After a very intense and fast moving thundershower roared over the pit area in Claremont, New Hampshire the Texas Roadhouse North East Mini Stock Tour took to the tight 1/3 speedway for the first of two practice sessions.
With a large group of the field being separated by only 2-3 tenths of a second a lap the large field was sure to put on an impressive show under the lights. 17 tour style minis packed into the pit area for the NEMST’s second visit to Twin State Speedway.
In the heat races point leader Calvin Rose held off a fast moving Emerson Cayer to lengthen his point lead. Louis Maher pulled a very impressive switch over move on early leader Rob Greenleaf in the second heat race ultimately winning ahead of Loren Smith.
As the line-up for the feature was determined excitement in the garage area began to build. Many cars were making last minute tweaks and touches before rolling into the staging lanes for the nights 50 lap main event.
Kirsten Sands from Texas Roadhouse waved the green flag over a 16 car field with drivers from 6 different states entered. The field thundered into turn 1 as NEMST rookie Cristofer King took command of the race early on. It wasn’t long before the Rhode Island native and Tater’s NASCAR Merchandise Bonus Award winner Roger Ducharme showed some steam as he passed the young rookie King.
Monadnock competitor Mike Metcalf made well in his first tour start of the season by improving upon his mid pack starting position and following Ducharme closely throughout the first half of the event. First competitor John Ross Jr. also made the tour cars step up their game as his high revving Volkswagen drove easily into the top 5 from deep in the pack early on.
While beating and banging was going on throughout the pack the field set a blistering pace until the 4 car of Rob Gioia spun coming out of turn 4 and collected the top 5 machines of King and Smith on lap 27. On the restart Metcalf held off former tour champion Cayer through turn 1 and began to set the pace once again.
Metcalf’s old friend and former competitor Cayer made the high move and showed the little Volkswagen what a Mustang could do out front for the first time of the night. While a few cautions came in the latter part of the event Cayer never looked back and took advantage of the 4 car battle for 2nd to pull away and take home his 2nd victory of the season and 5th tour checkered since its beginning in 2008.
The huge battle for second raged on for the final 10 circuits with many two and three-wide battles amongst Rose, Metcalf, Maher, and Michalski. Rose finally showed the rest his tour experience by gaining advantage and hanging on for the mid-size trophy down the front straight. Metcalf narrowly beat out Michalski for third and Maher was right on their bumper for fifth.
After the race in post race inspection NEMST officials dug into the top end of the motors to make sure the diverse group of top 5 cars were all within specs. One rule infraction was found with the suspension of Metcalf’s car due to misunderstanding between his track and NEMST rule differences. In light of the penalty Metcalf was allowed to keep the third place trophy but forfeited his purse and point winnings. Metcalf is also not allowed to compete until the correct parts are installed on the car. His winnings of $175 have been added to the year end point fund and will be distributed among the top 10 drivers at the end of the season.
1. (15) 88NH Emerson Cayer
2. (14)8 Calvin Rose
3. (6) 6 Mike Metcalf
4. (11) 51X Scott Michalski
5. (10) 69 Louis Maher
6. (13) 60 John Kelly
7. (3) 43 Roger Ducharme
8. (7) 2 Rob Greenleaf
9. (9) 51 Mike Mason
10. (2) 88 Justin King
11. (4) 4 Rob Gioia
12. (1) 38 Cristofer King
13. (8) 41 Loren Smith
14. (12) 88X John Ross Jr.
15. (5) 15 Chris Judd
16. (16) 5 Jeff Prindall
17. DNS 09 Joe Turner