WISCASSET — On the night Wiscasset Speedway marked its 47th birthday, the family whose name is synonymous with the track celebrated most loudly.

Bookending the night with a pair of Late Model Sportsman feature victories, Josh St. Clair started the party and grandfather Dave St. Clair wired the field in the nightcap Saturday night at the track he owned for nearly two decades. The two Liberty racers both earned their first wins of the season with their respective trips to victory lane.

All told, the two combined to lead 56 of the 70 laps contested across the two races.

“I wasn’t going to miss this one,” said Dave St. Clair, who owned Wiscasset from 1990 until he sold it in 2007. “I was here in 1969 when it opened, and I was 21 years old at the time. You can figure it out from there.”

Josh St. Clair waited a little longer than most for his first win of the season. More than two weeks, in fact. The third-generation racer used a light bump-and-run move to wrestle the lead away from Nick Hinkley in the early stages and then he drove away to win the caution-free 35-lap event that had been rained out at the track on July 9.

“I had one other good week here, but this was the best it’s been by far. I’ve been struggling the first part of the season,” St. Clair said. “I’ve been talking a lot with the race-shop guys who helped me out a little bit. We changed the setup over in the front, and it made it turn a lot better. It was a lot quicker.”

Defending division champion Will Collins of Waldoboro took second in the closing laps, while Richmond’s Nate Tribbett crossed the stripe in third.

Tribbett was disqualified from his finish after failing post-race technical inspection. Hinkley was credited with third, while current point leader Chris Thorne of Sidney was fourth and extended his slim lead atop the standings.

For St. Clair, though, it was a great start to the night, even after the wait, which was made even longer following a 90-minute weather delay to begin Saturday’s card.

“I expected it would be slippery with (the rain) washing all the rubber off the track,” St. Clair said. “There was a little bit of water down on the bottom of the track still. I drove down into it a few times, and I learned about that real quick.”

Even starting 10th in the 17-car field, it didn’t take St. Clair long to get to the front. He was well inside the top five just five laps into the event as the outside lane opened up for him, and on lap 10 he tried to follow Hinkley on the outside into second.

Hinkley grabbed the lead from polesitter Tyler Robbins on that circuit and held it for five laps until St. Clair made his move. Entering the third turn, St. Clair’s No. 33 gave the slightest of nudges to Hinkley’s rear bumper and St. Clair drove underneath for the lead he would not relinquish.

“I know Nick’s pretty quick, but he likes to play games a little bit,” St. Clair said. “I saw him looking at me in the mirror, and I went in there and made the room, I guess.”

Hinkley said his car developed a handling issue and he knew it was only a matter of time before St. Clair overtook him.

“I got loose when it happened,” Hinkley of Wiscasset, said. “He had the spot, and I was just trying to hold onto it.”

Hinkley was more upset with Collins, who he felt roughed him up a little bit for second place in the closing laps of the race.

“It was more or less (Collins) going for second that was unnecessary,” Hinkley said. “When someone’s outside of you, you don’t just pull up (the track) like that, no matter what. If he wants to race that way, I guess we’re going to race that way.”

“In only 35 laps with 20 cars, you’ve got to go,” Collins said. “You’ve got to make the moves you can make. We caught the lapped car, and I got underneath Nick. I saw the opening, and it was one of those things where you’ve got to go. I wasn’t meaning to run into him or whatever. It’s just a racing deal.”

While all of that was taking place, St. Clair was setting sail ahead of them. He won by more than five car lengths, left only to wonder whether there would be a late-race caution to slow him up.

“(Collins) has been really quick here, and I saw him coming,” St. Clair said. “I didn’t think he could beat me under the green flag, but a restart would have been dicey, I think.”

For Dave “Boss Hogg” St. Clair, he easily won his heat race to earn the pole for the regularly-scheduled 35-lap event which concluded the night’s race program. He shot out to a sizable lead while other would-be contenders like Andrew McLaughlin, Hinkley, Thorne and Josh St. Clair found themselves mired in heavy traffic congestion.

A caution flag just prior to the halfway mark of the event pulled the field back to St. Clair’s bumper, but no one made a serious charge at the 68-year-old veteran.

McLaughlin finished second, with Hinkley, Josh St. Clair, Alex Waltz rounding out the top five.

***

In other feature racing, Zach Audet of Skowhegan led the final 58 laps of the Outlaw Mini Stock 75 to claim his fourth checkered flag of the season. Justin Trombley of Winterport was second, with Shawn Kimball of Augusta finishing third.

Audet survived a rash of caution flags throughout the event, but his car never wavered off the bottom of the track.

“We were pretty good all day. The car’s been phenomenal, it really has,” said Audet, whose payday was the second largest of his career. “We stuck to (the bottom). We got done what we needed to do.”

Though Trombley challenged briefly in the outside lane on several restarts, his No. 34 would drop in behind Audet on the backstretch after each one. Audet nursed a one- to two-car length lead for most of the green flag racing.

On the final lap, off the final corner, Trombley shot to the bottom of the track and forced a side-by-side drag race to the checkered flag. Audet held on to win by .038-seconds.

“I figured he was going to try and go underneath me, but it didn’t go very well for him,” Audet said.

“That’s probably the most disappointed I’ve ever been after a race,” Trombley said.

Nick Anderson of Oxford, Massachusetts, finished fourth with Skowhegan’s Bryan Lancaster rounding out the top five.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

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Twitter: @TBarrettGWC