It was a frustrating day for 74-year-old Dave St. Clair, who was running sixth in the Coastal 200 Late Model stock car race on Sunday at Wiscasset Speedway when he got involved in a wreck that ended his race prematurely.
Fairfield’s Ben Ashline won the race and pocketed $5,000. He led the final 92 laps.
It was Ashline’s third Coastal 200 victory.
Liberty’s St. Clair completed 134 of the 200 laps and wound up 16th in the 27-car field.
Chris Burgess from Hartford, Maine, was second with Winthrop’s Shane Clark third, Jay’s Dave Farrington Jr. fourth and Ryan Ripley of Thomaston rounding out the top five.
It was Burgess’ first career top-three finish in a Late Model race.
Chesterville’s Jet Decker was sixth and completing the top 10 were Skowhegan’s Kris Matchett, Clinton’s Frank Moulton, defending champ Josh St. Clair from Liberty, one of David St. Clair’s two grandsons in the race, and Fairfield’s Daniel Harding.
David St. Clair’s other grandson, Ryan St. Clair, had electrical problems and wound up 25th after completing only 30 laps.
There were 11 cautions and five different race leaders.
Decker earned a $500 bonus for leading the race at the halfway point and Vassalboro’s Brent Roy collected the $500 St. Clair Racing bonus for being in 14th place on the 14th lap. Roy wound up 18th.
Dave St. Clair, who is in the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Wiscasset Speedway Hall, had started last (27th) in his No. 14 Chevy Camaro and worked his way up to sixth when he ran into a lapped car on a restart and careened into the infield. It caused damage to the front end of the car and the radiator.
His crew put water in the radiator but after running several laps, the engine started smoking and overheating and he was black-flagged, meaning he had to bring the car into the pits for inspection.
St. Clair never returned to the race because he felt the engine was going to blow up.
“It was very frustrating. The car was pretty good. It was the fastest out there,” he said. “I passed (Ashline).”
The biggest mistake he may have made occurred right before the race, St. Clair said..
He accepted a back row challenge from track owner Richard Jordan.
“I won the heat race and would have started on the outside pole (front row). But [Jordan] offered me $1,000 to start at the back (27th) and I took it,” said St. Clair, who needed to finish the race to pocket the extra $1,000.
“I should have stayed on the outside pole,” said St. Clair, whose previous best finish at the Coastal 200 was fifth in 2014 when grandson Josh won it.
However, the day wasn’t a total loss for the St. Clair family, who formerly owned the track.
Kurt Hewis of Turner won the 30-lap Strictly Streets race in a St. Clair car and Josh St. Clair was third with another St. Clair grandson, Ashton Reynolds, finishing fifth.
Ripley won the 50-lap Modifieds race and Readfield’s David Whitelaw captured the 20-lap Roadrunners feature.