Memorial Day weekend is home to one of the biggest Late Model racing events in New England: The Coastal 200. This year, Wiscasset Speedway decided to up the ante and make the race bigger and better than ever before, hosting an action-packed 3-day weekend which would include an infield kickoff party featuring the Motor Booty Affair, charitable car show and cornhole tournament benefiting the Special Olympics and the $15,000 to win Coastal 200 to round out the 3-day affair. 

Over 3,300 fans and 36 Late Model drivers flocked to the track on Sunday for the Coastal 200, which was presented by Coldbrook Trailer & Equipment, GT Overhead Door and CLH & Son, Inc. The program also included the Portland Glass Strictly Streets, T&L Automotive Modifieds and the visiting NELCAR Legends.

Dan Jr. & the Naughty 40 crew celebrate their big win.

Sophomore driver Ashton Burgess finished second in his qualifying heat and took off with the early advantage in the 35-lap Strictly Street feature. He remained steadfast and confident, maintaining his lead throughout numerous early-race cautions. Meanwhile, division standout Dan McKeage, Jr. was quickly maneuvering through the field, clearing Josh St. Clair for the runner-up spot on lap 15. Five laps later, a mid-race caution brought the leaders together and McKeage seized the opportunity, taking over the top spot. He sailed into the victory, his first of the season, as Ashton Burgess and Jordan Pearson rounded out the podium. Each of the top 10 finishers in this race also took home an additional $100 in prize money courtesy of Gray Earthworks.

Race results from this division remain unofficial due to tire testing to be completed at a later date.

Annemarie Weymouth joined the top 3 in Victory Lane.

Josh Parsons led the early laps of the 25-lap NELCAR Legends feature, an event that paid honor to the late Bob Weymouth. He maintained command until lap 7, where a mid-pack entanglement resulted in a caution. Jase Mongeon took over on the restart and although the leaders fought heavy lap traffic in the closing laps of the race, Mongeon held onto it, picking up the victory. Josh Parsons and Reagan Parent rounded out the top 3.

Adam Chadbourne scored yet another Modified victory.

Ryan Ripley was seemingly the one to beat in the extended 50-lap Modified feature as he won the heat race and dominated the early portion of the feature. His momentum came to a startling halt on lap 18 as he cut down a tire, forcing him to retire to the pits. Adam Chadbourne took command from there and never looked back, picking up another feature victory in the division. Chuck Colby followed, earning a $400 bonus after electing to take the “back to the front” challenge (presented by Kennebec Equipment Rental) and finishing second. Reed Reno completed the podium, scoring a hard-fought 3rd place finish. 

Defending race winner Mike Hopkins topped the leaderboard in two practice sessions for the Coastal 200 while Nick Hinkley secured the top spot in the other. Although both drivers showcased their strength in practice, neither scored a heat win. These victories went to Ben Ashline, Johnny Clark, Travis Stearns and Josh St. Clair, putting 3-time race winner Ashline on the pole for the main event. 

Tiger Colby and DC Alexander earned their starting spots for the big dance through a last chance 15-lap qualifier while Frank Moulton and Bryan Lancaster were given provisionals for the event.

3,300+ fans packed the stands on Sunday and 28 drivers made the final Coastal 200 field.

Ben Ashline led the field to green and took off with a sizable lead. Meanwhile, defending race winner Mike Hopkins was quickly maneuvering through the field after starting back in 15th, cracking the top 5 on lap 31. While battling for position, Hopkins tangled with Shane Clark on lap 62, an incident that resulted in a caution. Both drivers were forced to restart from the tail-end of the field.

Multiple mid-race cautions followed, including one for a Ben Rowe spin on lap 103. This caution changed the trajectory of the race as most of the leaders took to the pits while Mike Hopkins, who pitted early-on in the race, stayed out. Brandon Bailey and TJ Watson tangled on the restart, making way for Hopkins, who quickly took over the race lead as Ben Ashline lingered closely behind.

As the laps wound down, the #15 machine seemingly grew stronger and stronger. The leaders successfully navigated through lap traffic in the closing half of the race, leaving just 4 cars on the lead lap with 50 laps to go.

Mike Hopkins was joined by friends and family following his big win.

Hopkins maintained command through a handful of late-race cautions, securing his second straight Coastal 200 victory and the $15,000 grand prize. He happily drove off into the sunset following the big win, doing a backwards victory lap as he waved to the crowd. Hopkins was later greeted by a large group of family and friends in Victory Lane, who joined him in celebrating his success. Ben Ashline and Chris Burgess followed, rounding out the podium. 

Mike Hopkins continues to impress in the marquee events at Wiscasset Speedway, proving that he has what it takes to get it done at Maine’s biggest and fastest race track. He hopes to keep the winning streak going and reclaim his throne in the Boss Hogg 150 on Labor Day weekend. 

Until then, you can catch more Group 1 racing action this coming Saturday, June 1st at Wiscasset Speedway. Grandstand admission is just $5 for adults and free for kids 6 & under.

See you there!

Thank you to Jasen Dickey Photography for the featured photos this week – check out his great work here!