WISCASSET — Will Collins took off his hat, wiped his sweaty brow, guzzled some water and pondered. Even he wasn’t sure how to begin to describe his second win of the season at Wiscasset Speedway.

The Waldoboro driver did the one thing it felt like nobody could do on a night that called for it more than ever. He was patient.

“I’m pretty patient usually, which can be kind of a downfall of mine,” Collins said. “I kind of give up a little too much early in a race. Rather than go, I kind of save it. But, you know, sometimes you need a little luck. So, I’ll take it.”

Take it, he did. Collins inherited the lead with 15 laps remaining and drove off to win the 40-lap Late Model feature at the track Saturday night over James Barker of Jay and point leader Andrew McLaughlin of Harrington. Aside from so many battered machines, bruised egos and blatant disregard for fellow competitors, it was a forgettable race — one which took more than an hour to complete on the heels of a two-hour rain delay prior to the night’s feature racing.

Collins, who started 10th in the 19-car field, simply avoided the trouble that was everywhere to be found in order to end up in victory lane.

“I was like, ‘Man, is this race ever going to get over?’” Collins said of the 62-minute event which featured seven cautions (five in the first six laps), two red flags and seven cars not even around for the checkered flag. The race distance was shortened from its scheduled 50 laps due to time constraints.

“Plus with the lead up to it, like two hours (for rain)…” Collins mused, searching for the right words. “Man…”

Chris Thorne of Sidney finished fourth with easily the fastest car on the race track. Three times he restarted at the rear of the field — after getting spun on the first lap as the field tried to slow on the backstretch for a red flag, again when he was caught deep in a chain reaction wreck that tweaked his bumper one lap later and, finally, on lap 25 when he made contact with race leader Frank Moulton as the pair exited turn two.

After trying for four laps to pass Moulton unsuccessfully to the outside, Thorne tucked in behind the Clinton driver. His bumper finally made contact with Moulton’s, sending Moulton spinning to the infield grass along the backstretch.

“I was trying every which way to get around him,” Thorne said. “I just kept tucking in behind him. Coming off two, he just slowed right up and I got into the back of him. I guess that’s my fault for him putting the binders on, I guess.”

Thorne was penalized by race officials and sent to the rear for his role in the incident.

“I should have won,” Thorne said. “I got robbed. That was a bad call… I’ve already had pretty much everybody in the pits say that it wasn’t my fault.”

Thorne wasn’t the only one to suffer misfortune.

Buxton’s Danny Smart barrel-rolled his car after hard, head-on contact with the tire barrier beyond turn one on the opening lap. Tyler Robbins of Montville was turned into the outside wall on the frontstretch after tangling with Moulton while racing for the lead on lap six. Ryan St. Clair, who on July 21, ended up turned around in turn one before the midway point.

It was, as McLaughlin described it, chaos.

“After the first five laps, I told my dad on the radio, ‘I should just load this thing (in the trailer) right now,’” McLaughlin said. “Maybe it was the conditions, the waiting around for the rain delay. After the first caution there’s a lot of dust on the track, and somebody gets into that and everyone thinks somebody’s wrecking. One person checks up and one person doesn’t, we’re going so fast, it’s all just chain reaction from there.

“It’s just survival after the first couple of laps.”

Nobody did a better job of survival than Collins.

“It was bad. That was crazy,” Collins said. “I knew we were good, but I didn’t think we could win. Sometimes you’ve got to have a little luck, and we did tonight.”

• • •

The Outlaw Mini division tested the track’s waters, pun intended, following the lengthy track drying process.

Vassalboro’s Brent Roy was in cruise control until the first caution of the race erased a straightaway lead on lap 19. With less than two laps remaining, Scott Trask got a nose under Roy, who had been trying to hold off both lanes, turning the leader in turn two. That allowed Jake Hendsbee of Whitefield to scoot through on the bottom side to the lead.

Hendsbee drove off to his division-leading third win of the season, while Roy — who never stopped after his spin — was relegated to fourth.

“I saw what was going to happen,” Hendsbee said. “I backed up and took advantage when it did happen.”

“I feel bad for what happened with Brent,” Trask, who finished third, said. “It was hard racing. I was underneath him.”

Rob Greenleaf of West Bath finished second and closed the gap significantly on point leader Jimmy Childs. Childs csuffered a fuel pickup problem while helping dry the track, and his car stalled in turn three. Childs needed to be pushed off the track by a tow vehicle, and he did not return.

Kyle Hewins of Leeds won a caution-free Strictly Street feature for his second victory of the season. Brad Erskine of Solon finished second.

Adam Chadbourne of Woolwich capped the night with his fifth Modified feature win in 2018.

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