Point Leader Struggles, As Cayer Strikes His Third Win
Rain postponed last weekend’s Texas Roadhouse North East Mini Stock Tour return to Monadnock Speedway until Saturday August 18. Although the date had changed the excitement was just as big. Emerson Cayer returning to his home track, the track where he had brought home many trophies. Shawn Swallow carrying the largest point lead of the season and coming off back to back victories. Danny Field on a streak on trophy grabbing finishes, as well as Louis Maher tuning in his brand new car.
As the gates opened and teams began to file down the hill to the NEMST paddock area the car count grew fast with numerous Monadnock Mini-Stock competitors throwing their machine into the battle in the mountains. Last year one of their own, Rich Fournier brought home the big prize. The only time a NEMST competitor didn’t win the event.
With the increase in divisions due to postponement practices were short and limited. The traveling NEMST teams had their work cut out for them to battle the best mini stock teams in the region. By the end of the drivers meeting the draw had been completed and the lineups were set for the heat races. The Tater’s NASCAR Merchandise cash bonus was drawn by Mike Parker from Bradford, VT in the amount of $90.
As the 2 heat races were completed Emerson Cayer cruised to a sweet hometown victory and earned the right to draw the invert feature. The inversion ended up being 6 rows for the feature lineup. The second heat race was won by Monadnock weekly competitor Mike Stebbins. The crews started cooling down the vehicles and making final adjustments as the temperature dropped before feature event time. The car of Adam Manley was forced to start at the rear after missing heat race tech inspection.
The inversion led the 41 of Loren Smith and current Point Leader Shawn Swallow to the front row for the feature line up. 22 mini stocks survived the practices and heat races to start the 50 lap feature. Excitement was early as the green flag flew, once the field reached the backstretch cars got mixed up and the cars of Swallow, Maher, and Cayer collided resulting in Swallow needing a tow. Cayer received a flat tire and came into the garage area to get his car worked on.
The lap 2 restart had multiple weekly tour contenders sitting at the rear of the field with their work cut out for them. Danny Field used his decades of racing experience to push to the front of the field and lead the event until the Volkswagen of Toby Wells ran him down and began a battle. The field spread out and the cars of Cayer and Maher stayed nose to tail and trekked towards the front at alarming speeds. The car of Cory Dentino spun midway through the race and brought out the second caution of the event. On the ensuing restart Cayer and Maher continued their progress to the top spot. With 5 laps to go Wells continued to lead followed by Field, Cayer, Stebbins, and Maher. Cayer charged to the front passing the 18 with 3 laps to go and door slamming the 2 coming to the white flag to take over the lead.
Cayer never looked back and secured his third victory of the season boosting his points position and certifying him as king of the mountain. Toby Wells crossed the line in second place but was later penalized two laps in post race tech due to polished cylinder head ports and mis-matched tires. Danny Field was moved to the second place and Mike Stebbins into third. Tour regulars Louis Maher and Mike Parker rounded out the top 5. The heartbreak for Swallow’s early race mishap impacted his point lead dropping his lead from 70 points down to a mere 9 points. The top 6 cars are now separated by only 74 championship points.
The NEMST is back in action this Saturday, August 25 at Star Speedway in Epping, NH. For additional information please visit www.northeastministocktour.com or www.star-speedway.com . Also like us on facebook, facebook.com.northeastministocktour and on Twitter @neministocktour !