McKeage Scores First Career Pro Stock Win At Wiscasset On Busy Fan Appreciation Night

 Fan Appreciation Night is always a special time at Wiscasset Speedway. Fans young and old get to mingle with the drivers they cheer for, and kids get to race their bikes on the same track their heroes race on. Saturday, July 1st had an extra level of anticipation as Group 1 divisions finally returned after three consecutive rained-out events.

Written By: Ken Minott
Many had not turned competitive laps on Maine’s fastest track since early May. Along with an on-track driver meet & greet and kids’ bike races prior to the racing action, fans were treated to a fireworks show to end the program. In between, there was a full card of action including double features in the Prostock & Thunder 4 Mini classes, regular racing for the Super Streets and 4-Cylinder Pro’s, plus an invitational race for the Star Speedway Slingshots.
     The Norms Used Cars Pro Stocks kicked off the evening with a 40-lap tilt. 17 cars took to the track led by heat winner David Getchell. The action was fast and furious all over the track. Third-generation racer Dan McKeage Jr worked his way to the front and pulled out to a comfortable lead of nearly a full straightaway, while the division’s top drivers steadily worked their way up from the back of the pack. As the laps wound down, former champ Josh St Clair broke free and steadily started closing in on the leader. The two raced side-by-side for the final two laps with the excited crowd cheering them on as they worked the lap traffic. The young driver from Gorham, with his twin brother in his ear as his spotter helping to guide him, withstood the challenge of St Clair and nailed down the win, with a margin of victory of just 2-tenths of a second. Reigning pro stock champ Kevin Douglass showed an exercise in patience and persistence, starting 13th and getting shuffled to the back of the pack twice and finally picking his way to a 3rd place finish. 2-time champ Nick Hinkley of Wiscasset finished 4th, followed by Hall of Fame driver Kelly Moore of Scarborough.
     In other action, the Sweatt’s Concrete Thunder 4 Mini class rolled out 20 cars for an exciting 25-lap race. Veteran racer David Cook of Jay made his season debut a good one, storming to the front early and running away with the victory ahead of Norridgewock’s Zach Audet and Ricky Austin. For Austin, it was his first podium finish of the year as well. The best side-by-side race of the night came in the 30-lap feature for the Gosline Insurance Super Streets. Defending champ Brett Osmond of Wiscasset and Kevin Sherman of Woolwich went toe-to-toe and wheel-to-wheel for the first 20 laps with Osmond finally driving around Sherman to secure the lead. He made it count, picking up his first victory of 2023. Sherman settled for a hard-fought 2nd place trophy. They were joined in victory lane by Josh St Clair of Liberty, coming off his runner-up finish in the Pro Stock feature. It was a rough night for the Brackett’s Market 4-Cylinder Pro division. Six of the seven competitors were involved in a handful of cautions at one time or another. When the dust settled, Jack McKee of Dixmont secured his first career win. Ben Burgess of Hartford finished second, followed by Reed Reno of West Bath. The flex race on the program was for the Star Speedway Slingshots, who had an off-night from their home track. Veteran Brian Caswell of Buxton led the charge, winning the 15 lap feature over Justin Galloux of Waterboro and Brad Weisman of Saco.
     Due to the previously rained-out programs through the month of June, fans and drivers were treated to bonus racing with extra features in the Pro Stocks and Thunder 4 Minis. Fayette’s Logan Melcher showed why he’s a fan favorite, celebrating enthusiastically in victory lane after holding off Josh St Clair to secure his first win of the season in the Norms Used Car Pro Stocks. St Clair once again made the winner earn his victory, storming up from 16th to finish with runner-up honors, and picking up his third trophy of the night. Kelly Moore was emotional in victory lane as he accepted his 3rd place trophy and celebrated with his crew member Seth Holbrook and his family. The final race of the night was for the Sweatt’s Concrete Thunder 4 Minis. Defending champ Shane Webber of New Vinyard withstood several challengers and raced to his first win of the season. Behind him, a swarm of competitors battled for the remaining spots in victory lane. Webber’s teammate Micky Landry Jr secured the runner-up honors followed by Zach Audet.
     Wiscasset Speedway returns to action on Saturday, July 8th with Group 2 in action, plus the return of the tour mods of the Modified Racing Series and the “Nor-easter 75”, presented by Whited Equipment of Auburn. The pit gate will open at 12 noon, the grandstand gate at 3:30p and the racing action kicks off at 5:00p. For more information, go to Wiscasset Speedway is located at 274 West Alna Rd in Wiscasset.
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