Top gun strictly shootout draw big crowd to Wiscasset Speedway
Wiscasset — Fans lined the bleachers to watch the racing show on a cool, pleasant night, Saturday, Sept. 21 at Wiscasset Speedway.
The August NAPA driver of the month was announced as Allan Moeller, and the September NAPA driver of the month was Corey Morgan. Next week, the NAPA Driver of the Year will be announced.
On the schedule for Sept. 21 was the group two lineup of divisions: A spotlighted McKeage Top Gun General Construction Strictly Street 40-lap Shootout, Mini Trucks, Outlaw Mini and Late Model Sportsman. The flex race of the week was a 10-lap flagpole race.
First on the track were the Outlaw Minis in a quick, straightforward 25-lap race. Jimmy Childs held the pole position. Behind him was Rob Greenleaf, who was back in the driver’s seat after recovering from a crash earlier in the season. Starting in third position was Darrell Moore.
From green to checkered, the running order remained the same for the top three. By lap 10, Childs held a comfortable lead, and watched the field in his rear view mirror trying to catch up. It was Child’s second victory at Wiscasset this year. Greenleaf took second, making this his second appearance in victory lane this racing season at Wiscasset. Moore placed third.
The Mini Trucks had a 15-lap feature event. In the pole position was Gerry McKenna. Kris Knox and Matt Curtis followed him. When the green went down, Knox faltered on the track, and Herb Farrar moved from his fourth-place starting position to the outside and passed Knox and Curtis to take second. There was a caution on lap one, and on the restart Curtis passed Farrar on the inside of turn one for second.
Gaining momentum was Knox. He passed Farrar on the outside of the front stretch during lap three. Then, Knox passed Curtis on the inside of turn one during lap seven to take second. Knox eyed McKenna, who held first, and raced up the track. Knox caught him during lap 10. He moved up the track and McKenna and Knox raced furiously around the track, each pulling ahead for a moment, but there was no clear race leader. It was not until lap 13 that Knox managed to pass McKenna on the front stretch. McKenna fought to retake his position, but Knox held him off to the finish.
Knox placed first for his third victory this season at Wiscasset. McKenna took second. It was McKenna’s fifth appearance in victory lane this year. Coming in third was Curtis for his first top-three finish.
The Late Model Sportsman class came onto the track and the fans cheered for their favorite drivers. There was one caution in this 35-lap feature. Starting at the pole was Nick Hinkley. Behind him were Daren Ripley and Billy Pinkham. Hinkley and Ripley battled for first from the green, but at the conclusion of lap one, Hinkley pulled into the lead. Allan Moeller passed Pinkham on the outside of the front stretch during lap two, and took third.
The only caution of the race came during lap 20 when Ripley made contact with the Jody Lewis. Ripley was sent to the back. Moeller moved to second and Tyler Robbins moved to third. There was a struggle for second on the restart between Moeller and Robbins. Robbins was able to overtake Moeller on the outside of turn three during lap 21 to secure second. Hinkley took first. It was Hinkley’s sixth appearance in victory lane this season.
Robbins placed second in his third appearance in victory lane at Wiscasset this season. Rounding out the top three was Allan Moeller. It was Moeller’s third visit to victory lane.
The flex race of the week was a 10-lap flagpole race. There were six cars and one truck competing for the win. The flagpole race consisted of drivers completing a circle around a large tire at the completion of each lap. There was a lot of burning rubber as the drivers sped around the track. When the smoke cleared, Randy Henderson emerged as winner
The spotlighted feature of the week was a 40-lap shootout sponsored by McKeage’s Top Gun General Construction. There was a $3,000 purse, and there was nearly $1,000 in additional money for lap leaders. Starting in the pole position was Chris Burgess. Behind him were Mac Hannan Jr. and Mike Moody.
There were three cautions during lap one as more than 30 race cars vied for position. When the dust cleared, Hannon was in first, Larry Emerson second and Nathan Leavitt third. Leavitt passed Emerson on the inside of turn three during lap two, to take second. Then, coming from behind, Craig Smith passed Emerson on the inside of turn four during lap two, to take third.
There was yet another caution in lap six when a car spun alone on the track. When racing resumed, Hannon and Leavitt went head to head around the track. For six laps the determined pair each struggled to take first. Then, during lap 12, Leavitt passed Hannon on the outside of turn three for first. Lap 15 saw Smith head down the track and he passed Hannon on turn one for second. Maurice Young followed that same inside line and passed Hannon for third on turn three.
The fifth caution of the race was during lap 18. Young took advantage of the caution on the restart and headed down the track to pass both Smith and Leavitt on the inside of turn two going three wide onto the back stretch to snare first. Smith moved to second. Leavitt dropped back, and Cole Watson came up behind Smith to take third.
Watson passed Smith on the inside of turn three during lap 25 to snatch second. Smith moved to third, and Young held them back for the lead. Then in the following lap, cars went three wide, Watson took an outside line and passed Young for the lead. Brian Caswell emerged from the melee and passed Smith for third during the battle for race leader as they all headed down the back stretch in what was proving to be a 40 lap scuffle.
The final caution of the race came in lap 31 when Phil Main Jr. and Rick Spaulding made contact. Spaulding crashed into the front stretch tire wall and rolled his car over onto the roof in front of the flag stand. Spaulding was able to climb from his car unhurt. There was a chaotic restart, and Caswell passed Young on the inside of the back stretch for second place. Watson maintained first. Then, Zack Emerson passed Young on the inside of turn three on lap 32 to take third. Race leaders remained constant until they flew under the checkered.
Watson took first. He had moved up from a 20th starting position to secure the victory. Caswell placed second and Zack Emerson rounded out the top three.
The individal results from Sept. 21 racing were:
Outlaw Mini (25 laps) — 1, Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 2, Rob Greenleaf, West Bath; 3, Darrell Moore, Oxford; 4, Nate Tribbet, Richmond; 5, Shawn Kimball, Augusta; 6, George Fortin, Greene; 7, Tim Collins, Farmingdale; 8, Norman Cummings Jr., Augusta; 9, Cody Tribbet, Richmond; and 10, Matt Moore, Mechanic Falls.
Mini Trucks (15 laps) — 1, Kris Knox, Sanford; 2, Gerry McKenna, Milton; 3, Matt Curtis, Freeport; 4, William Wile, no town given; and 5, Herb Farrar, Mechanic Falls.
Late Model Sportsman (35 laps) — 1, Nick Hinkley, Wiscasset; 2, Tyler Robbins, Montville; 3, Allen Moeller Sr., Dresden; 4, Alex Waltz, Walpole; 5, Steve Minott, Windham; 6, Will Collins, Appleton; 7, Richard Jordan, Kingfield; 8, Danny Smart, Buxton; 9, Bill Pinkham, Wiscasset; 10, Daren Ripley, Thomaston; 11, Jody Lewis, Boothbay; and 12, Poncho Darveau, Chelsea.
Strictly Sreet (40 laps) — 1, Cole Watson, Naples; 2, Brian Caswell, Waterboro; 3, Zack Emerson, Sabattus; 4, Maurice Young, Windsor; 5, Ryan Ripley, Waldoboro; 6, Nathan Leavitt, Buxton; 7, Mac Hannan Jr., Union; 8, Justin Karkos, Livermore; 9, Jason Oakes, Boothbay; 10, Larry Emerson, Durham; 11, Jeremy Wescott, Naples; 12, Mike Moody, Topsham; 13, Drew Morse, Buxton; 14, Chuck Gray, Wiscasset; 15, Craig Smith, East Waterboro; 16, Chris Burgess, Turner; 17, David Gray, Dixmont; 18, Phil Main Sr, Boothbay; 19, Tasha Dyer, Arrowsic; 20, Richard Spaulding, Lisbon; 21, Steve Pierpont, Cushing; 22, Phil Main Jr., Trevett; 23, Jon Brill, Bridgeton; 24, John Lizotte, Mechanic Falls; 25, Matt Dufault, Turner; 26, Paul Lund, Hollis; 27, David Cameron, Alfred; 28, Gerard Freve, Turner; 29, Corey Morgan, Lewiston; 30, Kyle Hewins, Leeds; 31, Jeff Hebert, Lewiston; 32, Ben Erskine, Farmington; and 33, Zach Bowie, Lisbon.
Flagpole (10 laps) — 1, Randy Henderson, Turner; 2, Pat Hinkley, Jefferson; 3, Kevin Sherman, Wiscasset; 4, Paul Hopkins, Camden; 5, Ron Whitcomb, Pittston; and 6, Jeremy Koenig, no town given.
Lisa Maguire writes for Wiscasset Speedway.