29 street stocks came rolling into Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday night in hopes of winning the speedway’s annual AMSOIL Dominator Strictly Shootout. Drivers from Wiscasset, Oxford Plains, Beech Ridge and other local tracks were in the lineup, promising a spectacular show featuring some of the greatest local racing talent that Maine has to offer. With a starting lineup set for 30+ cars, all drivers were guaranteed to make it into the big show come nightfall.
The qualifying process included three 10-lap heat races. Unlike other heat races, a drivers’ finishing spot in the heat wouldn’t exactly guarantee them a front row seat for the feature. Race coordinator Dave Brannon sought out to make the race as exciting as possible, keeping the process of figuring out the starting order under wraps and unknown to all race competitors and their respected teams.
Rick Spaulding and Morris Young started on the front row for the first qualifying heat, followed by Zach Nicholson, Caleb Emerson-Mains and Kyle Hewins. The #03 of Morris Young dropped out of the heat before the field went green, exiting the track via the pit exit onto the track, resulting in him getting parked for the heat due to the track safety violation. Rick Spaulding immediately pulled away with the lead as 16-year-old Zach Nicholson fought for the runner-up spot with the #51 of Kyle Hewins. The two drivers were door-to-door for the better half of the heat race. Hewins got bent out of shape on lap 8 in turn 2, saving his car but allowing Nicholson to pull away with the spot. Spaulding went on to win the heat, followed by Zach Nicholson, Brian Caswell, Kyle Hewins and Caleb Emerson-Mains.
Beech Ridge’s Chaz Briggs started on the pole for the second qualifying heat, followed by Dylan Varney, Brett Osmond, James Grover, Jr. and Matt Dufault. 13-year-old Brett Osmond made his way into the lead on lap 2 after a 3-way battle for the lead with Dylan Varney and Chaz Briggs. Meanwhile, Nate Leavitt powered his way into the runner-up spot on lap 3 after starting the heat from the rear of the field. By lap 6, Guy Childs had cut the field in half, making his way into P4. After battling his way to the front of the field, Dave Cameron came to a slow on lap 9, heading to the pits in his #28 car. Osmond went on to win the heat, followed by Nate Leavitt, James Grover, Jr., Guy Childs and Lewis “Dirty Lew” Anderson.
Billy Childs and Jerry Freve took the front row for the final qualifying heat, followed by Cole Watson, Parker Varney and 2017 Beech Ridge Wildcats champion, Adam Lovejoy. Billy Childs ran away with the early lead, but trouble was brewing behind him. Bryan Robbins, Kurt Hewins and Mike Ramsey got piled up in turn 2, leading to the first caution of the night. After the field went back to green, it was smooth sailing for Billy Childs, who took home the heat victory. Cole Watson, Adam Lovejoy, Zach Emerson and Kurt Hewins followed, rounding out the top five.
Mike Ramsey started on the front row for the 40-lap feature, followed by Parker Varney, Jacob Michaud, Caleb Emerson-Mains and Chaz Briggs. Kyle Hewins powered his way to the front on the initial start via the outside line, making his way into the runner-up spot early. Matt Dufault, Bryan Robbins and Jacob Michaud got tangled in turn 3 of the first lap, leading to the first caution of the feature. Under caution, Kyle Hewins was held for jumping the start as the field was reset to the original lineup for the restart. Hewins was forced to restart back in 17th. Dave Cameron went hard into the wall in turn 1 on the restart, leading to a red flag as the track crew worked on removing his mangled #28 car from the outer wall. The top six cars were then sent to the rear for failing to stop for the red flag. These cars included the #82 of Chaz Briggs, who was having a great night leading up to the mishap.
Jonathan Emerson and Lewis Anderson were moved to the front row for the restart. Adam Lovejoy, Kurt Hewins and Cole Watson got into it in turn 1 on the restart, leading to yet another caution. When the field got rolling again, the #51 of Bryan Robbins made impact with the wall in turns 3 & 4, adding to the inventory of cautions. Jonathan Emerson maintained the lead through the restart, but Kyle Hewins was all over his back bumper for the lead by lap 8. Morris Young, Nate Leavitt, Dylan Varney and others got caught up on lap 8 in turn 3, leading to another caution. Morris Young exited the track improperly for the second time of the night, leading to him getting parked for the remainder of the 40-lap feature.
Emerson powered away with the lead again on the restart, pulling away from the rest of the field. By lap 25, the top 4 cars had broken away from the rest of the field with a ½ straightaway lead. Meanwhile, Zach Nicholson, Mac Hannan and Kurt Hewins were battling it out for the fifth spot behind them. The #66 of Hannan got Nicholson loose on lap 30, sending Nicholson back to seventh as Hannan captured the spot in the top five. After starting the feature back in sixteenth, Matt Dufault gradually made his way to the front of the pack after the incident he got a piece of on the initial start. He made his way into the lead on lap 34, not looking back. Dufault went home to win the feature, followed by Kyle Hewins. Jonathan Emerson had a wild finish, slamming into the turn 2 wall after he crossed the checkered. Gary Davis and Billy Childs followed, rounding out the top five.
After the race was completed, it was revealed that race winner Matt Dufault failed post-race inspection due to a carburetor issue, leading to him being disqualified. Fourth place finisher Gary Davis was disqualified due to a suspension and fifth place finisher Billy Childs was also disqualified die to a carburetor issue. These infractions shook up the entire leaderboard.
Kyle Hewins was awarded with the win, making him the first repeat Strictly Shootout winner in the event’s history. Jonathan Emerson took home second, Zach Emerson captured third and 2017 Beech Ridge Wildcats runner-up Zach Nicholson moved up to fourth in the final race results.
Official Race Results