Speedway 95Mike Hopkins of Hermon kept his streak of opening day wins in tact Saturday night at Speedway 95 when he won the season opener for the third year in a row. Starting third in the 16 car Dysart’s Late Model field, Hopkins was in the lead by the backstretch of the first lap, and kept that lead for the entire 35 lap distance. Andy Saunders of Ellsworth caught Hopkins following a lap 7 yellow, but was unable to pass for the lead, although he ran close behind at the end of the event. A caution flag on lap 30 gave Saunders one more chance at the lead, but Hopkins was simply too fast on the outside for Saunders to match. The race turned bad for several drivers on the final lap when, after Hopkins and Saunders took the white flag, third and fourth place runners Phil Richardson of Hermon and John Kalel II of Orrington came together just past the flag stand, scattering the field when Kalel came to a rest in the middle of the track. Hopkins and Saunders continued around to take the checkers in first and second respectively, but the rest of the field was so scattered that Dale Swoboda, who was running eighth under the white flag managed to cross the finish line third. Fourth went to Duane Seekins of Stockton Springs with Richardson salvaging a fifth place finish. The remainder of the finishing order was not immediately available. Phil Richardson of Hermon and George Dunn of Eastbrook won the qualifiers and started the feature from the front row.

In Sportsman action, Steve Moulton of Holden won the qualifier and started the feature on the pole. He held the lead until lap 17, when Troy Patterson of Stockton Springs and Derrick Mingo of Lamoine tangled just past the start finish line. Patterson’s car stopped across the track, causing the remainder of the field to scatter to avoid him. Moulton didn’t see the wrecked car sitting there in time and made contact with it, ending his first place run for the night. Shane Tatro, who had been battling with Moulton for the lead from the start, inherited the lead on the restart and continued on to the win. D.J. Moody of Prospect finished in second, followed by Mingo in third, Mike Overlock of Franklin fourth and and Jay Robichaud of Eddington in fifth.

Ryan Beale of Cherryfield posted his first Strictly Street win by leading the entire 25 laps of the feature event after starting on the pole by virtue of winning his qualifying heat. Last year’s division champion Andrew McLaughlin of Harrington gave chase but was unable to muster enough speed to take the lead away from Beale. Only one caution slowed the field when the car driven by Shelby Kimball of Cornville erupted in smoke on lap 12 and was done for the night. Jim Carr Jr. of Clifton finished in third, with Renn Dorr of Addison and Shawn Hamel II of Bangor taking the fourth and fifth spots in that order.

Bradley Dolan of Glenburn picked up the opening day win in the Sport-Fours by holding off Fred Ashmore of Hancock over the final laps of the event. Dolan took the lead from the start and held on to it through two caution flags that bunched up the field. Ashmore, who finished second, had worked his way up from the rear of the field, giving Dolan all he wanted at the end. Pole sitter Steve Heath of Milo finished third, followed by Andrew Crosby of Hermon in fourth and last year’s Wednesday night Ladies Division champion Chelsea Young of Winterport in fifth. Heath won the first qualifier of the night and Dolan won the second.

The Bomber division had enough cars show up on opening day to warrant 2 qualifiers being run. Scott Bonney of Bangor won the first, with Hermon’s Andrew Crosby taking the second, placing them on the front row for the feature. When the green flag dropped, it was Crosby shooting to the lead with Bonney in second. Garett Hayman of Milford started fourth and was chasing Bonney for the second spot for several laps until he finally overtook him. Bonney was later eliminated in a turn two melee along with Charles McCusik, who started third. On the restart, Hayman battled Crosby for the lead for a few laps but had to settle for the runner up spot at the finish. D.C Alexander of Glenburn finished third, with Corinth’s Mark Sawyer fourth. Russell Blenkhorn of Bucksport finished fifth.

Racing action for the 2012 season continues on Saturday, May 5 at 5:00 when the Dysart’s Late Models will battle for 50 laps in the Sinclair’s Towing Service series race #1. Racing will also be featured in the Sportsman, Strictly Street, Sport-Four and Bomber divisions.

Visit NERacingForum.Com for latest New England Racing community News and updates.

[adrotate block=”3″]