August 22, 2013

AUTO RACING NOTEBOOK: McCollett calls it a career after victory

By Bill Stewart bstewart@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

It was quite a night for Readfield native Pete McCollett at Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday.

McCollett held off a small field to win a 15-lap Thunder 4 race, thanked the crowd at victory lane and then announced his retirement in the pits.

"I'm done," he said. "I wanted one more victory and I got it. This is how I want to go. I wanted to go out with a bang, and I did. I'll be a car owner now and let some young kids drive."

McCollett, 52, has bounced around at a variety of tracks in recent years, from Unity to Oxford Plains and Wiscasset.

This season, he competes in two classes with a pair of Volkswagens he converted on his own -- a Scirocco and a Golf.

He drove the Scirocco to victory Saturday -- his second straight in the class. The week before, McCollett earned a victory in the Outlaw Mini class with his Golf.

"Three straight weeks," McCollett said. "But it's now time."

McCollett is letting Shawn Kimball, 34, of Augusta drive the Golf and Dan Trask, 34, of Chelsea drive the Scirocco.

"I've never won a (points) championship as a driver but we'll shoot for two in two different classes," McCollett said. "Hey, I'm getting old. This is a little harder for me."

Trask, Kimball and McCollett became friends through racing at Wiscasset.

Trask said he's "having a blast" driving for McCollett.

"We go a ways back," he said. "I've had my own cars in years past but this will work out. I'm looking forward to it."

* * *

Last Saturday was a rough night for car owner Ed Trask, an Augusta native. Trask had not one but two Pro Stock cars wreck at Wiscasset Speedway.

Madison native Jeff Burgess crashed the No. 1 car coming into turn four during a heat race. The team then entered the No. 11 -- a Late Model that was converted to a Pro Stock last week -- into the 40-lap feature, but it wrecked, too, with John Rideout behind the wheel.

Rideout of Washington got tangled up with Manchester native Reid Lanpher with about five laps remaining and crashed.

"It was a bad day," Burgess said. "My wreck happened in the heat race and so I watched the feature from the backstretch. Then John and Reid bumped in the corner with both trying to take the same real estate. These things happen, but it was a bad day."

Burgess said Wednesday the two cars should be ready to go in the next Pro Stock race at Wiscasset, a 30-lap feature on Aug. 31.

"We got one of them done," Burgess said. "The other we should finish up early next week, which should give us plenty of time to get ready."

* * *

Justin Drake was supposed to race just once this season -- the Pro All Stars Series North opener in April at Oxford Plains Speedway.

But once became twice and twice became three times, and so on.

"That was the plan," said Drake, 24, of Burnham. "Just go once. But we just couldn't stop so we kept going."

Drake was back at Wiscasset for a 40-lap Pro Stock race Saturday. He finished sixth in a seven-car field.

"We've been going pretty good," Drake said. "We've tried to stay consistent. We've had a few tough breaks here and there, but otherwise we're hanging in there."

* * *

Chris King wrapped up his second Strictly Street title in four years at Unity Raceway.

King, 42, of Burnham has 948 points while Steve Rackliff is second with 576.

(Continued on page 2)

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