Tom Herzig's Trackside: Star Classic finish sets up a fight for Supermodified titleBy TOM HERZIG
September 13. 2017 11:54PM
On Track This WeekendLee USA: Friday, 7 p.m.
Legion Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Claremont Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Beech Ridge (Maine): Sunday, noon
Last week, I attempted to ask the question: Will another Ohio racer win the Star Classic 150? It never made print because the proposed headline was edited to fit the space available, but it turns out the answer was yes. Dave Shullick Jr. of North Ridgeville, Ohio, got around local favorite Jon McKennedy in lapped traffic on lap 117 and pulled away for his second Star Classic win in three years.
McKennedy was understandably disappointed that he wasn’t able to hold Shullick off, but he still has a slim lead over Tim Jedrzejek in the battle for the ISMA Supermodified championship which will be decided at the Thompson World Series on Sunday, Oct. 15. Jedrzejek was third at Star ahead of Jeff Abold, Dan Bowes and Russ Wood.
“I didn’t get what winning this race means the first time, but now I understand,” Shullick said. “I tried to come up with a strategy to get around the 21-car (McKennedy). He knows the track well and runs really fast here.”
Wood — second on the all-time ISMA win list — accepted an offer to strap into Howie Lane’s backup car and he wound up with the Hard Charger Award. It was the first race of the season for Wood, who was recently voted into the New England Auto Racer Hall of Fame and the Oswego Speedway Hall of Fame.
Monday it was reported that Trent Stephens, another capable Ohio racer who left Star in an ambulance after a vicious hit against the wall between Turns 3 and 4, was “OK” despite a leg muscle tear.
Joe Squeglia of Derry won the Granite State Pro Stock Series 100 at Star, followed closely by SNHU student John Peters of Westbrook, Mainee. Third place went to Derek Griffith of Hudson.
Brad Babb topped a full field of Star’s Autism Awareness 350 Supers in an entertaining 50-lapper.
Todd Patnode swept twin Daddy’s Pizza Modified features Friday at Claremont. He then finished fourth the next night at Monadnock despite having to pit for a tire after a pile-up on the first lap.
The fourth-place comeback gives the Swanzey veteran a 32-point advantage over Joel Monahan of Whately, Mass., and Matt Kimball of Bennington going into the final points race. The Modified Touring Series will also be at Monadnock on Saturday.
In the R. E. Hinkley Oil Super Street feature at Claremont, Hayden Scott of Charlestown was top dog in a 24-car field. Points leader Ricky Bly and Ben Poland finished second-third.
Claremont hosts the North East Mini Stock Tour for a $1,500-to-win 100 lap event Friday. Emerson Cayer of Contoocook, a previous Tour champion, is the current point leader. Granite Staters Heywood Herriott, Jacob Rheaume and Justin King are among the other contenders.
Patrick Tanguay of Lebanon, Maine, pocketed $1,000 by winning a special 47-lap Hobby Stock event Friday at Lee USA. Frankie Eldredge became a three-time winner in the Sportsman Modifieds. Adam Knowles of Seabrook picked up his first Tri-City Line-X Ironman win.
Lee’s final Friday night event of the season is this week. It’s the final points races for the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Sportsman, Hobby Stocks, Ironman and Pure Stock divisions. Christin Destefano and Travis Hollins are one point apart in the Ironman title chase. Adam Knowles is still within striking distance.
Championships in all divisions are also still undecided at White Mountain, which holds its final points event of the season Saturday.
Randy Howe of Lebanon won the Peanut’s Auto of Canaan Sportsman Modified feature at Legion Speedway. This Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Twilight Racing Series program includes the USAC Dirt Midgets the Wingless Auto Club and an Enduro.
This week’s “Oops I made a really dumb mistake!” award winner is Wells River DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driver Todd Hayward, who eliminated himself from Bear Ridge Speedway championship contention by being disqualified for taking out a competitor on the last lap and getting scored in last place. Hayward had been second in points.
Melvin Pierson, last week’s Sportsman Coupe winner, has moved into the No. 2 slot, 12 points behind Brian Chaffee. Matt Lashua of Canaan drove to his first career win in the Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified feature. Lashua is the division’s 13th different winner this year.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is at Riverhead, N.Y., this weekend. The following weekend they’ll take to the Magic Mile at NHMS. The current standings go like this: Ryan Preece (460), Doug Coby (451), Rowan Pennink (444), Timmy Solomito (443), Justin Bonsignore (437).
The PASS Super Late Models are at Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Maine on Sunday.
This from racing historian Phil Smith: Twenty-five years ago in 1992, Monadnock closed out its season. Jerry Marquis, in the Bob Judkins 2x, won his seventh feature and sewed up the Modified Championship at the fast quarter-mile oval. The Thompson 300 was the big show of the weekend. Rick Fuller, in the Mario Fiore 44, took the win over Doug Hevron, Tom Baldwin, Chris Aman and Jamie Tomaino. Pole sitter Steve Park finished sixth.
Twenty years ago: Reggie Ruggiero won the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.