Andy Saunders is the kind of boss that everyone wants. Why? He shows people how the job is done and never hovers over anyone’s shoulder, as seen last Saturday night, July 30 when he dominated the Boss Hogg 100 with more than a five-second lead. Driving the #01 from Ellsworth, Saunders is doing more than just leading by example in the Prostocks. He also leads the division’s points this season, with three feature wins and three other top-five finishes.
Competitors and fans from all over the state of Maine flooded Wiscasset Speedway to watch the Boss Hogg 100 race. Over the years, some of Maine’s most notable Prostock drivers have walked away with first place, including multi-track champion and 2014 Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Mike Rowe. Starting in 1991, this event was named after former track owner Dave St. Clair. Not only can fans watch St. Clair kick off every year with a Dukes of Hazzard race around the field in a vintage sheriff car, but they also get to cheer for his #14 Prostock as he competes in his “namesake” event. With a $3,000 winner’s share of the purse and extra cash throughout to pack leaders, this 100-lap race guarantees high action from beginning to end.
With 19 Prostocks on the course, Wiscasset Speedway roared when the 100 laps began, Saunders shadowing the rear bumper of Dillion Moltz of the #5, who had immediately jumped into the lead. Scott Chubbuck of the #15x pushed from the third position, making Saunders the filling in an aggressive sandwich for the first dozen laps. Travis Benjamin of the #17 let the three pack leaders distract each other while he worked the outer lane to gain speed on the turns. Drivers stayed competitive but single-file mid-field, while the back of the pack continued their green-flag fury lap after lap.
Two cautions in laps 22 and 23 gave Saunders the chance to grab the lead from Moltz, but to say he held it by a thread would be an understatement. Jacob Dore of the #05x overtook the #17 in lap 36, despite the latter achieving the night’s best lap time – milliseconds away from 90 mph! Benjamin finally conceded his outer lane tactics to rejoin the inside, where he remained in fifth position for the rest of the feature. Around the halfway point, all eyes were trained on Saunders and Moltz in the lead when Chubbuck, also a former Boss Hogg champion, came out of nowhere. After he overtook Moltz, Chubbuck put up an intense battle with Saunders that lasted until the #15x spun toward the infield with less than 40 laps to go.
Saunders was quick to take advantage of his rival’s tragic fall from the top five and implemented his plan for track domination. With traffic heavy throughout the course, Saunders was able to gain wide margins while his shadows were blocked over and over again. Once the scoreboard showed five laps to go, it was clear that sheer speed alone could not demote Saunders from becoming the night’s boss. Chubbuck patiently waited in fourth until the very end, when he caught his final wind of the night to outman Dore for third place in a thrilling photo finish.
Even though he came in 11th, one place shy of his top-10 goal, Dave “Boss Hogg” St. Clair gave fans a thrill when he threw down donuts on the back stretch. For his epic win, Saunders took home over $4,600 in purse money, including significant lap-leader prizes and the Halfway Point Brackett’s Market Leaders Bonus. Other drivers earning lap-leader cash were Chubbuck with five laps led, and Moltz with 20. The Hard Charger Award, given to the driver able to advance the most positions, was taken home by Nate Tribbett of the #13, earning him a $500 credit to ARBodies.
Other races Saturday night included a 20-lap feature race of Thunder 4 Minis, in which several post-race inspection fails shifted Michael Harrison of the #48, from Pownal, into first place, followed by Donald Mooney of the #80, from New Gloucester, and Travis Poulliot of the #19, from Skowhegan. The New England 4 Cylinder Prostocks powered through a 25-lap feature with some heavy competition for two-time champion and points leader, Kamren Knowles of the #98, from West Gardiner. Knowles ultimately took home his seventh win of the season, followed by Jamie Wright in the #84, from Woolwich, and R.J. Pinkham of the #48, from Hallowell.
Starting their 25-lap feature three wide, the Super Streets division kept fans on their feet as Mark Lucas won first place as well as June Driver of the Month. Second went to Cody Buzzell of the #38, from Madison, and miraculously, third went to Cory Creamer, of Randolph, driving the #06 for the first time.
Saturday, Aug. 6 will feature an exciting 25-lap invitational feature, the Dave’s World Dash for Cash. This invite-only event offers an opportunity to compete for Wiscasset Late Model drivers who have not won a feature within the last two years. Other group-two features will include the Late Model Sportsmen, Strictly Streets, Kennebec Equipment Rental Outlaw Minis, and NAPA Modified divisions. Individual admission is $5 and grandstand fees are waived for kids under six. For the 2016 race schedule and more, go to wiscassetspeedway.com.