Tom Herzig's Trackside: Governor's Cup 150 arrives Saturday at LeeBy TOM HERZIG
May 09. 2018 9:40PM
On Track This WeekendClaremont: Friday, 7 p.m.
Legion Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.
Lee USA: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Speedway 51: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 6 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Lee USA Speedway begins its 2018 season Saturday with the American Canadian Tour Governor’s Cup 150. Lee’s Late Model Sportsman class, now the track’s primary NASCAR Whelen Weekly Series division, will also be on hand as well as the PASS Modifieds.
ACT began its season Sunday at Thunder Road. Hometown drivers Jason Corliss, Jimmy Hebert and Cody Blake got pretty racy midway through the 150-lap event. Corliss prevailed in the end with defending Tour champion Scott Payea second and Blake third. Thirty cars took the green flag.
Corliss drives the Burnham Boilers No. 66. He placed fifth in last year’s Governor’s Cup, which was won by Dillon Moltz. This year, Moltz is competing on the Pro All-Star Series circuit.
To win again Saturday, Corliss will likely have to deal with Payea, Hebert and Eddie MacDonald — all of whom are previous Governor’s Cup winners.
Lee’s Late Model Sportsmen are sponsored by Jimmy Renfrew’s R&R Wholesalers of Hooksett a.k.a., R&R Tools and More.
Renfrew still straps in for the occasional Pro Stock/Super Late Model race. His son Jimmy Renfrew Jr., 15, drove a Hobby Stock — now called Street Stocks — at Lee last season. Junior was in a Pro Stock at Claremont Saturday for the Granite State Pro Stock Series 100 which came unglued right away (two yellows and a red and lots of attrition in the first two laps).
Jacob Dore of Sanford, Maine, stayed ahead of the fray and won the GSPSS race. Joey Doiron of Berwick, Maine, was the runner-up, ahead of Scott MacMichael of Newbury third.
Aaron Fellows of Croydon was a dominant winner of the Super Stock feature.
Defending PASS Super Late Model champion Travis Benjamin of Belfast, Maine, won the Support 50 Legs 150 at Star Speedway.
Benjamin got tested by runner-up Reid Lanpher, Johnny Clark and Joe Squeglia, who eventually dropped out of contention. Lanpher got a nose ahead of Benjamin several times, but he was never able to clear him. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. rallied for third place ahead of Derek Ramstrom and Clark.
Bobby Timmons of Windham, Maine, got the jump on the field early and won the Star opener for the Autism Awareness Supermodifieds. This Saturday, the Supermodifieds will contest the Marco Turcotte Memorial.
White Mountain Motorsports Park begins its 25th anniversary season Saturday. The question for White Mountain and its fans: Who’s going to give defending Late Model champion Quinny Welch of Lancaster a run for his money in 2018? Welch is pumped about going after a four-peat. He’s won three consecutive track titles and five overall.
Jesse Switser of Lyndonville, Vt., driver of the Laflamme Concrete No. 10, was the 2017 Late Model runner-up. Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, Vt., came on very strong in the second half of the season. Perhaps they can put Welch to the test.
Matt Morrill of Moultonborough, the 2017 White Mountain Tiger champion, is moving into the Late Model ranks. Morrill built his “new” sourced parts No. 9 machine from the ground up with sponsorship help from Stephens Landscaping, Center Harbor Dock & Pier and Royea’s Auto of Meredith.
Speedway 51 opens Saturday with a 51-lap North Country Ford Late Model Sportsman main event sponsored by the powersports and agricultural equipment dealer Mom’s of Lancaster. Also on the card: Tiger Sportsman, Street Stocks, Daredevils, Granite State Legends and Bandoleros.
Big doings on the horizon at Monadnock. The Winchester bullring has the ISMA Supermodifieds coming to town May 19 for the Carquest Genden Auto Parts 75 presented by T-Bird Mini Parts. It’s the first appearance in four decades for the winged supers and it’s their 2018 season opener. Supermodified legend Bentley Warren will be on hand as the Grand Marshal.
Reserved and general seating for the ISMA event can be purchased online on Monadnock’s website. The race could provide a timely boost.
When the Granite State Pro Stock Series opener at Claremont got bumped to Saturday because of the weather, there were enough motorheads committed one way or the other as racers, crew members etc. that Monadnock’s Sportsman Modifieds took a hit. Only nine cars took the green for their feature, which was beset with mechanical troubles, collisions and all. Keith Carzello wound up winning, despite having to pit after contact mid-race.
Veteran Kevin Chaffee, the “Fairlee (Vt.) Flyer” took the opening night Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified win at Bear Ridge. Chaffee grabbed the lead in traffic midway through the event and held off second-place finisher Robert Tucker of Topsham, Vt. Thomas Placey was the Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes winner.
Rowan Pennink won for the second time in three Valenti Modified Series races Saturday at New London Waterford Speedbowl. Pennink started on the outside of the front row, but he didn’t gain the lead until lap 74 of 100. He was hounded by Anthony Flannery of East Hampton, Conn., who was making his ninth career start in a Modified. Point leader and defending champion Anthony Nocella finished third ahead of Woody Pitkat. Mike Willis Jr. of Grantham came from 21st to take the fifth spot.
The Valenti Modified Series resumes Friday, May 18 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at email@example.com.