Changes highlight opening of Wiscasset Speedway Saturday afternoon

Posted April 04, 2013, at 8:40 p.m.

WISCASSET, Maine — There will be plenty of new wrinkles on Saturday afternoon when stock car racing returns to Wiscasset on a regular basis for the first time since 2010. Racing will begin at 1 p.m.

Even the name of the track has changed.

Wiscasset Raceway is now Wiscasset Speedway.

The new owners are Richard and Vanessa Jordan and the racing will switch from 1 to 6 p.m. beginning on May 4.

There won’t be points racing and the eight classes will be divided into two brackets, which will be run on alternating Saturdays.

The Pro Stocks, Super Stocks, Thunder 4’s and Northeast 4-cylinder Pro Stocks will comprise the first group, with the Late Models, Strictly Stocks, Outlaw Minis and Mini-Trucks in the next group.

Ken Minott, who is the track promoter and announcer, said there will also be a fifth feature each week which will alternate between a regional touring series and a “fun race of our own.”

Minott explained that they had planned to run the same four or five classes every Saturday but several drivers at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta in January expressed an interest in having more classes so they could race.

So they came up with the eight classes and divided them to limit the amount of time fans will have to spend at the track on race day. Admission is $5.

“The Pro Stocks and Late Models are similar so we split them, the same with the Strictly Stocks and Super Stocks and the Outlaw Minis and Thunder Fours,” explained Minott. “This will give our drivers some flexibility and will make it more affordable. And it will give our fans some variety.”

The touring races that will appear every other Saturday include the Nelcar Legends series, the North East Mini-Stock series and the Wicked Good Vintage cars.

The fun races will included a 10-lap backwards race and a flagpole race in which cars have to circle a huge tire placed at the start-finish line.

He said they are hoping to attract at least 10-15 cars per class.

Minott admitted that the decision to not race for points is “unconventional.

“But the Jordans wanted people who are racing here for the first time to feel just as important as the people who race here every week,” explained Minott. “The racing can get diluted when you have drivers who are more concerned about points than racing for the wins.”

However, he did say they may award trophies and, if they do well obtaining sponsorship money, they may give money to drivers who have the best average finish.

“If you don’t enter, your finish will be one spot below the last-place car,” said Minott.

Awards for sportsmanship and most laps led will also be presented, while the track will scale its payouts.

“The more cars we get, the more money we will offer,” said Minott.

He also noted that the winning drivers probably won’t make as much as winners at other tracks but those who finish in the middle or near the bottom will probably make more money than their counterparts at the other tracks.

“We figure the drivers who finish in the middle or at the bottom need the money more,” said Minott.

Several improvements have been made to the track, which is a banked 3/8ths of a mile oval.

Among the renovations are a new sound system, a new building that will hold tires and other equipment and an electronic transponder system used for scoring. Several buildings have been improved and more upgrades are ongoing.

They will also honor some of their legendary drivers throughout the year.

Minott said there is a lot of “positive vibe” about the opening and was quick to point out that it will be a work in progress throughout the year and they could make more changes.

“The Jordans want people to have fun,” said Minott.

He added that sponsorship money will play a role in future developments.

They don’t have a major race scheduled for this season but they are discussing having them next season, including a Coastal 200 Late Model race and a possible Pro All-Stars Super Late Model event.

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