WISCASSET — The first yellow caution flag came out before the racers had barely completed a lap of the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset Speedway late Sunday afternoon. The 17th and final caution flag came out with just two laps to go.
In between, they stopped and started and stopped again, and while it led to an exciting finish, the herky-jerky pace led to a sloppy race.
Josh St. Clair, of Liberty, outsprinted Nick Jenkins, of Brownville, to take the checkered flag. Andrew McLaughlin, of Harrington, was third.
With two laps to go, Travis Stearns, of Auburn, held a slim lead over Wayne Helliwell Jr., last season’s American Canadian Tour champion. Helliwell brushed the rear of Stearns’ car, causing both to spin out and a caution to be issued. The two were sent to the back, setting the stage for St. Clair and Jenkins.
The Helliwell/Stearns caution was the third of the final six laps. As the drivers came out of a restart with six laps to race, second place Jeff Burgess, of Fairfield, lost control and went down the exit to the pits, sliding Helliwell into second. This followed a caution at lap 194.
When the drivers were able to string together multiple laps on the 3/8 of a mile track without a caution, Stearns was in control. After taking his pit stop on a caution at lap 111, Stearns fought his way back to the top, where he built a three or four car length lead. With the field whittled down to 13 cars from the original 25 over the final forty laps, Stearns, who started the day on the pole, set the pace.
Five cautions between laps 61 and 68 slowed the race considerably, and led to numerous lead changes. Dave Farrington, Helliwell, Burgess and Dave St. Clair, the former owner of Wiscasset Speedway, were among the drivers to take a turn in the lead before Stearns took control for most of the second half of the race.