WISCASSET — One of the hottest day of the year, thus far in coastal Maine, came on Saturday, May 14. However, drivers and teams also brought the heat to another place — namely, Wiscasset Speedway.

Sixty-nine competitors came prepared and ready for a full Group 2 racing program that included the first marquee event of the season — Mini Stock Mayhem.

Josh St. Clair of Liberty, Strictly Streets winner. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrop

The event, put on by Pete Sonnhalter and Shawn Kimball, was an unheard of (for the division) $2,000-to-win race with more than $11,000 in prize money going to the competitors at the conclusion of the night. Fourteen drivers came out for the event, including two out-of-state drivers. Michael Viens, a regular at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts, and Matt Sonnhalter, a driver out of Vermont, also joined the field in hopes to bring home the $2,000 prize.

To no surprise, Zach Audet (16.926 seconds) and Jimmy Childs (16.973 seconds) topped the charts in time trials. However, Travis Poulliot, who came out of retirement for the race in an Audet Racing-owned car, stayed right with the leaders in the qualifying heat. Childs, ultimately, won the heat race, but was forced to start the race from the end of the field due to a tire softener violation.

Ryan Ripley of Thomaston, Modified winner. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrop

Audet powered to the early lead over Poulliot and began to pull away early. Childs also was on the move, as he manuevered his way to third by lap 10. Childs made his way into the runner-up spot around the midpoint of the race, but fell off pace shortly after and shockingly retired to the pits. This left him seven laps down, even though he returned to the track and ran the quickest lap times of any competitor. Audet set a blistering pace throughout the feature, which left two cars, himself and teammate, Kyle Willette, on the lead lap with five laps to go. Audet held strong through the finish, to pick up the win and a healthy $2,000 check after astoundingly going caution-free for 75 laps. His teammates, Willette and Poulliot, rounded out the podium.

Nick Reno of West Bath, Late Model Sportsman winner. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrop

Calab Emerson-Mains set the pace early in the Portland Glass Strictly Streets, as he won his heat and took the lead in the early laps of the 25-lap feature. Kurt Hewins took control of the top spot on lap five, but a caution on lap 13 of the feature brought the field together — a field that included a hard-charging Josh St. Clair. St. Clair took control on the restart and never looked back, to pick up his second straight feature victory in the division. Hewins and Mac Hannan, Jr. rounded out the podium.

Last year’s 88.5FM WHCF Modified champion, Adam Chadbourne, showed promise early in the division, as he won the heat race and to take control of the field early in the 30-lap feature. Chadbourne continued to pace the field throughout the majority of the race, as he fended off Ryan Ripley and rookies Brandon Williams and Bobby Mesimer. A late-race caution, followed by a botched restart, completely changed everything as the top two rows were swapped with just three laps to go. It was a battle from there, as Mesimer and Ripley were neck-to-neck to the finish line. Ripley edged Mesimer at the line by a miniscule margin of victory — .009 seconds. Another rookie, Williams, in his second Modified start, rounded out the podium.

Zach Audet of Norridgewock, Mini Stock Mayhem winner. Photo courtesy of Amy Harrop

The night concluded with a 40-lap feature race from the Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman Division. Nick Reno survived the messy start and began to pace the field early. St. Clair moved through the field again, as he broke into the top three on lap 24. Shortly after, a caution came out, which brought the field together for a 15-lap shootout. As Reno, Frank Moulton and St. Clair battled for the top spot, rookie Jett Decker waited in the wings. He saw an opportunity on lap 34 and took advantage, as he blasted by the three leaders on the outside to take over the top spot in one swift maneuver. Decker continued to hold off his hard-charging competitors for the remainder of the race to pick up his first career victory in the division. St. Clair and Will Collins rounded out the top three.

The individual results from May 14 racing included:

Mini Stock Mayhem (75 laps) – 1, Zach Audet, Norridgewock; 2, Kyle Willette, Winslow; 3, Travis Poulliot, Benton; 4, Nick Anderson, Oxford; 5, Lewis Batchelder, Dixmont; 6, Bryan Robbins, Montville; 7, Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 8, William Turner, Freedom; 9, Matt Glidden, Sidney; 10, Wes Turner, Freedom; 11, Michael Viens, Seekonk, Mass.; 12, Matthew Sonnhalter, White River Junction, Vt.; 13, Tyler Densmore, Newcastle; 14, Shane Smith, Augusta.

Portland Glass Strictly Streets (25 laps) – 1, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 2, Kurt Hewins, Turner; 3, Mac Hannan Jr., Washington; 4, Chaz Briggs, Westbrook; 5, Caleb Emerson-Mains, Richmond; 6, Chad Wills, Oxford; 7, Keith Drost, Etna; 8, Jeremy Glazier, Appleton; 9, Zach Emerson, Sabattus; 10, Mike Haynes, Livermore Falls; 11, Wade Kennedy, Sebago; 12, Jason Gaboury, Augusta; 13, Brady Romano, Livermore Falls; 14, William McCullough, Kenduskeag; 15, Ashton Burgess, Palmyra; 16, Scott Wiggin, Somersworth, N.H.; 17, Landon Tapley, Washington; 18, Scott Eck, Lisbon; and 19, Paul Lund, Buxton.

88.5FM WHCF Modifieds (30 laps) – 1, Ryan Ripley, Thomaston; 2, Bobby Messimer, Woolwich; 3, Brandon Williams, Durham; 4, Adam Chadbourne, Woolwich; 5, Brian Treadwell, Hancock; 6, Tyler Robbins, Montville; 7, Faith Cleaves, Pownal; 8, Wayne Whitten, Kennebunk; 9, Ryan Hayes, Jefferson; 10, Allan Moeller Sr., Dresden; and 11, Doug Phillips, Phillips.

Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman (40 laps) – 1, Jett Decker, Chesterville; 2, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 3, Will Collins, Waldoboro; 4, Nick Reno, West Bath; 5, Frank Moulton, Clinton; 6, Brent Roy, Vassalboro; 7, Brandon Fowler, Rome; 8, Shane Clark, Winterport; 9, Dave Getchell, Cornville; 10, Ben Erskine, Skowhegan; 11, Kris Matchett, Skowhegan; 12, Jonathon Emerson, Oxford; 13, Alex Waltz, Walpole; 14, James Doucette, Skowhegan; 15, Ryan Esancy, Appleton; 16, Chris Burgess, Hartford; 17, Ray Dinsmore, Limerick; 18, Charlie Colby, Newcastle; 19, Scott Hall, Jay; 20, Ben Ashline, Fairfield; 21, Ryan Ripley, Thomaston; 22, Dan Trask, Chelsea; 23, Daniel Harding, Fairfield; and 24, Patrick Murphy, Woolwich.

Amy Harrop works for Wiscasset Speedway.