Mo' Mo

Like Tommy Ricker before him at Oxford Plains, the short-track world needs more racers like Maurice "Mo" Young.

Young has 5 Wiscasset Raceway championships -- 4 Strictly Streets, the division he races in now, 1 Late Model -- and is well on his way to a track-record 6th this season. The racer out of Chelsea owned a huge 146-point cushion over Ed Pierpont entering the weekend, with only 7 races remaining.
Heard in the pit area earlier tonight that Young had aspirations of getting in a Late Model for 2008. Young said the best he would do would be a Super Street next season.
"I'm racing what I can afford to race, and having fun doing it," Young said.
What? No Busch car for Mo?
"Got your checkbook?" he asked.
By the way, Young went out and led every lap of Saturday's 75-lap feature, nearly lapping the entire field at one point.

Clark feels right at home

The Pro Stocks returned to Wiscasset Raceway, and Johnny Clark returned to victory lane.

Clark won the 50-lap Pro Stock feature at the track Saturday night, welcoming August with a victory and ushering out a crash-riddled July. Clark wrecked out of PASS North Series races at Thompson International Speedway and Riverside Speedway (Canada) before finishing a career-worst 4th at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, N.H., in a car he'd just finished rebuilding.

With his dad's Clark's Car Crushing business sponsoring the Pro Stocks' return to Wiscasset after a 3-year hiatus, it was somewhat fitting that Clark won. It was also fitting that Clark, one of the most vocal supporters of the division, found victory lane in the return.

"It's Wiscasset. It's where I started," Clark said, whose rise to prominence came when he won the Coastal 150 back in 1997. "It's my home track and I love this place. It was a lot of fun to come here and win."

Clark won in front of the biggest crowd Wiscasset Raceway has seen this season -- despite the thunderstorms that surrounded the area earlier in the day -- and bigger than any in the last few years.

"Coming off of turn 4," said heat race winner Jeff Burgess, "I looked up, and the place looked like it was pretty busy. It was good to see racing and the crowd back at Wiscasset."


Pro Stock feature (50 laps) -- 1. Johnny Clark, Farmingdale; 2. Sam Sessions, South Paris; 3. Scott Chubbuck, Brunswick; 4. Trevor Sanborn, Parsonsfield; 5. Bill Penfold, Yarmouth.


When it comes to short track racing, I've only got 3 gripes.

OK, I've got more than 3 typically, but, for tonight, I've got 3 aces. Let's call 'em my Nextel Cup-sized gripes. And Wiscasset Raceway has committed them all -- too many divisions, too long an intermission and no scoreboard.

In fairness, track owner Doug White knows about my scoreboard issues. When I met him minutes after he bought the track in June, I told him not having a scoreboard with a lap counter was akin to a basketball court not having a clock. It doesn't make any sense. You wouldn't watch a basketball game without a clock and scoring tally, would you?

And I know White is in the process of overhauling the facility and its operations, but 8 features in one night -- across 7 divisions -- is ludicrous. Every study in the universe shows that a program in the neighborhood of 3 hours is the big winner. Almost 3 hours after Saturday's scheduled start, the 1st feature of the night was just hitting the track -- with a 50-lapper and a 75-lapper still to come.

And one of the reasons the Teen division was taking the green flag at 7:45 p.m. on this night was because there was an intermission that lasted nearly 30 minutes. That's bike giveaways for kids. sponsor readings and recaps of what's to come tonight. News flash -- the people are already here. You don't have to pitch them on what's about to happen. That's why they bought the tickets to begin with.


And, for the record, the 1st Pro Stock race wins in 3 years at Wiscasset went to teenager Trevor Sanborn of Parsonsfield and former Unity Raceway champion Jeff Burgess of Fairfield. Each won a 15-lap heat race.

There are 18 Pro Stocks here, including Mike Rowe, who won the 1st Pro Stock championship here after Dave St. Clair opened the place in 1991. Incidentally, Charlie Colby is also in the field tonight. Colby is the most recent Pro Stock champion at the facility, having been credited with the title in 2004 -- a season shortened by weak car counts.

Welcome to soggy Wiscasset Raceway

See that, after days and days of 80s and sunshine, I come back from vacation to torrential downpours.

This stuff only happens to me.

Heavy downpours pelted Wiscasset Raceway around 4 p.m. this afternoon, and an assortment of Mini Stocks, Strictly Streets and Super Streets are out on the track now turning laps to dry the racing surface.

Not for nothing, but those rain showers didn't exactly cool things off. In fact, it's kind of like sitting in a sauna. With the New England Patriots' entire offensive line. After a football practice on a 100-degree morning. While we're being force-fed steaming crocks of clam chowder.
Of course, there's Wiscasset's own "Trackside" show being taped now over turn 2, and there are plenty of cars in the parking lot and fannies filing into the grandstands.

And, not to be forgotten, one unofficial count had it at 20 Pro Stocks in the pit area for the division's 50-lap feature in its return to the track. PASS North Series regulars Johnny Clark, Mike Rowe, Trevor Sanborn, Bill Penfold and Derek Ramstrom are all here, as are PASS Outlaw drivers Gary Norris Jr. and Matt Lee.

Good times. But, now that it's 5, we shouldn't be starting up too much past the posted 5 p.m. green flag.

It's official: Vacation is over

After 8 solid days of fishing, canoeing, swimming, playing Wiffle ball and sleeping in a place with no phone lines and plenty of cold beer, it's back to the grind.

Nothing like a marathon night with 75 laps of Strictly Street racing and 50 more laps of the 1st Pro Stock race at Wiscasset Raceway in years, but that's exactly what I've got ahead of me. Part of me missed it, part of me didn't.

What's amazing is that after more than a week in the woods less than 30 minutes from the Canadian border, not much has changed. Rumors are swirling about the possible sale of a race track, Tony Stewart said something that drew ire from critics, Kelly Moore did something for the 1st time, and Maurice Young and R.J. Austin continued to find the way to victory lane at Wiscasset.
That's wins Nos. 7 and 4 this season, respectively, for the 2 central Maine drivers.