WHITE MOUNTAIN Motorsports Park in North Woodstock begins its 2019 season Saturday under the new ownership of American Canadian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road partners Cris Michaud and Pat Malone.
The main attraction is the ACT Caron Fabrication Spring Green 119 — event number three on the Late Model Tour’s schedule.
Last Sunday, Jason Corliss of Barre, Vt., won the Community Bank N.A. 150 at Thunder Road rather handily. It was the third straight ACT win on the high banks for Corliss, who has now won consecutive opening day 150s as well as the last two end-of-the-year Milk Bowls.
Corliss swapped the lead a few times mid-race with defending track champion Scott Dragon, but he wasn’t challenged very much after that. Nick Sweet advanced from 21st on the starting grid to finish second. Dragon, the pole sitter, wound up third, followed by Trampas Demers and Rich Dubeau. Corliss started on the inside of the second row.
Thirty-five cars attempted to qualify for the 26-car field. Defending ACT champion Scott Payea and Seekonk Speedway Late Model champion Ryan Kuhn were two of the nine entries that didn’t make it in.
It’s hoped that the regime change at White Mountain will result in a revival of the Flying Tiger division. Twenty-eight Tigers were on hand at Thunder Road Sunday. Mike MacAskill of Williamstown, Vt., was declared the Tiger feature winner (a career first) after Jason Pelkey failed post-race inspection. It will be interesting to see how many Tiger competitors are in the pits this weekend.
Claremont, now operating as Claremont Motor Speedway, opened Saturday with a Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) 100-lapper. The crowd, which was north of 1,000 through the front gate, including one-time Speedway owner Dennis Fleury, was on hand. It was a good, entertaining contest for the first 90 laps and then it came apart amidst a flurry of cautions and a red flag.
Joey Doiron of Berwick, Maine, last year’s Series runner-up, was first to the finish line. Doiron cashed in for $2,000 as the race winner and another $1,000 bonus courtesy of GSPSS and the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association (NHSTRA) for agreeing to start at the tail of the 23-car field after setting a new Pro Stock track record (13.902) during time trials.
Doiron was driving his own car, a Dale Shaw Race Cars creation powered by an RPM engine. He’s helped by his dad, John, and Dennis LaForce of Quebec City. It’s the same car Doiron wrecked while leading at Lee USA last summer when Jimmy Renfrew‘s machine dropped a lot of fluid on the racing surface.
This was Doiron’s third appearance at Claremont. In his last race there, he made contact with a car that came bouncing off the wall in his direction, lost a fender and a quarter panel, soldiered and placed second.
“After I set fast time, I changed the car a bit,” Doiron said. “I knew I had good speed, which is why I took the shot at the bonus money. I was hoping I didn’t tighten the car too much. It helped me when Guy Caron spun out on lap 23. I thought he and Luke Hinkley (eventually the runner-up) looked like the toughest ones to beat.”
The early restart helped Doiron get to 11th by lap 24. He passed Ricky Bly for seventh on lap 35. He got by defending champion Devin O’Connell on lap 68 and took over second from Ray Christian III on a lap 71 restart, leaving only Hinkley ahead of him.
“When I got to him, Luke was loose off and I felt confident I could go by him,” Doiron said.
Doiron took the lead for keeps on lap 78 after battling Hinkley door to door for several laps. Hinkley survived the rash of late restarts to claim second place. Matt Frahm of Salem finished third. Christian and O’Connell completed the top five.
The next appearance for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is at Lee USA’s opener Sunday, May 18.
Star Speedway has the Pro All Star Series (PASS) Super Late Models in Saturday for the Little Webb’s Tire and Fuel 150. The 350 Supers, Street Stocks, Six-Shooters and Mini Stocks will also be in action.
Stafford Speedway, facing a lousy weather forecast last Sunday, postponed the date for its NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler once again. It’s now scheduled for this Friday, May 10, with Saturday as the rain date.
Monadnock has rescheduled its opener for Saturday, May 25.
Adam Pierson of East Corinth, Vt., won the Sabil & Sons DIRT Modified opener at Bear Ridge. Josh Sunn of White River Jct., Vt., was the runner-up. Tom Forward finished third. Twenty-five Mods took the green.
Rumtown, formerly Legion Speedway, will try to beat the weather and get its opener in Saturday beginning at 4 p.m.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Track This Weekend
Claremont: Friday, 7 p.m.
Stafford Speedway (Conn.): Friday, 6 p.m.
Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.
Rumtown Speedway: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Star Speedway: Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Hudson Speedway: Sunday, 1 p.m.