April 26, 2018
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Skowhegan driver races from Speedway 95 to Portland to witness his daughter’s birth

By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff

Skowhegan’s Zach Audet had more wins than anyone in the Sport-4 division at Speedway 95 in Hermon last season with six, and he already has a victory this season.

But he may have had the biggest race of his life Saturday night, when he used all of his racing skills to successfully witness the birth of his third child.

Just prior to his heat race at Speedway 95, his mother-in-law, Kelly Merrill, called him and told him his wife, Lacey, was going to give birth to their daughter at Maine Medical Center in Portland that night.

The baby was six weeks premature.

Lacey Audet had been transported by ambulance from Skowhegan to the Maine Medical Center Thursday because her blood pressure spiked, Zach said.

She had been scheduled to be discharged Saturday, and Zach Audet said “we thought we had it under control.”

But when her blood pressure spiked again and the baby’s fluid levels were low, the decision was made to perform an emergency caesarean section.

So Zach Audet hooked his hauler and race car to his car and high-tailed it to their home in Skowhegan, where he dropped off the hauler and the race car before speeding down Interstate 95.

Then, after depositing his race car at his home, he drove to Portland.

“The drive was intense. It took me something like an hour and twenty-five minutes [to get to Portland],” Audet said. “I had to get there as quickly as possible.”

Audet knew there was a chance he would be pulled over by a state trooper.

“But even if I was pulled over, I would have told them what was going on,” he said.

Audet said he was worried about traveling at a high rate of speed on the interstate and knew there may have been other drivers who may have felt endangered but he insisted he was “very cautious” on the trip.

He admitted he didn’t know if he would make it on time.

Audet pulled in to the Maine Medical Center at 8:15 p.m., and Eliza Audet arrived at 8:33.

Lacey Audet had hoped her husband would make it for Eliza’s arrival but she wasn’t sure he would.

“I had my doubts, but I was relieved when he came in,” Lacey Audet said.

“He sprinted from the parking garage to the elevator,” she said. “As soon as he got off the elevator, his johnny [hospital gown] was waiting for him. He was huffing and puffing when he got here.”

The Audets are doing fine.

Eliza was 4 pounds and will remain at the hospital between two weeks and a month as a precaution.

“She is already gaining weight,” said Lacey, who hopes to be released from the hospital Tuesday.

Eliza has two older brothers, Adam and Noah.

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