Defending Unity Raceway Late Model champion Jeff Burgess of Fairfield kicked off the 2012 points season the way he ended the 2011 campaign — in victory lane.

Burgess chased down early race leader — and opening day winner — Brian Whitney in the 35-lap event April 28, then held off a stiff challenge from Justin Drake of Burnham to earn his first trip to the top step of the podium this season.

Ajay Picard of Palmyra bounced back from an early spin to post a third-place finish.  Mike Landry of Oakland rebounded from a visit to the pit and a trip to the rear of the restart lineup to claim fourth. Whitney, who won the heat race, crossed the line in fifth.

Brent “Poochie” Chase of Burnham was declared the winner of the 20-lap Wildcat Division main event when postrace technical inspection negated an apparent victory by opening day winner Bryan Robbins of Montville. Joe Harriman of Liberty was elevated to a career-high second-place finish. Chase was triumphant in the heat race.

Multi-time Late Model Pro Four Division champion Steve Rackliff of Starks prevailed on a midrace restart and drove on to victory lane in his 20-lap main event. Alex Fernald of Benton led most of the event by a healthy margin before settling for a close second-place finish after yielding the top spot to the eventual winner. Bryan Lancaster of Skowhegan drove from the rear of the starting lineup to claim the final podium finishing position, in front of Bill Ellis of Parkman and Dylan Lancaster of Skowhegan. Fernald won the heat race.

Clinton teenager Cole Robinson claimed his first main event victory in the 20-lap Monsta Mini feature race in just his second appearance in the class. Robinson ran in second position for virtually the entire distance, behind reigning champion and opening day winner Zach Audet of Skowhegan. Audet’s car developed terminal mechanical issues on the final lap, and Robinson got to the checkered flag first to score a popular victory. Tim Collins of Farmington was the best of the rest in an ultra-competitive battle for runner-up honors, with the third-place trophy earned by Jayson Bosworth of Cornville. Multi-time champion Mike Wilson of Chelsea and birthday boy Brad Bosworth of Cornville rounded out the top five. Audet won the heat race.

Mike Dulaney of Richmond dominated the action in the Flyin’ 4 class, winning both the heat race and the main event in wire-to-wire fashion. Cody Robbins of Oakland, a career-first winner the previous week, charged from the back of the field to claim a close runner-up finish. Richard Jackson of Fairfield ended up in third position, ahead of George Fernald III of Benton and Paul Shorette of Waterville.

Robert MacDonald of Oakland outdueled his car owner, Ken Lord of Waterville, as they dominated the Challenger Division action. Ed Archer of Skowhegan nailed down a third-place finish, ahead of Bob Corson of Benton and Troy Rusconi of Clinton. Lord won the heat race.

John Witham won the first round of the Race Your Neighbor series.

Racing continues on Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information, go online at unityraceway.info or call 453-2021.

The individual results from April 28 included:

Late Model (35 laps) — 1, Jeff Burgess, Fairfield; 2, Justin Drake, Burnham; 3, Ajay Picard, Palmyra; 4, Mike Landry, Oakland; 5, Brian Whitney, Burnham; 6, Mark Dodge, Unity; 7, Frank Moulton, Burnham; 8, Will Collins, Waldoboro; and 9, Craig Robbins, Palermo.

Wildcat (20 laps) — 1, Brent Chase, Burnham; and 2, Joe Hariman, Liberty.

Late Model Pro Four (20 laps) — 1, Steve Rackliff, Starks; 2, Alex Fernald, Benton; 3, Bryan Lancaster, Skowhegan; 4, Bill Ellis, Parkman; 5, Dylan Lancaster, Skowhegan; 6, Norm Cummings Jr., Augusta; 7, Scott Horne, Benton; and 8, Sean Johnson, Stockton Springs.

Monsta Mini (20 laps) — 1, Cole Robinson, Clinton; 2, Tim Collins, Farmington; 3, Jayson Bosworth, Cornvile; 4, Mike Wilson, Chelsea; 5, Brad Bosworth, Cornville; 6, Matt Shaw, Burnham; 7, Kyle Robinson, Clinton; 8, Zach Audet, Skowhegan; 9, Michael Bolduc, Windsor; 10, Lance Chapman, Benton; and 11, Wes Turner, Montville.

Flyin 4 (20 laps) — 1, Mike Dulaney, Richmond; 2, Cody Robbins, Oakland; 3, Paul Jackson, Fairfield; 4, George Fernald III, Benton; 5, Paul Shorette, Waterville; 6, Daymon Dodge, Troy; 7, Mika Stover, Augusta; 8, Mike Mathieu, Oakland; 9, Kayla Allen, Penobscot; 10, Alica Goodwin, Clinton; 11, Henry Boudeau, Benton; and 12, Kersey Santos, Waterville.

Challenger (25 laps) — 1, Robert MacDonald, Oakland; 2, Ken Lord, Waterville; 3, Ed Archer, Skowhegan; 4, Bob Corson, Benton; 5, Troy Rusconi, Clinton; and 6, Mike Flagg, Montville.

Race Your Neighbor winner — John Withum.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.