Bradley’s Deane Smart says he has always liked “messing around with cars.”
And when he got a speeding ticket while en route to Hermon’s Speedway 95 to watch racing soon after receiving his driver’s license, he figured “I might as well stay at the track [and race] so I don’t get into trouble.”
That was 20 years ago and he has been racing ever since.
Smart is in the top five in points in the Late Model division at Hermon’s Speedway 95 and at Unity Raceway.
He is fifth at Speedway 95 and is second at Unity after winning the 109-lap opener last weekend. Frank Moulton leads him by four points because Moulton earned points for winning a heat race.
Smart intends to race for the points championship Friday nights at Unity Raceway and will decide Saturday whether to race again that night at Speedway 95 or Wiscasset Raceway.
“I’ll race as long as we don’t have to do too much to the car,” he said. “I’d like to run some more 100-lappers.”
Smart finished second in points at Unity last year and he pointed out he accomplished that while missing four races.
“I’m looking to have a real good year at Unity this year,” he said.
He will be racing at Wiscasset Raceway on Saturday night in the first of a three-race series for Late Models involving all three tracks.
Race time is 5 p.m.
The second race in the series is Sept. 12 at Speedway 95 and the third and final feature will be run Oct. 11 at Unity.
He hasn’t raced at Wiscasset in “seven or eight years” and isn’t quite sure what to expect.
“I’ve been told it’s a fast track,” said Smart. “It should be fun.”
Smart likes the fact they are having a series with one race at each of the three tracks and that the owners/leasees at the tracks have unified the rules so they don’t have to make expensive changes to their cars in order to meet the standards at each track.
Smart drives a Chevy Monte Carlo and said it has been running very well all season.
He said he doesn’t have to make any major adjustments to his car when he goes from Unity Raceway to Speedway 95.
“There’s a little bit of difference between the two tracks but if your car goes good at Bangor [Speedway 95], it will go good at Unity,” said Smart.
The primary difference between the two tracks, he said, is that a driver can pass on the top or bottom groove at Unity but it’s very difficult to pass on the low groove at Speedway 95.
“You can come from the back and get to the front at Unity even with just 10 laps left,” he said.
He has raced in several divisions throughout his career including Pro Stocks and said he really enjoys the Late Models.
“It’s just fast enough without being too fast. It’s a lot of fun,” said Smart.
It also isn’t nearly as expensive as the Pro Stock division.
Smart, who has won “three or four” points championships at Speedway 95, said he has had a lot of help from family and friends.
His wife Carrie and son Bradley have supplied a lot of support as have friend Ed Libby and his family (wife Cindy and daughter Emma).
Hermon’s Scott Modery has also been instrumental in his success.
“He has helped me quite a bit with the setup of the car,” said Smart.
The 40-year-old Smart said Saturday’s race should be a real challenge as Late Model drivers from the three tracks will converge on Wiscasset.
“I’ve got the feeling five or six cars will be up there [fighting for the win]. It should be interesting,” said Smart.
Spud, Wacky Wednesdays begin
Caribou’s Spud Speedway officially opens for the season Sunday at 1 p.m. and Speedway 95’s popular “Wacky Wednesday” racing for entry level divisions will start June 3 at 6:30 p.m.
“Wacky Wednesday shows have been good over the years,” said Speedway 95 co-owner Del Merritt, who expects more of the same.
They will have four classes to begin the season: Big Enduros, Little Enduros, Ladies and Trucks.
“We used to have the trucks on Wednesdays, we moved them to Saturdays last year and now we’re bringing them back to Wednesdays,” said Merritt. “This is where they [truck drivers] want to be.”
They will also add a Wacky Wednesday division for youngsters ages 11-14 beginning in July.
In other Speedway 95 news, they will switch from Sunday afternoon racing to Saturday nights for their top-level classes beginning June 6.
Saturday night racing will start at 6:30.
Merritt said he expects car counts to improve once they change to Saturday nights.