HERMON, Maine — It took Harrington’s Alex Berry nearly two seasons to capture his first win at Hermon’s Speedway 95.
He broke through in the Strictly Street class a week ago.
The 17-year-old senior at Narraguagus High School made it two in a row on Saturday night as he took the lead just before a caution came out with 10 laps remaining and held off Cornville’s Shelby Kimball for the win. He won by four car-lengths.
Rain shortened the race card as the Sport Four race was called after 22 laps and the Late Models were washed out entirely. The Late Models will open next Saturday’s race card at 5 p.m. with regular racing, including another Late Model race, to follow.
Berry started fifth but took the lead on lap 14 before a caution came out when Hermon’s Jordan Pearson and Dixmont’s Dave Gray bumped.
The leader gets to pick either the inside or outside groove on the restart and Berry chose the outside. And it paid off as he pulled away from Matt Kimball, who started on the inside.
“The outside (lane) has never failed me,” said Berry who was driving a 1987 Camaro. “The inside is good some weeks and other weeks it isn’t. I didn’t want to take that chance. The outside worked good for me last week so I figured it would work again. When the car runs up front, that’s when it runs best.”
He said his car also runs “a lot better at night and was better on long runs.”
Berry also said the logjam up front in the early stages of the race represented “the most intense racing I’ve ever been involved in. Everybody was bottled up. I’m surprised there wasn’t a wreck.”
Following Berry and points leader Shelby Kimball across the finish line were Jeremy Glasier of Appleton, Matt Kimball and Glenburn’s Emma Libby.
Shelby Kimball entered the race 52 points ahead of her little brother, who is second.
Donny Silva of Hudson captured the Sport-Four race by passing Carmel’s Ted Ryder on a restart right before the rains came.
Points leader Ryder chose to start on the inside lane and Silva was on the outside and he was able to pass Ryder for the lead and the win.
That followed a series of wrecks that warranted three cautions in three laps.
“(Ryder) likes the inside. He goes better on the inside. I go better on the outside. My car is set up for the outside,” said Silva. “He slowed down a little bit. I don’t know if he missed a gear or what.”
Ryder wound up second as they finished the race under caution. Hermon’s Andrew Crosby, who led the early stages of the race before he slid off the track between turns one and two after sliding in oil left on the track by the leaking car of Jeff Overlock Jr., rallied to finish third.
James Goodman of Bangor and Brock Worster of Kingman rounded out the top five.
In the Bombers race, Mark Lane avoided a multi-car wreck that brought out a red flag to take the checkered flag by two car-lengths over newly crowned Wacky Wednesday Stars of Tomorrow champion William McCullough of Kenduskeag. McCullough is 14 years old.
The red flag occurred on lap 14 when Ralph Reed’s car, which was easily the slowest in the field, got spun around and then absorbed a heavy hit to the driver’s side door.
Reed had purchased a Chevy Cavalier that was going to be part of the stunt show this past Wednesday night. The show and the demolition derby were rained out so he dished out $200 for the car.
“I wasn’t used to the car. It was my first time racing in eight years,” said Reed, who is affectionately known as Chummy and who works at the track. “Now it’s pretty much junk. Nothing serious. I gave it a try. It was fun while it lasted.”
“It used to be a two-door car and now it’s a one-door,” joked Late Model driver Deane Smart of Bradley.
Trey Brown of Winterport, who is also 14, wound up third with 11-year-old Dylan Street of Old Town finishing fourth. Bangor’s Scott Bonney was fifth.
Brown and Street also raced in the recently concluded Stars of Tomorrow.
In the Sportsman class, Skowhegan’s Kris Matchett led from start to finish and crossed the finish line four car-lengths ahead of Milford’s Joe Legere.
Points leader Kris Watson of Hermon was third and completing the top five were Bradley Smart of Bradley and Franklin’s Michael Overlock.