Andy Saunders gets back to winning ways quickly at Unity Raceway’s Long John


Unity, Maine — Andy Saunders of Ellsworth, in just his third race since ending an absence of several years from the cockpit of an oval track racecar, showed the rust was gone with a win in the 33-car, 100-lap Long John Late Model division race at Unity Raceway on Sunday.


Saunders, who quit driving for years to help his daughter’s drag racing efforts, patiently awaited his opportunities – many of which were brought about by one of the event’s many restarts – to get by polesitter and early leader Ed Drake of Vassalboro after an entertaining battle up in front of the field.

Once in front, Saunders maintained a comfortable advantage as he negotiated lapped traffic almost flawlessly until the checkered flag. Drake spent much of the last half of the century grind locked in a battle for runner-up honors with Chelsea’s Poncho Darveau. Drake won that battle, with Darveau claiming the final podium finishing position. Brenton Parritt of Steuben charged back from early difficulties to cross the line in fourth position, with Palmyra racer Ajay Picard rounding out the top five.


Nick Huff of Orrington got by polesitter, and reigning track champion, Nate Weston of Madison to earn a trip to victory lane following the 75-lap feature for the Racin’ Paper Super Street division. Shane Tatro of Levant made it through most of the field and into second place as the checkered flag, but he never mounted a serious challenge to winner Huff, who finished second to Weston in the final 2010 championship standings at Unity Raceway. Oakland’s Mike Landry was an early contender for the lead, and ended up with a third-place finish. Weston rebounded from several pit stops to claim a fourth-place finish. Kris Watson of Hermon rounded out the top five.


Justin Trombley of Winter Harbor easily wired the field in a caution-free 35-lap main event for the Monster Energy Drink Monsta Mini division. Oakland’s Reggie Bickford was the best of the rest throughout the race, while Dylan Lancaster of Skowhegan prevailed in a race-long battle against reigning division champion Mike Wilson of Chelsea for third position. Jonathan Smith was the fifth driver to cross under the checkered flag.


Ryan Chadwick of Wiscasset outran Donny Silva of Hudson in the Enduro race. Daymon Dodge of Troy claimed the third-place trophy.


Ed Sleeper of Vassalboro claimed victory in the final race of the season at Unity, a five-lap Ramp Race. Ben Clark of Clinton got the second-place trophy, in front of Hudson’s Donny Silva.


Unity Raceway’s champions and other notable racers will be honored at the track’s annual awards banquet, scheduled for Friday, November 19 at the Winslow VFW.


Late Model (100 laps): 1. 01 Andy Saunders, Ellsworth, 2. 09 Ed Drake, Vassalboro; 3. 03 Poncho Darveau, Chelsea; 4. 27 Brenton Parritt, Steuben; 5. 22 Ajay Picard, Palmyra; 6. 87 Chuck Colby, Newcastle; 7. 25 Will Collins, Appleton; 8. 23x Mike Hodgkins, Jefferson; 9. x15 David Folsom I, Skowhegan; 10. 54 Ryan Deane, Winterport; 11. 18 Gary Smith, Bangor; 12. 28 Rowland ‘JR’ Robinson, Jr., Steuben; 13. 5 Mike Hopkins, Hermon; 14. 94 Steve Rackliff, Starks; 15. 15x Nick Hinckley, Wiscasset; 16. 24 Dean Smart, Bradley; 17. 0 Dale Swoboda, Hermon; 18. 10x Markus Lowe, Jackson; 19. 21 Milo Haney, Connor; 20. 1 Willy Pelotte, Oakland; 21. 3 Richard Jordan, Kingfield; 22. 41 Scott Pooler, Vassalboro; 23. 15 Frank Moulton, Burnham; 24. 9 Dylan Turner, Freedom; 25. 17 Gary Thorne, Sidney; 26. 17x Kris Watson, Hermon; 27. 33 Josh St. Clair, Liberty; 28. 151 David Folsom II, Skowhegan; 29. 99 Louis Picard, Palmyra; 30. 18x Joey Doyon, Winterport; 31. 6 Danny Smart, Buxton; 33. 70 John Rideout, Washington.


Racin’ Paper Super Street (75 laps): 1. 21 Nick Huff, Orrington; 2. 7 Shane Tatro, Levant; 3. 40 Mike Landry, Oakland; 4. 47 Nate Weston, Madison; 5. 35 Kris Watson, Hermon; 6. 4 Allen Moeller, Sr., Dresden; 7. 73 Brad Bellows, China Village; 8. 04 Allen Moeller, Hr., Dresden; 9. 23 Dean Smart, Bradley; 10. 19 Duane Seekins, Stockton Springs; 11. 99 Jeremy Glasier, Appleton; 12. 03 Brian Fortin, Winslow; 13. 07 Cody Brassburg, Frankfort; 14. 47x Artie Maguire, Bucksport; 15. 80 Steve Moulton, Holden; 16. 59 Bobby Seger, Frankforrt; 16. 04x Anthony Milano, St. Albans.


Keystone Automotive Industries Wildcat (75 laps): 1. 18 Carl McAlpine, Burnham; 2. 1 Corey Morgan, Lewiston; 3. 2 Jim Shorey, Lebanon; 4. 51 Bryan Robbins, Montville; 5. 14x Mac Hannan, Union; 6. 8 Bradley Norris, Ellsworth; 7. 18x Ian Bresnahan, West Bath; 8. 66 Shawn Hamel, Bangor; 9. 3 Jim Carr, Jr., Clifton; 10. 24 Ed Gilblair, Sr., Skowhegan; 11. 83 Mike St. Germain, Auburn; 12. 27 Nate Yeaton, Lisbon Falls; 13. 9 Ryan Robbins, Dixfield; 14. 7 Vanna Brackett, Buckfield; 15. 93 Dave Langlais, Springvale; 16. 55 Kurt Hewins, Leeds; 17. 26 Andrew McLaughlin, Harrington; 18. 14 Andy Turbovsky, Winslow; 19. 29 Chris King, Burnham; 20. 22 Ed Sleeper, Vassalboro; 21. 12 Skip Tripp, South Paris; 22. 4 Chuck Harmon, Amity; 23. 82 Mike Moore, Smithfield; 24. 58 Scott Collins, Jay; 25. 5 Zach Bowie; Lisbon; 26. 37 Jordan Pearson, Glenburn.


Monster Energy Drink Monsta Mini (35 laps): 1. 34 Justin Trombley, Winter Harbor; 2. 10 Reggie Bickford, Oakland; 3. Dylan Lancaster, Skowhegan; 4. 92 Mike Wilson, Chelsea; 5. 6 Jonathan Smith, Sidney; 6. 64 Lance Chapman, Benton; 7. 23 Tim Robinson, Clinton; 8. 46 John Fortin, Vassalboro; 9. 9k Kyle Gallant, Veazie.


Enduro (top three of 18) 1. 5 Ryan Chadwick, Wiscasset; 2. 71 Donny Silva, Hudson; 3. 16x Daymon Dodge, Troy.


Ramp Race: 1. Ed Sleeper, Vassalboro; 2. Ben Clark, Clinton, 3. Donny Silva, Hudson.