By Lisa Maguire

A visit from NEMA Midgets and NEMA LITES packed the grandstands Saturday night. It was the Ames True Value Supply “NEMA Night”. The evening’s jam-packed schedule included two NEMA races and the Group 1 division: New England Four Cylinder Prostock, Prostock, Thunder 4’s, and NAPA Super Streets. The fans were able to go onto the track at 5:00 PM to meet with the drivers, get autographs, receive hero cards, and even to sit in the NEMA racecars.

NEMA club president, Russell Stoehr said, “This is a great facility, the fans are awesome and are very nice to us. We love coming up here this time of year and putting on a show for you guys. I hope to be coming back next year, all signs point to us coming back every year. This is the one of the most positive fan experiences we have all year long.”

First on the track were the New England Four Cylinder Prostocks in a twenty-five lap feature event. At the Pole was the #55 of John Shorey. Beside him was the #42 of Mike Kibbin. In third was Tyler Bailey of the #15. When green flag racing began on the track, the action was fierce. Bailey passed Kibbin for second, and the #5 of Cody Billing took the inside track and passed Kibbin for third.

A caution was called during lap two. On the ensuing restart, the #38 of Ryan Hayes got a good jump off the start and shot to second. There was another leader change during lap seven. Bailey made contact with the #9X of Brooke Knowles, who was advancing up the track. Brooke Knowles went to the back, and Bailey headed to the pits. The #98 of Kamren Knowles moved into third. Hayes was in second, and Shorey maintained his lead.

When action resumed on the track, Hayes once again got a good jump. He surged ahead of Shorey during lap eight on the outside. Kamren Knowles followed the same track and passed Shorey for second on the outside of turn three. A determined Shorey fought back, and during lap fifteen, passed Kamren Knowles on the inside for second. Shorey continued his advance, and passed Hayes during lap sixteen, taking the lead.

During lap sixteen Kamren Knowles passed Hayes and proceeded up the track, searching for first. Knowles watched for Shorey to slip up. He tried an inside pass during lap twenty-one, but Shorey held him off. After seven laps of chasing Shorey, Knowles was able to complete a turn three pass on the inside, securing the lead. Knowles took the checkered. Shorey placed third. Rounding out the top three was Hayes.

In the point standings, Kamren Knowles is the leader with 178 points. In second is the #27 of Jacob Hendsbee, sixteen points below Kamren Knowles. Twenty points below Kamren Knowles is John Shorey in third place.

Knowles said of the race, “It was a close one. I was having some car problems, but at the end I got it. I didn’t think I was going too, and it feels good to get three wins in a row. I had good competition, and the race was clean. I want to thank AC Towing and everyone that helps me on my car.”
A spotlighted thirty lap NEMA Midgets race kept fans eyes on the track, with speeds in excess of one-hundred miles per hour. Starting at the pole was the #30 of Paul Scally. To his right was Jim Santa Maria of the #99. Behind was Danny Cugini of the #51. When the race official waved the green over the track, the NEMA cars jumped to life, gaining speed as they began traveling around Maine’s fastest oval. Cugini kept his inside line and passed Santa Maria for second during the opening lap. Behind the #9 of John Zych passed Santa Maria for third. Then during lap three, Cugini passed Scally for the lead.
Coming up from his ninth place start was Randy Cabral of the #47. Cabral moved up to the side of Zych and began battling for third. During lap nine Cabral headed to the inside and passed Zych on turn three.

There was a lot of action on the track, with cars weaving through traffic, jockeying for position. A caution was called during lap nineteen, and the resulting restart saw Cabral advance to second, right off the start. Cugini proved himself to be a force on the track and moved up to pass both Cabral and Scally, to take the lead. Cabral followed Cugini and took second, passing Scally.

Cugini and Cabral race door to door, fighting for first. While all eyes are watching the battle for the lead, the #71 of Seth Carlson passed Scally for third. The last lap saw Cugini and Cabral rubbing tires on the back stretch, leaving a trail of smoke. The fans were on the edge of their seats. In a close finish, Cugini held off Cabral and took the win. Cabral finished second. In third was Carlson.

While speaking with Cugini before the race, Cugini said, “I hope to take the win. We have a good crew and have been working on the car all day. It should be pretty good!”

Cugini said he had his sponsors and crew to thank, “My sponsors are Bumper to Bumper Accessories, Aberdeen Law Firm, Bob’s Collision Center, Worldwide Pre-owned, and Enterprise Equipment. I also want to thank my father, Glen, Chris Derosier, he does all the work on the car, my sister Meg, my mom Pat, Timmy, and Tammy.

A forty lap Prostock feature was action-packed. Starting on the pole was the #09 of Justin Drake. To his right was the #96 of Wyatt Alexander. In third was Phillip Richardson of the #05R. When the cars roared over the start line, Alexander shot to the lead. Cars were weaving through traffic, looking to get ahead. During lap sixteen, Drake spun on the front stretch, moving him to the back of the pack. Jeff Burgess of the #1 advanced to third. On the restart, Richardson had a good jump and took the lead. Burgess fell back and the #01 of Andy Saunders took third. There was another caution during lap seventeen. On the ensuing restart, Richardson and Saunders raced door to door from the start. After two laps of side by side racing, Richardson gained the advantage and moved ahead of Saunders, maintaining his lead. Jeff Burgess passed Alexander for third.

Race leaders kept the running order through lap twenty-three, when there was another yellow flag. When racing action resumed on the track, Saunders couldn’t keep his outside track second position, and fell to third, with Burgess claiming second. Richardson took the win. Burgess placed second. Saunders finished in third. This was Richardson’s first win at Wiscasset Speedway.

In point standings, Burgess was in the lead with 210 points. Competition is close however. The #05 of James Osmond was only two points below him, and the #01 of Andy Saunders was only six points below Burgess.

Post-race Richardson said, “It was fun. It was a long forty laps. I started three down, and had a good finish. This was my first win at Wiscasset Speedway, although I have won at other tracks. I want to thank PGP Enterprises, HO Bouchard Transportation, Willy Built Racecars, and AJ McGuiness, my engine builder. I also want to thank my father, Chris, Ryan, Josh Dow, and Anthony Wilcox.

The Thunder 4’s entered the track for a twenty lap feature. The fans cheered their entrance. The #74 of Aaron Sevigny started at the pole. To his side was David Greenleaf of the #58. To his rear was the #31 of Leandra Martin. There were numerous leader changes right off the start. Martin advanced to second on turn one. The #48 of Michael Harrison took third. Both Martin and Harrison advanced up the track. Martin taking the lead by lap three, and Harrison taking second. The #113 of Cody Tribbet moved up from his eighth place start to claim third during lap three also.

Moving up from his seventh place start was the #5 of Ryan Chadwick. Chadwick took the inside track and passed Tribbet on turn four for third during lap seven.

Harrison went down the track and passed Martin for the lead during lap ten. In a twist of events, Chadwick saw Harrison move up the track, Chadwick saw his chance and passed him on the inside for the lead. Tribbet was following Chadwick, and moved to second, and Harrison fell to third.

Race leaders remained constant until race conclusion with Chadwick taking home another win. Tribbet placed second. Harrison finished third.

Chadwick said, “I had some competition tonight, but I just kept a cool head and waited for my opportunity to make the pass. I want to thank Hammond Mechanical, Bayside Plumbing Inc, and Henny Automotive,”

The NEMA LITES competed in a twenty-five lap feature event. The winged cars entered the race track to the applause of fans who came to watch the NEMA cars. The #16 of Dennis O’Brien started at the pole. Jim Chambers was to his right in the #21W. Behind was the #32 of Ryan Bigelow. Early race action brought Bigelow to the lead, and the #21B of Anthony Payne to third.

There was a caution on lap six, with Chambers going off track on the front stretch and stalling on turn one. The #76 of Bobby Santos III advanced to third. When action resumed on the track, the #51 of Danny Cugini raced up to battle Santos for third. There was a caution during lap seventeen, when Payne and Bigelow raced furiously for the lead, and Payne subsequently slid off the track into the infield. The restart saw Bigelow in the lead, Cugini in second, and the #35 of Randy Cabral in third. Race leaders remained the same until race end. Ryan Bigelow took the win. Cugini placed second. Cabral finished in third.

Ryan Bigelow was running the #32 car for his brother, Scott, this week. Bigelow said in Victory Lane, “We weren’t going to be bringing any of our cars this week. We had a long week. Then 5:00 last night I was working in the barn, and Scott stops by and says ‘Why don’t you take it out to see what it can do.’ I can’t thank him enough, because that car couldn’t have been easier to drive. Danny (Cugini) s one of my best buddies on and off the track. When I race with him, I know it’s going to be clean. I saw Randy (Cabral) in third, you can’t ask for a better racer. I got to thank the fans for coming, and the track for having us, Ames True Value, my sponsors: Bigelow Electric, Trade Services, and World Tires.”

Ending the evening’s events was a NAPA Super Street twenty-five lap feature event. There was plenty of action to thrill the fans. Starting at the pole was the #88 of Jamie Norton. To his side was the #06 of Zac Poland. Behind him was Dave Patten of the #12.

When racing action began, Poland took the lead. The #02 of Jason Curtis claimed third by passing Patten. Lap three saw Curtis spin on the track, gathering up Patten and the #32 of Tasha Dyer. The yellow came out. The new running order was Poland still in first. However the #38 of Dan Trask moved to second, and the #1 of Adam Chadbourne advanced to third.

When green flag racing resumed on the track, Trask nosed ahead for the lead. The following lap, the #2 of Josh Bailey came from his eighth place start and slid into second, passing both Chadbourne and Poland. Chadbourne followed Bailey and passed Poland for third. Curtis passed Poland for forth. Race leaders remained the same until the race ended. However, Trask failed post- race inspection. Bailey was awarded the win. Chadbourne placed second. Curtis finished in third.

In the point race, Bailey was in the lead with 180 points. In second, only four points below was Chadbourne. In third was Curtis, forty points below Bailey. A close race.

Bailey said, “I’d rather win the other way, but I’ll take it. It was a good point night overall. Adam didn’t have the greatest heat, so we put a little spread on him for the points. The car was evil though, I have a lot of work to do to it! I want to thank Possibilities Salon, Galley Restaurant, my Aunt Debbie and Uncle David- they help me out, and Bath and Wiscasset Napa. I also want to thank my wife, kids, and my mom, and Chucky Grey- he’s my main man.”

Wiscasset Speedway resumes racing action, Sunday June 20, 2015 with its group two lineup of divisions: Late Model Sportsman, Strictly Street, Outlaw Mini, and Modfieds. Next week the Outlaw Mini’s are the main feature with a seventy-five lap “Outlaw Mini Madness”. If you missed the racing action, or simply want to see it again, track videographer, Brandon Simmons, posts race footage on YouTube. It can be found by searching “Wiscasset Speedway”. Pit gates open at 2:00 PM. Grandstand gates open at 4:00 PM. Racing begins at 6:00 PM. Admission is $5.00 for adults and children aged seven and older. Kids six and under are free. Pit admission is $20.00. Wiscasset Speedway is located on West Alna Road in Wiscasset. For more information, head to the Wiscasset Speedway website at www.wiscassetspeedway.com. The Wiscasset Speedway website is packed with information, including schedule of events, division rosters and rules, race results, and driver profiles. Head on over to take a look.