By Lou Modestino
DJ Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire drove from 19th starting position to victory lane in Saturday’s Southern Maine Motors 150 for Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine.
Shaw methodically worked his way through a stellar field of contenders aboard his Precision JLM Ford, taking the lead away from Berwick, Maine’s Joey Doiron with about 30 laps remaining, then cruising to the checkered flag with relative ease once in command.
“It’s a good day for Dale Shaw Race Cars. First and second place,” said the winner, who builds, maintains and sets up race cars at the family business for a living.
Doiron, who took over the top spot in the Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model championship points standings with his second straight runner-up finish, also led the most laps in race for the second consecutive time. After yielding the top spot to Shaw, Doiron held off certain Maine and New England Hall-of-Famer Mike Rowe of Turner, Maine to earn runner-up laurels.
Rowe, a recent NASCAR track champion at Beech Ridge, filled out the podium despite losing the power steering in his RJF Motorsports mount. He likely would have had more of a say in the outcome had mechanical demons not cropped up.
Cassius Clark of Farmington, Maine, the winner in the PASS opener at Oxford Plains Speedway two weeks previous, crossed the line in fourth position. Reigning series champion Travis Benjamin of Morrill, Maine rounded out the top five.
Scott Mulkern of Falmouth, Maine; Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, ME; David Oliver ofStandish, Maine six-time PASS Super Late Model champion Johnny Clark of Farmingdale, Maine and Windham, Maine’s Corey Bubar rounded out the top ten.
Doiron swapped the race lead in the early stages of the event with 14-year-old Reid Lanphear of Manchester, Maine, wheeling equipment prepared by Andy Santerre, a multi-time champion of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. After posting the fastest lap in the race, Lanphear’s impressive run was cut short by a backstretch altercation after a pit stop put him near the back of the running order.
Both Rowe and Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, New Hampshire battled Doiron for the top spot through the early and middle stages of the event before Shaw had worked his way into contention with less than 50 laps to go.
Joe Pastore of Gorham, Maine led all 75 laps in the PASS Sportsman Series main event. It was the second straight win in that series for Pastore, who also led the entire distance in the season-opening race at Oxford Plains Speedway last month.
It wasn’t as easy as it appeared for Pastore, who raced side-by-side for the opening 20 laps with East Waterboro, Maine competitor Craig Smith before taking command.
A pair of former PASS Sportsman Series champions chased Pastore through the closing laps, with Gorham, Maine’s Dan McKeage – also a former NASCAR Pro Series track champion at Beech Ridge – claiming runner-up honors.
Former PASS Sportsman Series kingpin Carey Martin of North Bridgton crossed the line in third position. Early-race challenger Smith claimed a fourth-place finish, with the top-five filled out by Lunenburg, Vermont driver Jeff Marshall.
Former series champion Mark Lucas of Harpswell, Maine prevailed in the 40-lap main event for the lone Pro All Stars Series open-wheel class, the PASS Mods.
Eventual second-place finisher Mitch Miller looked strong at the front of the field, building healthy leads after a couple of mid-race restarts, but the youngster from West Boylston, Massachusetts couldn’t outgun Lucas on the final post-caution square-off.
Mark Lundblad, Jr. of Albany, New Hampshire led several laps early in the event, battling Miller and, eventually, Lucas for the trophy-earning spots . Lundblad crossed under the checkered flag in third position.
Lovell, Maine teenager Evan Armington, a former Beech Ridge Roadrunner division champion, made an impressive charge to a fourth-place finish from 15th position on the starting grid, the most positions gained in the 40-lapper. Travis Buzzell of Hollis, Maine raced in as high as third-place before claiming the final top-five slot in the rundown.
Ryan Hammer of Pembroke, New Hampshire aced the NELCAR Legends Cars finale, coasting to a comfortable victory in a caution-free 35-lapper. Concord, New Hampshire driver Tim Laro chased Hammer throughout, driving the winner’s back-up car.
The entertainer in the non-stop Legends Cars main event was Newport, Maine young gun Mathew Bourgoine’s, whose charge from dead last on the 20-car grid to claim third-place hardware without the benefit of a restart was impressive. Evan Beaulieu of Durham, Maine raced to a fouth-place finish, just in front of Westbrook, Maine youngster John Peters.
Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models race next in Quebec, at Autodrome Chaudiere on Saturday, May 14, with their next New England appearance set for Saturday, May 25 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, New Hampshire.
The PASS Sportsman Series next sees action on Friday, May 31 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway. OPS is also the site for the next PASS Mods race, set for Friday, May 7.
The Lee USA Speedway opened its NASCAR Whelan Series regular season this past Friday night. Fans were treated to competitive racing action in all four divisions.
The big news in the Benson Hardware Small Block Super Modifieds was the driver change in the potent Witkum Brothers #21. Defending champion Tommy Tombarello Jr. will pilot the #21 for the 2013 season. Tombarello was without a ride until last Wednesday when asked to take over for Wayne Helliwell Jr., who could not run the entire season due to a schedule conflict.
The Witkum machine got off to a great start leading the first half of the 30 lap feature until Ryan Gath used the lapped car of Bob Webber Jr. as a pick to vault into the lead and on to victory over Tombarello and Sparky Maciver. The win was Gath’s second straight after prevailing at Oktoberfest last year.
Jim Piaseczny got the jump on Kyle Sawyer at the start of the David’s Race Cars Hobby Stock feature and led the entire distance as an intense battle for second ensued. Patrick Tanguay and Randy Washburn fought their way to second and third respectively , but could not quite catch Piaseczny, who went on to win the 25 lap race.
The popular youngTravis Hollis won his first ever American Auto Parts Iron Man feature event from the pole. Hollis kept his machine going straight leaving a mad scramble for second behind him. At the conclusion of the 15 lap contest, Wayne Purington was second and Tyler Mitchell third.
In the 30 lap Prime Storage Late Model Sportsman feature event, Grant Aither wrestled the early lead away from Ryan Green in a 7 lap door to door duel. Ryan remained a close second until being tapped by JR Baril entering turn one, taking both drivers out of contention. Nick Mianiatis held on for second and Alby Ovitt was third.
Next Friday night May 10, the first round of 4 spectator drag events will complement the regular weekly program. The event will be limited to the first 18 drivers to register and the field will be whittled down through a round robin eliminator process that race director Bob Watson says could result in a three abreast final elimination race in which the top two will receive trophies. All cars must be street worthy.
Bob Yurko has done a great job on his first Lee USA Speedway video production of the 2013 season . The Governor’s Cup 150 video is currently on sale and subsequent events will be captured each week by his 4 camera crew. Videos can be purchased behind the front stretch grandstand and starting next week, can be viewed via wide screen TV in the beer tent thanks to Bentley’s Replay,
On May 17, the E-Keys for Cars Classic Lites will join the program for their first of five events. A $1,000 point has been put up by DBT Inc. for the miniature racing machines. George Helliwell has won the past 12 in a row. Eddie Gilman and Chris Sullivan are some of the 20 other drivers expected to compete. Gates will open at 5 p.m. next Friday night . The first heat gets the green flag at 7PM. Admission is $12. Kids and Seniors get in for $10 and kids are always free.
The Gate City Classic at Hudson International Speedway that was scheduled for Sunday June 23rd has been moved to Sunday July 7th. Track owner Bob Webber and GSPSS President Mike Parks felt with the Huge national event being held at the New England Dragway on the 23rd of June it just made sense to juggle the schedule a little. Post time will be 6:03 p.m.
As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to Monadnock Speedway this week, a pair of drivers stand as favorites to either continue a historical trend or make their own mark on the record books.
Although the competition is nearly too close to call across the board, Whelen Modified Tour co-point leaders Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece lead the tour contingent into the Town Fair Tire Whitcomb 200 at the quarter-mile oval on Saturday, May 11 in rural Winchester, N.H.
Pennink will look to continue the historical trend at Monadnock that has seen a different driver win each of the previous eight all-time Whelen Modified Tour events at the track. Conversely, last year’s Monadnock winner Preece will attempt to become the tour’s first two-time victor there.
Although he’s averaged a finish just outside the top 10 in his first two career Whelen Modified Tour starts at Monadnock, Pennink has run second and fifth in two races so far this season. In addition to bringing that momentum to Monadnock, where he’s already registered a Modified win this year, Pennink has had plenty of success through the years at the other quarter-mile bullring on the tour schedule – Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway – including his lone career win.
Meanwhile, Preece was the best Whelen Modified Tour bullring driver a year ago when he won at Riverhead in addition to Monadnock. Add to that his first Riverhead win in 2009 and three of his five career triumphs have come in bullring races.
Pennink and Preece may enter Monadnock atop the points and the list of favorites to win, but they’ll have plenty of competition for the checkered flag. Veterans Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher – at one and three tallies behind in points, respectively – both have career wins at Monadnock in addition to their hot starts to the current season. Additionally, Justin Bonsignore, who groomed his early racing career at Riverhead, is just five points back of the leaders and has finished in the top five the last two years at Monadnock.
After 113 laps (56.5 miles) of American Canadian Tour Championship Stock Car racing at West Haven, VT’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, the victory in the Spring Green 113 came down to a flip of the coin: a margin that gave reigning ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr. a critical early-season win, and left ACT Point Leader Jimmy Hebert’s advantage at just three points.
Helliwell’s triumph over Brian Hoar on Sunday is the closest finish in ACT’s history since the changeover to electronic scoring in 2010. A difference of just .027 of a second separated the pair at the line, and Helliwell’s victory not only pulled him back into title contention, but saved Hebert from losing the top spot to the eight-time Champion Hoar.
Hoar now sits just three points back from last year’s Rookie of the Year, with Helliwell only 18 points out of the lead. Tiverton, RI’s Ray Parent continued to prove himself as a legitimate contender with another top five at Devil’s Bowl, keeping him fourth overall and just 6 points away from Helliwell.
Two veterans, Brent Dragon and Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., used runs from deep in the field in the Spring Green 113 to jump into a tie for fifth place after coming into the event in 8th and 12th place in overall points respectively. Rookie of the Year contender Bobby Therrien backed up his top five at Thunder Road with another top ten effort, moving up two spots to seventh. Chip Grenier moved from 14th to crack the top ten in 8th, and Ben Lynch and Rowland Robinson, Jr. each bounced back from tough days at Devil’s Bowl to hold on to top ten positions in a tie for ninth.
Claremont, NH’s Luke Hinkley flexed his muscle at Devil’s Bowl en route to a seventh-place finish after running up front all day, climbing the standings from nineteenth to eleventh.
The Tour will turn next to Airborne Speedway, the site of last year’s epic showdown for the title, for a 100-lap event on Saturday, May 18. It will be the fourth point-counting event of the year for the American Canadian Tour, and a precursor to the ACT Inaugural International 500 to be held on July 20/21 at the fast half-mile track.
Here’s what’s else is going on in the North Country. New England Dragway goes Wednesday and Friday with Street Nights at 5 p.m. Stockcar action on dirt goes at the Canaan Fairgrounds in NH on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Saturday has a lot of stockcar action at Bear Ridge in Bradford, VT., Canaan paved track and Star Speedway in Epping, NH opens for the season all at 6 p.m.. Next door New England Dragway offers ET action starting at 8.a. m. Moody’s Collision in Lewiston, ME offers a car show at 9 a.m.
Sunday’s offerings have sprint cars and stockcar at the Legion Speedway in Rumney, NH at 1 p.m. New England Dragway comes back with ET action at 8 a.m.