The Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman division continues to be one of the largest and most competitive divisions at Wiscasset Speedway. Saturday was no different, as 24 competitors braved the heat and joined the field for the Group 2 racing program.
The Late Model competition kicked off with three 10-lap heat races. The initial start of the first heat was called off by race control and Charlie Colby was forced back to the second row for the restart. This moved Nick Reno into the front row alongside Alex Waltz.
Reno took command of the top spot on the restart and never looked back, scoring the heat victory. Alex Waltz and Frank Moulton rounded out the top 3.
Ray Dinsmore got the early jump over Jonathon Emerson in the second qualifying heat. Trouble was brewing early for Patrick Murphy, who took a spin on lap 3. The field remained green and Ray Dinsmore sailed away with the heat victory as Jonathon Emerson and Dave Getchell followed in succession.
Josh St. Clair and Will Collins battled it out for the early lead in the third and final qualifying heat. Collins pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 2, allowing Shane Clark to pull up to St. Clair’s inside door. The two drivers battled it out for a handful of laps until Shane Clark powered ahead of St. Clair on lap 5.
Will Collins continued to hold off his competitors, picking up the heat victory as Shane Clark and Josh St. Clair rounded out the top 3.
The Late Models rounded out the night with a final 40-lap feature. The tail end of the field bunched up on the initial start, leaving Daniel Harding, Dan Trask and Chris Burgess with battered racecars.
Nick Reno pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart over Frank Moulton, but chaos was ensuing behind the leaders as drivers at the tail of the field bunched up once again, sending Ryan Ripley hard into the turn 3 wall. Fortunately, Ripley was able to walk away from the carnage, but this also ended his night prematurely.
Frank Moulton remained glued to Nick Reno on the restart, not giving an inch until Reno broke free on lap 7. Josh St. Clair began to make his way through the field behind the leaders, challenging Brent Roy for fourth on lap 9. While the two drivers battled it out, Ray Dinsmore inched closer and closer to his competitors, riding their coattails.
The leaders began approaching lap traffic on lap 16, but caught a break as Jonathon Emerson took a spin, resulting in a mid-race caution.
Josh St. Clair finally cleared Brent Roy for fourth on lap 20 before making quick work of Charlie Colby for third. Everything came to a halt once again on lap 25 as Ben Erskine took a spin in turn 3, drawing out a yellow.
Charlie Colby was shuffled to the outside line on the restart, falling to the back of the pack. Nick Reno quickly pulled away from Frank Moulton, but Josh St. Clair followed, ready to strike. The three drivers remained neck & neck, but Jett Decker also wanted a piece of the action in the closing laps of the race.
Decker seemingly came out of nowhere on lap 34, blasting by the three leaders in turn 3 like they were standing still. After the surprising (and bold) move, Decker began to pull away from his competitors.
Josh St. Clair and Nick Reno made hard contact the following lap in turn 4, resulting in Reno falling back to fourth behind Will Collins as St. Clair took over the runner-up spot.
Josh St. Clair was unable to track down Jett Decker in the closing laps of the feature, resulting in Decker picking up his first career victory in the division. Will Collins, Nick Reno and Frank Moulton rounded out the top five.
Jett Decker pulled his car into Victory Lane following the conclusion of the race and relished in the moment for a minute before hopping out of his car, jumping on the roof and celebrating his momentous victory with his friends, family and the fans.
The race was surely one that Jett Decker and his family will remember and cherish for years to come.
Jett Decker topped the podium this week, but Josh St. Clair, Will Collins and Nick Reno all continue to be heavy hitters in the division. Who will it be next? You just have to stay tuned!
The Late Model division returns to the track on Sunday, May 29th for the coveted Coastal 200. Until then, please join us for week #3 of Group 1 racing action next Saturday, May 21st. As always, adult admission is just $5 and kids 6 & under are FREE. Grandstands open at 4:00 pm and green flag flies at 5:00 pm.
Please continue to support your local short tracks and help them thrive for years to come!
See you next time!
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