While the weather was not near as nice as opening day at Beech Ridge the Texas Roadhouse North East Mini Stock Tour rolled into the newly reopened Star Speedway in Epping, NH. Fighting a bleek forecast many teams from all over New England made the trek to the southern New Hampshire speedway.
Practices started off early and had much excitement with many teams having trouble with mechanical problems including Emerson Cayer having a broken steering rack. As the cars rolled through pre race technical inspection teams drew for their heat starting position. Two heat races were held for the 18 mini stocks at Star with the Volkswagens showing the pace. Calvin Rose won the first heat and Loren Smith negotiated the win from the second heat.
Shortly after 5 P.M. the weather was remarkably still holding off and the minis were lined up for the feature event. Just as the feature took the track the 21 car of Lance Barthelemy pulled into the track and took to the rear of the field with no practice or heat race laps.
As the green flag waved the 2009 champion Emerson Cayer pushed his Ford Mustang from his 17th starting position through traffic. Rose, Barthelemy, and Greenleaf also took their back of the pack starting spots with ease and started to navigate their way to the front.
Early leader Jack Victoria broke out to a commanding advantage by the 10 lap mark but Cayer, Rose, Collins were breaking free from the pack. On lap 14 the 38 of Victoria had a tire go down causing a caution and relinquishing his lead to the 88 Mustang as he limped to pit road.
By mid way Barthelemy had made his way through most of the pack and was running down the leaders. Tim Collins was also making an impressive run with Beech Ridge podium finishers Rose and Green Leaf hot on his tail.
While battle for 2nd through 6th place the commanding Cayer continued to pull away while lapping traffic. Attrition proved to be a big part aso some strong cars like the 42 of Loren smith Jr. had to pull in from his third place position with 10 to go with motor troubles.
As the checkered flag waved Cayer took down the win. This is his first win since July 11th, 2009 at Wiscasset Raceway 22 Months ago. Rose captured the battle for second while Collins and Barthelemy crossed the line 3rd and 4th. Rob Greenleaf finished 5th. An ecstatic Cayer had smiles from ear to ear and showed a nice smoke show to his crew as well
“It was a great race with good battles all around. All the drivers really enjoyed our first trip to Star Speedway and it was good to see Cayer take the win after all the trouble they have had in the past year or so.” Said tour Promoter Bob Guptill.
The 3rd and 4th of Collins and Barthelemy ran afoul in post race tech and both were penalized with a 2 lap penalty, details of the infractions can be found in the attached tech summary. The penalties moved Rob Greenleaf to 3rd place and also tied him for the series point lead with Calvin Rose.
1. 88 Emerson Cayer
2. 8 Calvin Rose
3. 2 Rob Greenleaf(R)
4. 84 Bob Grady
5. 43 Roger Ducharme
6. 38 Cristofer King(R)
7. 5 Jeff Prindall
8. 18 Tim Collins
9. 21 Lance Barthelemy
10. 38V Jack Victoria(R)
11. 41 Loren Smith
12. 09 Joe Turner
13. 42 Loren Smith Jr. (R)
14. 13 Joe Kendall(R)
15. 55 Billy Osborne
16. 60 John Kelly(R)
17. 69 Louis Maher(R)
18. 82 Frankie Sweeney(R)
19. 20 Myles Devins(R)
The “What and Why” from the Tech side.
Prior to leaving the home base on our journey to STAR Speedway the TECH team sat down with the rules and agreed that Sections 4 & 5 would be getting the most focus in post feature inspection. Note: Tech is not limited to the areas of interest during inspection. The entire rule book is in play during all post race inspections.
Section 4. Suspension
A. OEM or stock replacement shocks and struts only, Bilsteins Allowed. No racing, or adjustable shocks/struts allowed. No performance or threaded body shocks/struts allowed. Maximum 1 shock/strut per wheel, 4 total per car. Coil-over sleeve kits allowed. No full coil-overs. Sleeve kit must attach to unaltered DOT/OEM replacement shock. Weight jacks and adjustable spring cups are legal.
B. All cars must meet a 5 inch suspension ride height. Ride height will be measured at factory floorboard next to unibody.
C. Racing springs allowed. Removed “minimum diameter 4’’.”
D. Maximum tread width 72 inches measured from bead to bead. Bead is defined as the outside lip of the wheel used.
E. Any size sway bars can be used, front or rear.
F. All suspension parts (a-frames, spindles, hubs, etc) must be unaltered OEM for make model and year.
G. Four wheel brakes must be in working order. Brakes must be OEM or OEM replacement type. No exotic, after market or racing brakes allowed. Cars can be converted to rear disk brakes using factory material.
Section 5. Wheels and Tires
A. 7 or 8 inch wide wheels with any production offset may be used. 13 and 14 inch wheels only. No mixing of rim size on car. Spacers may be used. NO homemade or altered wheels will be allowed.
B. Competitors may run any racing or DOT treaded 7 inch bias ply or radial. Durometer testing of tires will be conducted throughout the race event starting with the first practice. Any tire found to be softer than 60pts will be deemed illegal and penalties may be issued. There will be zero tolerance on durometer checks conducted by NEMST officials using NEMST tools.
NOTE: Each tire will be checked in a minimum of three locations. All locations checked must be 60pts or greater to pass.
C. Hoosier 790 23/7/13 and 23/7/14 are the specified tour tires and will be for sale at the events. Only one new tire may be run during the feature event. Tires not purchased from NEMST must be registered with a tour official prior to the feature line-up. A $5.00 per tire fee may be assessed.
Ride height proved to be a problem for many teams who worked feverishly between practices to raise their weapons to the 5” minimum.
Infractions: Heat Race
Team #88: Failure to stage car when called. Penalty: Forfeit of pole starting position and placed in last starting position.
Infractions: Feature Race
Team #21: Failure to meet minimum weight, Post Feature. Penalty: Placed front of all cars 2 laps down.
Team #18: Failure to have approved air restrictor: Penalty: Placed aft of all 1 lap down cars.
Note: The 18 team was offered the following deal: Turn over the air intake tube prior to leaving the track. This was going to be taken to AUTOFABB in Augusta, Maine on Monday and have the cfm checked on the flow bench. If the data showed the piece flowed less than 350 cfm the penalty to the #18 team would be forfeiture of winnings to cover cost of testing. They would be
allowed to keep the points and trophy. Team 18 turned the piece over at STAR but reconsidered on Sunday and asked for the tube back. Once positive control of the tube was lost this deal was void.