March 19, 2018
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‘A lot of the best competition around’: Coastal 200 returns to Wiscasset Speedway

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

Steuben’s Rowland Robinson Jr. is a former Late Model points champion at Wiscasset Speedway.

That experience and the fact he is racing on the American-Canadian Tour could provide him with an advantage 2 p.m. Sunday, when the Coastal 200 returns to the speedway.

There will be an $18,700 purse for the Coastal 200, and with the winner will pocket $3,000. There also will be an additional $3,000 in bonus money for lap leaders, and a $500 bonus to the leader at the halfway point.

Robinson said it’s important to save the car for the final laps.

“You have to be patient, and you have to ride it out until the end like we do in [American-Canadian Tour] racing. It’s what you do at the end that counts,” said Robinson. “A lot of the guys won’t be used to a 200-lap race so that should work in our favor.”

The weekly Late Model features are 35-lappers, and the winner usually pockets $650. All nine American-Canadian Tour points races are at least 100 laps this season.

“[Two hundred laps] is a long time, it doesn’t matter how fast you are,” added Robinson, who finished second in a weekly race at Wiscasset earlier this month.

The track has taken on a new look under second-year owners Richard and Vanessa Jordan.

“There used to be a bad bump in turn four. There’s still a bump, but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be,” explained Robinson. “It has become a nice place. [The Jordans] have done lots of work to it.”

“[The bump] is more like a rumble strip now,” said track promoter and announcer Ken Minott.

Robinson also noted that they will be using the nine-inch Hoosier tires as opposed to the eight-inch American Racers tires used on the in the American-Canadian Tour series, and the Hoosiers have “more grip.”

Harrington’s Andrew McLaughlin, a Late Model driver at Hermon’s Speedway 95, raced a Strictly Street car at Wiscasset but never a Late Model.

He is looking forward to the race.

“It’s exciting. It’s a big deal. You’ll have a lot of the best competition around, so you have to be on top of your game,” said McLaughlin. “And you’re racing for $3,000.”

Minott said Thursday that 18-20 drivers had preregistered, and they would love to have a full 32-car field.

“But since it’s the first year for the Coastal 200 since the mid- to late-2000s, we’d be happy if we had in the mid-20s [for a car count],” he said.

The list of favorites include Robinson, defending American-Canadian Tour points champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. from Dover, New Hampshire; former Wiscasset Late Model points titlists Chris Thorne from Sidney and Allan Moeller from Dresden; points leader Nick Hinckley from Wiscasset; former Wiscasset Super Street champs Will Collins of Appleton and Dan Trask of Chelsea; Fairfield’s Jeff Burgess, who has won the Unity Raceway Late Model points crown, and brothers Josh and Ryan St. Clair from Liberty.

The track also will hold races for four of its regular divisions.

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