Nick Hinkley turns a corner during the July 31 Pro Stock Series race at Wiscasset Speedway in Wiscasset. Photo provided by Nick Hinkley

Nick Hinkley knew that he had been struggling over the past couple of weeks on the racetrack.

He told himself that he had to turn things around, quickly. So he did, taking home first place in last weekend’s Pro Stock race at Wiscasset Speedway.

“We were pumped about it,” said the Wiscasset-based driver. “The last three or four weeks were a struggle, it feels good to get one.”

The July 31 win propelled Hinkley into second-place in the overall Pro Stock series point standings for the season, overtaking Kevin Douglass, who fell back to third.

Hinkley now sits just eight points behind points leader Josh St. Clair. But, don’t ask Hinkley about the standings.

“No,” Hinkley said when asked if he’s been keeping an eye on the standings. “Every time I do that I get caught up in them and lose focus. We’re at the point of the season where we’re aiming for wins, more or less.”

St. Clair shares a similar sentiment, but says so many people keep bringing it up to him that it’s hard not to know.

“I’ve never won a championship, so being where I am at this point of the season is a great feeling,” said the Liberty-based driver.

Nick Hinkley holds the checkered flag after his win in the July 31 Pro Stock series race at Wiscasset Speedway. Photo provided by Nick Hinkley

St. Clair sits atop the Pro Stock and Late Model Sportsman series. With the calendar flipping to August, the season is officially in the home stretch.

“It’s a little tense, I feel like I’ve been over trying to place well during the past few weeks,” said St. Clair. “This past weekend (July 31) didn’t start off too well but I ended up third, it was sort of a relief for me.”

Added Hinkley: “You can tell things have been heating up on and off of the track, which is naturally the case this time of the season. It gets a little dicey in there, everyone is paying more attention to that kind of stuff.”

Hinkley won the July 31 race despite a wreck that took out around half the field towards the beginning of the race.

“People are just driving harder,” he said. “Unfortunately that can lead to the stuff that happened this past weekend.”

 

ST. CLAIR EYES OXFORD 250

Despite being in the midst of two championship chases at Wiscasset, St. Clair said that he is “planning” to take part in the Oxford 250.

“Things could change depending on my status in the standings as Wiscasset, but that’s the plan,” St. Clair said.

Josh St. Clair of Liberty celebrates in victory lane following a win at Wiscasset Speedway earlier this season. Staff photo by Travis Barrett

St. Clair said it will be the first time he’s raced in the Oxford 250 since he was 16. The 48th annual Oxford 250 will take place on Sunday, August 29, with the weekend-long events getting started on August 27.

“We’ll see how it turns out, but it’s something I’m looking forward to,” added St. Clair.

 

WISCASSET SCHEDULE HEATING UP

Although the season is turning towards the finish line, Wiscasset Speedway is planning for a “big finish” to the season according to co-owner Vanessa Jordan.

“It’s a little different, but we have a lot of big events coming up towards the end of the season that we’re excited about,” Jordan said.

Wiscasset is set to host the Boss Hog 150 on Labor Day weekend, an annual tradition. A change, however, will be the Exit Realty Pro Truck event, a 75-lap long race.

“We’ve had an extremely competitive season as it shows in the standings,” Jordan said. “We’re very happy with how things have gone this season, and it is shaping up to be a great finish.”

Jordan added that the atmosphere on race days feels “pretty much” back to normal and that crowd sizes have continued to climb throughout the season.

The schedule this upcoming weekend is busy too. On Saturday the 350SMAC SuperModifieds will race along with the Wood Pellet Warehouse Late Models. On Sunday, the annual Maine Vintage Race Car Association (MVRCA) SummerFest takes place. Highlights from the SummerFest include a vintage car show, Hall of Fame racers making appearances, along with a cookout and live music. 

“It’s always something we look forward to,” said Jordan. 

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