HERMON, Maine — Bucksport’s Mike Golding had wanted to race a Late Model car for a long time.
So he bought a 1997 Chevy Camaro for $2,500 a month ago and made his debut at Hermon’s Speedway 95 on Saturday night.
But things didn’t quite go the way he wanted.
During the heat race, Golding flipped over his Camaro and found himself upside down in his car on the front stretch.
“I got too high [up the track] on turn three. The car got loose,” explained Golding. “When that happens in a Late Model and you wind up on the gravel, there isn’t much to save them. We were running slicks [tires] and there’s no tread on them.”
The safety crews helped free Golding from his car and he wasn’t seriously injured.
He intends to race again on Saturday night.
“I got some bruises. I’m sore here and there. But the seat belt held me in. So there’s nothing serious,” said Golding.
And he expects the car to be ready this week.
“The body is completely off. But it should go back together Thursday night,” he said.
Golding’s return to Speedway 95 came after a six-year absence.
“I raced from 2001-2006 in the Mini-Trucks, Little Enduros and Sport-4s,” said Golding whose best finish in the points standings was a third in the Little Enduros in 2005.
He was a multiple-race winner.
He left the sport to help rebuild some homes owned by various family members.
“I have been wanting to come back for a long time,” said Golding. “But I needed to find the money to buy a [Late Model]. So I sold some of the smaller race cars I had lying around.”
His Camaro has some issues but at least he is back racing.
“The car is real loose. We’ve got a long way to go to make it where it needs to be,” said the 48-year-old Golding.
His goal this season is to get comfortable in the car and “run consistently in the top 10 or 15. It’s a real old car and it’s been around for years. I’d like to move up to a better car and have a top-five car next season.”
That will require him landing some more sponsors.
Golding fell in love with racing in 1989 when tracks used to hold extended-lap Enduro races.
“You’d get 120 cars showing up for a 200-lap race,” recalled Golding. “That’s when I fell in love with racing.”
Golding, who is a mechanic at Darling’s Chevrolet in Ellsworth, ran one year in that Enduro class before stepping back to start a family.
He is looking forward to Saturday night, especially after his rough debut.
“That was definitely not the way I wanted to start. But that’s one of the deals with racing. You take the good with the bad,” said Golding. “At this point, it couldn’t get any worse on Saturday night. There’s nowhere to go but up.”