MELCHER RACES TO WISCASSET THREE-PEAT
by Ken Minott
You probably won’t find many drivers that are having more fun on a race track these days than Thunder 4 Mini racer Logan Melcher. Who could blame the second generation racer from Jay? He is, after all, undefeated to start 2017 season. His most recent win though was a bit more challenging than the first two. The Thunder 4 Minis had the 35 lap spotlight feature Saturday night at Wiscasset Speedway as Group 1 was in action on Maine’s fastest track. Melcher navigated his way through the pack only to roll into victory lane to claim the 2nd place trophy. But a disqualification in post-race inspection for the initial winner, followed by required engine inspection finally produced his 3rd win of the season. Other winners on the night included Spencer Wenners in the GoKarts; Mark Lucas in the Super Streets; Austin Teras in the 4-cylinder Pros; and Daren Ripley in the ServPro of Biddeford-Saco Prostocks.
The program started with a special “Flex division” race with a 15 lap exhibition tilt for Go Karts. The large group of fans got to see a handful of young kids showing their talents on Wiscasset’s inner front stretch go-kart track. Spencer Wenners of Edgecomb picked his way up from the back of the pack to claim the lead just before halfway and then held off a late challenge from Noah Alexander from Orrington for top honors. Spencer had also won the first go-kart exhibition race the year before. Alexander was strong in his first race, finishing 2nd. Wyatt Oakes of Boothbay wasn’t able to break free of traffic in time to challenge the lead pair and would settle for 3rd.
In the 35 lap spotlight feature for the Thunder 4 Minis, Travis Poulliot of South China looked like the man to beat as he pulled out to a commanding lead of a full straightaway. A handful of cautions gave the likes of #3 Jeff Minchin, #58 David Greenleaf, and #80 Donald Mooney a shot at Poulliot, while #41 Melcher and #26 of Michael Golding made their way up from the back of the pack. By halfway Melcher had raced his way into second but wasn’t able to reel in Poulliot. A pair of late race restarts gave a test to the pair, but Poulliot came out on top both times and run under the checkers to claim the win. However, that result did not stick as Poulliot’s car failed post race inspection. Melcher would be handed the win, his third of the season. But with the 3rd win came a mandatory engine inspection, which Melcher passed, solidifying the victory. Goulding moved up the finish order to claim 2nd and Greenleaf notched a career-best 3rd place. Spencer Sweatt and Devan Robinson filled out the top 5 in the final order.
In support action, Thomaston’s Daren Ripley led the 40 lap feature for the ServPro of Biddeford-Saco Prostocks from wire to wire for his first victory since 2014. In an emotional victory lane celebration, Ripley dedicated the win to his uncle Dick Ripley who had passed away last year. The race had a couple early cautions that thinned the starting field of 13 but then settled down into a long green flag run. Multi-time champion Scott Chubbuck chased down Ripley to wage a mid-race challenge but faded back to finish 2nd by a half second. Ajay Picard of Palmyra started 12th and ran a strong race to finish 3rd. The top 5 was filled our by #29 Kevin Morse of Woolwich and #23 Brandon Sprague of Edgecomb, each turning in a season-best finish.
The 25 lap feature for the Super Streets turned out the best battle of the night as #02 Jason Curtis of Hollis raced door to door over the final 10 laps with defending champ #5 Mark Lucas of Harpswell. With Curtis on the inside lane and Lucas on the outside lane, and the fans yelling in excitement, the two charged out of turn four to the checkers with Curtis taking the checkered flag by just 5/100th of a second. Things took a turn once again, much to the dismay of Curtis, as his car failed post-race inspection, handing the victory over to Lucas; the second straight win for the reigning Driver of the Year. #11 Jason Oakes of Boothbay claimed the 2nd place trophy and former champ #2 Josh Bailey of Wiscasset was bumped up to 3rd. #9 Sean Johnson and #85 Michael Harrison of Durham completed the top 5.
Austin Teras jumped out of his usual Nelcar Legend ride and into a 4-cylinder Pro for the first time. The mission was successful for the young man from Windham as he charged up from the back of the field to claim victory in the 25 lap feature. Once Teras took charge of the race attention soon turned to the entertaining fight for 2nd between #12 Max Rowe and 3-time defending champ #98 Kamren Knowles of West Gardiner. The pair traded the spot back and forth over three late race restarts with the youngster Rowe notching the runner-up finish. Knowles, who is only running a partial campaign this season, settled for 3rd. He was followed by #17 Ryan Hayes of Jefferson and #8 Craig Dunn of Strong.
Wiscasset Speedway returns to action Saturday, June 24th at 6:00 pm with Group 2. The Norm’s Used Cars Strictly Streets will have the spotlight race with a 35 lapper. Plus Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman, Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis, and Mid Coast Region Napa Modifieds. The weekly Flex race will feature the return of the Amsoil Nelcar Legends. Pit gates will open at 2:00 pm. Grandstand gates at 4:00 pm. The green flag will fly on the racing action at 6:00 pm. Kids are encouraged to get to the track early as the C&D Laundry Kids Club will put on the First Federal Savings Bank Penny Pounce at 5:30 pm. For more information, go to the Wiscasset Speedway website at www.wiscassetspeedway.com
WISCASSET SPEEDWAY RESULTS 6/17/17
THUNDER 4 MINIS (35 laps SPOTLIGHT)
|8||80||Donald Mooney||New Gloucester||30||5 Laps|
|9||17||Brian Dolloff||Jay||30||5 Laps|
|10||4E||Calab Emerson-Mains||Richmond||27||8 Laps|
|11||3||Jeff Minchin Jr||Pittston||25||10 Laps|
|12||54||Noah Haggett||Wiscasset||13||22 Laps|
|13||25jr||Brian Burr||Lisbon||6||29 Laps|
|DQ||19||Travis Poulliot||South China||35||DQ|
SUPER STREETS (25 laps)
|8||54||Neil Evans Jr.||Brunswick||25||9.6|
|9||8||Bouncer Knight||Jay||23||2 Laps|
DNS 06 Zac Poland Woolwich 0 dns
N.E.4-CYL PROS (25 laps)
|3||98||Kamren Knowles||West Gardiner||25||1.448|
|10||70||Taylor Lane||Phillips||24||1 Lap|
|11||17x||Dakoda Doolan||Morrill||18||7 Laps|
|12||03||Hayden Norris||West Gardiner||14||11 Laps|
|13||42||Mike Kibbin||South China||14||11 Laps|
SERVPRO OF BIDDEFORD SACO PROSTOCKS (40 laps)
|7||72||Charlie Colby||Newcastle||39||1 Lap|
|8||84||Jamie Wright||Woolwich||39||1 Lap|
|9||34||Jeff Burgess||Fairfield||8||32 Laps|
|10||96||Wyatt Alexander||Ellsworth||1||39 Laps|
|11||13||Nate Tribbett||Richmond||1||39 Laps|
|12||13T||Cody Tribbett||Richmond||1||39 Laps|
|13||47||Kelly Moore||Scarborough||1||39 Laps|