WISCASSET — A double-feature night for the Pro Stock division Saturday provided an opportunity for double the points, double the wins and, unfortunately, double the disaster.

Two-time Wiscasset Speedway track champion Daren Ripley enjoyed the best of times, with a win and a second in the two 40-lap features to gain some traction in the point standings through five races this season. The Thomaston driver capped the night with his second win of the season.

“We had 100-lap, 120-lap tires on the car,” Ripley. “We were playing the tire game, but the car’s a rocket.”

Ripley took the lead on lap 28 and then pulled away following a late-race restart to fend off Ajay Picard of Palmyra and Charlie Colby of Newcastle for the victory. Picard’s finish matched the best of his career, whole Colby finished on the podium for the second time on the night.

Ripley’s win was marred by a nearly 40-minute delay following a caution flag on lap four. An incident on the backstretch wiped out a quarter of the field, including point leader Scott Chubbuck and two-time division champion Mike Orr. Orr and Brandon Sprague got together while racing for second in a tight pack, with Sprague’s car turning straight into the outside wall at nearly full speed.

Chubbuck was left with extensive left front damage on his car after driving over the top of Orr’s machine. The red flag was immediately displayed.

“I saw nothing,” Chubbuck said. “All I saw was (Orr) sitting stopped on the backstretch. I just didn’t want to wreck, but that’s the way it is here.”

“I didn’t see much. Brandon just came right up in front of me,” Orr said. I didn’t have time to stop. It just happened too fast for anyone to stop.”

Sprague had to be cut out of his car by rescue personnel on-site and he was placed on a stationary board and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation, according to speedway staff. Sprague was alert and responsive and his injuries were not believed to be serious.

“It’s kind of hard for me,” Ripley said, laughing, of having to wait between features and then wait again during the long red flag.

If it was taxing for him at all, it didn’t show. When the field went back to green, Ripley climbed to fourth by lap 11 and cracked the top four just six laps pater. He took the lead for good from early leader Nick Hinkley, who led the first 28 laps before a mechanical issue forced him to give up the lead, on lap 28. From there, the battle was for second between Picard — who passed Colby in the closing laps for second — Colby and East Madison’s Jeff Burgess, who battled back after fading out of the top five midway through the race.

Ripley came up just inches short of sweeping the doubleheader, as Chubbuck used his veteran savvy to prove the old adage that the fastest car doesn’t always win the race. The five-time track champion held off a furious charge from Ripley over the last 10 laps to win the first feature of the night by half a car length.

The win was the second of the season for Chubbuck, of Bowdoin, who also won on opening day. The race was the completion of a race that was halted by rain with 32 laps remaining on July 1.

“You drive what you can, and hopefully you manage to hold them off,” said Chubbuck, who restarted the race on lap 9 from the fifth spot on the grid. “I managed to, but just barely.”

Ripley passed Colby on lap 30 for second place. Staring at a straightaway deficit, he had nothing but an empty race track between he and Chubbuck, and he turned laps that were routinely two-tenths of a second faster than the leader.

By lap 39 Ripley had pulled to the rear bumper of Chubbuck. On the final lap, entering turn one, Chubbuck’s car veered sideways — but the cagey veteran righted the ship and managed to stay ahead of Ripley.

Chubbuck fought a tight race car in the heat of the afternoon, and the condition only worsened as the laps clicked off.

“The car was tight, and I couldn’t go any harder. When I did, I got loose,” Chubbuck said. “Anybody else, I probably would have been (spun) around right there.”

“I got into him a little bit down there, but I got out of it,” Ripley said. “He would have done the same for me.”

Ironically, Chubbuck made his move to the front on lap 11, nosing the early leader Burgess up the track in turn one to muscle to the lead.

On an unpredictable race track, Chubbuck said he wasn’t quite ready risk getting caught up early in a pack of race cars.

“I wasn’t going to wait to be the next caution. You’ve got to get away from them,” Chubbuck said.

Nate Tribbett of Richmond and Picard of Newport completed the top five.

Kamren Knowles of Readfield won his third 4-Cylinder Pro Stock division feature of the season, coming from deep in the field to hold off Connor Wenners and Jeff Prindall. Knowles, 17, fhas won three straight championships in the division.

After wrecking two weeks ago, Knowles hopped into the car usually driven by his sister, Brooke.

“Probably going to have to (keep it),” he said.

Max Rowe of Turner, grandson of Mike Rowe — the winningest driver in Oxford Plains Speedway history — finished fourth.

In other feature racing, Logan Melcher of Jay won his fourth straight Thunder 4 Mini feature to open the season. Reigning champion Mark Lucas of Harpswell, who won a pair of track championships in 2016, won the 35-lap Super Street feature, holding off Jason Curtis and Josh Bailey for the victory.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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