Good news, bad news at Unity

By ,
Posted Aug. 13, 2009, at 11:46 p.m.

The good news for George Fernald Jr., who is leasing Unity Raceway from Ralph and Nancy Nason, is that car counts and attendance have been solid this season.

The bad news is that seven race cards have been rained out.

“Things have been real good when we’ve had good weather,” said Fernald. “But our seven rainouts is more than anybody else.”

Fernald said based on his discussions with people from other tracks, “we’re getting bigger crowds and better car counts than both Bangor [Hermon’s Speedway 95] and Wiscasset combined.

“We’ve been getting 80-90 cars while Wiscasset has been getting 45-50 and Bangor has been getting under 40 usually,” said Fernald.

He acknowledged that Unity has more classes than the other two tracks, which has led to higher car counts.

Unity Raceway, which has its races on Friday nights, has nine regular classes and a special class (i.e. Mini-Cup cars) while Wiscasset has seven classes and Speedway 95 has four. Wiscasset Raceway and Speedway 95 race on Saturday nights.

Speedway 95 also has a Wednesday night card for entry level divisions.

Fernald said they’ve been averaging 1,000 to 1,200 fans per race date.

Two of Unity’s rainout dates have been made up, and Fernald hopes to make up a few more but indicated they won’t be able to make up all seven dates.

The lost dates have been costly.

Fernald estimated they are $30,000 in the hole “but when we have a good night, we make $4,000-$5,000 back.”

Fernald is in his second year leasing the track with racing on Friday nights so drivers and fans can have Saturdays and Sundays free for other activities. One of those activities is being able to race at other tracks.

But Fernald said he may re-evaluate Friday race nights after the season.

“A lot of my drivers said Friday night is real hard for them and they’d like me to have the races on Saturday night. They say I’d gain a dozen drivers if I did,” said Fernald, who estimated that he lost $14,000 a year ago. “But I want to work with the other tracks and not tick them off by racing on Saturday.

“In the end, it will come down to what’s best for Unity Raceway,” said Fernald. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”

The Flying Four division for four-cylinder cars, most of which have front-wheel drive, has been his most popular class with 15 to 20 cars every Friday night.

Unity also has Late Models, Monsta-Minis, Super Streets, Ladies, Teens, Enduro cars, Wildcats and Pro-Fours.

Racing resumes tonight at 7.

Moulton looks to defend title

Frank Moulton won the Late Model points championship at Unity Raceway last season and is well on his way to another title.

Moulton has 614 points and has a 158-point lead over second place Dylan Turner of Freedom.

The 20-year-old Moulton says he isn’t surprised by his success this season.

“We work hard enough. We kind of deserve it,” said the Burnham native, who has been racing for seven years.

Moulton said he has received a lot of help from his girlfriend, Susie Heal, and his dad, Butch.

They work with him on his race car.

Another ingredient in his success is “better equipment.”

He is driving a different Chevy Monte Carlo this season after winning the title with another one a year ago.

“I bought a car from Casey Nash. It was built in 1996. The one I drove last year was built in 1989,” said Moulton.

“You always want to get better. You always want to get faster,” added Moulton. “I only won twice last year.”

He has won once so far this season but also has three seconds.

Moulton, who works at Unity Variety across the street from the race track, said his goals are to defend his points title and win more races.

Camping World East resumes

The Camping World East Series continues Saturday afternoon when the Mohegan Sun 200 will be held over the 1.53-mile road course at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

Brett Moffitt, who drives for the Andy Santerre Motorsports team owned by the Cherryfield native and former four-time Camping World East points champion, is in sixth place in the points.

Ryan Truex, brother of Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. and driver for the Michael Waltrip development team, leads the points chase with 1227.

He is followed by Jody Lavender (1,201), TD Banknorth Oxford 250 winner Eddie MacDonald (1,192), Matt Kobyluck (1167), Steve Park (1,149) and Moffitt (1127).

Lyman’s Alan Tardiff is seventh with 1,109 points.

There are two races left after Saturday’s race: Sept. 18 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Sept. 25 at Dover International Speedway.

lmahoney@bangordailynews.net

990-8231

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/08/13/sports/good-news-bad-news-at-unity/ printed on August 27, 2014