by Ken Minott

There are convincing wins, and then there’s what Ben Ashline did Sunday afternoon at Wiscasset Speedway. On a cloudy cool day, in front of a packed house at Maine’s fastest track, on its biggest stage, Ashline turned in on of the most dominating performances in recent memory. The veteran Fairfield racer, who turns wrenches for Distance Racing for a living, dominated the competition on with way to winning the 2018 Coastal 200 and pocketing a $5,000 winner’s check for his efforts. Motivated by a runner-up finish in the marquee event just a year earlier, Ashline led 198 of 200 laps on the way to the win in what he called “a bucket list race” in victory lane. Dave Farrington Jr of Jay, the 2015 winner of the Coastal 200 was the only other driver to have a taste of the lead. Ashline who was at the top of the speed charts in all four practice sessions started the race from the pole position and set a blistering early pace, putting half the 26 car field a lap down by the quarter mark on lap 50.

Shane Clark of Winterport tried to keep pace, not letting the leader get away by more than a couple seconds. Cautions for minor spins scattered throughout the race gave Clark and others a shot at Ashline. But each time, it took just a couple laps for him to shake off the challenge and pull away. Many drivers chose to pit early for tires and adjustments to try to get themselves back into contention. It did little to help. Just past the halfway point of the race, Farrington was able to chase down Ashline in lap traffic and pass him on lap 115. Just a lap later there was a caution for a minor spin, sending all remaining lead lap cars except Farrington to the pits for fresh tires. Ashline returned to the track to reline in fourth for the restart. Just a lap later, he was back in the lead by the time they finished lap 117. From there he built up another big lead and used it to patiently pick his way through lap traffic and putting more and more lead lap cars in his wake. As the checkered flag flew, the 4th place car of Andrew McLaughlin, the 2017 Coastal 200 champ, was just 2 car lengths in front of him, leaving just 4 cars on the lead lap. While positions 2 thru 26 changed many times throughout the 200 lap marathon, the lead position was never in doubt. In victory lane, Ashline fought back tears of happiness and heartbreak, having won the race and revealing the news that his grandmother had passed away that morning. “I sat right up there in those stands when I was a kid, watching some big names win this race.” said Ashline, “This one was on my bucket list”. Farrington was the last lead lap car to pit for tires. He kept his car in the top five for much of the race and brought it home in second. Clark finished third, making it a podium sweep for Jeff Taylor’s Distance Racing stable. McLaughlin was the last car on the lead lap in 4th. Reigning Prostock champ Darren Ripley of Thomaston finished fifth.

Other winners on Sunday afternoon’s show included Jimmy Childs of Leeds in the caution free 25 lap feature for the Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis. It was his first victory of the season. Childs was joined in victory lane by Zach Audet and Brent Roy. The 30 lap feature for the K&A Property Services Modifieds went to Adam Chadbourne of Woolwich. It was his 3rd straight win to start 2018 season. At press time the victory remains unofficial pending a mandatory engine inspection that comes after three wins. Defending champ Allen Moeller of Dresden and Ryan Chadwick of Wiscasset took second and third respectively. The Norms Used Cars Strictly Streets turned in an exciting caution free 25 lap race. Jonathan Emerson of Sabattus outraced his dad Zach Emerson to pick up the win. Brad Erskine of Solon took third for his first podium finish.

Wiscasset Speedway returns to action Saturday evening with the return of Ames True Value NEMA Night. The popular winged asphalt sprint cars will make an assault on the track record once again. The show will start with an on-track meet & greet with all the NEMA teams. They will be joined by Wiscasset’s regular Group 1 divisions; ServPro of Biddeford Saco Prostocks, Maxwell’s Market Super Streets, Cahill Tire 4-Cylinder Pros, and Thunder 4 Minis. The pit gate will open at 1:00 pm, the grandstand gate at 3:00 pm and the driver meet & greet at 4:00 pm. Green flag will fly on the racing action shortly after 5:00 pm. Admission is $5 for grandstand and $20 for pits. Informatiomn is available on the website


* Ashline’s first career win at Wiscasset
* led 198 of 200 laps
* was Coastal 200 runner up in 2017

Pos No. Name Home Town State Laps Diff
1 15ME Ben Ashline Fairfield ME 200
2 23 Dave Farrington Jay ME 200 7.786
3 21 Shane Clark Winterport ME 200 11.559
4 26 Andrew McLaughlin Harrington ME 200 16.81
5 09 Daren Ripley Rockland ME 199 1 Lap
6 28ME J.R. Robinson Steuben ME 199 1 Lap
7 30 Ryan St. Clair Liberty ME 198 2 Laps
8 3 James Osmond Wiscasset ME 194 6 Laps
9 30s Dylan Street Old Town ME 194 6 Laps
10 4 Ben Erskine Fairfield ME 194 6 Laps
11 5 Bill Pinkham Wiscasset ME 191 9 Laps
12 55 Steve Barker Turner ME 189 11 Laps
13 18 Bobby Seger Frankfort ME 175 25 Laps
14 19 Shane Kaherl Jay ME 174 26 Laps
15 15 Nick Hinkley Wiscasset ME 144 56 Laps
16 33 Josh St.Clair Liberty ME 141 59 Laps
17 15h Mike Hopkins Hermon ME 137 63 Laps
18 28 Steve Minott Windham ME 104 96 Laps
19 17 Chris Thorne Sidney ME 86 114 Laps
20 52 Dana Wilbur Frankfort ME 81 119 Laps
21 11 Cody Verrill Richmond ME 77 123 Laps
22 25 Will Collins Waldoboro ME 58 142 Laps
23 26 Seth Bridge Mendon VT 42 158 Laps
24 00 Alex Waltz Walpole ME 42 158 Laps
25 41 Logan Melcher Fayette ME 42 158 Laps
26 88X Wes Turner Newcastle ME 3 197 Laps

K&A PROPERTY SERVICES MODIFIEDS (30 LAPS) – * Finish is unofficial pending engine inspection
* Chadbourne’s 3rd win of the season
Pos No. Name Home Town Laps Diff
1 1 Adam Chadbourne Woolwich 30
2 04 Allan Moeller Dresden 30 1.473
3 11 Ryan Chadwick Wiscasset 30 2.093
4 77 Nick Reno West Bath 30 2.695
5 15A Wayne Allard Stetson 30 3.172
6 15 Joseph Williams Woolwich 30 5.414
7 7 Spencer Vaughan Canton 28 2 Laps
8 48 Brian Treadwell Hancock 28 2 Laps
* Childs first win of 2018
Pos No. Name Home Town Laps Diff
1 10 Jimmy Childs Leeds 25
2 19 Zach Audet Skowhegan 25 1.97
3 26 Brent Roy Vassalboro 25 3.962
4 27 Jake Hensbee Whitefield 25 6.34
5 2 Rob Greenleaf Bath 25 8.202
6 99 Scott Trask Richmond 25 8.261
7 6 Brain Dolloff Jay 24 1 Lap
8 40 Dixon Smith Augusta 24 1 Lap
9 00 Ryan Keniston Smithfield 3 22 Laps
dns 20 Matt Glidden Chelsea dns

* Emerson 2nd straight win
Pos No. Name Home Town Laps Diff
1 24 Jonathon Emerson Sabattus 25
2 23 Zachary Emerson Sabattus 25 3.234
3 29 Brad Erskine Solon 25 5.495
4 00 Kimberly Knight Chesterville 25 5.784
5 58 David Whittier Poland 25 5.911
6 61 Shawn Austin Norridgewock 25 6.521
7 51 Kyle Hewins Leeds 25 6.545
8 03 Maurice Young Chelsea 25 6.982
9 24A Jeff Alley Machias 25 7.338
10 8x Ethan Densmore Hope 25 7.841
11 05R Glenn Reynolds Turner 25 10.379
12 18x Raymond Densmore III Sanford 25 11.357
13 02 Paul Hopkins Camden 23 2 Laps
14 67 Michael Haynes Livermore Falls 5 20 Laps
dns 05 Brett Osmond Wiscasset dns
dns 55 Kurt Hewins Leeds dns
dns 85 Jay Avery