HERMON, Maine — A lack of cars didn’t make for a lack of excitement in the Late Model feature at Speedway 95 Saturday night.
Only eight cars started the 25-lap final event, but a blanket could’ve been thrown over the field when Hermon’s Dale Swoboda took the checkered flag.
“When you go 25 laps without a caution, that’s a good race. Awesome race,” said Carmel’s Don Alexander Jr., who finished second.
Duane Seekins of Stockton Springs started on the inside pole, but Alexander quickly grabbed the lead until Swoboda worked his way to the front from his fourth-place starting spot.
Swoboda drove inside of Alexander and motored off the fourth turn to take the lead on lap 17, and he led the rest of the way to take the win.
All eight cars finished nearly nose to tail.
“She was hooked up tonight,” said Swoboda, who grabbed his third win of the season.
He nearly made it a clean sweep on the night as he was leading the 10-lap heat race when he fell off the pace and headed to the garage.
“Distributor went with two laps to go,” said Swoboda.
Alexander tried to hold off Swoboda, but he didn’t have the car to do it.
“Halfway through, we picked up a push,” said Alexander. “If I didn’t pick up the push, I don’t know if he could have gone under me.”
Winterport’s Shane Clark tried to make a run, but ran out of time.
“Couple more laps I felt like I could’ve had Don, but I had to get under him first,” said Clark, who finished third. “But I don’t think I could’ve gotten Dale.”
Seekins fell from second to fourth in the final six laps on a gamble that didn’t pay off.
“I decided that I had to go down [to the bottom of the track] or get passed by someone faster,” said Seekins. “I wanted to go for position … after I went down there, I couldn’t get back up on the outside.”
Points leader John Phippen Jr. of Town Hill finished fifth.
The 25-lap Strictly Street feature was the only race to be slowed by a yellow flag. And the second of two cautions was a hard hit.
Rookie Nick Huff of Orrington got turned into the outside tire wall before the garage exit in turn three.
Huff walked away, but he was unable to finish the race. He deemed the contact as deliberate.
“That was payback, I understand, from last week,” said Huff of Holden’s Travis Poulin, who he made contact with. “He sent me head-first into it.
“If I had known that the was going out to get me, then I would’ve passed him more cautiously. This week I’ll go into it with more caution.”
Poulin saw it differently.
“Last weekend he did the same thing to me where he cut up out of the turn and put me in the wall,” said Poulin. “He was trying to do the same thing [Saturday] night. So I hit the brakes and let him come up into me.
“I wasn’t going to let him wreck me again.”
Huff said that he’s already over the incident, unless Poulin escalates it.
“I’m not going to go out there next week and mess with him. If he touches me one bit, then I’ll return the favor.”
In the end, it was Doug Day of Glenburn grabbing the victory over Ellsworth’s Bradley Norris. Day took the lead from Norris on the restart after Huff’s crash on lap 19.
“I got [Norris] on the inside. He’s tough,” said Day.
“That was an awesome race,” Norris said. “I didn’t need that caution, but it was a lot fun.”
Poulin finished third followed by Shawn Hamel II of Bangor and Unity’s Dustin Hubbard.
The 25-lap Super Street race featured a little bit of contact of its own.
Liberty’s Josh St. Clair grabbed the early lead before he drifted high in turn four on the eighth lap, allowing Holden’s Steve Moulton to go low, but it was contact on the next lap that didn’t sit well with St. Clair.
“In turn two, he just turned right [up into me],” said St. Clair. “Favors come back around. I think I could’ve had a shot at him because I would’ve treated him the same way he treated me.
Moulton was unapologetic about the incident.
“It’s not like he’s never done that before. He has no place to talk.” said Moulton. “Last week we run side by side and he kind of ran me up in [turns] three and four, and a couple of laps I let him get away with it and I guess he doesn’t like it when it comes back to him.”
Moulton took the win with St. Clair second, Kris Watson of Hermon third, Lindsey Young of Winterport was fourth and Hermon’s Doug Sinclair was fifth.
Gary Richards of Stetson started on the pole and led all 25 laps to win his first Sport Four feature at Speedway 95.
“[I’ve] been working on this for long time to try to get one here,” said Richards. “I can win at Unity, but I can’t win here. It’s been a long time coming.”
Rick Grant of LaGrange finished second followed by Hampden’s David Green, Veazie’s Kyle Gallant and Plymouth’s Derick Terrel.