WISCASSET — There wasn’t one single moment where Mike Hodgkins thought he might not make it back to Wiscasset Speedway. There were several of them.

“Yup, a few of them,” Hodgkins said with a laugh after finishing third in the 25-lap Super Street feature last Saturday night at the track.

Just two weeks earlier, the Jefferson driver was involved in a scary crash with Josh Bailey during a feature event. Both cars went careening down the pit access road at the entrance to the track’s first turn, with Hodgkins smashing his No. 23 into the outside retaining wall.

It was the hardest accident he has had in more than three decades of racing, he said.

“Ever, in about 35 years of racing,” Hodgkins said. “(Bailey) just got loose, got off the frontstretch and just came back across the race track and spun us both. It was just a racing deal. It wasn’t on purpose, there was just nowhere to go.”

After the crash, the car needed a host of repairs — including new ball joints, spindles and tie rods, rear-end suspension work and virtually an entirely new body. Hodgkins and several of his friends spent all of Fourth of July (in the sweltering 100-degree heat) in his garage working on the car.

In all, Hodgkins estimated there were nearly 100 man hours of work put into getting the machine back to the track.

While Michael Harrison of Pownal earned his first career win in the division Saturday, it was hard to fault Hodgkins if he was celebrating more than the average third-place finisher. Simply getting to the track last weekend was a victory; finishing on the podium was a bonus.

With a win and four top fives in six races this season, Hodgkins sits just two points behind Harrison for the division lead.

“It’s a win,” said Hodgkins, a four-time champion at Unity Raceway in six-cylinder and Super Sportsman classes. “It’s a win, it really is, just to get the car back down here. I (was) leading the points, so I’d like to win them.”

• • •

Reid Lanpher’s impressive summer continues.

On Wednesday, Lanpher won the $10,000 U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model Nationals at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway for the first time in his career. Lanpher took the lead late in the 200-lap event when leaders Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and Joe Johnson made contact.

It was Lanpher’s third straight win. He also won the Granite State Pro Stock Series 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June and dominated the Pro All Stars Series race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough on July 7.

He’ll try to make it four in a row when he returns to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this weekend at NHMS.

• • •

There’s a new point leader at Beech Ridge and it’s a familiar face.

Trevor Sanborn of East Parsonsfield won the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race at the track last Saturday night for his first win of the season to take the point lead from Curt Gerry and Dan McKeage.

This is Sanborn’s first full season at Beech Ridge after a long absence, and his first in a car he owns himself since 2011.

“I should have done this years back,” Sanborn said. “I should have never sold my car, to be honest… It’s been like a dream come true. It’s all falling into place.”

Sanborn’s win Saturday was especially meaningful, he said, when you consider the quality of the competition. There were three Oxford 250 winners in the field as well as six Beech Ridge track champions.

“It’s probably one of the hardest divisions — and I’m talking PASS, Granite State or even Oxford Plains Speedway — they have some of the most talented drivers on Saturday nights and the stiffest competition around,” Sanborn said. “It makes it so hard. When I go to race against those guys every week, I know that I’m racing some of the best around. To beat them, I know we have a good enough car to go PASS racing.”

• • •

Ellsworth native Wyatt Alexander won the Valvoline Fast Track To Fame competition after fan voting completed on July 3. … Wiscasset Speedway hosts its 49th birthday celebration this Saturday at 5 p.m. The event features fireworks following a six-division program. … Beech Ridge’s divisions are off this weekend in favor of a Day of Destruction night, which should lead to a larger than normal field of Super Late Models at Oxford Plains Speedway Saturday night.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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