By Lou Modestino
Thunder Road International Speedbowl officials have announced the rescheduling of the Harvest Equipment and the Fairpoint Communications rained-out events as special Sunday evening shows.
The Harvest Equipment event, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, June 16 has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 4. The Fairpoint Communications event, from Thursday, June 27, will be on Sunday, August 18. Both shows will feature racing action from the Thunder Road Late Models, Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen and the Allen Lumber Street Stocks with 6 p.m. post times.
The championship battles are heating up in all three divisions. Former Thunder Road Champions Jean-Paul Cyr and Dave Pembroke are neck and neck at the top of the Late Model standings along with young Cody Blake. Multi-time Champion Shawn Fleury holds a slim lead over John Lambert and Jason Allen in the Tiger division, while last year’s runner-up Dean Switser, Jr. clings to a two-point lead over Jamie Davis in the Street Stocks.
Thunder Road will be back in action next Thursday, July 4 for the Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Fireworks event. The evening will see the Thunder Road Late Models, Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and the Rough Riders in action. It will also feature a Kids Poster Contest during intermission. The first 500 people through the gates will receive a Clint Bowyer Hero Card in anticipation of his appearance in the VT Governor’s Cup. The event will be capped off with an amazing display of fireworks. Post time is 6:30 p.m.
Bill and Matt Kimball pulled off the rare feat of father-son feature wins on the same card of racing Saturday, June 29, at Monadnock Speedway; Bill, the father, earning his first Sportsman Modified win of the summer, while son Matt scored the second Young Guns victory of his freshman campaign.
Other winners on the night at the high-banked speedplant included third-generation hot shoe Eddie Brehio III, who won his first Super Stock feature of the season, and Mini Stock pilot Kimmy Rivet, who notched her third win of the summer.
Lightning Stock strongman Pat Houle scored his second win of the year, Marshall Usher topped the Thunder Stocks for his first win of the summer, and Duane Noll topped the visiting NE Truck Series event, his sixth consecutive Monadnock victory over a two-season time span.
Former Sportsman Modified champion Bill Kimball had run strong the first eight weeks of the season, but victory had remained just out of his grasp. Saturday, Kimball shook that monkey of his back by dominating the 30-lap main event from green to checkers to become the division’s seventh different winner of the summer.
Joey Kendall held the deuce spot early, but Steve Fifield scooted past him on lap four and would chase Kimball the rest of the way before settling for a hard-earned runner-up finish. Danny Stebbins came home third, with Adam Norton and Tyler Jarvenpaa completing the top five.
Tyler Lescord led the first three laps of the Super Stock main, with Eddie Brehio III dropping him back to second on a lap four restart. John Lavoie would move Lescord back to third a lap later, and the chase was on.
Brehio and Lavoie would pull away from the field, but Lavoie could come no closer than two lengths of the leader, as he shadowed the third-generation driver under the checkers 20 laps later. Dennis Stange came home third, with Bill Johnston and Dave Striebel rounding out the top five. Brehio’s win moved him into a virtual first-place tie with Johnston atop the points’ parade.
DJ Lazelle set the pace for the first eight laps of the Mini Stock feature, with Kimmy Rivet – from row three – then taking command, and Beth Adams moving up to second a lap later.
Louie Maher – shooting for back-to-back wins – had a third place run going until ducking pitside with overheating problems with only two laps remaining. That moved Mike Stebbins up to third, taking the checkers behind Rivet and Adams.
With Rivet earning her third victory lap of the season, points’ leader Chris McTaggart came home fourth, and JT Cloutier was fifth.
Like his father would do later in the program, Matt Kimball led every lap of his feature event, earning his second victory lap of the season in the Young Guns feature. Joe Collins put together his second strong runner-up outing in as many weeks, with Joel Monahan completing his hard night’s work in third. Chris Lawrence and Dylan Stebbins rounded out the top five.
Gordon Farnum led the first five laps of the Lightning Stock feature, with Tim Paquette taking the point on lap six. Paquette would open a big lead, but Pat Houle – from row nine – steadily reeled him in, taking the lead on lap 17 and never looking back.
With Houle winning his second event of the season, points leader Chris Davis – also from row nine – grabbed the runner-up spot 12 lengths behind Houle. Tim O’Shea, Paquette, and Farnum rounded out the top five.
Jason Barden was the early leader in the Thunder Stock feature, giving way to Marshall Usher on lap three. Usher would lead the rest of the way to score his first win of the summer. Joe Ethier charged through the pack in the final five laps to claim second.
Scott Thompson came home third, with Henry Martin and Ed Lofland rounding out the top five, as Lofland – who ran as high as third in the event – watched his five-race winning streak end from far behind the leaders.
In the NE Truck Series feature, Tony Lafoe got the early jump, pacing the field for two laps until Duane Noll rocketed past him. Once in front, Noll never looked back, leading Chris Correll and Lafoe under the checkers to score his sixth straight win on the high banks.
This Saturday, July 6, Monadnock Speedway will host one of its biggest events of the season, Firecracker 100 Night, with the Valenti Modified Racing Series competitors squaring off in 100-lap main event, with the largest fireworks display in Northern New England capping the night’s program.
The Sportsman Modifieds, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Young Guns, Lightning Stocks, and Thunder Stocks will all be in action, with racing under way an hour early, at 5 p.m.
Top Ten Sportsman Modifieds: Bill Kimball, Steve Fifield, Dan Stebbins, Adam Norton, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Nathan Johnson, Joe Kendall, Brian Chapin, Eric Leclair, Alyssa Rivera
Top Ten Super Stock: Ed Brehio III, John Lavoie,Dennis Stange, Bill Johnston, Dave Striebel, Kevin Russell, Tyler Lescord, Dana Shepard, Nancy Muni, Tyler Leary
Top Ten Mini Stocks: Kim Rivet, Beth Adams, Mike stebbins, Chris McTaggart, JT Cloutier, Joe Rogers, Kevin McKnight, DJ Lazelle, Bill Lambert, Darren Jacobs
Top Ten Young Guns: Matt Kimball, Joe Collins, Joel Monahan, Chris Lawrence, Dylan Stebbins, Cameron Sontag, Justin Faford, Dylan Morse, Mike McGoldrick, Cile Littlewood.
Riverside Speedway fended off Mother Nature and got the full racing card in for Rod’s Used Car night. Two separate rain delays dragged out the marathon night, and the track had to postpone Steve Patnaude’s “Blast from the Past”, but when it was all said and done, the racing was worth the wait.
Corey Mason completed a perfect night by taking home the Triple Crown in the North Country Ford Late Model division. Mason took his heat race, the semi-feature, and held off a hard charging Randy Potter in the feature event to complete the coveted maximum point night. After his top ten the previous week in the Bond Auto ACT 150, Mason carries a lot of momentum into next week. Potter would wheel his car across the line second, and Bryan Mason would finish third. Steve Patnaude and Brandon Lambert would round out the top 5.
It was a great night for Ouellette Racing, as Chris Ouellette ran a perfect night by winning his heat race and the feature event. Ouellette battled hard with Aaron Smith throughout most of the 30 lap feature in the Sign Depot Limited Late Model division. The two swapped the lead multiple times and ran door to door, but after it was all said and done, Ouellette would come out on top, picking up his first feature win in the division. Smith would settle for second, and Alex Rooney would cross the line backwards to finish third on the track, but after technical inspection Rooney’s car was deemed too wide. “Old School” Mike Paquette would inherit the third spot, giving Doug Laleme and “Hollywood” Chandler Davis the fourth and fifth positions.
To complete the Ouellette Racing dominance of the night, Nicole Ouellette picked up the heat and feature wins in the Ouellette Trucking Angels division. Ouellette fended off challenges from Jaime Carbone in the heat and Vanessa Brown in the feature to claim her maximum point night. Brown finished second with Jenna Randall finishing third. Carbone and Tina Leveille rounded out the top five.
The 4 cylinder Match Races were run at the beginning of the night, with good, clean, side-by-side racing with the sixteen cars involved. Daredevils, Angels, and Street Stocks were all involved, and after the dust cleared, it was Cole Kilby and “Wild” Will Good in the finals. Good would come away the victor, and pick up a cool $150.
The Town and Country Inn and Resort Street Stock had a wild run late in the night. Willie “The Weiner” Hennequin jumped out to an early lead, but was overtaken by Cole Kilby. The battle for second began mid-race, as Hennequin tried to fend off Jaden Perry, “Nitro” Nick Gilcris, Jason Kenison, Jesse Switser, and Jamie Heath. Gilcris and Kenison would break free of the pack, and follow Kilby across the line second and third. Switser and Heath would finish fourth and fifth.
The DK-N-Sons Pure Stock division were back to their normal ways. A new rivalry was formed between Dave Glidden and James Record. The two used each other’s bumpers and fenders around the whole track to the delight of the crowd. Glidden would survive to take home his first victory at Riverside Speedway, with Record and Veilleux completing the top three.
Matthew Kopp took home his second victory in the Marshall Insurance Agency Daredevils division. Kopp bested out Zach Savage and Dylan “The Dragon” Laleme for the win.
Join us next week as Riverside Speedway holds it’s Independence Day celebration on Saturday July 6. All divisions will be on hand plus the Northeast Pro 4 Tour.
Nick Sweet completed a memorable back-to-front drive to win the People’s United Bank 100 stock car race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, June 30. The event, which was previously postponed twice by rain, was the second round of the four-race Vermont State Late Model Championship Series and also included NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races won by Jessey Mueller and Mike Whalen, Jr.
Sweet, of Barre, VT, started on the pole position in the 28-car field and engaged in a see-saw battle for the lead with Chip Grenier of Graniteville, VT for the first half of the race. Sweet lined up second next to Grenier before a lap-52 restart, but was forced to duck into the pit area to replace a flat right-front tire, rejoining the field in 22nd place just seconds before falling a lap behind.
Hunter Bates of Middlebury, VT picked up where Sweet left off, trading the lead – and a few jabs – with Grenier for the next 30 laps while Sweet weaved his way back through traffic during the caution-filled event. Closely behind the Grenier-Bates fight, rookies Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT, Brandon Atkins of AuSable Forks, NY, and Travis Stearns of Auburn, ME showed muscle by running in or near the top-five much of the day.
Sweet reentered the picture during a long green-flag run, passing cars in both the inside and outside lanes. He moved in on Bates and Grenier with 15 laps remaining, taking the lead from Bates at lap 89. A final lap-98 restart was no challenge for Sweet, and he cruised to his first Late Model victory outside his home track at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT.
“This is one that I’m going to cherish for a while,” Sweet said in victory lane. “This is a tough track to have come from the back at, and Chip and the rest of those guys made me work for it.”
Grenier finished second for the second time in as many Vermont State Late Model Championship Series events at Devil’s Bowl, dating back to the Vermont 200 Weekend in September 2012. Masterson, in only his fourth start in a Late Model, finished third. Bates and Stearns were scored fourth and fifth, respectively, after Stearns was given a one-position penalty for rough riding on the final lap. Atkins finished sixth, followed by Emily Packard, Trampas Demers, Eric Chase, and Dan Petronis.
Mueller, of Olmstedville, NY, produced the most impressive drive of his young career in the 35-lap Bond Auto Parts Modified feature. The 18 year-old started in 15th place on the 20-car grid and drove through the field toward the front as Joe Williams of Scotia, NY held a huge lead.
As Williams navigated heavy lapped traffic in the closing laps, his car’s left-rear tire began losing air, allowing a five-car group that included Mueller to close in. Mueller took to the outside lane as Leon Gonyo, Vince Quenneville, Jr., Ron Proctor, and Todd Stone all fought for position, and flew into second place with two laps remaining. Mueller made a last-corner commitment to the inside lane and was able to beat Williams in a drag race to the finish line, taking the win by 26-thousandths (.026) of a second.
Quenneville, of Brandon, VT, finished third behind Williams, with Chazy, NY driver Gonyo fourth. Stone, of Middlebury, VT, nipped Charlton, NY driver Proctor at the line for fifth place. Jeff Haskins, rookie Jamie LaFountain, Cody Sargen, and pole sitter Jim Introne, Jr. completed the top ten finishers.
Mike Whalen, Jr. bounced back from a four-time rollover last week to notch the first victory of his career in the 15-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock feature. The Plattsburgh, NY driver dominated the race and outdistanced rookie Chuck Bradford of Addison, VT and Jake Noble of Benson, VT for the win. Garry Bashaw of Lincoln, VT and rookie Jason Sabourin of Vergennes, VT were next in line.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Friday, July 5 with the “Coca-Cola Firecracker” Independence Day spectacular at an early 6:00pm start time. The Bond Auto Parts Modified and Late Model divisions will each run special 44-lap features, along with regular championship races for the Renegades and Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stocks. Also on the blockbuster card are a 75-lap Enduro Series event and the largest and loudest holiday fireworks show in Vermont. Special general admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and free for children 12 and under.