Facing dwindling car counts in the Pro-Limited and Super Street classes, Speedway 95 co-owner Del Merritt said they are going to relax their regulations to jumpstart those classes.
Those changes will be effective Saturday night.
“We had our choice of shutting down our Saturday night racing due to a lack of cars or deciding to make changes. And we felt if we are going to race next year, we need to finish out this season. That was a must,” said Merritt. “So we made changes.”
Last weekend, there were just five Pro-Limited cars and eight Super Streets.
Merritt explained that there won’ t be any more restrictions on gear packages, clutches or ignitions.
And if cars aren’ t in compliance with Speedway 95 rules, they will be assessed weight penalties instead of being banned from racing.
Drivers will have to add weight to their cars in order to comply.
“The thing is there are [drivers] out there who want to race and are just sitting around. With some weight penalties, that will bring out the cars. We want to make them feel welcome,” said Merritt who has also reduced his number of technical inspectors from three to one.
The technical inspector will be Alan Jewett.
He explained that by relaxing the rules, they won’ t need as many inspectors.
“There are things he won’ t have to check now,” said Merritt.
Merritt, who co-owns the track with Alice Baker of Brewer, said he feels the changes will be beneficial.
“I think they’ re going to help,” said Merritt, who expects to be able to attract 15 Pro-Limiteds and 12-15 Super Streets.
Merritt said anyone can check out the new rules for each class at 95′ s Web site:
Rain wreaking havoc at Wiscasset
Doug White, the owner of Wiscasset Raceway, isn’ t having any trouble with his car counts.
But Mother Nature has been a thorn in his side.
“It’ s been terrible. We’ ve lost six shows. It wears on you after a while,” said White, who bought the track from Dave and Sandra St. Clair last summer.
He has rescheduled all of his shows and has made up four of the six rainouts already.
The other two will be made up in the fall, he said.
He said when they have raced, the car counts have been “great. I’ ve been blessed that way.”
Wiscasset has been getting 20-24 cars per race in the Pro Stocks 24-28 in the Late Models 18 in the Super Streets 15 in the Street Stocks 22-28 in the Mini-Stocks and 17-20 in the Mini-Trucks.
He said one of the keys to the car counts is Wiscasset’ s weekly payouts and the $80,000 points fund that will be given out at the conclusion of the season.
“And [the field of cars] has been pretty diversified,” said White.
However, he said the rainy weather has hurt at the gate, as attendance is down approximately 40 percent.
“With gas being so expensive now, people aren’ t going to drive down [if the weather is questionable],” said White. “That’ s why we try to cancel as early as we can. We want to be fan friendly. We don’ t want the fans or the race teams coming down here [only to get rained out].”
White is hoping the weather improves and that will be especially true on Sunday, Aug. 17 when the first annual Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model New England Toyota Tundra 250 will be held. The event starts at 2 p.m.
The winner will pocket $30,000 and drivers will receive $25 for each lap they lead.
There will be five 20-lap heat races with the top four finishers from each qualifying three 15-lap qualifiers with the top three earning spots a 50-lap last-chance race which will send the top three finishers into the feature two PASS provisionals and two Wiscasset Raceway provisionals for a starting grid of 36 cars.
There will also be other classes on the racing  card.