Tom Herzig's Trackside: Star Classic in the spotlightBy TOM HERZIG
September 06. 2017 10:22PM
On Track This WeekendLegion Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Claremont Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Thunder Road (Vt.): Friday, 7 p.m
Lee USA: Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Star Speedway: Friday, 7:45 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
The 52nd Annual Star Classic 150 for ISMA Supermodifieds at Star Speedway on Saturday highlights the regional racing scene this weekend.
The event is a two-day affair. Qualifying for the Brickyard Roadrunners, Woody’s Auto & Repair Strictlys and the Granite State Pro Stock Series begins at 7:45 Friday.
Saturday Star’s weekly Autism Awareness 350 Supers will compete in the 50-lap Randy Witkum Memorial. The GSPSS Pro Stocks are slated for 100 laps.
Dave Shullick Jr. of North Ridgeville, Ohio, the 2016 ISMA champion and the winner of the Oswego International Classic (no wings) this past Sunday, will try to become the third straight Ohioan to win the Classic.
Moe Lilje of Vickery, Ohio, was an upset winner a year ago. Schullick Jr. blistered the field in 2015.
The first Star Classic was won by New England Hall-of Famer Eddie West of Dunstable, Mass., in 1966.
Canadian Mike Lichty won the 60-lap ISMA prelim to the Oswego Speedway International Classic with Chris Perley of Rowley, Mass., a multi-time winner of the Star Classic, taking second ahead of Ohioan Trent Stephens and Jon McKennedy.
McKennedy, the 2013 Star Classic winner from Chelmsford, Mass., is in a tight points battle for the 2017 ISMA championship with Timmy Jedrzejek of Independence, Ohio. He was satisfied with his fourth-place finish at Oswego, where he’s struggled over the years.
“Overall it wasn’t bad,” McKennedy said. “We started fourth and finished fourth. We ran third a lot of the race. It was a good solid finish. Overall, a top five here is a good deal for me. This is a track that has always sent a black cloud over me whenever I ran here. We’ve always run well at Star. I’m looking forward to their Classic. I hope we get a good car count and put on a good show.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modifieds were also at Oswego. Ryan Preece won the Toyota Mod Classic 150 after reeling in Matt Hirschman on lap 115. Timmy Solomito finished third.
Max Dolliver of Londonderry won Star’s John DiBurro Memorial Strictly Stock feature. “Mad Max” was well positioned to take advantage when leaders Austin Erickson and Steve Douphinette tangled with three laps to go. Strictly point leader John Cashman finished second in a backup car provided by Joey Ventrillo.
Paul Palen of Pelham drove the Traditional Mortgage No. 0 to a third and first in the David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stock Twin 25’s at Lee USA to win the overall event with a low score of four points. This Friday, the Hobby Stocks are making up an earlier rainout, the “Johnny Durant 47.”
Dave Helliwell won his fifth Supermodified feature to all but wrap up his second straight track championship. Nate Leavitt got by Max Dolliver in the closing laps to earn the Late Model Sportsman checkers.
Christin DeStefano of Tewksbury, Mass., won her third Ironman feature. This week, it’s the Tri-City Line-X Ironman 200 and no, that’s not 200 laps — no Ironman buggy could last that long — it’s $200 to win.
Rowan Pennink won the Valenti Modified Series race at Stafford. The 2013 Series champion is now fifth on the all-time VMRS win list (11).
White Mountain’s next-to-last points night is Saturday. Rookie Stephen Donahue, who’s had a very productive second half, got his third win last week. Points leader Quinny Welch finished one spot better (fourth) than his closest rival, Jesse Switzer.
Scott Payea had the American Canadian Tour Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road “come to him” as the saying goes. The Tour points leader pitted on lap 48 after getting caught up in a six-car scrum, after he begun his day by pitting during his heat race and spending an hour getting the car out of the hauler when the door malfunctioned. Leaders Nick Sweet, – seeking his fourth Classic 200 win, and eventual runner-up Scott Dragon chose track position over fresh tires and Payea chased them down, helped by a restart with 15 to go. Jason Corliss was fourth. Tyler Cahoon finished fifth.
Brian Robie of Sunapee won the Sportsman Modified main at Monadnock. The NEMA Midgets were on hand and Seth Carlson checkered the field. The NEMA Lites top five was Randy Cabral of Kingston, Mass., Jim Chambers of Atkinson, Dan Cugini, Jake Stergois and Richard Coy.
Adam Pierson, Jordan Fornwalt and Walt Hammond finished first, second, third in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified feature at Bear Ridge. Derek Graham of Woodsville is the points leader. Hometown favorite Todd Hayward won his second Sportsman Coupes feature to close within 11 points of division leader Brian Chaffee.
The Sprint Cars of New England and the Granite State Mini Sprints Racing Club are at Legion Speedway Friday night in addition to the weekly divisions. Lacey Hanson, daughter of Legion promoters Dean and Jane Hanson, clinched the Devil’s Bowl (Vt.) Sprint Car title with a feature win Monday. Clay Dow of Hampstead finished second.
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, won the ARCA 100 on the dirt at DuQuoin, Ill. That gives the Series point leader wins on a superspeedway, a road course, a paved short track and a one-mile dirt track this season.
One last dirt note: Saturday at Lebanon Valley (N.Y.), Denny Soltis of Torrington, Conn., won the Big Block Modified feature at the ripe old age of 74.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.