Fort Fairfield’s Tharren MacDougal and Stockton Springs’ Duane Seekins are two of the Late Model drivers from other tracks who will converge on Wiscasset Raceway Sunday afternoon for the first race in the three-race Maine Racing Alliance Series.
Racing will begin at 2 p.m.
MacDougal is currently third in points at Caribou’s Spud Speedway while Seekins is second in the standings at Hermon’s Speedway 95.
Speedway 95 will be the site of the second series race on Sept. 11 and Spud Speedway will host the final event on Sept. 25. All will be 100-lappers.
There will be a series champion based on the results of the three races and there is a separate points fund for it.
This is the second year of the series although Spud Speedway has replaced Unity Raceway.
“I like the series very much,” said Seekins. “It gives you a chance to go somewhere different and compete with other cars.”
“It’s pretty neat,” said MacDougal. “Wiscasset is the only track I’ve never run. I’ve run Speedway 95 a bunch of times. I’m pretty excited. This is the first series [race] I’ve done.”
MacDougal explained that he bought a Late Model Chevy Impala in the spring of 2009 and spent last season “getting the bugs out of it” while racing at Spud. He didn’t feel it wasn’t ready for the series.
But he has gotten the kinks worked out of it and said it has become a “very good car.”
MacDougal has been contacting drivers who have raced at Wiscasset to get some ideas about how to get around the track.
“They told me I’m not going to have to adjust the car too much,” said MacDougal. “I’ll need to take a little bit of wedge and stagger out.”
A wedge adjustment will improve handling because it alters the load that the springs are carrying. The stagger refers to the circumference between the right- and left-side tires and also impacts the handling of the car.
“It will be a challenge,” said MacDougal. “I know it’s the most banked track in Maine with 10-12 degree banking.”
He said he will get a feel for the track while running practice laps and said one of the keys to the race will be to “stay out of trouble and avoid the wrecks.”
Seekins admitted that Wiscasset Raceway isn’t one of his favorites.
“I just don’t seem to have a handle on it. I can’t get going good there,” said Seekins.
However, he said he does prefer longer races like 100-lappers and hopes his success continues.
“The car seems to come in good [in longer races],” said Seekins.
Seekins said he expects a good field of cars.
“We had a good turnout everywhere we went last year. We had around 30 cars each time,” said Seekins.
Doug White, owner of Wiscasset Raceway, anticipates having “22-25 cars” and an exciting afternoon of racing.
There will be six other classes of racing to go with the Late Model feature.
MacDougal and Seekins said they would like to see the series expand in the future.
“Maybe they could add Unity next year and have a four-race series,” said MacDougal.
Seekins took it a step further.
“Add Unity and have two races at each track [for an eight-race series],” he suggested.
Rowland Robinson Jr. of Steuben would have to be considered one of the favorites in the series.
He is leading the points at Wiscasset and has won races at Spud and Speedway 95 as well as Unity. He will be shooting for his first win at Wiscasset Sunday.
Limestone’s Jerry Williams is the points leader at Spud, Hermon’s Dale Swoboda is atop the points at Speedway 95 and Liberty’s Josh St. Clair is the defending series champ so they will also be among several top contenders. St. Clair is sixth in points at Wiscasset.
The race winner will pocket $1,000. The Hard Charger Award, sponsored by New England Transmission, will pay $50 to the driver who makes the greatest gain in position from his starting spot to his finish. The driver who makes the biggest improvements over the three races combined will earn $500.
Sunday’s racing caps a busy weekend at Wiscasset Raceway as White is also hosting the first ever Lincoln County Fair, complete with rides, to celebrate the county’s 250th year anniversary.
The 50-lap Lincoln County Enduro Championship race and spectator drag racing (one lap) will be held on Friday night and Monster Trucks will be competing on Saturday night.
Fiesta Shows, which stage the annual Bangor State Fair, is staging the Lincoln County Fair and “they’re a first-rate act,” according to White.