Logan Melcher
Jay native Logan Melcher powers his way around Wiscasset Speedway earlier this season. Melcher has enjoyed a strong start to his 2017 season, with three feature victories to his credit in the Thunder 4 Mini class. 

JAY — Within every division in Groups 1 and 2 at Richard and Vanessa Jordan’s fan-friendly Wiscasset Speedway, there are a number of quality teams ready to battle hard for position every time out. 

That list includes the Thunder 4 Mini class, built on the concept of Mini Stock-style cars with minor modifications, unlike their more radical “Outlaw Mini” sister class.

For Jay native Logan Melcher, the Thunder 4 Mini class is a casual playground; one where he’s won all three points races held thus far in 2017. 

“I think there are a couple of factors for the improved performance this year,” Melcher said. “My father and I have hit on the right setup, for one thing. I also feel my confidence level is higher after that first victory. We’ve proved we can do it, and it sure does feel nice. This is when racing is fun.”

Logan’s father, Larry, is an experienced mechanic with a background in drag racing. After years of competing in a straight line, he took some time away from the sport before trying his hand on the oval, entering Oxford’s old Mini Stock class. The records show 11 wins to his credit between 2003 and 2009.

For 2017, he’s racing in Wiscasset’s Outlaw Mini class, never far from his son’s race car or needs.

“It’s been awesome, he’s turning into a very polished driver,” Larry said of his son’s efforts. “The only part I don’t like is that he’s making me look old and worn out. When we’re hanging out after work and people stop by, I have to listen to him. Honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve had my time, now it’s his.”

Larry’s 2017 season may not have landed him in Victory Lane as of yet, but four top-five finishes in five starts has him sitting second in points behind leader Brent Roy.  

Competition in those Outlaw Minis can be tough, yet the veteran is consistently near the front.

Father and son, racing, working on the cars, sharing the experiences of a weekly short track hobby. For most 25-year-old guys, there’s a ton of other places they’d rather be on a Saturday night. But not Logan.

“Getting to do this with my father is like a dream come true,” he explained. “He’s always been my biggest supporter, and goes out of his way to help me all the time. Anything I need, he makes it happen.

“My father has a ton of knowledge to share, which is one of the reasons why we’re both doing so well this year. I can’t thank him enough for all he does to make my program a success.”

There are dozens of racers out there with a father filling the role of crew chief (and more often than not the role of lead wallet, as well). Yet it takes more than one man to keep a race team on-track. 

“I also have to thank Ben Desjardins, Don Frechette and Doug Coombs; all three provide a lot of support for my efforts. I’m fortunate to have sponsorship from T&L Automotive and Satch’s V-Twin. They both are a big help.”

Melcher has four years of racing overall in his resume, including this season. His initial experiences at the wheel didn’t exactly set the world on fire. 

“I bought a car for Oxford’s Rebel class when I was in college in 2010,” Melcher humbly explained. “I couldn’t afford it, but didn’t care and managed to race it five times. We won with it once, then blew it up the following week. I couldn’t afford to rebuild it, so I stepped away (from) racing until I started again last year.” 

This time around, thanks to his father and strong support from other individuals, the results are far better. 

With plans already in place for Logan to move up in 2018, having that level of support is vital. The son and his mechanical-guru father will tackle a new challenge next season, one that will require a different approach.

“I’ll be strapping into a Modified next year, and I’m pretty excited about it,” Logan added. “The open-wheeled ground-pounders are pretty fast and racy, so I think it will be fun once we get a handle on the right setup. Dad and I just enjoy working on race cars, and we want to try our hand at Mod racing. We’ll give it our best.”

For the balance of 2017, however, there is a need to focus on the task at hand. There is much racing left to do before a champion can be crowned. Three wins before July 4 does not guarantee any man a title.

“We need to carry this momentum forward in July and August if at all possible,” Melcher said. “We know we won’t win them all, but if I keep finishing in the top three or even the top five, we should be able to hold onto our points lead. A championship would be very satisfying, for both me and my Dad.”

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