Tom Herzig's Trackside: Lee eyes rebound from rainBy TOM HERZIG
June 06. 2018 9:22PM
Lee USA Speedway will try again to get its regular season NASCAR Whelen Weekly Series schedule in gear Friday night after getting rained out last weekend. The lineup includes the lead division R&R Tool Store Late Model Sportsmen, Supermodifieds, Street Stocks, Tri-City Line-X Ironman division and the N.E. Classic Lites.
The Ironman feature is the Don Coster Memorial 35. Several racers with close family ties to Costner will compete including Troy, Zach, Randy and Brandon Washburn.
The NE Classic Lites were at Star Speedway last weekend and perennial top dog Duane Skofield of Plaistow came away with the win. Derrick Marsan of Methuen, Mass., and Matthew Merry of Plaistow placed second and third.
This Saturday it’s Best Friend Night at Star. You and your “best friend,” or whoever you can get to pretend they really like you, can get in for a combo adult ticket price of $25. The Autism Awareness Supermodifieds will turn 35 laps in the main event. Also in action: the Woody’s Strictly Stocks, L&W Auto Six Shooters and Brickyard Roadrunners.
Last Saturday, Star, which has had weather woes like so many others, made up a special 40-lap Strictly race and it was won by Jimmy Renfrew Jr. of Candia. Jim Storace of Kingston was the runner-up followed by John Cashman of Danvers, Mass. In the regularly scheduled Strictlys feature, Kris Schroeder of Haverhill, Mass., carried the checkers. Next in line were Storace and Gage Harron of Manchester.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which is headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Foxwoods Resort casino Weekend, July 20-22, was at Seekonk on Saturday. Justin Bonsignore was the pole sitter and the eventual race winner, but he had to survive a few lead swaps with Matt Hirschman to get the job done. Chase Dowling got by Hirschman late to claim second place. Hirschman wound up third with Rowan Pennink and Ron Silk in close pursuit. The next Whelen Modified Tour event is at Thompson Speedway on Wednesday, June 13.
To the delight of many longtime American Canadian Tour fans from both sides of the border, Patrick Laperle of St. Denis, Quebec, kept the inside groove covered after a lap 147 restart and held off defending champion Scott Payea to win the Caron Fabrication 151 at Speedway 51 in Groveton.
It was ACT career win number 19 and the first in the USA in eight years for the “Le Grand” Laperle, 42, who earlier in the week said in a radio interview that he’s finding it a little harder every year to race to the front and stay there.
Rich Dubeau of Lebanon finished third, matching his best ACT result. Past Speedway 51 champion Corey Mason of Groveton, driving the JD Plumbing & Heating No. 1NH, finished fourth. Mike Kenison of Lancaster was fifth. Twenty-three cars took the green.
Eddie MacDonald, perhaps the biggest obstacle to a title repeat by Payea, was relegated to a 12th-place finish after getting collected in a Jimmy Hebert/Brandon Atkins crash on lap 62.
Wayne Stearns of Orford withstood late pressure from Kevin Chaffee and won the Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature at Bear Ridge Speedway. Richie Simmons of Bradford, Vt., was third. Jason Horniak, also from Bradford, won the caution-free Sportsman Coupe feature.
Defending Claremont Super Street champion Ricky Bly of Sunapee maintained his points lead by finishing second in the nightcap of a Super Street twinbill that started out by completing the feature that had previously been halted by rain on the night of the Tri-Track Open Modified Series. The makeup race was won by Aaron Fellows, who also breezed to an apparent victory in the second feature, but then failed post-race inspection. The ruling landed Mark McClay his second win of the season. Craig Smith, second in the first event after a lengthy duel with Ben Poland and third in the nightcap, trails only Bly in the points chase.
It was a ladies’ first night in two divisions Saturday at Monadnock Speedway. Kimmy Rivet of Antrim drove to her first ever Sportsman Modified win as Tyler Jarvenpaa and Geoff Rollins finished second-third. Julia Raymond of Winchester recorded her first 2018 win in the Mini Stock feature. Dennis Stange of Athol, Mass., got his first 2018 Super Stocks win.
Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, Vt., perhaps the best pick to deny Quinny Welch’s four-peat bid at White Mountain Motorsports Park this season, was helped by a late caution to reach race leader Welch in the Foley Oil and Propane Late Model feature, and then outfought Welch through two additional restarts for his first win of the season. Welch held onto second ahead of Paul Newcomb.
Thunder Road has a rare Friday night event scheduled this week. The headline event is the 75-lap opener for the Flying Tigers Myers Container Triple Crown Series. Recently, Thunder Road announced that the 2018 Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl will be televised nationally on MAVTV Motorsports Network with production help from Speed51.com.
Hudson Speedway races Sunday with the Northeast Mini Stock Tour as an added attraction.
Derek Griffith of Hudson had a Pro All Star Series podium finish (third) last week at Petty Raceway in New Brunswick, Canada. Canadian Maritimes Pro Stock champion Cole Butcher was the race winner with Ben Rowe close behind.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.