leeThis past Friday night the Lee USA Speedway and Prime Warehouse and Storage honored the memory of Lance Davis, a popular late model sportsman driver whose life was cut short by illness a decade ago. .   Grant Aither continued his winning ways and took the 10th Annual Lance Davis Memorial Late Model Shootout ahead of Nick Maniatis and James Russell. It was his fourth win of the year.  Friend and former competitor Luke Tanguay has taken on the task of maintaining this event, and awarded the top ten with commemorative trophies.  Davis’ wife Lynn, son Zach, and daughter Lia were also recognized and presented with a plaque.

 This season has been one of the most competitive in years at Lee USA as evidenced by the number of first time winners.  Last Friday night two of the speedway’s most determined competitors finally found that elusive first checkered flag.

Previously, seven different drivers in the Bensons Hardware Small Block Supermodified Division had found victory lane in 2013, nearly half the field.  One of those left out was Mike Spurling, maybe the track’s number one nice guys.  Spurling has been a long-time Lee USA supporter, often had the division’s absolutely best looking car, but rarely found himself in contention.

That changed a few weeks ago, when he managed his first career podium finish. The opening laps of this week’s 30 lap feature saw two other non-winners Lesley Keyser and Sparky Maciver locked in a duel for first place. Unfortunately, both collided entering turn three leaving the division’s top two drivers Tommy Tombarello and Mike Netishen in an equally frantic duel for the lead.

On the restart, Spurling swooped past three cars in the first and second turns, then came after the leaders.  In probably the most spectacular move of the year, Spurling shot under both Netishen and Tombarello exiting the four turn and sprinted to his first victory as the entire grandstands erupted in applause. Both fans and competitors were obviously happy with this popular driver.  By far the most dramatic driving performance of the season was accomplished by Mike.

“I’m just sick of losing,” exclaimed a jubilant Spurling in victory lane.  “I never thought it would be this good.”

An equally nice guy and tenacious competitor is Kyle Sawyer who drove under his first checkered flag Friday night ahead of Dennis Dumas and Jim Shorey in the David’s Race Cars Hobby Stock Division.  In his first auto racing venture, Sawyer purchased an 11 year old hobby stock formerly driven by recently retired Bobby Glass. 

“It’s taken us a year and a half to get to where we are,” Sawyer stated from victory lane. “We were often wondering if we could really even do this.” But Sawyer has been close on several occasions and it was obviously sweet to get that first win.

Tyler Mitchell streaked to his second feature win in the American Used Auto Parts Ironman Division ahead of Shane Horvath and Hannah Shaw.

Only two more weeks remain in the 2013 Lee USA racing season and drivers in all four NASCAR Whelen Weekly Racing Series divisions are vying for every point to enhance their position in the standings.  Defending Small Block Supermodified Champ Tommy Tombarello has a 49 point lead over his nearest challenger, however Ryan Gath, Mike Netishen, Rickey Wolf, and Sparky Maciver are in a close battle for second.

With four feature wins, Grant Aither has a firm grip on first in the Late Model Sportsman division while JR Baril and Alby Ovitt have been swapping the second spot all season. 

The real battle is in the Hobby Stock Division between the top four teams, Patrick Tanguay and James Piasecny (597) are the top two. Currently Tanguay (609) is ahead by a mere 12 points while Paul Palen is in Third (592) followed closely by Wade Worcester (589).  If anyone has a slip, the standings could dramatically change.

Travis Hollins is holding down the lead in the Ironman Division while Hannah Shaw and Evan Horvath are battling for second. A driver’s final berth in the point standings is a culmination of an effort that often began in the cold winter months and continues through the weekly fender to fender battles with fellow competitors.  It’s a big deal to most, and as the 2013 season grinds to a conclusion, look for every contender to fight for every spot.  Championship Night featuring the regular handicapping procedure will determine the Champions and the top ten for yearend awards.  This should make September the 6th one the most exciting Championship Night in years.

The Lee USA Speedway is doing everything possible to grow the Ironman Division into an affordable racing venue for participants and an entertainment value for the fans. A $4,000 purse is on the line for the Ironman Super Series Race at Oktoberfest Weekend on October 11 thru 13. $1,000 will go to the winner. ABSOLUTELY THE LARGEST PURSE PAID TO AN ENTRY LEVEL DIVISION ANYWHERE.  If successful, more such events may be planned in the future.  Currently three cars have been made available for purchase by the track with more in the build shop.  For more information call the track office or Joe Bassett at 978-580-7962.

This Friday night is Back to School Night at Lee USA.  All four NASCAR Whelen Weekly Series Divisions will be in action along with Kiddie Rides for the Kids, a special going back to school treat. STAR, the premier vintage auto racing tour will be displaying their short track modifieds, late models, and midgets from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. They are always a big hit with particularly the long-time racing fans, but appreciated by everyone. Racing will get underway at 7PM. Pits open at 5PM.

Don’t forget to stop by the Checkered Flag Pub, check out the big screen TV with NASCAR Events for viewing and spend time with the Lee Staff and Competitors.