Lee, NH – Mike Netishen became the third winner in the first three races this season for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Small Block Supermodifieds at Lee USA Speedway, winning Friday night’s feature event by a comfortable margin.
For the second week in a row, the main event was stopped by an early red flag, this time for a lap three incident involving Mike Spurling and Super Dave Sanborn. The pair got together and slammed the backstretch wall, with Sanborn nearly flipping over, and both cars sustaining heavy damage in the wreck.
Returning to action in a borrowed ride after a hard wreck sidelined his Bob Chabot-owned entry the week before, Sparky MacIver grabbed the lead when racing resumed, and he was still pacing the field as the halfway mark approached.
Coming to the crossed flags, Netishen moved to the outside of leader MacIver, and he quickly took over the top spot. Once out front, Netishen was on cruise control the rest of the way, rolling into victory lane with his first win of the 2012 campaign.
P.J. Stergios moved into the second spot on lap 22, but Netishen was already several car lengths ahead and well on the way to victory. At the checkers, it was Netishen in for the win, with Stergios and 2010 champion Tommy Tombarello, Jr. rounding out the podium.
MacIver collected a solid fourth in the borrowed ride, opening night winner Mike Ordway, Jr., defending champ Wayne Helliwell, Jr., rookie Ryan Gath, Tony Carroll, rookie Jason Phillips, and Leslie Keyser the rest of the top ten.
There wasn’t even a lap on the board in the Prime Storage Late Model Sportsman feature when things went wrong for former champ Grant Aither, who got turned around and sent head-on into the turn one wall after some incidental contact just after the start of the main.
Chris Titcomb picked up the lead on the restart, but when Patrick Stewart and J.R. Baril tried to make it three-wide a few laps later, Titcomb’s night ended with a hard trip backwards into the turn three wall. With Baril relegated to the back of the pack, Michele Fushpanski took the lead on the restart, and it was all but over from there.
Michele eventually opened up a several car length lead, and she held off a late-race challenge from Tony Kawejsza to pick up the win, with Kawejsza runner-up for the second week in a row. Timmy Johnson collected another podium in third, with Jason Welch, Keith Larmie, Ray Dinsmore, 99 Dude, David Piper, Baril, and Kyle Roy fourth through tenth.
The David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stock feature once again proved why longtime announcer Pete Falconi dubbed the division “Unpredictable”, with some late-race drama changing the outcome of the race for several competitors.
Veteran campaigner Paul Palen led the first several laps of the Hobby main before losing out to Mike Williams and Jim Shorey, but when the pair got together battling for the lead as they were coming to the white flag, Palen regained the lead and led the lap that counts, checkering his first Lee USA triumph in the process.
Undefeated thus far in the 2012 campaign, Jake Rheaume garnered his fourth straight checkered flag in the American Used Auto Parts Ironman main, beating out heat winner Danielle Simoneau and Evan Horvath for the win. STAR feature event wins went to a pair of restored dirt Modifieds, with Bob Harless and Stan Woyt, both of Fishkill, NY, taking down the wins.
Coming up this Friday Night, June 1st is the first of three of the season Spectator Drags along with a full NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race program starting at 7:15PM. Adult tickets are $10, Children’s tickets from 13 to 16 years are $6.00 and Children 12 and under are FREE along with Parking is FREE.
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