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Tom Herzig's Trackside: ISMA Star Classic 150 set for Saturday
One of New England's short track racing staples, the ISMA Supermodified Classic 150, is on tap Saturday at Star Speedway. The Supers were at Oswego last weekend, where Ohio hotshoe Tim Jedrzejek won the “Super Nationals” after passing Ryan Coniam in lapped traffic.
Mike Lichty, the ISMA points leader, made a late charge, only to get caught at the end by runner-up Johnny Benson.
Mike Ordway of Fremont, in the Clyde Booth No. 61, was up near the front much of the way before a late fade. Jon McKennedy, Eddie Witkum Jr. and Jeff Locke of Raymond had top-10 finishes.
Any one of them, Ordway included, could win the Classic if it happens right, but there will be plenty of fans rooting for Pelham's Russ Wood.
Wood has been off the ISMA circuit this year, staying close to home and racing Modifieds with his son at Star.
But the New England Motor Racing/Woody's Auto Repair No. 29, originally built by Brian Allegresso, will be in the pits sporting a brand new motor Saturday. Wood's win in last year's Classic — with a motor borrowed from Howie Lane — tied him with Bentley Warren as the all-time Classic winner (six).
“Anytime you can be tied with Bentley Warren for anything, it's a good deal,” Wood said. “I drove the Modified a few times this year after my son hurt his shoulder and we've run the super in a practice session.”
Wood wired the field last year, but said, “I think if you're car's going good, you can win the Classic no matter where you start.”
Ron Bolduc of Plaistow won the Big John 59 for Outlaws at Star on Saturday and passed his sponsor, Jimmy Renfrew of Candia (R&R Public Wholesalers), to do it. “The car was fast,” Bolduc said. “We found a mistake we'd made on the setup a couple of weeks ago and went right out and won an exhibition race. I cut a tire in qualifying Saturday and had to start out back. I got lucky with cautions and made it up to Jimmy. I told the crew we were going to win or finish with no wheels or fenders.”
There were plenty of cautions to get lucky with (13), but the racing at the front was good. The Outlaws, as their name implies, are pretty unique in appearance. Low-slung with spoilers, they resemble a field of Batmobiles as they come around in formation for the green.
Renfrew, the points leader, made it to the front midway through the race. “The car got real tight at the end. I bought the four tires for the 95 (Bolduc). I guess this is my reward.”
Bolduc and Renfrew are veterans, to say the least. Bolduc started racing Enduros at Star in the late '80s. “They use to have a track full of cars in those days,” Bolduc said. “I loved it.”
Renfrew began in 4-cylinder Enduros at Star in 1995. He's a two-time Canaan Pro-Stock champion.
Hudson Speedway winners Sunday included Outlaw Matt Bosowski (first win since 1978), Rookie Stock John Ryan of Salem (first career win) and Nick Dombrowski – Thunder Lights.
Chris Donnelly of Piermont won the Sprint Cars of New England race at Legion Speedway in Wentworth. The victory earned Donnelly the Triple Crown as he out-pointed Matt Robie of Hill, the Friday night winner at Canaan, and Dan Douville, who took the Bear Ridge checkers Saturday. Donnelly was third at Canaan and second at Bear Ridge.
Grant Aither of Exeter won Lee's Lance Davis Memorial 50 for Late Model Sportsmen. The Small Block Supers had double features, which were won by Mike Ordway Jr. and Sparky MacIver, respectively.
After winning the Miller Auto Group 100 at Canaan Asphalt on Saturday, Wayne Helliwell Jr. went to Thunder Road and finished second to Brian Hoar in the ACT Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200. Hoar's win, his fourth of the season, trimmed Helliwell's margin atop the ACT championship standings to eight points with one point race remaining — the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Oct. 6
Hoar was helped by a lap 71 caution that came out as he was on the front stretch, and was able to duck quickly into the pits for a pair of right-side tires. “They came on the radio and said pit! pit!,” Hoar said. “I went in and there were the guys, guns in hand, waiting for a yellow. We got out quick.”
Helliwell also made a quick stop for tires, improving his track position considerably after an earlier spinout. Brent Dragon, Nick Sweet, Dave Pembroke and others stayed out, but soon Hoar and Helliwell rose back up through the ranks. Former Thunder Road champion Cris Michaud finished a close third. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. was fourth.
Teenager Tommy Barrett of Millis, Mass., got his first Valenti Modified Series win after passing point leader Rowan Pennink at Stafford. The Valenti Modifieds are at Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series makes up the previously rained-out John Hoyt Memorial Saturday at Monadnock.
The PASS Pro Stocks are at White Mountain on Saturday (150 laps).
Trackside appears Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader.
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On track this week
Canaan Dirt: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Lee USA: Friday, 7 p.m.
Canaan Asphalt: Saturday, 5 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Twin State: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Waterford Speedbowl: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Legion Speedway: Sunday, 5 p.m.