Lee, NH – Lee USA Speedway continued the regular season for its weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competitors on Friday night, with a Northeast Classic Lites event added to the action-packed feature event lineup.
The headlining Benson Lumber and Hardware-sponsored Whelen All American Series Small Block Supers went green with another solid 16-car field, and it was outside pole starter Matt Seavey gaining the advantage to set the pace in the early going.
Super Dave Sanborn made a successful bid for the lead on lap six, but the field came under a red flag the next time around for a vicious wreck involving Mike Netishen. Netishen caught a wheel at the entrance to turn one, slamming hard into the retaining wall.
Netishen’s machine nearly flipped over as it rode the wall, finally grinding to rest with the right side up on the wall and the left side still on the track, totally destroyed. Mike immediately climbed out of the car uninjured, but the car was a less than okay.
After the track crew did their thing cleaning up, Sanborn picked up the lead again on the restart, and he was never seriously challenged the rest of the way. It was Sanborn’s first win of the early 2011 season, with defending champ Tommy Tombarello, Jr. bouncing back from a rough season opener to checker second.
Third spot went to opening night winner Dan Bowes, followed by Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Matt Riley, Ben Tinker, Mike Ordway, Jr., Mike Spurling, Tony Carroll, George Perreault, Jr., Seavey, Scott Keddy, Jim Barker, John
Burke, and Netishen.
Ricky Porter and Michele Fushpanski led the Prime Storage Warehouse Late Model Sportsman feature to the green flag, with Porter moving out to set the pace in the early going. Ryan Green was hot on Porter’s heels in the second spot, waiting for a shot at the lead.
Green showed his strength in the outside groove on a couple of lap eight restarts, and he eventually powered past Porter into the lead. Green was in control for the remainder of the 25-lapper, holding off opening night winner Bobby Melvin to score his first win of the season.
Melvin came from deep in the pack to score runner-up, with Timmy “Rockstar” Johnson getting his first podium of the year in the third spot. Fourth went to Jesse Bousquet, with Mike Mitchell, Tony Kawejsza, Ron Bolduc, Fushpanski, Brian Grantz, and Ryan Gath the rest of the top ten.
Polesitter Steve Dubois held off the pack for the first six laps of the David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stock main event, but the hard-charging Mike Williams moved past on lap seven. Williams suffered
mechanical woes shortly after making it to the front, with Jim Shorey slipping past everybody to his turn in the lead.
Shorey was under attack from veteran Bobby Glass for several laps, but he held off the challenge to lead the field under the checkers and collect his first win of the 2011 campaign. Glass scored second, with Patrick Tanguay, Chris Kingsley, Steve Douphinette, Jim Piaseczny, Eric Hoffman, Boe Green, Mark Parenteau, and Mike Anderson rounding out the top ten.
The Picnic Table Factory Ironman feature looked like it was going to be a runaway, with Kyle Roy taking off to a big lead before he dropped off the pace late in the event. Jeff Nadeau picked up the lead next, and he held it until the checkers to grab his first win of the year.
Kale Billings scored the runner-up finish, with Dave Brown, Jake Rheaume, Troy Washburn, Evan Horvath, Louis Lanctot, Justin Dawalga, Danielle Simoneau, and Roy the rest of the top ten.
The Northeast Classic Lites were on hand 18 strong for their feature event, but several cars were eliminated in a series of incidents along the way. George Helliwell, brother of multi-time Lee Late Model champ Wayne, Jr. is no stranger to Lee’s victory lane, and he fought off a tough challenge from Rob Bryant to pick up his third win in the past four NECL events held at Lee USA.
Next up at Lee USA on Friday night, May 20 will be another round of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, featuring the Small Block Supers, Late Model Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, and Ironman, along with the first appearance of the year by the NEMA Lites.