WISCASSET — The word respect was being tossed around the Wiscasset Speedway pit area Saturday afternoon more often than worn out wrenches.

There seems to be a lack of it popping up among drivers at the .375-mile oval on the seacoast, and it’s resulting in torn up race cars, hard feelings and empty wallets.

“The biggest issue is that you’ve got the young guys that really haven’t done much in the other classes they were in buying these cars,” said Scott Chubbuck, a five-time Pro Stock champion at Wiscasset. “I pretty much think that just because you can afford to race them doesn’t mean that you should.”

At issue are a number of recent Pro Stock and Strictly Street division races that have produced more carnage than clean passes on the race track. Two weeks ago, the first heat race of the night for the track’s Pro Stock division — a Super Late Model class, the fastest short-track car competing weekly at Maine’s speedways — produced a wreck on the first lap that wiped out half of its field.

Chubbuck, of Bowdoin, watched the first three races of the season from the stands while helping Bath driver Mike Moody. What he saw was enough to make him want to speak up.

“It’s a combination of things. It stinks because it’s making it hard for them to build up the class,” Chubbuck said. “I just want to see (track owners Richard and Vanessa Jordan) do well with this place, because they can. We can race out there. There’s plenty of room.

“It’s just a matter of a little respect.”

Youngster Wyatt Alexander is a third-generation driver from Ellsworth. He comes from a racing family, and he agrees with Chubbuck’s assessment.

“It’s an awareness thing,” said Alexander, 16, who has one Pro Stock win this season after winning the Boss Hogg 100 last summer at Wiscasset. “Sometimes I feel like you have to know who you’re racing around.”

The Pro Stock class isn’t the only one where teams and drivers are frustrated. The street stocks have had just as much trouble.

Last week, after completing only 16 laps of a scheduled 25 in 48 minutes, the Strictly Street feature was cut short.

Maurice Young of Chelsea, a seven-time track champion in the division, is beyond frustrated by how drivers are racing one another.

“One thing I learned a long time ago is that racing somebody so hard for position that you’re going to wreck them isn’t worth it,” Young said. “I get two more points, I get an extra five dollars (in purse money) — and I get an enemy for life.”

Wiscasset Speedway management is trying to stay ahead of the issues before they become bigger ones. Track promoter Ken Minott said he addressed the issues in a drivers’ meeting two weeks ago, while race director Jim Kaler Jr. was back beating a similar drum Saturday night before racing began.

“What I’m seeing on a lot of it is some of the newer drivers don’t realize how much they’re moving high, how much they’re moving low,” Kaler said. “We’ve got some guys doing a little bit of blocking, but that’s part of racing. I’m just trying to keep it under control, because I don’t want it to accelerate.

“I’m trying to be proactive. I’m trying to get it in everybody’s heads that we’re not going to put up with it. It’s a lot better to go home with sixth (place) than to go home in pieces.”

Chubbuck says there are things drivers can learn to help make things go more smoothly on the race track. At the end of the day, he’s worried about too many small, weekly teams needing too much time and money to make repairs in time for the next week’s racing.

When cars can’t make it back to the track, the overall product is lesser for it, he said.

“As far as the driving aspect, you can learn the part about slowing down to go a little faster, about going easier on your equipment,” Chubbuck said. “This place is all about holding on. If you catch guys from a straightaway back, they just race you harder. It shouldn’t be like that. If you catch a guy from a straightaway back, he should let you go.”

“This track has two and a half racing grooves,” Young said. “Pick one. I’m not saying you have to pull over and let me go, I’m just telling you to pick one.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5648

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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