Lee, NH – Lee USA Speedway opened up the regular season on Friday night, with an action-packed 25-lap Benson Lumber and Hardware sponsored NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Small Block Supermodified feature the first event to go into the record books.
Mike Spurling and 2010 Rookie of the Year Tony Carroll led the 16-car field to green, with Spurling gaining the advantage before a quick yellow slowed the action. When racing resumed, George Perreault, Jr. quickly made his way past Spurling and into the lead, setting the pace until lap six.
Fifth-place starter Dan Bowes was up to challenge at that point, and he made quick work of Perreault to take his turn at the head of the field. Once out front, the 2009 champion was running like he was on rails, opening up a comfortable lead in just a few laps.
Former Late Model champ Wayne Helliwell, Jr. slipped past Perreault just
before halfway to grab the second spot, but there was nothing he could do to stop Bowes. At the checkers, it was Bowes in for his first victory of the 2011 campaign, with Helliwell, Perreault, Mike Ordway, Jr., and Mike
Netishen rounding out the top five.
Spurling lost a couple of spots late in the race but still hung on for a sixth place finish, with “Super Dave” Sanborn, Sparky MacIver, Ben Tinker, and Matt Riley closing out the top ten. Defending champ Tommy Tombarello, Jr. and Sanborn were the heat winners.
Bobby Melvin made an impressive return to the weekly LMS wars and he didn’t waste any time returning to his old winning ways. Melvin picked up the victory in the first feature event of the year for the Prime Storage
Warehouse-sponsored Late Model Sportsmen, topping a strong field of entries to grab the checkers.
Veteran Jimmy Renfrew scored runner-up honors, with former champion and early-race leader Ron Bolduc, 2010 Rookie of the Year Jimmy Russell, Kayla Cazares, Patrick Stewart, Josh Ball, Ryan Gath, and Mike Mitchell next across the stripe. Melvin and Ryan Green picked up the heat race wins.
Longtime campaigner Brian Thompson put a hard hit on the front stretch wall during qualifying for the David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stocks feature event, taking a trip to the hospital for a check up and destroying the Dennis Soares entry as a result.
Polesitter Jim Shorey outran Steve Dubois to grab the early lead when the Hobby Stock main went green, with Patrick Tanguay up from fifth on the grid to run second. Lap eight saw caution on the field when Eric Hoffman got turned around and collected Mark Parenteau on the front straight.
Tanguay went to work on the restart and eventually knocked Shorey off the lead, and although he lost the top spot with two to go, apparent winner Steve Douphinette didn’t make it through tech, and Tanguay went home with the trophy and the win.
Ageless veteran Bobby Glass put in his usual solid run to take down runner-up honors, with Boe Green, Parenteau, Shorey, Jim Piaseczny, Dubois, Chris Kingsley, Eric Hoffman, and Brian DeStefano finishing up the top ten. Tanguay and Douphinette checkered the heat races.
Heat winner Troy Washburn made it a clean sweep when the Picnic Table Factory Ironman feature took to the track, breaking to the lead from the outside pole and leading flag-to-flag on the way to win number one of the season.
Kale Billings and Jeff Nadeau swapped finishing positions from the race held in April on the Governor’s Cup 150 undercard, with Billings getting the runner-up trophy this time. Dave Brown grabbed fourth, with Evan Horvath holding off Louis Lanctot to close out the top five.
Next up at Lee USA is another exciting Friday night under the lights on May 13, featuring round two of the battle for the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Small Block Supermodified championship. The Late Model Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, and Ironmen will be in action as well. Qualifying starts at 7:15 p.m.