Lee, NH – Defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Small Block Supermodified champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. returned to his winning ways in the 30-lap feature event at Lee USA Speedway Friday night, running away to collect his first checkered flag of the 2012 season.
Leslie Keyser moved out to the early lead when flagman Don Horvath unfurled the green flag to let the Benson Lumber and Hardware feature event loose, but just five laps into the race, he was headed to the pits and still looking for his first career win.
Sparky MacIver picked up the lead on the restart, but he was no match for Helliwell, who quickly worked past into the lead. Once out front, Helliwell and the Witkum Brothers Racing machine were clearly in a class of their own, pulling away to win the event by a comfortable margin.
Behind Helliwell, it was MacIver in for second place honors, with Mike Ordway, Jr. taking third and Rookie of the Year leader Ryan Gath getting his best finish of the year in the fourth spot. Mike Netishen, P.J. Stergios, Tommy Tombarello, Jr., Jason Phillips, Mike Spurling, and Keyser were the rest of the top ten.
The Prime Warehouse Late Model Sportsman feature event was stopped due to a hard, single-car crash that saw rookie Michael Welch suffer an apparent stuck throttle which sent him slamming into the first turn retaining wall at nearly full speed.
After the ferocious impact, Welch’s car slid driver’s side down along the track before coming to a stop right side up as the safety crews were quickly on the scene to attend to the driver. The car was literally destroyed by the hit, but Welch was standing beside his car talking with safety workers just a few minutes after the incident.
Even the retaining wall required some attention before racing action could resume, which caused the event to be checkered a few laps short of completion. J.R. Baril returned to victory lane in the Brian House entry, while former champ Grant Aither finished in the runner-up slot.
After starting the race deep in the field, Jimmy Renfrew checkered third, with Patrick Stewart, Jason Welch, Kyle Roy, Tony Kawejsza, Timmy Johnson, David Piper, and Ray Dinsmore completing the top ten.
Jim Shorey is starting to distance himself from the competition in the David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stock point standings, and he continued that trend with feature win number three on Friday night.
Patrick Tanguay and Mike Williams battled side-by-side for the lead for several laps in the early going, but when it came down to crunch time, neither was a factor. Shorey patiently worked his way to the front, and he went on to lead the field across the stripe to score the win.
Chris Jacobson put in a solid run and came home with second place honors, followed by Ron Washburn, Tanguay, Niko Maniatis, David MacDonald, Allyssa Welch, Jim Piaseczny, Troy Washburn, and Paul Palen.
American Used Auto Parts Ironman competition found a new face in victory lane, as Danielle Simoneau held off multi-time feature winner and current points leader Jake Rheaume to score the first feature win of her young career.
Rheaume was right on her back bumper but had to settle for second at the finish, followed by Evan Horvath in the Red Cup Racing entry, who rounded out the podium in the third spot.
Next Friday, June 22nd, it’s another exciting round of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, featuring the Benson Lumber and Hardware Small Block Supers, Prime Warehouse late Model Sportsmen, David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stocks, and American Used Auto Parts Ironmen, plus NEMA Lites, Fan-Fest Pit Party Autograph Night, and Scout Night.