Ben Ashline warned his rookie motive force over the group’s radio that a lesson was about to be coming from one of Wiscasset Speedway’s maximum achieved veterans.
Ashline became proper.
Four-time music champion Chris Thorne of Sidney wheeled round Whitefield’s Jake Hendsbee on a restart with nine laps closing and held on for a season-opening victory in the forty-lap Late Model function on the track Saturday night time. Hendsbee, making his first profession Late Model start after jumping up from Wiscasset’s Outlaw Mini Stock division, finished 2nd.
“We’re on four new tires, in order that’s a large assist,” Thorne said. “Whenever it’s cooler out, this car continually seems to be higher. It stayed suitable all ultimate 12 months, which turned into the first time it changed into right during the entire summer season, so if we are able to keep that we’ll be in the correct shape.”
Josh St. Clair of Liberty was 1/3, whilst defending Late Model champion Andrew McLaughlin rallied to finish fourth after starting 20th inside the 21-automobile area.
“We basically ran away with (the primary 1/2 of the race), and the warning changed into terrible for us,” stated Hendsbee, who idea completing second the primary time out changed into as properly as prevailing. “But I assume we might have gained it.”
While he was cruising to a nearly straightaway lead over the primary 20 laps, Thorne, St. Clair and Will Collins — former champions all — had been locked collectively in a tight conflict for the second spot. Ten laps from the finish, Thorne used the lapped car of D.C. Alexander to trap Collins low and take the second spot. St. Clair soon accompanied that pass into 0.33.
But in spite of that bit of intriguing racing for the role, it was Hendsbee — under the steering of the 2018 Coastal 2 hundred winners Ashline as his spotter — who threatened to scouse borrow the show.
Unfortunately for him, while the warning flew for the second time on lap 31, it allowed Thorne to line up to Hendsbee’s outside with St. Clair tucked to the internal in third.
Thorne cleared Hendsbee by half of a car period on the begin-finish line on lap 32, and on lap 33 he dropped his No. 17 clean to the lowest with a comfortable lead. St. Clair tried to capture Hendsbee inside the center with the aid of pulling off a 3-huge flow to the internal on the backstretch that simply got here up short.
“They’re really top,” Hendsbee stated of the competition at the restart. “I had a large communicate from Ben approximately it. That turned into a huge issue for me.”
“I instructed him simply to hug the bottom, and if the one’s men were faster, they’d go around him (on the pinnacle),” Ashline stated.
Another caution soon accompanied, however, Thorne’s veteran coolness at the restart allowed him to motor off to his 25th career Late Model win at Wiscasset.
“I become fortunate to get the bounce on him on the outside,” Thorne stated. “Thankfully, we have been capable of getting the quick warning so I turned into capable of stay beforehand of him for multiple laps there.
“I changed into combating in the back of Will and Josh, seeking to get via them (earlier). At that point, my automobile turned into getting real, real free. The warning absolutely helped me. Without the warning, I probably might have been a third-location car at great.”
Collins exited the race for pit road under the warning flag at the same time as walking fourth and did no longer go back to the race.
Thorne wasn’t the only motive force who notion he had a third-place vehicle at the quality.
“We struggled final 12 months, and this is kind of a brand new ride to us,” St. Clair said. “We’re near, no longer a ways off, however, we have been free on the cease and fell short. The closing restart, I notion I might be able to preserve him on the lowest, but (Hendsbee) became brief. He did an awesome job. I had a third-place vehicle.”