They came with tractors. They came with weed-whackers. A former employee of Wiscasset Raceway came with his knowledge of where the holes are, so he could point them out to the people bush-hogging.
About 30 people, including friends and many relatives of the raceway’s new owner, Richard Jordan, converged on the property July 18. Their all-volunteer effort, coupled with some work two days earlier, heralded the start of the track’s future.
“I’m flabbergasted,” Jordan said after he arrived at the track. He called the turnout “terrific. It’s unbelievable. It’s just heartwarming.”
The Kingfield man bought the track for $130,000 at a foreclosure auction July 12. Six days later, he had no regrets. He was interested to learn the property includes an old family cemetery that predates the track. “What a special place this is,” he said.
Jordan took the big turnout for the mowing effort as a good sign that he had done the right thing. It showed him what a supportive group of people he has in his extended family. “It just keeps on giving,” he said of the purchase decision.
One of the youngest relatives was 19-year-old Paige Verney of Newcastle. She drives race cars – never at Wiscasset, but she hopes to in the future. When she heard Jordan had bought the track, she nearly fell to her knees, she said. “I was so happy.”
“It really brought the family together. It’s the best feeling in the world,” Verney said, as tractors rumbled over the infield and other grassy areas of the property. On July 16, she helped get a pace car running again.
There is still much to do, from painting to the removal of about 1,000 tires, Jordan said. He hopes anyone who wants to help will come and pitch in. Jordan plans to hold another volunteer clean-up day; no date has been set.