Race fans watch the action from the pits at Unity Raceway on July 10, 2022. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

WISCASSET — It was a weekend Jet Decker won’t soon forget — but one milestone stood well above the other.

The Chesterville native graduated from Mt. Blue High School on Sunday, June 11, much to the thrill and fanfare that always comes with such momentous occasions. Yet it paled in comparison to what he did less than 24 hours earlier, when he won the 40-lap late model feature at Wiscasset Speedway.

“I couldn’t care less about the graduation,” Decker joked. “The win felt way better, definitely.”

The win is the latest in a recent string of success for Decker, who has been turning heads at Wiscasset this year after debuting in late models last season. The latest in a line of Decker family drivers, he’s currently ranked second in the late models points series.

The son of Joe Decker, a former Wiscasset racer, and grandson of Skip Decker, a longtime racer at Unity, Jet Decker was never too far from the track. He began competing in snowmobile racing at the age of 5 before hitting the asphalt to race go-karts a year later.

After years of racing Allison legacy cars starting at age 11, Decker finally had his rookie season on the late model circuit last year. The season wasn’t an easy one as he dealt with mechanical troubles, but he still raced his way to a third-place finish in the late model sportsman points series.


“That mechanical failure we had, we didn’t really realize it until the end of the season,” Decker said. “I have a great team that’s always focused on helping make me better and my race car better, and once we fixed that, we were able to get a win in the last race of the season. I think ending on that really carried over.”

The proof has been in the results Decker has posted over the course of the still-young season. Two weeks before his feature win, he delivered an equally impressive performance when he finished second in the Coastal 200, one of Maine’s biggest races.

Jet Decker, center, stands with his late model car in Wiscasset Speedway victory lane after winning the division’s feature race on June 10. Joining Decker in victory lane were runner-up Josh St. Clair, left, and third-place finisher Shane Clark. Steve Girard/SGirardPhotography

He has done it all in the car in which his dad raced from 2006-21, an old Junior Hanley center-section equipped with a two-time Oxford 250-winning chassis. He and his father spend hours every day working on the vehicle, which is quickly becoming a staple at the front of the pack.

“I was just going to put him in something that didn’t care if he wrecked or not so he could get used to it as a late model, and he immediately started winning with it,” Joe Decker said. “Now, he’s started winning with it, and he doesn’t want anything else.”

The younger Decker’s passion for nuts, bolts, engines and more will soon carry over into his career. In the fall, he will be headed to Orono to study mechanical engineering at the University of Maine.

“He’s really taken to it, and he’s to the point now where he’s deciding on his own setup changes and all that,” Joe Decker said. “He spends a lot of time doing it all himself. He’s driven for it.”



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After a half-decade of sitting in silence on summer and fall afternoons, Unity Raceway opened to a new look a year ago.

Long a staple in Unity, the track’s asphalt surface was replaced with dirt under new management. The rebirth of the track after four seasons drew many racers and spectators to their longtime favorite track.

That energy hasn’t dissipated this season ahead of Unity’s opener, which was scheduled for Friday evening. Following last year’s success, the track is anticipating another big season as the first racing night of 2023 dawns.


“(Last year) was awesome, and ever since, everybody’s been asking me about this year,” said track manager Joey Doyon. “People are coming all the way from Vermont and New Hampshire with some dirt late models, and there’s even a guy from Nova Scotia who’s on his way down here right now to race every other weekend.”

Last year’s opener drew so many people to Unity Raceway that the concession stands ran out of food well before lunchtime. Empty spots in the bleachers were nigh-impossible to find as one of the largest crowds in Unity history packed the stands on a mid-July day.

Drivers power into the corner during the first day of racing at Unity Raceway on July 10, 2022. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The enthusiasm has been the same this year, but finding a day with racing-quality weather has been a struggle. Thus far, the track has only been able to get a lone practice session in and had its opening date pushed back a week after a washout last Friday.

“The weather’s just been horrid,” Doyon said. “We’ve been getting it ready, but so far, all we’ve been able to do was that practice a couple weeks ago. Even this week, we’re able to race (Friday), but we already had to push back our demo derby from Sunday because it’s going to be ugly again.”

When the weather allows for racing on the dirt track, though, the new surface is one competitors have seemed to enjoy. The dirt oval, Doyon said, “puts things more in the driver’s hands” as opposed to asphalt races, in which the quality of the car often determines the winner.

“There are cars that race Wacky Wednesdays at Speedway (95) that are top-six and can barely keep up, but they come down here and are top-three,” Doyon said. “It sometimes comes down to the guy that can navigate the bumps and get a rhythm going. It’s not always the best car that wins.”

Opening day is set for 7 p.m., much later than the mid-day starts of a year ago. Later starts will be an option at Unity all season long this year after the recent installation of lights at the track.

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