WISCASSET — These days, there’s not a combination more lethal than Old Faithful and Wiscasset Speedway.

Race car chassis are a lot like dogs. A new race car is a puppy, full of life and promise, ready for a fulfilling life with its owner. One that’s a couple of years old is in its prime, a well-trained extension of what a driver wants on the race track. But an older car, like the family dog, is what it is by the time it’s seven or eight years old. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Ben Ashline’s seven-year-old Late Model, relatively old by industry standards, doesn’t need to learn anything new at Wiscasset. For the second time in as many years, Ashline dominated the Coastal 200 on Sunday night to become just the second driver in history to win the race in consecutive years.

Ben Ashline celebrates after winning the Coastal 200 on Sunday at the Wiscasset Speedway. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

He joined Scott Chubbuck (2001-02) as the only driver to win back-to-back Coastals, with Ashline becoming the first driver to do it both as a 200-lap race and in a Late Model (the early Coastals were 150-lap affairs for Pro Stocks and Super Late Models).

“It’s neat to be a part of the history here,” Ashline said after winning the $5,000 by holding off defending track champion Andrew McLaughlin on Sunday. “To be able to etch my name on a short list of drivers that have done it, it’s pretty special.”

The feat is impressive not only because Ashline made history, but because of the manner in which he’s done so. His family-owned Late Model has made just three starts total over the last three seasons — all of them in the Coastal 200, which he’s now finished second, first and first in since 2017.

There is something about Wiscasset that Ashline, and his 2012 chassis, have taken to.

The driver and car have led 300 of the last 400 laps competed in the Coastal 200.

“This old girl, she just goes good. It’s Old Faithful,” Ashline said. “Somebody’s asked me before if I’d ever sell this thing. I’ve said, ‘You know this is really all I’ve got.’ Me and my father, my family and crew, we’ve all worked very hard on this.

“Some day this car is going to be sitting in my man cave. I can’t get rid of this.”

In a race that is typically comprised entirely of weekly Wiscasset Speedway Late Model competitors, with just a few outsiders sprinkled in each spring, what Ashline does bucks all trends.

McLaughlin admitted that it stings a little bit each time someone from outside the weekly crowd walks away with all the hardware.

“It definitely does a little,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a lot of guys here that run weekly and struggle here and there, and we scratch our heads on how to get better. But being who he is, he works on race cars for a living (at Distance Racing in Fairfield). Most of us who are racing, we’re Saturday night guys who’ve got our jobs and work on our cars. He might have a little bit more knowledge than we do.

“But I’m going to beat his ass next year.”

When the top three finishers pulled into victory lane at Wiscasset on Sunday, McLaughlin was the first one out of his car. Before accepting any congratulations himself, he went straight to Ashline’s car and stuck his head in the window.

McLaughlin sees the value of better, increased competition in what is already Wiscasset Speedway’s healthiest division.

“I really just want him to come race with us more, and I think he will,” McLaughlin said. “We’ve got to try to get this Late Model division built up, because there’s only two tracks (in Maine) that are running this style car. I can’t afford to run a (Super Late Model). We need to make sure these Late Models are putting on great shows for the working fellas doing it. He’s a class act and would be great to have here.”

Even if Ashline and Old Faithful, in their limited on-track time together, show no signs of letting up on the competition.

Ryan Robbins of Dixfield won the 50-lap Super Late Model feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night. The race was the third caution-free Super Late Model race in five tries this season at the track. … 2014 track champion Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay won the 50-lap Pro Series main event at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday. … Derek Griffth of Hudson, New Hampshire won the Pro All Stars Series Memorial Day Classic 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont on Sunday. PASS point leader D.J. Shaw finished second, with Joey Polewarczyk in third.

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