Three local tracks unify rules, create 3-race Late Model series

By ,
Posted March 20, 2009, at 12:02 a.m.

Speedway 95 co-owners Del Merritt and Alice Baker, Wiscasset Raceway owners Doug and Becky White and George Fernald Jr., who leases Unity Raceway, have created a three-race Late Model series with each track hosting one of the races.

Points will be awarded based on finish and the champion and several of the other top finishers will receive money based on their points total after the three races.

Linnehan’s Credit Now Auto Company in Ellsworth will sponsor the series.

The first race will be held at Wiscasset Raceway on May 30, the second will be held at Hermon’s Speedway 95 on Sept. 12 and the final race will be held at Unity on the weekend of Oct. 10-11 in conjunction with its season-ending Long John weekend.

The rules package has been unified and to provide further incentive, each driver who participates in the series will receive 50 points that will go toward their home track points standings.

They haven’t ironed out the length of the races or the money allotment as yet.

This could also lead to more series in other divisions in future years.

“We want to digest this first, but there’s no reason it can’t expand to super streets and street stocks [in the future],” said Merritt.

“It should be fun,” said Fernald. “I’ve always said we’ve got to keep Maine racing alive and keep the tracks open because if they close, they’ll never open again.”

The technical inspectors at the three tracks (Bret Mank, Ed Drake and Alan Jewett) will be on hand for all three races.

The group also unified their rules for two other divisions, super streets and strictly street stocks, so cars could potentially race twice a weekend.

Unity Raceway runs on Friday nights while the other two race on Saturday evenings so a driver in one of those three classes could run at Unity Raceway on Friday and choose Speedway 95 or Wiscasset Raceway on Saturday.

Fernald said if Unity has a rainout on Friday night, he will reschedule his race card for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and will only have features, no heat races, so drivers can still race later that night at Wiscasset or Speedway 95.

Merritt said the only significant difference in the rules is in the late model division where Speedway 95 drivers run a specific shock absorber package.

Drivers from Unity and Wiscasset can race with their own shocks at 95 a couple of times but then they would have to switch over to the Speedway 95 shocks package.

This won’t impact the late model series race on Sept. 12, he said.

The unification of rules at the tracks has yet another benefit: the buying and selling of race cars.

“If you’re able to race cars at other tracks [instead of just the home track], that creates more opportunities to buy and sell them,” pointed out White.

The group met a half-dozen times and said there was a healthy spirit of cooperation that resulted in the series and uniformed rules packages.

White added that he has heard “a lot of good feedback” about the three-race series.

Auto racing notes

ä In other news, White said he is talking to Andy Cusack, owner of Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, about a possible Pro Stocks series. “We’re the only two tracks running Pro Stocks so we’re trying to put something together.”

ä The Pro All-Stars Series’ Super Late Model North season will kick off its ninth season at Speedway 95 on Sunday afternoon, April 19. It will be the first day of racing at Speedway 95. PASS will also be featured on the opening race cards at Beech Ridge (May 2) and Unity (May 16). There will be modifieds and sportsman classes in addition to the Super Late Models. Oxford Plains Speedway will open with the New England Dodge Dealers’ American-Canadian Tour 150 on May 17; Wiscasset opens on May 23 with a Salute to the Troops card and Spud Speedway in Caribou lists May 31 as its first race day

ä Speedway 95’s annual car show has been moved from the Airport Mall in Bangor to the Speedway 95 track on April 11.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2009/03/20/sports/three-local-tracks-unify-rules-create-3race-late-model-series/ printed on July 23, 2014