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.
ST CLAIR TOPS LARGE LATE MODEL FIELD AT WISCASSET SPEEDWAYby Ken Minott
Group 2 was in action Saturday night at Wiscasset Speedway. While some divisions have struggled to maintain respectable car counts, Wiscasset’s Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman division remains one of the largest an most competitive in the state. Twenty-seven cars pitted for the evening’s 50-lap main event, Liberty’s Josh St Clair charged up from his 10th starting position and took the lead from Frank Moulton early in the race and then held off several contenders to claim the victory. It was his first win since 2017. Point leader and 4-time champ Chris Thorne of Sidney made a nice charge up from his 17th starting position but would settle for 2nd. Mark Lucas of Harpswell was the only driver to stay in the top five for the entire race. He stayed in the thick of the fight for the entire 50 laps and took home the final spot in victory lane and the 3rd place trophy. Former champion Will Collins of Waldoboro started 13th and finished 4th. Fayette’s Logan Melcher, a 2-time winner himself this season, rounded out the top 5 after starting 18th. The race was slowed by 4 cautions. Seventeen of the twenty-six cars that started the feature finished on the lead lap.
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).