WATCH LIVE: Coastal 200 at Wiscasset Speedway
Ben Ashline has made his presence known as far south as Georgia in the past few years, but he is always eager for a shot to run his home track. He has won the last two Coastal 200’s, and is looking for a third on Sunday.
“It’s kind of the Daytona 500 of short track events, Late Model wise, for us in Maine. At the local level you have your Saturday night local regulars and it’s a chance to run long distance. So there’s a lot of hype behind it, there’s always a great crowd out for it. They do a big weekend of activities, there’s a cruise-in and cookoff Saturday. The atmosphere and comradery are great, and it motivates us to run it,” Ashline told Speed51.
While running races with a triple-digit lap count isn’t unusual for him, this event also provides a unique opportunity for those Saturday night racers who almost never run more than 40 or 50 laps a race.
A lot of the focus for a lot of teams is to just make it the 200-lap distance. Your 40-lappers are tough to run because it’s always a sprint and you got to get to the front for the points. Adjusting your car for the long run is crucial in itself and just making sure it lasts. You got to make sure the car stays underneath you and doesn’t fall apart towards the end. In the shop you got to make sure it doesn’t fall apart before finding the speed.
Giving some insight onto what kind of track Wiscasset Speedway is on the Speed51 Bullring, Ashline described it as being quite the challenge, while also being great for competition.
“It is a unique place. To me, both ends of the track are two different animals really. They did lay some new asphalt down a few years ago, and the asphalt doesn’t start until the middle of three and four to the exit; it’s one and a half grooves wide. So it makes it a little tough for the guy on the high side, but it’s flatter, the whole corner is flatter than one and two. Driving wise you have to approach the corners differently.”
For those planning to watch on Speed51.TV this Sunday, Ashline says for viewers to expect some hard driving in addition to the wheel-to-wheel excitement.
“My favorite part about it, is you can really hustle the car there. You almost have to tell yourself to abuse it when you want to go fast, because the track allows you to go that much faster when you get up on the wheel and throw it into the corner. It has all the characteristics of being a really fun place to race, when we get the opportunity to run there we always jump on it.”
Speed51.TV will go live for the Coastal 200 at Wiscasset at the 2pm ET post time this Sunday, May 30.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Wiscasset Speedway