As the 2022 season rolls on, the Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model division continues to grow at Wiscasset Speedway. The division housed the biggest field on Saturday night with 24 drivers joining the competition.
The Late Model action kicked off with three 10-lap heat races. Patrick Murphy held onto the early advantage in the first heat, but both Alex Waltz and Ray Dinsmore were on his heels. The two drivers ignited a battle for the runner-up spot, with Dinsmore pulling away on lap 6.
Alex Waltz made his way back to Ray Dinsmore’s outside door on the final lap, but Frank Moulton was there as well. Moulton overtook Alex Waltz for third in the closing seconds of the race, crossing the finish line behind Patrick Murphy and Ray Dinsmore.
Chris Burgess and Brent Roy went toe to toe for the early lead in the second qualifying heat. Burgess won the battle on lap 2, bringing “Boss Hogg” Dave St. Clair in tow with him.
Dave St. Clair made his way to Burgess’ outside door on lap 4, promptly taking over the lead. St. Clair maintained his advantage throughout the remainder of the heat, picking up the victory as Chris Burgess and Will Collins rounded out the top 3.
Chris Thorne pulled to the early lead over Matt Bourgoine in the third and final qualifying heat. Daniel Harding, fresh off of his first podium finish in the division, was black flagged and forced to the pits on lap 5 for leaking fuel.
There was a 3-way battle for third in the closing laps of the heat, with Josh St. Clair coming out on top over DC Alexander and Dave Getchell.
Ultimately, it was Chris Thorne who scored the heat victory as Matt Bourgoine and Josh St. Clair rounded out the podium.
Ray Dinsmore held onto the early lead in the 40-lap feature race before falling victim to Frank Moulton and Jonathon Emerson on lap 3. Trouble was brewing behind the leaders early as Joey Peaslee took a spin on lap 6, resulting in a caution.
Frank Moulton pulled ahead on the restart as Dave St. Clair began to make waves behind him, overtaking Ray Dinsmore for third on lap 12. St. Clair continued his pursuit in the coming laps, clearing Jonathon Emerson for third on lap 15. Troubles continued for Joey Peaslee as he went around again on lap 15, resulting in a mid-race caution.
Frank Moulton took off on the restart as Jonathon Emerson got bent out of shape, ultimately resulting in Emerson dropping through the field. Dave St. Clair still wasn’t done with his mission as he dove to Frank Moulton’s inside door on lap 20, quickly overtaking the lead as Will Collins followed.
After a solid performance all day, Patrick Murphy took a spin on lap 28, resulting in a late race caution. The incident was followed by another yellow flag as Ray Dinsmore spun in turn 1 following the restart.
Will Collins powered ahead on the restart as Dave St. Clair got bent out of shape, falling back to fifth. Meanwhile, his grandson, Josh St. Clair, had stealthily been climbing through the field after starting outside of the top 20. Josh St. Clair overtook Matt Bourgoine for the runner-up spot on lap 25 and immediately set his eyes on Will Collins at the front of the pack.
Scottie Hall took a spin on lap 38, ultimately backing into the turn 1 wall. This resulted in a late race caution with just two laps to go.
Will Collins and Josh St. Clair were deadlocked on the restart and remained door to door until the very last lap. St. Clair pulled ahead in turn 1 on the final lap and maintained his advantage, picking up his third consecutive win in the division and his tenth overall among all divisions this season.
Will Collins, Matt Bourgoine, Chris Thorne and Dave St. Clair rounded out the top five. Will Collins was initially penalized 3 positions following post-race technical inspection due to a left side weight infraction. The severity of the penalty increased due to a team conduct infraction following the race, resulting in Collins being scored in last place.
Josh St. Clair found his way to Victory Lane yet again on Saturday night, but drivers like Will Collins, Chris Thorne and “Boss Hogg” Dave St. Clair continue to be intense weekly competitors in the division. Who will be next to top the leaderboard? Stay tuned to find out!
You can catch the Late Models again on Saturday, July 23rd. Until then, you can catch the Group #1 racing action next Saturday, July 16th. Grandstands open at 4:00 pm and green flag flies at 5:00 pm. As always, grandstand admission is just $5 for adults and free for kids 6 & under.
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See you next time!
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