AND THE WINNER IS : WISCASSET RACEWAY

If mid-October’s turnout and the mood among drivers and fans provided any kind of litmus test as to the future of Wiscasset Raceway, then “Maine’s Biggest & Fastest” could indeed have a bright future ahead. Things have been quiet in the hills bordering Wiscasset & Alna for much of the summer. The once buslting racetrack had fallen quiet with a “For Sale” sign replacing the sign that would typically welcome fans each weekend. But on October 15th, thanks to a large and enthusiastic group of volunteers, the track came to life for one day and the result was astounding. Over 2000 fans & supporters packed the stands on the sunny & blustery autumn day to watch nearly 170 cars circle Maine’s fastest oval as a sign of support in a cause deemed “Save Wiscasset Raceway”. Local businessmen Tony True & Dale Chadbourne got together, leased the track, and put the event together to spotlight the viability of the track to potential buyers and to keep Wicasset town noise ordinances in effect, making it easier for a buyer to keep the 42 year facility alive. The pair called it a non-profit raceday “with a twist”. Fans & drivers alike were charged a modest $5 admission fee in which all proceeds went back to sponsors who stepped up to cover the cost of putting on the event. Any money left over would be split evenly between all drivers participating. The promotion drew fans & drivers from throughout northern New England, some who had not been to the track in years. One particular guest that caught the attention of many was Wiscasset native Wilfred Cronk, the man who originally built the track back in 1968. “This day has been amazing” said Chadbourne. “It’s bigger than I ever imagined, I’m speechless”. True echoed his friends thoughts as the two recieved placques of recognition and enthusiastic appluase from the grateful audience during a break in the action. “I can’t think you guys enough. This will hopefully show someone out there, interested in buying this place, that this place can work and people want to see this place succeed”. Word came later in the day that there were as many as three interested parties at the track on the 15th taking in the show. While fans got to see many of their favorite drivers in victory lane thoughout the day, the general concensus was that the track itself and the event organizers were the big winners.

Over ten divisions of racing highlighted the 8 hour show, including Prostocks, Late Models, Street Stocks & Mini Stocks, and the Wicked Good Vintage Racers, also a handful of crazy races were held following the regular weekly racers. In the 25 lap Prostock feature Yarmouth’s Bill Penfold brought back memories of his glory days at Wiscasset, passing for the lead with two laps to go and holding on for the win. Penfold’s familiar pink #0 was locked in a great race-long battle with Sidney’s Chris Thorne and Jay Sands of New Hampshire. Sands would take 2nd and Thorne 3rd. Ed Trask held the lead for much of the race but faded to finish 4th. Travis Dunbar finished 5th. In the 35 lap Late Model Sprtsman feature Liberty’s Puncin St Clair held off all challengers and led wire to wire for the victory. The former champ withstood and early challenge from his son Josh St Clair and a late race run from David Folsom II. Folsom took 2nd followed by Washington’s John Rideout 3rd, Steve Reny of Boothbay 4th and Brian Robbins of Monteville 5th. In the 20 lap Super Street feature Shawn Waitel used strong restarts to hold off a pair of Wiscasset veterans for the win. Allen Moeller Sr and Brian Fortin joined him in victory lane. Multi-time Strictly Street champ Maurice Young of Windsor showed he was still the man to beat at his home track, leading a packed field of Strictly Streets & Wildcats for a green to checkers victory, Perhaps the most impressive run was from Andrew McLaughlin who, despite little experience at Wiscasset, picked his way through traffic and held off a pair of former track champs for 2nd place. Mike Moody, Wayne Ripley and Steve Peirpont filled out the top five. Other winners on the busy race program included Dave Cameron in the 6 Cylinder Roadrunner class; Pete McCollet in the A Mini Stocks; Ryan Ripley in the Flying Four Mini Stocks; Derek Peresien in the Teen Class; Jeremy Binnette in the Trucks; TJ Blue in the Maine Mini Mods; Adam Chadbourne in the Enduro; Jaimie Henderson & George “DoDo” Brockman in the Wicked Good Vintage Racers. The program ended with a burnout contest, a Flagpole race and an Applience Race. Photos and other information with be provided on the Wiscasset Raceway website at www.wiscassetraceway.info.