MCLAUGHLIN TAKES LONG AWAITED SEASON-OPENER AT WISCASSET SPEEDWAYby Ken Minott
Opening day at Wiscasset Speedway finally arrived last weekend. But similar to the landscape seen around the business and sports world, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic it was met with changes and restrictions that everyone would need to adjust to. The 2020 season, which was originally scheduled to start in late April, was put on hold while track officials worked with State of Maine officials to help find a safe way to include fans in the stands. The final weekend of July the state released guidelines that restricted grandstand seating to just 200 fans, separated into 4 distinct sections of 50 people. Other standard coronavirus safety protocols were implemented to keep people safe while enjoying a day they had waited over 3-months to arrive. Track officials made the decision to start up the schedule wherever it happened to fall in the season, so Group 2 divisions got the nod to race. The show included a 50 lap main event for the Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman, along with races in the Modified, Outlaw Mini and Strictly Street divisions.
ASHLINE MAKES HISTORY AT WISCASSET SPEEDWAY by Ken Minott
Wiscasset Speedway has spent much of the 2019 season celebrating its fifty years of racing history. More history was made this past weekend as Ben Ashline of Fairfield put his name in the record books by doing something no other driver had done. Near perfect weather greeted fans as they packed the stands on Sunday afternoon for the Boss Hogg 150. The race was the highlight of a busy doubleheader weekend at Maine’s fastest track. Saturday night showcased Group 2 divisions with the 5th annual Outlaw Mini Madness as well as the Late Model Dash for Cash. Sunday’s big pro stock race was originally created in 1991 by (then) track owner and racer Dave “Boss Hogg” St Clair as a 100 lap race. The race was revived in 2013 by current owner’s Richard & Vanessa Jordan to pay tribute to St Clair. It was then bumped up to a 150 lap race two years ago.
PINKHAM ENDS WINLESS DROUGHT AT WISCASSET SPEEDWAYby Ken Minott
Just a few years ago Wiscasset Speedway’s Super Street division was a class on life support, on the verge of being eliminated. Fast forward to 2019 and the Maxwell’s Market Super Streets have not only rebounded and flourished but has become one of the track’s most competitive divisions. This continued on Saturday evening as Group 1 classes took to Wiscasset’s high banks for a regular race program. Wiscasset’s Bill Pinkham has been turning laps at his hometown track for over twenty years but victory lane is a place where he hadn’t visited but once in the past twelve. But the 2001 Driver of the Year returned to the top of the chart with a dominating win in the 35 lap spotlight feature. Driving a team car for point leader Mike Hodgkins, Pinkham started outside the front row and took the lead by the time they reached the backstretch. From there he built a half straightaway advantage and held the lead for the remainder of the race. He would pick up his first feature win since 2014 and his first Super Street checkered flag since 2000. There was plenty of action behind the leader in the caution-free race. Former champ Mark Lucas of Harpswell started back in the pack in 9th and raced his way up to a runner-up finish. Previous race winner Dan Trask of Chelsea took home the third-place trophy after starting 11th.