Wiscasset Speedway back on fast trackBurgess notches important opening day win
Wiscasset — A hardy crowd of racing-starved fans huddled into a blustery Wiscasset Speedway Saturday, April 6 for the start of the 2013 Maine stock car racing season.
This was a new chapter in the history of the state's fastest track. The coastal speed plant has been relatively silent for nearly three years.
On Saturday, however, it roared to life as new track owners Richard and Vanessa Jordan of Kingfield unveiled the results of their off-season work, and kick started the revival of racing action.
Jeff Burgess of East Madison did not have a large group of cars chasing him in the 30-lap Pro Stock feature. It probably did not matter to the veteran racer because this was one win that he was not about to let slip through his hands.
On this day his late father, Butch, who built his legendary resume with wins from Wiscasset, was to be inducted into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame. Burgess honored him in perhaps the best way he could — by winning at the same track his father had won at so many times before.
Burgess used the first half of the race to gradually pull away from Bill Penfold of Yarmouth, and cruised from there to the win. It was not his first Wiscasset win, his most difficult win, or the biggest win of his long career. However, there was no doubt it was one of the most important. Penfold finished second by nearly a full straightaway and John Rideout of Washington was third.
In the 35-lap Super Stock feature, former champ Adam Chadbourne of Woolwich led wire to wire for the opening day win. James Osmond of Wiscasset pressured the leader through much of the race, but settled for second. Although he fought handling problems much of the race, Josh Bailey managed to turn in a third-place finish.
Opening day marked the regular-season debut of the New England 4-cylinder Pro Stocks (formerly Allison Legacy cars) at Wiscasset. James Logan of Dighton, Mass. looked unbeatable in the early going, but dropped out with engine problems five laps into the race.
From there Brad Zahensky of Bow, N.H. took charge and led the rest of the way for the win. Kevin Sherman of Wiscasset rebounded from a late-race spin out on turn four to secure the second-place finish. Following him was Adam Polvinan, who also had raced his way to a podium finish, following a mid-race spin.
Jamie Heath of Waterford led from green-to-checkers in the 15-lap Thunder 4 feature. He was chased across the line by Mike Dulaney of Richmond and Leandra Martin of Richmond.
The Amsoil Nelcar Legends kicked off their 20th season at Wiscasset Speedway and rolled out the largest field of cars on the program. Former champ Shawn Buffington of Plainfield, Conn. quickly disposed of his closest competition and methodically picked his way through lap traffic to take the caution free 25-lap feature. Defending Nelcar champ Matthew Bourgoin of Newport had a strong showing, as well, but was nearly a full straightaway behind the leader on his way to the second-place finish.
The best race of the day may have been the sprint for third. Veteran Bob Weymouth moved up from his seventh starting position and waged a stellar battle with Ryan Hammar and Alan Smith to claim the third-place trophy.
Wiscasset Speedway returns to action on Saturday, April 13 with the Group Two lineup of divisions: Late Model Sportsman, Strictly Streets, Outlaw Minis, Mini Trucks and the Flex race of the week is a 10-lap backwards race.
Pit gates open at 8 a.m. and grandstand gates at 11 a.m., with racing action at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and children ages 7 and older. Children ages 6 and younger are free.
For more information, check the Wiscasset Speedway website at wiscassetspeedway.com.
The individual results from April 6 racing were:
Pro Stock (30 laps) — 1, Jeff Burgess, Oakland; 2, Bill Penfold, Yarmouth; 3, John Rideout, Washington; and 4, Corey Walker, New Vinyard.
Super Stocks (35 laps) — 1, Adam Chadbourne, Woolwich; 2, James Osmond, Wiscasset; 3, Josh Bailey, Wiscasset; 4, Dan Nesmith, Wiscasset; 5, Corey Morgan; 6, Bobby Mesimer, Wiscasset; and 7, Chuck Baldwin, Lowell, Mass.
Thunder 4s (15 laps) — 1, Jamie Heath, Waterford; 2, Mike Dulaney, Richmond; 3, Leandra Martin, Richmond; 4, Kevin Sherman, Wiscasset; and 5, Jason Stanley, New Sharon.
New England 4-cylinder Pro Stocks (20 laps) — 1, Brad Zahensky, Bow, N.H.; 2, Kevin Sherman, Wiscasset; 3, Adam Polvinan; 4, Mike Swett, Farmingdale; 5, Travis Dunbar, Lisbon; 6, Dave Patten, Westbrook; 7, Jeff Prindall, Lisbon Falls; 8, Bob Patten, Westbrook; and 9, James Logan, Dighton, Mass.
Nelcar Legends (25 laps) — 1, Shawn Buffington, Plainfield, Conn.; 2, Matthew Bourgoine, Newport; 3, Bob Weymouth, Topsham; 4, Ryan Hammar, Pembroke, N.H.; 5, Alan Smith, Lincoln; 6, Terry Kirk, Durham; 7, John Peters, Westbrook; 8, Matt Grant, Windham; 9, Ed Getty, Gray; 10, Taylor Martin, Windham; 11, Matt Chagnot, Derry, N.H.; 12, Trevor Bleau, Troy, N.H.; 13, Dan Winter, Windham, N.H.; 14, Anthony Pagliarulo, Groveland, Mass.; 15, Wyatt Alexander, Ellsworth; 16, Scott Ferland, Auburn; 17, Pete Cannell, South Berwick; 18, Steve Johnson, Conway, N.H.; 19, Luke Hiebert, Bethel; 20, Nate Tribbet, Richmond; and 21, Maggie Ferland, Auburn.
Lisa Maguire writes for Wiscasset Speedway.
Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at email@example.com.