Whitney captures Late Model race at Unity Raceway

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 05, 2012, at 4 p.m.

UNITY, Maine — There was no shortage of interesting goings-on at Unity Raceway on Saturday night.

Tempers flared, a bank of lights went out on turn four that resulted in a 45-minute delay and there were some thrilling finishes on the warm summer night.

Headlining the seven-race card was a special 50-lap Late Model race that was won in impressive fashion by Burnham’s Brian Whitney.

Ten cars started the race but just three finished on the lead lap as Whitney distanced himself from the field to win easily.

Kevin Douglass of Sidney followed him across the finish line and rounding out the top five were Ajay Picard of Palmyra, Wiscasset’s Mike Orr and Nick Huff of Hampden.

Picard picked up his first-ever points championship as Saturday marked the final night of points racing.

“The car wasn’t bad,” said Whitney, who drove a car with a Chevrolet engine and Ford body. “We’ve been a lot better here. But I guess we were good enough to seal the deal.

“I knew we were going to be good by the way we ran in the heat race. Any time you can run on the bottom with somebody here and stay even, you’re doing well,” added Whitney who annexed his fifth win of the season and pocketed $1000.

“[Whitney] was the one to beat tonight,” said Douglass. “He had more than I had. I wish I had something for him.

“My car wasn’t bad at first but it kept getting looser and looser as the run went on. At the end, I was just hanging on trying to keep second,” added Douglass.

Picard said his car was “really loose” too but was pleased to claim the points title.

“I almost had it on ’06 but I took a weekend off to get married,” said Picard, who has finished second and third in points. “This makes up for it.”

The Wildcats feature was won by Chris King of Burnham but tempers got frayed when George Fernald III of Benton and Joe Harriman of Liberty got tangled up and wrecked on the front stretch midway through the race.

Fernald’s car tapped Harriman and Harriman retaliated with a solid jolt that sent Fernald’s car careening into the embankment in front of the grandstand.

Fernald had to be restrained by track officials.

Harriman, who also spun out, had to retire with a clutch problem while Fernald’s race car was virtually totaled.

King was followed across the finish line by Craig Robbins of Montville, Brent Chase of Burnham, Richard Jackson of Hudson and Harriman.

In the Flyin’ Fours, it came down to another duel between Oakland’s Cody Robbins and Richmond’s Nate Tribbet and Robbins held off Tribbet by two car lengths.

Robbins was able to get the jump on Robbins during a midrace restart and he was able to keep the lead the rest of the way in the 20-lap feature.

“He usually gets me on the restarts but I just timed it right and passed him,” said Robbins whose win was his sixth and gave him the points championship.

Henry Boudreau of Winterport was third with Oakland’s Mike Mathieu and Paul Jackson of Fairfield winding up fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the Pro-Fours, Tim Robinson of Clinton withstood a late charge by Benton’s Alex Fernald to cross the finish line one-and-a-half car lengths ahead of Fernald.

Dylan Lancaster of Skowhegan was third with Ken Violette of Benton and Steve Rackliff of Starks rounding out the top five.

“The car was good. It has been all season,” said Robinson. “We haven’t finished out of the top three in any race we’ve been in all year.”

In the Monsta Minis, Tim Collins of Farmingdale and Brent Roy of Vassalboro battled back and forth until Collins was finally able to edge Roy by two car-lengths.

Cole Robinson of Clinton was third with John Fortin of Vassaboro and Kyle Robinson of Clinton, Cole’s brother, rounding out the top five.

In the Teen Thunder class, Robert Dyer of Canaan and Kyle Jackson of Fairfield came around turn four side-by-side as they headed for the finish line and Dyer pushed Jackson up the track and got Jackson’s car loose before nosing him out.

Benton’s Adam Fernald was third, John Leach of Augusta was fourth and Colby Robbins of Montville was fifth.

In the 6-Cylinder Challengers, Matt Picard of Unity led most of the way but had to withstand a late challenge from Robert MacDonald of Oakland to eke out a one car-length triumph.

Ken Lord of Waterville was third with Rick Sirois of Norridgewock fourth and John Fortier of Oakland fifth.

George Fernald Jr. of Benton, who is leasing the track from Ralph and Nancy Nason, had to get his generator and string up a temporary set of lights to enable racing to continue after a set of lights blew out.

Fernald said he wasn’t sure what the problem was.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/05/sports/whitney-captures-late-model-race-at-unity-raceway/ printed on September 22, 2014