The Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman division returned to Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday for the Group 2 season opener. The division featured a healthy field of 20 cars, including rookie drivers Jonathon Emerson, a former Strictly Street standout and Daniel Harding, a talented 12-year-old that also races in the Brackett’s Market 4-Cylinder Pro division.

In addition to Harding, Nick Reno and Josh St. Clair are two other drivers that are pulling double duty between the Group 1 and Group 2 divisions at the track this season.

The Late Model competition kicked off with three 10-lap qualifying heat races. Jett Decker, who is racing his first full-time season in the division, took off with the early lead in the first heat. David Getchell was also on the move early, clearing Alex Waltz for second on lap 3 as Will Collins followed in succession.

Will Collins made his way to David Getchell’s inside door on lap 5, overtaking Getchell for the runner-up spot. Jett Decker was able to hold off Will Collins to the finish line, picking up his first career Late Model heat victory. David Getchell rounded out the top 3.

There was a 3-way battle for the early lead in the second qualifying heat, with Frank Moulton eventually pulling away with a slight advantage over his competitors. Brandon Fowler and Nick Reno put on a spirited battle for the runner-up spot in the early laps of the race, but Fowler was able to break free of Reno on lap 5 to secure the position.

Brandon Fowler continued his pursuit in the closing laps of the heat as he tried to maneuver around Frank Moulton for the lead on the final lap of the heat. Fowler was unable to make it stick, allowing Moulton to capture the heat victory as Nick Reno rounded out the podium.

Charlie Colby powered to the early lead over Brent Roy in the third and final heat as Shane Clark trailed closely behind. Clark, hungry for more, dove to Colby’s inside door on lap 6, challenging for the top spot. He quickly took over the position as Josh St. Clair followed in succession.

Shane Clark held off Josh St. Clair in the closing laps of the heat, picking up the victory. Charlie Colby rounded out the top three.

Once again, Jett Decker took off with the early lead in the 40-lap feature race. Shane Clark was riding his coattails from the get-go, stealing the lead away from Decker on lap 8. Colton Chubbuck faced trouble early, taking a spin on the back stretch on lap 9. This resulted in an early caution.

Shane Clark maintained his advantage on the restart as Josh St. Clair and Will Collins overtook Jett Decker for second and third. Brandon Fowler was all over Will Collins back bumper on lap 17, hungry for a spot on the podium. Patrick Murphy went for a spin on lap 18 in turn 4, leading to a mid-race caution.

Josh St. Clair briefly went door-to-door with Shane Clark on the restart before filing back in behind him for the runner-up spot. Trouble was brewing for young Daniel Harding, who had a single car spin on lap 25 in turn 4. This brought the field back together for one final restart.

Shane Clark held strong on the restart, pulling away from Josh St. Clair once again. Clark maintained his advantage through the conclusion of the race, picking up his first feature victory in 4 seasons. Will Collins, Brandon Fowler and Jett Decker rounded out the top five.

The feature victory, which is his fourth career win in the division, brings momentum to Shane Clark and the #21 team as they approach the Coastal 200 at the end of this month. Clark’s best finish in the big race was third, which also occurred in 2018. Will he improve on that finish in 2022? Stay tuned to find out!

You can catch Shane Clark and the Group 2 divisions again on Saturday, May 14th. Until then, join us for week #2 of the Group 1 divisions this Saturday, May 7th. Grandstands open at 4:00 pm and racing will commence at 5:00 pm. As always, adult admission is just $5 and kids 6 and under get in for FREE.

Please remember to support your local short tracks!

See you next time!

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