WISCASSET — The 2022 Wiscasset Speedway race season is nearly half over and, as the temperatures warm heading into the middle weeks of the campaign, the action heats up and contenders start to find their stride as the championship points chase begins to come into focus.

That certainly was the case on Saturday, June 25 as race teams gathered on a hot, steamy night for a Group 2 program, with action in the Strictly Streets, Late Models, Outlaw Minis and Modifieds.

The show also featured the lone visit at the track on the schedule for the Senior Tour Auto Racers (STAR Tour).

Saturday proved to be a night for the veterans and championship-caliber drivers to shine. Each of the winners, past or defending champions in their divisions, grabbed second feature wins of 2022 and launched themselves into the title conversation.

The Portland Glass Strictly Streets had center stage with a 35-lap spotlight feature. Two-time champ Kurt Hewins of Turner took advantage of a front-row starting spot and made it count, as he turned in a dominant performance for the victory — his second of the season. Hewins withstood a couple of mid-race restarts, including a showdown restart against last year’s runner-up Jonathon Emerson. Each time he took less than a lap to take charge and claim the checkered flag. Emerson, who lost the Strictly title to Josh St. Clair on a tiebreaker, settled for second. They were joined in victory lane by Jason Gaboury of Augusta. The top five was filled by Jeremy Glasier of Appleton and defending champ St. Clair.

The Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman Division boasted a strong, talented 22-car field for their 40-lap feature. Frank Moulton of Clinton held the early lead while the division’s top drivers methodically picked through traffic. Several mid-race cautions, each for spins, bunched the field and give drivers such as St.Clair, Will Collins and Ryan Ripley a shot at a podium spot. St. Clair, who started the race in 18th, had the lead by lap 10, which showed a strong car that could run anywhere he put it on the track. Ripley gave chase, along with Moulton, and five-time champ Chris Thorne, who had raced from 22nd to fourth with just 10 laps to go.

While the veterans went at it for the top spot a couple of the division’s talented rookies, Daniel Harding and Jet Decker, hung around in the lead pack. The final lap kept fans on the edge of their seats as the reigning champ St. Clair grabbed his second win of the season and second in a row. Ripley chased him across the line just a car-length behind with a heated side-by-side battle for third. Moulton and Thorne tangled as they entered turn one on the final lap. Harding was there to take advantage and quickly jumped to grab third, with David Getchell hot on his heels.

Ripley suffered a three-position penalty in postrace tech inspection, which turned the second-place trophy to the 12-year-old Harding. The youngster from Fairfield has impressed fans and peers on the track. Getchell ended with the third-place trophy as Decker and Ripley rounded out the top five.

The 25-lap feature for the Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis went caution-free, which gave three-time champ Jimmy Childs of Leeds a chance to run to a sizable lead, while points leader Zach Audet picked his way up from the back of the field. Childs, who fought mechanical issues the past three races, maintained a solid 3.5-second advantage to his second win of the season, which drew him back into title contention with Audet. The reigning champ had to settle for the runner-up honors, while teammate Travis Pouliott of Benton took third.

The top-five positions were filled by Kyle Willette of Winslow and Bryan Robbins of Montville.

The 88.5FM Modifieds followed suit behind the Outlaw Minis as they also went caution-free with an action-packed, 30-lap feature. Fourteen cars took the green flag as Wayne Whitten Jr. and rookie Brandon Williams led the field to green.

Whitten held point through the first half of the race, but, as it turns out, he was holding the spot for the champ as Adam Chadbourne charged up the outside. Chadbourne, a three-time defending Modified champ, grabbed the lead and set sail for the checkers.

Not to be outdone, Nick Hinkley of Wiscasset, a multi-time Late Model & Pro stock champ, made his modified debut, as he drove Allan Moeller’s mod. Hinkley followed Chadbourne along the outside lane and straight to victory lane. Chadbourne took the win, his second of the season and second straight. Hinkley proved impressive in his debut with the runner-up finish.

They were nearly caught by veteran wheelman Jeff Burgess, who made a late-race run to nab the third-place trophy. Ryan Hayes of Jefferson was the top rookie in the race with a fourth-place finish, followed by Matty Sanborn of Bangor in fifth.

The Senior Tour Auto Racers (STAR Tour) also was on the schedule, as they made their one appearance of the season at the track. The vintage race group travels to tracks throughout New England to showcase cars that ran area tracks “back in the day.”

Bob Guyon, a veteran racer who ran in the early day of Wiscasset Speedway, grabbed the win in the Star Sportsman division 20-lapper, while Scott Tucker, who also runs with the Wicked Good Vintage Racers, took top honors in the Star Modified 20-lap feature.

The individual racing results were:

Portland Glass Strictly Streets (35 laps) – 1, Kurt Hewins, Turner; 2, Jonathan Emerson, Sabattus; 3, Jason Gaboury, Augusta; 4, Jeremy Glazier, Appleton; 5, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 6, Wade Kennedy, Sebago; 7, Caleb Emerson-Mains, Richmond; 8, Ethan Dinsmore, Hope; 9, Bouncer Knight, Dixfield; 10, Mac Hannan Jr., Washington; 11, Paul Lund, Buxton; 12, Ashton Burgess, Palmyra; 13, Chaz Briggs, Westbrook; 14, Landon Tapley, Washington; 15, Brady Romano, Livermore Falls; 16, Scott Eck, Lisbon; 17, Keith Drost, Etna; 18, James Osmond, Wiscasset; and 19, Andrew Glynn, Farmingdale.

Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Model Sportsman (40 laps) – 1, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 2, Daniel Harding, Fairfield; 3, Dave Getchell, Cornville; 4, Jet Decker, Chesterville; 5, Ryan Ripley, Thomaston; 6, Kris Matchett, Skowhegan; 7, Frank Moulton, Clinton; 8, Brent Roy, Vassalboro; 9, Connor Wenners, Edgecomb; 10, Chris Thorne, Sidney; 11, D.C. Alexander, Carmel; 12, Jonathan Emerson, Oxford; 13, Chris Burgess, Hartford; 14, Scott Hall, Jay; 15, Patrick Murphy, Woolwich; 16, Ryan Esancy, Appleton; 17, Alex Waltz, Walpole; 18, Ben Erskine, Skowhegan; 19, Will Collins, Waldoboro; 20, Ray Dinsmore, Limerick; 21, Dave St. Clair, Liberty; and 22, Dan Trask, Chelsea.

Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Mini (25 laps) – 1, Jimmy Childs, Leeds; 2, Zach Audet, Norridgewock; 3, Travis Poulliot, Benton; 4, Kyle Willette, Winslow; 5, Bryan Robbins, Montville; 6, Lewis Batchelder, Dixmont; 7, Tyler Dinsmore, Newcastle; 8, Ian Fraser, Belmont; 9, William Turner, Freedom; 10, Ryan Kenniston, Smithfield; and 11, Chris Watkins, Oakland.

88.5FM WHCF Modifieds (30 laps) – 1, Adam Chadbourne, Woolwich; 2, Nick Hinkley, Wiscasset; 3, Jeff Burgess, Fairfield; 4, Ryan Hayes, Jefferson; 5, Matt Sanborn, Bangor; 6, Brandon Williams, Durham; 7, Wayne Whitten Jr., Kennebunk; 8, Mike Brown, Hope; 9, Faith Cleaves, Pownal; 10, Scott Trask, Richmond; 11, Doug Phillips, Phillips; 12, Tyler Robbins, Montville; 13, Bobby Messimer, Woolwich; and 14, Ryan Ripley, Thomaston.

Ken Minott works at Wiscasset Speedway.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.