10 Things to Know: Coastal 200 at Wiscasset
May 27, 2022
As spring begins to give way to the summer heat, things are heating up on the Mid-Maine Coast as Wiscasset Speedway gets set to host its first major event of 2022, the Coastal 200 starring the Late Model Sportsman. Getting the green flag this Sunday at 2 pm ET, race fans all around the world will be able to see this great Maine race along with all those in attendance on RacingAmerica.tv for a second straight year.
This race, the brainchild of Maine racing legend and former Wiscasset Speedway owner “Boss Hogg” Dave St. Clair in the early 1990s, has seen many faces come out on top after 200 laps of competition. This also includes the grandson of “Boss Hogg”, Josh St. Clair.
Josh St. Clair is helping to continue the family tradition at ‘Maine’s Fastest Track’ in a big way, as he is participating in four of Wiscasset’s racing divisions for the 2022 season. So far, St. Clair has wins in the Pro Stock, Super Street, and Strictly Street classes, but not the Late Models. However, unlike the other three, he is on top of the Late Model points after two races.
“It’s been a good start so far, I’ve had a few bad races with a couple of bent clips, but won five out of ten. All in all, it’s been more success than failure. I’ll take it while I can get it. It’s a challenge, especially when we got a bent clip, but as far as getting them ready it’s not too bad. I’ve got a great group of guys helping me out. Switching from one car to the other isn’t too bad when it’s from a fast car to the slow car, but when it’s the other way around it takes a few laps to transition,” St. Clair told Racing America.
Boasting eight different divisions of racing, Wiscasset Speedway has two groups of four divisions each, with both groups running every two weeks; thus allowing St. Clair to concentrate on just two different racecars each week.
While the more powerful and faster Pro Stocks head up Wiscasset Group 1, it is the affordable Late Models that lead Group 2 during the season. It is a class that has become a favorite for many of Wiscasset’s seasoned competitors, along with the eager young guns.
“That class is tough this year. I know it’s not the Pro Stocks, which everyone likes to see with how fast they go, but it’s a good group of guys with a lot of long timers that have many, many laps there. We’ve had about 30 cars run over the first few races. There’s a solid group of guys that are always right there any given night, which makes it tough. But once you get up in points you have to start in the back which is a challenge in 40 laps each night.”
With five-times the laps awaiting Late Model teams on Sunday afternoon, this is the only race during the year which allow for fresh tire changes. Adding an element of strategy that St. Clair seized upon in 2021 to help capture his second Coastal 200 win.
“Normally it’s one new tire a week to help for the costs, but the six tires allow us the opportunity for a tire change. The last couple of times I’ve gambled with taking just right-side tires and it worked out well for me last year. I’m always a fan of longer races, I wish they had a few more, but I take what I can get.”
St. Clair’s second Coastal 200 win came on his sixth attempt after his first race win in 2014 (the 2020 running being scrubbed by the COVID-19 shutdown). Far from being inexperienced young gun in the present day, St. Clair is confident that he can go back-to-back this time around, and also go 4-for-4 in all his racecars before spring’s end.
“I think so. I’ve got a little different attitude when it comes to racing nowadays and just a different program in general. I seem to be finding what I need to do a lot easier. We’ll see, the car has been good in the two second-place runs we’ve had. The car’s capable, we just got to see how the race shakes out, and if we can get it right.”