Girard scores convincing win in national qualifier at Wiscasset

Posted:  Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 8:45am
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If Kevin Girard Jr had left any doubt over the past two seasons who the top dog in the Nelcar Legend ranks at Maine's fastest track happens to be, he put an exclamation point on it with a statement win Saturday night, May 13 in the INEX sanctioned National Qualifier at Wiscasset Speedway. The 30 lap race, sponsored by Four Season Synthetic "Your Amsoil Factory Connection," showcased the top Nelcar regulars intermixed with several of the best from southern New England and beyond for a tripled purse and big trophies, not to mention valuable provisionals in the INEX Asphalt Nationals in Las Vegas. Girard took the lead shortly after a lap 8 restart and then held off a fierce challenge from Noah Korner, then cruised to a comfortable victory. The win highlighted a chilly but action packed night of racing at Wiscasset Speedway, with Group 2 in action. Other winners included Brent Roy, Nick Hinkley, Ben Tinker, and Kurt Hewins.

Young gun Austin Teras #29 of Windham brought the field of 23 Legends to the green flag with defending Nelcar Legend champ #19 Kevin Girard of Old Orchard Beach alongside. Teras set the early pace with #31 Noah Korner jumping in line behind him and Girard settling into 3rd. The first caution of the race came out on lap 5 when Matt Grant tagged the turn 3 wall as he tried to avoid the spinning car of Thomas Everson. Back in the pack, out of town favorites, #3T TJ Thompson and #12 Brandon Martinez had begun their aggressive charge up from the back of the pack; relegated there by failing post heat inspection. it took just 5 laps for them to pick their way halfway through the field. Lap 8 would produce the next caution, a red flag, when #52nh of Jake Matheson tangled with #33 of Alan Smith in turn two, collecting Thompson and sending all three cars into the turn two wall. All drivers walked away unharmed. Just one more minor caution on lap 18 would bunch up the cars, and that's the last time anyone had a shot at Girard. First he shook off Teras and then withstood a brief challenge from Korner, but as the laps wound down the challengers faded and Girard remained strong. He crossed the line for the win by nearly a full straightaway. In victory lane, he called it the biggest win of his career so far. Korner followed him across the line 2.1 second behind for the runner-up trophy. Teras completed a solid day of racing with his 3rd place finish. In the four different classes of drivers within the race, Girard was the top driver in the Pro Division; #77 Ryan Doucette of Framington, Massachusetts finished 7th to lead the Semi-Pro Division; Austin Teras topped the Young Lions Division, and #399 Bob took top honors in the Masters Division with his 5th place finish.

The 35-lap spotlight race for the Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis was a battle of attrition, not only on the track but in the tech garage and in the pits as well. Things looked intense but in control through the early going, but then several mid-race cautions thinned the field of ten that were able to start the race. Jimmy Childs of Leeds led thru the midpoint of the race with challenges from #18 Tim Collins and #19 Zach Audet. Then a mechanical issue with Audet, a turn two crash between Shawn Kimball & Rob Greenleaf, and a restart penalty for Collins started to change the tone of the race. Brent Roy took advantage of the opportunity and came to life to drive around Childs to grab the lead just past halfway. Just two laps later a crash on lap 25 between Collins & #27 Jacob Hendsbee scrambled things yet again and left fans wondering who would be left to finish the race. Track officials, thinking the same, decided that the next flag would end the race. It didn't take long for that to happen as on the ensuing restart #41m of Larry Melcher tangled with #41 of Shane Smith in turn one to end the race with 24 laps complete. Brent Roy would roll into victory lane to claim the winner's trophy - his first in 10yrs at the track where he had already collected 33 career victories. Things continued to change up the picture after the race. Jimmy Childs and Shane Smith had to hand back their 2nd & 3rd place trophies after they both failed post race inspection for unapproved sized spoilers. Melcher would then be credited with 2nd place and Hendsbee, whose car went off on a wrecker just before the last restart would be awarded 3rd.

In support action, Kurt Hewins of Leeds returned to show who was still the boss of the Norms Used Cars Strictly Streets. He started at the back of the pack and charged up the outside lane to grab the lead on lap 14 of the 20 lap feature. Hewins the defending division champ grabbed his first victory of 2017. Joe Hutter, also of Leeds, ran his best career race at Wiscasset, holding point in his #2 until he was passed by Hewins, but finished strong to take second. Mike Haynes of Livermore Falls backed up his opening day podium appearance with another 3rd place run.

The Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman showed once again why they are the top draw in Group 2. Twenty drivers ran the 35-lap feature with just one caution slowing the intense action. Brandon Bailey and Nick Hinkley put on a clinic on how good hard side by side racing should be done. They battled through the middle of the race, trading the lead back & forth; Bailey on the inside and Hinkley on the outside, neither one with an advantage of more than two feet. Soon they were joined by Shane Clark, Ryan St. Clair and Chris Thorne, who had charged up from 17th. The five cars stayed locked up in a tight battle that kept fans on the edge of their seats for the final 10 laps. Heading into turn 3 with the checkers in the air Bailey got sideways nearly collecting the group, but made a great save to charge to the line. Hinkley took home the hard-fought win, spending the entire race in the outside lane. Clark, who may have been the fastest out of the five settled for 2nd. Bailey turned in his best career finish with 3rd. Thorne and St Clair filled out the top 5, all separated by just a second on the track.    

The Midcoast Region Napa Mods finished the show with a 30-lap tilt. Ben Tinker of New Glouster continued his early season hot streak, taking the lead from Allen Moeller and cruising to the victory. Moeller, who had been chasing after his first in 4 years, settled for 2nd, while Adam Chadbourne's 3rd place finish was his 100th career podium appearance. 

Wiscasset Speedway returns to action Saturday, May 20 with Ames True Value NEMA Night, marking the return of the ultra-fast NEMA Midgets and their quest for another track record, plus the NEMA Lites. Group 1 will hope the 3rd time is the charm in getting their 2017 season underway, having been rained out in their first two attempts. The ServPro of Biddeford-Saco Prostocks will showcase the regular racers, plus the Super Streets, Thunder 4 Minis, and 4-Cylinder Pros. Pit gates will open at 1 p.m.; grandstand gates at 3, and the green flag will fall on the racing action at 5. The show will also feature an on-track NEMA driver meet & greet during intermission. As always, grandstand admission is just $5 with kids 6&under free. Pit admission in $20 for all. For more information, go to the Wiscasset Speedway website at www.wiscassetspeedway.com 

Official finishes May 13

 
AMSOIL NELCAR LEGENDS NATIONAL QUALIFIER (30 laps)
  
Pos No. Name Hometown Laps Total Tm Diff Gap
1 19 Kevin Girard Jr. Old Orchard Beach, ME 30 28:37.4    
2 31 Noah Korner Canton, CT 30 28:39.5 2.1 2.1
3 29 Austin Teras Windham, ME 30 28:39.9 2.453 0.353
4 90 Casey Call Pembroke, NH 30 28:40.1 2.636 0.183
5 399 Bobby Weymouth Topsham, ME 30 28:41.9 4.453 1.817
6 18 Parker Varney Windham, ME 30 28:42.6 5.18 0.727
7 77 Ryan Doucette Framington, MA 30 28:43.0 5.551 0.371
8 47 Chris  Burgess Buckfield, ME 30 28:46.2 8.743 3.192
9 28 Kevin Oliver Raymond, ME 30 28:46.8 9.365 0.622
10 92 Colby Meserve Buxton, ME 30 28:46.9 9.497 0.132
11 67 Zachary Godbout Mt Vernon, ME 30 28:47.1 9.698 0.201
12 50 Peter Bennett Cromwell, CT 30 28:47.5 10.086 0.388
13 10 Ed Getty Gray, ME 30 28:47.7 10.294 0.208
14 17 Terry Kirk Durham, ME 30 28:52.4 14.921 4.627
15 8 Matt Chagnot Derry, NH 30 28:52.9 15.459 0.538
16 12 Brandon Martinez Kingstown, RI 29 28:41.7 1 Lap 1 Lap
17 4NH Thomas Everson Gilmanton, NH 17 20:53.5 13 Laps 12 Laps
18 6 David Kinney Skowhegan, ME 14 20:43.2 16 Laps 3 Laps
19 33 Alan Smith Nelcar Legends 6 11:58.3 24 Laps 8 Laps
20 52NH Jake Matheson Hillsoboro, NH 6 11:58.4 24 Laps 0.109
21 3T Thomas Thompson Lisbon, CT 6 11:58.7 24 Laps 0.316
22 84 Matt  Grant Windham, ME 3 01:01.3 27 Laps 3 Laps
23 52 Colby Benjamin Belfast, ME 2 52.924 28 Laps 1 Lap
.
KENNEBEC EQUIPMENT RENTAL OUTLAW MINIS (24 laps)
.
Pos No. Name Hometown Laps  
1 26 Brent Roy Vassalboro 24  
2 41M Larry Melcher Turner 24  
3 27 Jake Hendsbee Whitefield 24  
4 20 Shawn Kimball Augusta 21  
5 19ME Zach Audet Skowhegan 20  
6 2 Butch Keene Turner 20  
DQ 10 Jimmy Childs Leeds 24 tech
DQ 18 Tim Collins Farmingdale 24 conduct
DQ 41 Shane Smith Augusta 24 tech
DQ 2x Rob Greenleaf West Bath 21 conduct

DNS – #36 Meghan Frost – Seal Harbor

DNS  – #17 Matt Weil – Camden

DNS – #7 Steve Howard – Thomaston

NORMS USED CARS STRICTLY STREETS (25 laps)

Pos No. Name Hometown Laps
1 55H Kurt Hewins Leeds 25
2 2 Joe Hutter Leeds 25
3 67 Michael Haynes Livemore Falls 25
4 47 Brian Caswell Buxton 25
5 66 Mac Hannan Union 25
6 00 Kimberly Knight Chesterville 25
7 25 Brad Bellows China 25
8 89 Faith Cleaves Freeport 25
9 24E Jonathon Emerson Sabattus 25
10 23 Zachary Emerson Sabattus 4

DNS – #51x Bryan Robbins – Montville

WOOD PELLET WAREHOUSE LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN (35 laps)

Pos No. Name Hometown Laps
1 15 Nick Hinkley Wiscasset 35
2 21 Shane Clark Winterport 35
3 47 Brandon Bailey Wiscasset 35
4 17 Chris Thorne Sidney 35
5 30 Ryan St. Clair Liberty 35
6 38X Joey Doyon Winterport 35
7 26 Andrew McLaughlin Harrington 35
8 33 Josh St.Clair Liberty 35
9 29 Ben Erskine Farmington 35
10 11 Cody Verrill Richmond 35
11 55 Steve Barker Turner 35
12 1 Steven  Chicoine Portland 35
13 00 Alex Waltz Walpole 35
14 22 Brandon Fowler Rome 35
15 94 Steve Rackliff Starks 35
16 9 Henry Mellows Jr Anson 35
17 25 Will Collins Waldoboro 34
18 19 Shane Kaherl Jay 31
19 28 Steve Minott Windham 16

DNS – #7 Tyler Bailey – Wiscasset

MIDCOAST REGION NAPA MODIFIEDS (30 laps)

Pos No. Name Hometown Laps
1 19 Ben Tinker New Gloucester 30
2 4 Allan Moeller Dresden 30
3 1 Adam Chadbourne Woolwich 30
4 5 Mark Lucas Harpswell 30
5 21 Tom Young Freeport 30
6 61 Shawn Austin Norridgewock 30
7 8 Richard Jordan Kingfield 29
8 4C Nik Coates Turner 29
9 33 Ron Bryant Livermore 29
10 16ME Patrick  Sullivan Poland 28
11 15 Joseph Williams Woolwich 3
12 7 Nick Reno West Bath 3