Mike Hopkins stands next to his car after winning the Boss Hogg 150 on Sunday at Wiscasset Speedway. Staff photo by Travis Barrett

WISCASSET — Mike Hopkins had something to prove.

The Hermon driver hadn’t won a race all season long, and he saw what he thought was his best chance of ending that drought disappear when Garrett Hall stormed by him less than 30 laps from the finish Sunday evening at Wiscasset Speedway. But when the caution came out for the final time five laps from the checkered flag, it gave Hopkins the shot at redemption he craved.

Hopkins squeezed under Hall with less than two laps remaining and drove off to win the Boss Hogg 150, his first career win in the event and the first win of what has been a long two years for Hopkins.

“It’s awesome,” said Hopkins, who earned $5,000 for the win. “Just the adversity I’ve been through in the last two years in my life, jumping from what I’ve always raced to this with a whole new group of guys. I’m just glad I pulled through. I wasn’t going to quit on them. I was going to wreck, or I was going to win.”

Hall, of Scarborough, finished second with Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay third. Sidney’s Kevin Douglass and five-time Wiscasset track champion Scott Chubbuck of Bowdoin completed the top five.

Daren Ripley finished sixth, the only other driver on the lead lap in a race marred by two red flags totaling 38 minutes, nine cautions and just 11 cars remaining on track at the end from a 31-car starting field.

Hopkins was the dominant car for most of the race, having led more than 100 laps after taking over the top spot just 17 laps in. He survived the carnage — the first 19 laps took more than an hour to complete — and pulled away on restart after restart.

But Hall was finally able to reel him in after pitting for a handling adjustment on lap 90, rolling through what was a thinned out field to drive around Hopkins on the outside on lap 121.

Hall still wasn’t sure he had enough car to win at the time. But he was left disappointed nonetheless, when he washed up in turn one to open the door for Hopkins less than two laps from the finish.

“The car was wicked loose. We brought it in and adjusted a little bit,” said Hall, who won the the Boss Hogg 150 in 2017 before being disqualified in post-race technical inspection for a tire infraction. “I didn’t think it was capable of winning, but I think I would have been able to pull it off but things didn’t fall out, I guess.”

Ironically it was Travis Benjamin, who prepares Hopkins race car, that gave Hopkins the shot at victory after trying Hall unsuccessfully for several laps. Benjamin’s car came to a stop on the frontstretch on lap 145, setting up the final restart and the showdown over the final couple of laps.

Hall leaned on Hopkins with two laps remaining, after driving too deep into the first corner of the .333-mile track.

“I think I could have held him, but I think I drove it down into that corner a little too hard, and it was a little too early,” Hall said.

“He went into turn one and he used eight tires better than four, so I crossed him up going down the backstretch and the hole was open going into turn three,” Hopkins said. “I just bided my time, and when he slid up I just used my momentum and filled the hole. He was so free. If he wasn’t free, he would have beaten us hands down.”

There didn’t appear to be contact between the two drivers in turn three when Hopkins made the final pass on lap 149, with Farrington closing in quickly as they tried to settle the race.

After leading 114 laps earlier, Hopkins led the most important two — the last two.

“You can never think it’s the end of your day, because if you think you’re done, you’re done,” Hopkins said of his thoughts when Hall passed him for the lead. “Racing is confidence. You can never give up. That was a good example, the caution comes out and it changes the whole race.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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