Lee, NH – Lee USA Speedway opened up the 2009 NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series season last Friday night, and former two-time champ J.R. Baril made
it clear he's looking for championship number three with a win in the E Keys
4 Cars Late Model feature event.

Jeremy Harclerode led the opening night main to the green flag, and he
outran Charlie Rousseau on the start to set the early pace.  Harclerode was
still in command halfway through the 50-lapper, but Baril was already on his
bumper, and pressuring hard for the lead.

Baril age chase for the next several laps, while Wayne Helliwell, Jr. reeled
in the leaders in the late laps to make it a three-way battle for the lead.

Helliwell ducked to the low side and followed Baril past Harclerode to run
second as the laps wound down, but he had to settle for runner-up.  He got
to Baril's bumper, but J.R. hung on to bring the Dave Reynolds entry home
with the win.

Harclerode held on to score a third place finish, with A.J. Begin, Mike
Johnson, Bryan Kruczek, Rousseau, Jeffrey Labrecque, Jr., Tom Fuller, and
Katrina Canney the rest of the top ten.

Michele Fushpanski set the pace for the first two laps of the Prime Storage
Late Model Sportsman feature event, third starter Dan Eaton took over from
there.  Eaton remained out front until lap six, when his night ended
abruptly in the frontstretch wall.

Jesse Bousquet picked up the lead on the restart, but opening day Governor's
Cup winner Grant Aither was on the move, and he lined up outside when they
went back to green.

Aither made quick work of Bousquet on the restart to take over the lead, and
he was in control the rest of the way.

Bill Ahern moved past Bousquet to take over second just before halfway, but
there was nothing he could do to stop Aither, who led the field to the
checkers for the win.

Ahern, Jimmy Renfrew, Bousquet, Pete Evans, Bobby Melvin, Brian Grantz,
rookie Ryan Green, and Fushpanski were next across the stripe.

Coming off a tough run in the Governor's Cup show, two-time defending champ
Eddie Witkum, Jr. returned to his winning ways in the PB Chopper Shop and
Rods Small Block Supers, taking a convincing win in the 25-lap feature

Witkum shot past polesitter Mike Spurling when flagman Bryon Callen let them
loose, and it was pretty much a done deal from there.  Witkum went
flag-to-flag to score the win, but the real race was for second.

Justin Belfiore and Dan Bowes swapped the second spot a couple of times in
the late going, with Bowes backing up his opening day win with a solid
second place effort.  Belfiore took third, with P.J. Stergios and Spurling
rounding out the top five.

A.J. Panessiti led the Planet Aid Hobby Stock feature to green, and he held
off a tough challenge from outside pole starter Jim Shorey to edge out into
the early lead.

Heading down the backstretch three laps in, Shorey mixed it up with
defending champ Jimmy Russell trying to hold on to second spot, with Russell
suffering a cut tire and heading to the pits in the aftermath.

The leaders picked it up again when racing resumed, and Shorey continued to
give chase when Panessiti took the crossed flags, with Ron Washburn right
behind in third, and Alby Ovitt fourth and on the move.

Ovitt abandoned his usual outside groove run for a shot at the inside line,
and it paid off, putting him out front when the field lined up after Patrick
Tanguay brought the field under caution with a spin on lap 18.

Ovitt led the rest of the way to score the win, with Shorey, Panessiti,
Dennis Dumas, Brian Thompson, Chris Titcomb, Chris Kingsley, Jimmy Renfrew,
Tanguay, and Washburn rounding out the top ten.

Steve Nichols was the man to beat in the David's Race Cars and Components
Roadrunners, running off to lead the first half of the feature event.
Anthony Nadeau ran second until the crossed flags, with Tim Boyle right on
his bumper at the crossed flags.

Boyle quickly worked past Nadeau for second, and on lap 13, he slipped past
Nichols into the lead.  He was unstoppable from there, cruising to the
checkers for the win.

Niko Manyati took second, with Nadeau, Nichols, Jim Piaseczny, Loren Smith,
Bryan Scott, Chris Harding, Brett Scott, and James Fitzgerald the rest of
the top ten.

Tom Harton took the inaugural 2009 Ironman win over Joe Horvath, Matt
Bakutis, Kale Billings, Warren Harvey, and Crystal Brown, and Shawn
Buffington won the exciting Legends main.