HERMON, Maine — Two Saturday nights ago, it was his distributor and starter that malfunctioned.
This past Saturday evening, he didn’t have a clutch.
But, in both instances, Hermon’s Dale Swoboda took the checkered flag in the Late Model feature at Speedway 95.
“When we went to line up [for the start of the race], I went to push the clutch in to take off and the pedal went right to the floor. I don’t know what’s the matter with it,” said Swoboda. “So they got me rolling in the pits and I just jammed it into fourth gear, it started and away it went.”
Swoboda started last in the six-car field but took the lead on lap five after Winterport’s Shane Clack bumped Stockton Springs’ Duane Seekins, the pole-sitter, and sent him high up the track.
Moments later, the only caution of the evening among the five features came out.
Swoboda remained in fourth gear on the restart while working his brakes and he led the rest of the way.
“He got in front of us and played,” quipped Town Hill’s John Phippen Jr., who finished second, five car-lengths behind Swoboda.
Phippen said his car was “a little loose.”
Swoboda said he knew Phippen had the potential to challenge him “so I wasn’t going to give Johnny any slack.”
Winterport’s Clark, who was given a warning for his bump on Seekins, finished third followed by Seekins and Phil Richardson of Carmel.
“I got a little push [loose] and got [Seekins] in the door a little bit. I didn’t mean to do it. It wasn’t on purpose,” said Clark.
In the Super Street feature, Holden’s Steve Moulton squeezed past Hermon’s Doug Sinclair on the inside groove with four laps remaining and went on to hold off the fast-approaching Sinclair.
“It’s real hard to pass on the inside so when you can do it, it’s kind of an extra,” said Moulton, who won his fourth straight and now has six wins on the season. “So what I try to do is get my car to go into the corner fine and then come out a little sideways and shoot me out straight off the corner. That would be great and it did it the last couple of times.
“I was reeling him in and I think he was a little nervous,” added Moulton.
Sinclair said he saw Moulton underneath him “and I wanted to give him plenty of room. I think I could have held him off but [if I tried to] it would have been one of those deals where one of us would have wound up over the bank. He’s a tough competitor. I’m glad to get up to the top two or three.”
Artie Maguire Jr. of Bucksport was third, Lindsey Young of Stockton Springs, Seekins’ daughter, was fourth, and Kris Watson of Hermon was fifth in the six-car field.
Moulton was one of three drivers who pulled off a double this weekend as he had also triumphed in the Super Street division at Unity Raceway on Friday night.
Seventeen-year-old Dustin Hubbard of Unity won the 35-lap Strictly Street series race, taking the checkered flag in the Wildcat division at Unity Friday and 19-year-old Kyle Gallant of Veazie won the Sport-Four feature after collecting a Monsta Mini class race at Unity.
Hubbard led from start to finish in the Strictly Street race and his margin of victory was 40 car-lengths.
“We’ve got the car’s setup going pretty good now and it showed,” said Hubbard, who will be a senior at Thorndike’s Mount View High School this fall.
He was using his fifth different motor of the season in his 1986 Monte Carlo SS and it was his third race with the motor. So far the new engine, built by [Kris] Watson Racing, has produced two wins and a second.
“It’s a good motor,” said Hubbard.
Glenburn’s Doug Day was second and rounding out the top five were Holden’s Travis Poulin, Bangor’s Shawn Hamel II and Ellsworth’s Bradley Norris. Nine cars started the race.
Norris’ fifth-place finish enabled him to claim the points title in the three-race series.
Gallant also coasted to a comfortable win as he started second, took the lead from Hermon’s Ralph Allen on the first lap by capitalizing on the faster outside groove and finished 30 car-lengths ahead of Allen.
Bangor’s David Green was third with Old Town’s Brent Fletcher fourth and Rick Grant of LaGrange finishing fifth in the seven-car field.
“I had a real good car. It’s where I wanted it to be and it showed. For some reason, the tires ended up getting better as the night went along,” said Gallant who now has three wins at Speedway 95 and four at Unity Raceway this season.
“Kyle got a great start. I knew he would. He’s always fast and he’s hard to keep up with,” said Allen.
In the 20-lap Maine Supercup Racing League feature, Francis Bernard of Howland started sixth but took the lead on lap eight and captured an impressive win.
“I had a flat right rear tire in the heat race which took me out of that deal but I figured I’d try to make it up [in the feature],” said Bernard, who beat six other cars.
“[Bernard’s] one of the best,” said Howland’s Josh Ireland, who finished second.
Ireland’s father, Fred, was third followed by soon-to-be Gardiner High School senior Santina Snow and Corinth’s Ralph Melanson.
There were seven half-scale Super Cup Minis.