PITTSTON — Ben Ashline went from watching history unfold as a child at Wiscasset Speedway to becoming part of the track’s history in May. On Sunday, he’ll attempt to make history.

Ashline, who won his second straight Coastal 200 in a Late Model at Wiscasset in May, will enter Sunday’s Boss Hogg 150 at the track. Should he win the Pro Stock/Super Late Model open, he would become the first driver ever to win each of the speedway’s two signature annual events.

“Now that I’m stewing on it, to potentially be one of one to ever do that, it’s exciting,” the Pittston driver said of a potential season sweep. “It’s intriguing.”

In May, Ashline became the first driver ever to win back-to-back Coastal 200s, for the second straight year driving his own Late Model to victory. On Sunday, he’ll drive for car owner Ajay Picard of Palmyra, a close friend who is out of the seat himself this season with a neck injury.

Last Sunday, the team entered the 46th annual Oxford 250. Making just their second start together, Ashline finished seventh in Picard’s No. 99. It was an eye-opening performance against some of the best Super Late Model teams in New England, in an event which drew nearly 60 cars attempting to qualify for the race.

Ashline won his second-round heat race to advance to the main event.

Even with such a strong showing for the small team without a lot of on-track history together, Ashline was dissatisfied.

I thought we had a legit shot at winning the Oxford 250,” Ashline said after riding with the leaders midway through the race and having just one four-tire pit stop left to make. “I had our best set of tires left, but I didn’t scuff them. They may have changed a little — the stagger tightened up three-quarters of an inch. The car just got way too tight.

I’m very hard on myself. At the end of the day, I didn’t make the time to scuff that set and I feel like it cost us.”

Still, the team is energized heading to Wiscasset this weekend.

Picard has raced their regularly over the last couple of seasons, even making his final start of the season in the speedway’s season opener in early May. And Ashline’s Late Model success at the track where he grew up watching his father race from the grandstands gives the team confidence that there could be more history in the making on Sunday.

It’s not the 250, but it’s still a big race,” said Ashline, who works at Distance Racing in Fairfield, building race cars alongside owner Jeff Taylor, a nine-time Oxford Plains Speedway champion. “I’ve taken a little grief over the Coastal 200 stuff, that I brought the best of everything over there or something. It’s just a matter of getting the wheels lined up and the car balanced, and that’s what I try to get better at every day is that side of it.”

The first Boss Hogg 150 was contested in 1991. The race is named after longtime track owner Dave “Boss Hogg” St. Clair of Liberty, a member of Wiscasset Speedway’s inaugural Hall of Fame class this summer. It has been both a 100-lap and 150-lap event during its incarnation.

Winning both the Coastal 200 and the Boss Hogg 150 in his career — in the same season, no less — appeals to the 28-year-old who has made only a handful of starts over the last few seasons.

“To win in two separate cars with two separate divisions (at Wiscasset), that’s a new challenge,” Ashline said. “I’m not trying to be better than anybody, I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday. I always try to challenge myself. The good thing is that in racing, it’s easy to find a challenge like that.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.