WISCASSET — It may be hard to believe, but the 2022 race season is coming to a close at Wiscasset Speedway.

The Group 1 divisions kicked off the season’s sendoff as they crowned their newest champions on Saturday night, Sept. 24.

The action-packed program kicked off with a 25-lap feature from the Sweatt’s Concrete Thunder 4 Minis. Ricky Austin took early command of the race, but two consecutive cautions on laps five and seven brought the field together and pulled multi-time champion Zach Audet back into the picture. Audet had made his way into the top three by the halfway point of the race, but was hungry for more, as he made his way to the leaders’ door on lap 13 before he promptly took over the top spot. Audet took off from there, as he extended his lead to a full straightaway by lap 20. He continued to lead the charge to pick up his sixth win of the season in the division. Bruce Hall, Jr. and Jeff Farrington rounded out the top three.

Shane Webber, Wiscasset Speedway’s July driver of the month, finished outside of the top three, but was still able to maintain the points lead and pick up the championship in the division.

Kevin Douglass secured the championship in the Norm’s Used Cars Pro Stocks two weeks ago, but continued his dominance on Saturday as he won the heat race and led every lap of the feature. Douglass celebrated his six wins in victory lane with his friends and family, while Josh St. Clair and Logan Melcher (runner-up in the points) rounded out the top three.

Andy Kaherl took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Brackett’s Market 4-Cylinder Pro feature as rookie Reed Reno closely trailed closely. There was a two-car breakaway for the first half of the race, but Sylas Ripley closed the gap on lap 18, as he broke into the top three before moving onto Reed Reno for the runner-up spot. The two drivers made contact on lap 22, which resulted in Reno taking a spin in turn 1. This led to a late-race caution and brought the field together one final time. Ripley cleared Andy Kaherl for the top spot on the final lap and pulled away as Daniel Harding made his way to Kaherl’s door to challenge for second. Once Ripley secured the win, it was a dogfight for the runner-up spot between Kaherl and Harding. Harding crossed the finish line with a .003-second advantage over Kaherl to secure a second-place finish, but, more importantly, scored the division championship.

At 12 years old, Harding has cemented his rightful spot as Wiscasset Speedway’s youngest division champion in track history. He has a bright future ahead of him as he plans to compete in the Late Model and Pro Stock divisions in 2023, to grow and learn along the way.

The night concluded with the non-points $1,500-to-win Super Street 100, which featured the Market 27 Super Streets. Matt Beers won the second heat race and continued to impress in the feature, as he pulled away with the early lead over 2022 division champion Brett Osmond. Osmond laid back for the first 10 laps of the race before he pulled the trigger on lap 11, as he pulled to Matt Beers’ door to challenge for the top spot. After a few bold crossover moves, Osmond took over the lead on lap 15. Osmond continued to lead the charge as Kenny Harrison ascended through the field to break into the top three on lap 35. Harrison continued his momentum for the next handful of laps, to steal the runner-up spot from Beers on lap 51. A midrace pile-up brought the field together on lap 56, but Osmond held strong as he pulled away from Harrison.

The leaders began to navigate heavy lap traffic with five laps to go, but Osmond held his focus to fend off Harrison for the win. Bubba Pelton rounded out the top three and also took home an extra $100 in winnings thanks to Sue and Dan Walker, who gifted the prize money to the highest finisher (after technical inspection) in the race who also competed in last year’s 100-lap Beech Ridge/Wiscasset Super Street races.

Osmond ended the 2022 season on a high note, as he followed in his dad James’ footsteps as he picked up the division championship, rookie-of-the-year honors and the most significant win of the season in the Super Streets. This definitely gives Osmond momentum going into the 2023 season, where he also plans to compete in the Late Model Division.

The individual results from Sept. 24 racing included:

Ward & Sons Construction 100 (100 laps) — 1, Brett Osmond, Wiscasset; 2, Kenny Harrison, Durham; 3, Richard Pelton, Scarborough; 4, P.J. Merrill, Canton; 5, Adam Chadbourne, Woolwich; 6, Jason Oakes, Boothbay; 7, Bill Pinkham, Wiscasset; 8, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 9, Mike Wallace, Wiscasset; 10, Mike St. Pierre, Buxton; 11, James Osmond, Wiscasset; 12, Mark Lucas, Harpswell; 13, Noah Haggett, Chelsea; 14, Dominic Curit, Saco; 15, David Greenleaf, Westport; 16, Nicole Benincasa, Buxton; 17, Nick Morton, Woolwich; 18, Darren Ripley, Warren; 19, Maurice Young, Chelsea; 20, Jon Brill, Turner; and 21, Matt Beers, Farmingdale.

Sweatt’s Concrete Thunder 4 Mini (25 laps) — 1, Zach Audet, Norridgewock; 2, Bruce Hall Jr., Chesterville; 3, Jeff Farrington, Alna; 4, Gunner Josselyn, New Vinyard; 5, David Cook, Jay; 6, Ricky Austin, Norridgewock; 7, Shane Webber, New Vinyard; 8, Derek Cook, Livermore Falls; 9, Cody Hodge, Orleans, Vt.; 10, Brandon Lizotte, Alfred; 11, Kyle Willette, Winslow; 12, Butch Keene, Turner; 13, John Anderson, Bristol; 14, Wyatt DiPietro, Rome; 15, Randy DiPietro, Rome; 16, Hunter Dodge, Alfred; 17, Austin Dodge, Freeport; 18, Ches Williams, Hope; 19, Adreonna Dodge, Freeport; and 20, Carter Fillebrown, Auburn.

Norm’s Used Cars Pro Stocks (40 laps) — 1, Kevin Douglass, Sidney; 2, Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 3, Logan Melcher, Fayette; 4, Scott Chubbuck, Bowdoin; 5, Ryan Ripley, Thomaston; 6, Steven Chicoine, Windsor; 7, Dave Getchell, Cornville; 8, Joe Decker, Chesterville; 9, Nick Calvert, Steep Falls; 10, Miller Buzzell, East Baldwin; and 11, Shane Lane, North Anson.

Brackett’s Market 4-Cylinder Pro (10 laps) — 1, Sylas Ripley, Warren; 2, Daniel Harding, Fairfield; 3, Andy Kaherl, Saco; 4, Josh Hall, Mount Vernon; 5, Ben Burgess, Hartford; 6, Reed Reno, West Bath; 7, Jack McKee, Dixmont; 8, Taylor Lane, Phillips; and 9, Jacobe Thacker, Winthrop.

Amy Worrey works for Wiscasset Speedway.