerson-MainsRichmondMe1213 Laps3 Laps17.9253
dns14hKurt HewinsTurnerMedns
note : #08 the transponder was working when he drove onto the track and warmup laps. It stopped working while racing
per rules, car was hand-scored for the remainder of the race. 

..S.T.A.R. TOUR – MODIFIED (15 laps)

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
1110Curt SnowWest WarrenMass1517.24212
27xThomas TrenpeJaffreyNH151.0291.02917.18012
316meDewight PickardLisbon FallsMe153.3392.31017.78713
461meDoug PickardDurhamMe153.7280.38917.77412
579Scott TuckerWarrenMe153.9730.24517.62311
67xGary MooreManchesterNH154.0490.07617.73211
764Art MeschantBarreMass1514.72010.67118.6608
843Alan ZelmaWindhamMe510 Laps10 Laps18.9433

..S.T.A.R. TOUR – SPORTSMAN (15 laps)

PosNo.NameHometownStateLapsDiffGapBest TmIn Lap
100Mike RucciWarrenMass1518.72914
238Bob GuyonMonmouthMe150.1720.17218.74114
32xDennis DesqutekPalmerMass150.5980.42618.38812
44Jim TorokNorwalkConn153.3302.73218.2828
51nhSkip StearnsLondonderryNH141 Lap1 Lap20.07113
Share This