This past Saturday, the 88.5FM Modifieds returned to Wiscasset Speedway for the Group 2 season opener. The growing division welcomed 12 competitors on Opening Day including last year’s champion Adam Chadbourne, veteran driver Ryan Ripley and newcomers like Brandon Williams, last year’s Mad Bomber JV champion at Beech Ridge.
The competition kicked off with two 10-lap qualifying heat races. Mike Brown’s trouble started early as he went hard into the turn 1 tires on the initial start, resulting in a caution.
Jeff Burgess powered to the lead over Brandon Williams on the restart as last year’s Rookie of the Year, Faith Cleaves, followed suit.
Ryan Ripley and Adam Chadbourne battled it out for position behind Brandon Williams on lap 5. Chadbourne won the battle on lap 7 and moved onto Williams, clearing him for fourth as Ryan Ripley trailed closely behind.
Ryan Ripley wasn’t done yet, navigating his way back to Adam Chadbourne’s outside door. Ripley cleared Chadbourne for third on the final lap, rounding out the podium alongside heat winner Jeff Burgess and Faith Cleaves.
Scott Trask piled into the turn 4 wall on the initial lap of the second and final heat race, resulting in an early caution. Trask was able to walk away from the incident, but the #99 machine was unfortunately left mangled.
Allan Moeller, wheeling Richard Jordan’s #8 machine, and Tyler Robbins battled it out for the top spot on the restart as Brian Treadwell lingered closely behind. The two leaders broke free from Treadwell on lap 4 and misfortune came shortly thereafter for Treadwell, who cut down a tire before retiring to the pits.
Allan Moeller, a 2021 Wiscasset Hall of Fame inductee, finally cleared Tyler Robbins for the lead with just one lap to go. Moeller went on to secure the heat victory, followed by Tyler Robbins and Bobby Mesimer.
Jeff Burgess pulled away with a sizable early lead in the 30-lap feature. Trouble was brewing for Bobby Mesimer as he took a spin on lap 6 in turn 4, resulting in an early caution.
Ryan Ripley powered to the lead on the restart. Tyler Robbins was also on the move behind the leaders, clearing Faith Cleaves for third on lap 8 as Adam Chadbourne followed in succession. Chadbourne continued his pursuit to the front in the coming laps, knocking on Tyler Robbins door for third before Brian Treadwell made it a 3-way battle on lap 15.
Adam Chadbourne, a 7-time winner and eventual champion last season, finally cleared Tyler Robbins for third on lap 18, leaving Robbins and Brian Treadwell battling it out for position. Treadwell continued to push the envelope, overtaking Robbins for the position on lap 22.
After a strong showing all day, Adam Chadbourne came to a slow on lap 27, shockingly retiring to the pits. Allan Moeller, who secured the heat victory earlier in the day, exited the track prematurely as well.
Ryan Ripley maintained his advantage through the closing laps of the race, picking up the feature victory. Jeff Burgess, Brian Treadwell, Tyler Robbins and Faith Cleaves rounded out the top five.
Ripley, a 3rd generation driver, happily celebrated with a large group of family and friends in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the race.
Ryan Ripley started out the season on a high note, but drivers like Jeff Burgess, Brian Treadwell and Adam Chadbourne also showed strength on Opening Day. The competition in the Modified division is intense and it’ll be exciting seeing how it all plays out over the course of the 2022 season.
You can catch the Modifieds again on Saturday, May 14th at 5:00 pm. Until then, join us for week #2 of Group 1 competition next Saturday, May 7th. Grandstands open at 4:00 pm and green flag drops at 5:00 pm. Grandstand admission is still just $5 for adults and FREE for kids 6 and under.
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See you soon!
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