Unity Raceway Crowns Champions
Waterville, ME – The Top Five drivers from Thursday Thrillas at Unity Raceway and the Top ten from the Weekly Racing Series converged on the Waterville Elks Lodge for the Annual Awards Banquet Saturday night.
The 2006 Season started off with the elimination of the Pro Stock and Super Sportsman divisions. This moved the Sunoco Super Streets to the forefront for the year. In one of the closest point battles in all the ten divisions at the track, Nate Weston of Madison narrowly defeated Palmyra's Ajay Picard for the championship. The difference between the two was just six points. Weston was officially crowned the 2006 champion in the new premiere division Saturday night.
In the Saturday night edition of the Budweiser Wildcats, Andy Migliore of Corinna took off from opening day and never looked back en route to the title. Young Luke Rickards of Madison was passed by Carl McAlpine of Burnham for second spot on the final weekend of racing.
Steve Rackliff of Starks easily won his first Coca-Cola Late Model Pro Four championship. Parkman's Bill Ellis rebounded from some early bad luck to finish second in the standings.
McAlpine won almost all the feature races in the White & Bradstreet Mini Stock division. McAlpine had been plagued by engine woes in the last couple of years but he found out something for 2006 and never looked back on his way to the championship. Fairfield's Lance Chapman had an up and down year that was capped off with one win over McAlpine and a second place check for the season.
Kevin Nutting of Benton had to hold off a late charge from Chad Elkins of Shawmut to pick up his first championship in the Sun Auto & Salvage Mini Truck division.
As he did in the White & Bradstreet Mini Stock division McAlpine won almost every event in the Thursday edition of the Budweiser Wildcats. McAlpine accumulated over 30 wins in the three divisions and two championships. Saturday night champion Migliore had to settle for second on Thursdays.
As has been the case for many years, consistency is the main ingredient in a racing title. Dixmont's Lewis Batchelder proved that in the Peanut Division. Batchelder was not able to take a checkered flag in a feature in 2006 but rarely finished outside the Top Five. Each of those valuable Top Fives was enough to knock off two-time and defending Peanut Division champion Richard Burrill of Sullivan. The final event of the summer had three drivers with a shot at the title, Batchelder, Burrill and Billie Allen of Winterport. Batchelder finished just well enough to take the championship. Burrill wound up second and Allen finished third in her first year in the division.
Sandy Greene of Clinton looked like a lock for the Ladies Division championship after she won the first three events of the year. Unfortunately for her the title was not going to be easy to win. Chelsea Young of Winterport made a late charge for the championship and Sandy Greene blew her motor as she took the checkered flag in the finale to make things interesting. If Greene had blown her motor one lap earlier she would have fallen out of the top spot. She didn't and picked up the 2006 championship. Both Young and Greene were rookies in the division. Another rookie, Kayla Allen of Penobscot won the most races with five checkered flags and finished third in the points.
The Geo & Sons Teen Thunder ended up being the closest title battle in 2006. Just four points separated the champ, Josh Childs of Mechanic Falls and Unity's Dustin Hubbard.
The Ramp Racers kept the crowd at the track until the final checkered flag every Thursday night. Lisbon's Bob Morrey was able to hold off Auburn's Mike St. Germain for the championship. George Fernald, Jr. finished third in the points and set the record for the longest jump at 104 feet 2 inches.
As with any racetrack at the end of the year, rumors start flying around about the next year. Ralph Nason, Jr. confirmed one of the rumors Saturday night. Nason announced that the 2007 Season at Unity Raceway will be contested on Friday nights at 7:30 with a Saturday night rain date. He also stated the Pro All Stars Series will return to Unity Raceway next summer. The number of events and dates have not been officially released.
For more information log on to UnityRaceway.net