Those looking for stock car racing in Waldo County will have to travel a bit further to get their fix after news spread last week that Unity Raceway has closed for the remainder of the season due to financial reasons.

George Fernald Jr, who leased the track from Ralph and Nancy Nason the past five years, had to stop paying purse money to winning drivers earlier this month. The financial burden recently became too great and he was forced to close the track.

The last race where purses were paid was Aug. 4.

Fernald held one final race Aug. 18, slashing admission prices in an effort to save the season, but after a poor fan turnout and only 28 cars showing up to race in seven classes, the decision was made following that event to nix the rest of the season.

Many drivers who raced at Unity have made the move to Speedway 95 in Hermon, where the drivers still are paid purses.

Published reports estimated Unity Raceway losing more than $30,000 the past five years.

Despite Unity Raceway closing, the annual Long John Late Model race scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 14, is expected to be held at the track.

According to Ralph Nason, people have expressed interest in operating the track and the track could reopen this year or likely next season. He cited the tough economy as the determining factor in the closing of the track.

For Knox, Lincoln and Waldo county stock car drivers and race fans, the closing of Unity is another punch in the stomach as historic track Wiscasset Raceway has not operated for a few years, meaning there are no tracks remaining in those three counties.

Efforts to gather additional information for this story were unsuccessful.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.