Unity RacewayDefending Unity Raceway Late Model champion Jeff Burgess of Fairfield kicked off the 2012 points-earning season the way he ended the 2011 campaign at Maine’s Toughest racing Oval – in victory lane.

Burgess chased down early race leader (and opening day winner) Brian Whitney in the 35-lapper, then held off a stiff challenge from Burnham’s Justin Drake to earn his first trip to the top step of the podium this season.

Ajay Picard of Palmyra bounced back from an early spin to post a third-place finish. Oakland’s Mike Landry rebounded from a visit to the pit and a trip to the rear of the restart lineup to claim fourth position. Whitney, won won the heat race, crossed the line in fifth position.

Brent “Poochie” Chase of Burnham was declared the winner of the 20-lap Wildcat division main event when post-race technical inspection negated an apparent victory by opening day winner Bryan Robbins of Montville. Joe Harriman of Liberty was elevated to a career-high second-place finish. Chase was triumphant in the heat race.

Multi-time Late Model Pro Four division champion Steve Rackliff of Starks prevailed on a mid-race restart and drove on to victory lane in his 20-lap main event. Benton’s Alex Fernald led most of the event by a healthy margin before settling for a close second-place finish after yielding the top spot to the eventual winner. Bryan Lancaster of Skowhegan drove from the rear of the starting lineup to claim the final podium finishing position, in front of Parkman’s Bill Ellis and Dylan Lancaster of Skowhegan. Fernald won the heat race.

Clinton teenager Cole Robinson claimed his first main event victory in the 20-lap Monsta Mini feature race in just his second appearance in the class. Robinson ran in second position for virtually the entire distance, behind reigning champion and opening day winner Zach Audet of Skowhegan. Audet’s car developed terminal mechanical issues on the final lap, and Robinson got to the checkered flag first to score a popular victory. Tim Collins of Farmoington was the best of the rest in an untra-competitive battle for runner-up honors, with the third-place trophy earned by Jayson Bosworth of Cornville. Multi-time champion Mike Wilson of Chelsea and birthday boy Brad Bosworth of Cornville rounded out the top five. Audet won the heat race.

Mike Dulaney of Richmond dominated the action in the Flyin’ 4 class, winning both the heat race and the main event in wire-to-wire fashion. Cody Robbins of Oakland, a career-first winner the previous week, charged from the back of the field to claim a close runner-up finish. Fairfield’s Rchard Jackson ended up in third position, ahead of Benton’s George Fernald III and Paul Shorete of Waterville.

Robert MacDonald of Oakland out-dueled his car owner, Ken Lord of Waterville, as they dominated the Challenger division action. Skowhegan’s Ed Archer nailed down a third-place finish, ahead of Benton’s Bob Corson and Troy Rusconi of Clinton. Lord won the heat race.

John Withum won the first round of the Race Your Neighbor series.

Racing action continues, with a 2:00 p.m. Saturday post time in effect for the May 5, May 12 and May 19 programs. For more information, please visit unityraceway.info or call (207) 453-2021.

Late Model (35 laps) 1. X Jeff Burgess, Fairfield; 2. 09 Justin Drake, Burnham; 3. 99 Ajay Picard, Palmyra; 4. 21 Mike Landry, Oakland; 5. 18 Brian Whitney, Burnham; 6. 73 Mark Dodge, Unity; 7. 15 Frank Moulton, Burnham; 8. 25 Will Collins, Waldoboro; 9. 51 Craig Robbins, Palermo.

Wildcat (20 laps) 1. Brent Chase, Burnham; 2. 20 Joe Hariman, Liberty; DQ 51 Bryan Robbins, Montville; DQ 2 Ryan Robinson, Clinton; DQ 24 Ed Gilblair, Skowhegan.

Late Model Pro Four (20 laps) 1. Steve Rackliff, Starks; 2. 91 Alex Fernald, Benton; 3. 81 Bryan Lancaster, Skowhegan; 4. 5 Bill Ellis, Parkman; 5. 1 Dylan Lancaster, Skowhegan; 6. 26 Norm Cummings, Jr., Augusta; 7. 3 Scott Horne, Benton; 8.9 Sean Johnson, Stockton Springs.

Monsta Mini (20 laps) 1. 61 Cole Robinson, Clinton; 2. 18 Tim Collins, Farmington; 3. 51 Jayson Bosworth, Cornvile; 4. 92 Mike Wilson, Chelsea; 5. 15 Brad Bosworth, Cornville; 6. 09 Matt Shaw, Burnham; 7. 62 Kyle Robinson, Clinton; 8. 19 Zach Audet, Skowhegan; 9. 84 Michael Bolduc, Windsor; 10. 56 Lance Chapman, Benton; 11. 88x Wes Turner, Montville.

Flyin 4 (20 laps) 1. 10 Mike Dulaney, Richmond; 2. 15 Cody Robbins, Oakland; 3. 01 Paul Jackson, Fairfield; 4. 91 George Fernald III, Benton; 5. 0x Paul Shorete, Waterville; 6. 20 Daymon Dodge, Troy; 7. 11 Mika Stover, Augusta; 8. 8 Mike Mathieu, Oakland; 9. 16 Kayla Allen, Penobscot; 10. 00 Alica Goodwin, Clinton; 11. 88 Henry Boudeau, Benton; 12. 35k Kersey Santos, Waterville.

Challenger (25 laps) 1. 84 Robert MacDonald, Oakland; 2. 28 Ken Lord, Waterville; 3. 81Ed Archer, Skowhegan; 4. 88 Bob Corson, Benton; 5. 7 Troy Rusconi, Clinton; 6. 5 Mike Flagg, Montville.

Race Your Neighbor winner: John Withum.

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