There’s some good news for the Modified competitors at Canaan Dirt Speedway. Management has put together a great plan to help out their teams for 2013. The purse in the Modified field has been changed so that every driver in the top twenty finishing position each week will receive at least $100.

“This is a major improvement for our teams as we know that economic times have got many teams pinching their pennies, and hopefully this will help ease their minds and allow them to continue to race the entire season,” stated General Manager, Dick Therrien. We are always looking for ways to help out our racers.”

Therrien went on, “We all know that one of the major expenses for all dirt teams is tires. We had a problem getting the Hoosier tire we wanted, so the supplier gave us a couple of other compound tires to test. We brought in one of our top racers to test out the tire this week and were we impressed.

Allen Hammond ran several segments and heat cycles on the tire. He started out running a ten-lap heat dash and everything went well. Next was a thirty lap non-stop run which showed virtually no wear. Three more twenty lap runs were made, and the tires still looked great! The track was hard and abrasive. But you could still hear the car squealing through the turns. This was a real legitimate test that worked out well.”

Hammond elaborated, “You couldn’t get a much better track then we had. Because it was perfect for the testing session. I’m impressed with the tires and my lap times were as quick at the end as they were at the start with brand new tires and my lap times stayed consistent. The tires grew only three pounds on the right rear and just two pounds on the left. That’s real consistency. After all those hard laps there is still a ton of life left in them.”

“The best result of all this,” stated Therrien, “We can sell these tires for just $130 each. That’s incredible as they seem to be as good if not better than the ones selling for $195. If a team can save $65 a tire, that’s incredible news and finally brings the cost of racing weekly way down.”

Canaan Dirt Speedway kicks off their 2013 season with a couple of open practice sessions prior to the season opener on Friday, May 3, 2013.


In a pleasant turn of events, Riverside Speedway General Manager Dan Fournier has announced this year’s Fall Brawl will pay out $10,000 to the winner of the newly prestigious event.

The Fall Brawl is a yearend Late Model race that was new lessee Dan Fournier started as his first race in control last year. The race featured some huge names from the area, and in a late race move, Derrick O’Donnell took home the checkers and the $5000 payday. Fournier has doubled the winner’s purse, and the rest of the positions will be balanced accordingly.

“Last year’s O’Donnell Racing Fall Brawl was a huge success, and with increased payouts and adding more races to the event, it will be even better than last year,” comments Fournier. “Riverside Speedway is hoping to attract some of the best drivers and teams in New England and maybe even a little beyond”.

This year’s Fall Brawl will take place on October 19th at Riverside Speedway. Also on the day’s schedule will be a Limited Late Model/Tiger Sportsman Open, and a Street Stock Open, with 4 cylinder rules accepted from Riverside, Canaan, White Mountain Motorsports Park, and Thunder Road.

Rowan Pennink used a late-race restart to seize control of the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series main event Saturday, April 20, at Monadnock Speedway and then rocketed to victory at the high-banked speed plant.

In the Sportsman Modified feature, Brian Chapin led almost every lap to top a potent field that produced no fewer than ten different feature winners – Chapin included – last season. Craig Smith powered to his first career victory at the Winchester quarter-mile, leading the final 18 laps of the Super Stock main to earn the win.

Other winners on the night at the Bond Auto Spring Dash event included former track champ Chris McTaggart in the Mini Stocks, defending Lightning Stock king Craig Chaffee, Thunder Stock powerhouse Ed Lofland, and Young Guns Joe Collins.

Mike Holdridge, from his outside front row starting slot, led the first 48 laps of the 100-lap main event, giving way to Max Zachem on lap 49. But while the Southern New England wheelsmen were battling for the top spot, most eyes in the large crowd were on former hometrack strongman Todd Patnode.

Firing from row four in the potent 25-car field, Patnode grabbed fifth on lap 29, fourth on lap 49, and was in third when the first caution of the fast paced event flew on lap 52. Patnode claimed second three laps later, and sailed past Zachem on a lap-60 restart.

By lap 85, Patnode held a ten-length lead, with Pennink, from row seven, coming quickly through the field. But a lap 94 restart would prove to be Patnode’s undoing, as Pennink edged ahead at the green, taking Tommy Barrett with him. They would run in that order through one more restart, but veteran wheelsman Louie Mechalides put on a last lap charge to nip Patnode for third.

With Pennink topping the big event, Barrett, Mechalides, Patnode, and the steady Zachem completed the top five.

In the Sportsman Modified 25-lapper, Brian Chapin took control at the drop of the green, watched Adam Norton edge ahead of him on lap 23, and then returned the favor a lap later to lead Norton, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Russ Hersey, and Keith Carzello under the checkers.

Craig Smith took control of the Super Stock main on a lap-seven restart and then held of a red hot field to record his first-ever Monadnock feature win. Two-time defending champion John Lavoie and 2010 division king Bill Johnston both had strong runs going when light contact launched the pair into the infield on lap nine, giving up valuable positions in their quest for opening night victory. And while Lavoie would kick on the afterburners to rocket back to third, Smith’s toughest job on this night was holding off the red-hot Eddie Brehio III. The third-generation driver would inherit second on lap nine and spend the rest of the race looking high and low to get around Smith before settling for the runner-up finish just a carlength behind the winner.

DJ Lazelle led the first two laps of the Mini Stock feature, then giving way to Chris McTaggart on a restart created when Beth Adams’ engine let go as both Adams Mike Stebbins saw their night’s work ended early after heavy contact with the turn-one tire barrier. While McTaggart thought he had a relatively easy drive the rest of the way, sophomore hot shoe JT Cloutier in the second spot looked to take the top spot glued to his back bumper. On the last lap Cloutier seemingly locked up second with ease until his car shut down on the backchute, just allowing him to coast under the checkers ahead of Rivet. Kevin McKnight Jr, from row five, was steady all race to come home fourth, with Lazelle finishing his strong night’s work in fifth.

Lightning Stock ace Craig Chaffee duplicated his opening night victory of a year ago, beginning the defense of his 2012 title in style. Chaffee’s only obstacle along the way appeared in the person of veteran Pat Houle. Houle took the lead from Chaffee on a lap-eight restart and the two then went wheel-to-wheel for six laps before Houle abruptly slowed and then coasted into the infield. Former Mini Stock strongman Chris Davis would pull up to Chaffee’s bumper but then settle for second with Tim O’Shea taking third.

Ed Lofland left little doubt he’ll be the man to beat in this years Thunder Stock class, taking control of his 30-lapper and then checking out on the field to win going away. Joe Ethier, strong in his own right, settled for best of the rest. Usher posted third.

In the Young Guns 15-lapper, Joe Collins and Cameron Sontag ran one-two the whole race, with third-row starter Chris Lawrence running them down to grab a solid third, as Collins, Sontag and Lawrence took the opening night checkers nose-to tail.

This Saturday, April 27, New England’s fastest quarter-mile oval will host a five-division card of NASCAR racing, featuring the Sportsman Modifieds, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Lightning Stocks, and Young Guns. The Granite State Pro Stocks will be present to test and tune their race machines in preparation of their debut at the end of May. Post time is 6 p.m.

Here’s what else is going on in northern New England. On Wednesday and Friday it’s Street Night at New England Dragway at 5 p.m. The Porsche Rumble goes at The Omni at Mt. Washington all weekend. On Saturday and Sunday NHMS in Loudon, NH it’s Legends on the oval and motorcycles on the road course at 9 a.m. each day. Thunder Road in Barre, VT hosts the ACT Tour with qualifying on Saturday and feature events on Sunday afternoon.

Canaan, NH’s dirt track offers a car show and practice on Saturday. At the same time Home Depot in W. Lebanon, NH will host the Upper Valley Car Show all day. Lee USA in NH offers vintage race cars plus test and tune for all divisions. At the nearby Star Speedway in Epping, NH it’s also test and tune.