CLAREMONT, N.H. – Late Model Sportsman star Aaron Fellows and Six-shooter Jeremy Blood both stayed undefeated on the young season Sunday, May 26, at Claremont Motorsports Park, but it was Keystone State rocketman Matt Hirschman that hit the ball out of the park at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
The second-generation Modified star led the final 37 laps of the 100-lap Tri-Track Open Modified Series main event to earn the $7,000 winner’s purse, taking the checkers a dozen lengths ahead of Nutmeg State hot shoe Les Hinckley, the winner of many prior feature victories at the Claremont third-mile.
Grantham’s Mike Willis Jr., firing from row two, pounced on the lap-one lead in the big show, keeping Ron Silk in his shadow as the two major event winners from a season ago battled in Sunday’s big event. Silk, sailing from the outside lane, inched ahead at the stripe as lap 19 went into the books, still holding the point ahead of Willis and Todd Patnode as the race reached its halfway mark.
A lap-56 looper brought out the fourth caution of the race, with Silk, Patnode and many other front runners heading pitside for fresh rubber, as Willis stayed out and reclaimed the lead . Hirschman was the first man back out with new Hoosiers, refiring three rows back, with Silk alongside. Silk’s charge back to the front was brief though, as he was nudged into the turn four wall on lap 62, then hurtling along the frontchute, collecting Brian Robie, Kirk Alexander, Joey Jarvis, and Patnode, with both Silk and Alexander done for the night when the smoke had cleared.
From there, it was all Hirschman. Hinckley was strong in second but, on this night, no match for Hirschman, taking the checkers in the runner-up spot, ahead of Ronnie Williams and Andy Jankowiak. Russ Hersey came back from early trouble to round out the top five.
In the LMS 35-lapper, Robert Hagar beat Aaron Fellows to the stripe to lead lap one, still holding the point when he looped out of the lead, with help, on lap three. That moved the 11-time-track champ to the point, where he quickly sped away, as the race looked to be over. Maybe not though.
With Fellows far, far ahead of Ben Poland as the white flag waved, his car disappeared in smoke as he sailed through turn two on the last go-round. His lead though, was vast enough to carry him to the R.E. Hinkley LMS checkers ahead of Poland, with Ricky Bly, Hagar, and Tyler Lescord completing the top five.
Two-time Street Stock winner Jimmy Renfrew fired quickly to the point in his 30-lapper, looking to stay undefeated on the young season. Teammate Alby Ovitt, though, had other ideas, riding under a blanket with Renfrew until rubbing past him along the backchute on lap 22. Ovitt sailed under the flags three lengths ahead of Renfrew to score his first win of the season, with Max Doliver coming home third. Hometown hot shoes Dave Greenslit and Lenny Silver completed the top five.
Unity’s Bruce Adams, coming off an earlier heat race victory, led the first eight laps of the Pure Stock feature, with 2018 multi-feature winner Kyle Templeton then taking over and darting off to the checkers. Adams finished strong in the runner-up spot, with Jon Baker coming home third.
Jeremy Blood stayed undefeated in the Six-Shooters, winning both his third heat and third feature race. Paul Colburn was second, and Eric Lanou third.
This Friday, May 31, Claremont Motorsport Park returns to action with a five-division card of racing beginning at 7 p.m.
TRI-TRACK MOD TOP TEN: Matt Hirschman, Les Hinkley, Ronnie Williams, Andy Jankowiak, Russ Hersey, Matt Swanson, Anthony Sesely, Tommy Barrett, Calvin Carroll, Brian Robie. LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Aaron Fellows, Ben Poland, Ricky Bly, Robert Hagar, Tyler Lescord. STREET STOCK: Alby Ovitt, Jimmy Renfrew, Max Doliver, Dave Greenslit, Lenny Silver. PURE STOCK: Kyle Templeton, Bruce Adams, Jon Baker, Chris Carver, Jim Carley. SIX-SHOOTER: Jeremy Blood, Paul Colburn, Eric Lanou.
By Gary Dutton Photos by Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Aaron Fellows topped the 52-lap Dean Smith Memorial Late Model Sportsman main event Friday, May 17, at Claremont Motorsport Park, winning for the second time in as many 2019 events at the third-mile speedplant.
The Croydon Comet was one of four hot shoes staying perfect on the young season, as Todd Patnode made it two straight in the Sportsman Modifieds, Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ran away and hid to earn his second victory lap in the Street Stocks, and hometown pilot Jeremy Blood stayed undefeated in Six Shooter action.
Newport’s Jim Carley was a first time winner in the Pure Stocks, while Justin Harris won the 50-lap Red Neck Enduro nightcap event.
Ben Poland led the R.E. Hinkley Late Model Sportsman field to the green, holding the point for the first 15 go-rounds, with two-time defending track champ Ricky Bly running in his shadow. Fellows, charging from row four, reeled the lead pair in quickly, dropping Bly to third on lap 14 and then blasting low out of turn two to take command a lap later.
Bly grabbed the deuce on lap 18, running a distance second to Fellows until coasting to a stop atop turn four on lap 35. Not done yet, the Sunapee speedster put together some fast pit work and a fortuitous caution flag on lap 33 to knife back through the field and earn the runner-up hardware behind Fellows. Bob Hagar’s solid outing netted him the three-spot, Solomon Brow came home fourth, and Poland was fifth under the checkers.
Joel Monahan and Dana Smith race glued together for the first 17 circuits of the Pepsi Sportsman Modified main, with Smith – a two-time speedway champ – beginning to find some breathing room until the caution waved for a routine looper on lap 23. The ensuing restart brought Monahan back to his door, and Patnode into the mix.
Patnode would claim the deuce two laps later, keeping Smith in his sights until a lap-34 caution gave him one last chance at the point, with the Swanzey hot shoe jumping all over his newfound fortune to speed off to his second victory of the summer. Unity’s Mark Hayward, strong all night, charged ahead for second, Scott MacMichael came home third, with Smith and Matt Kimball rounding out the top five.
Casella Street Stock strongman Dave Greenslit led the first nine circuits of his 30-lapper, with Jimmy Renfrew Jr. draped all over him but, once Renfrew had rocketed low through turn three to take command, he simply drove away to earn the Friday night victory by a country mile. Chris Riendeau – he of the 11 feature wins a summer ago – got up for second, with Greenslit, Max Doliver, and Joe Tetreault completing the top five.
Seth Melcher won the first of two Pure Stock features, a 20-lap completion of an event halted by rain two weeks earlier. Erin Aiken was second, Chris Conroy third, with Tim St. John and Jim Carley completing the top five.
In the nightcap, when the tech line shuffle had been danced, Carley won his first of the year. Unity’s Bruce Adams was second, followed by Kyle Templeton, Chris Carver, and Sammy Silver.
Jeremy Blood topped the Six Shooters, with Paul Colburn the runner-up and Eric Lanou third, a duplication of their heat race finish.
In the Red Neck Enduro 50-lapper, Justin Harris – firing from row two, led all the way to score a dominating victory. Leon Keniston was the deuce man, with Tyson Hayes coming home third in the green-only event.
Next Sunday, May 26, Claremont Motorsport Park will host one of northern New England’s biggest racing events of the season, as the storied Tri-Track Modified Series invades the Thrasher Road speedplant for 100 ground-pounding laps of excitement. More than 30 of the region’s top open-wheel teams will be on hand to vie for the $7,000 winner’s purse.
Because of the preparation necessary to host this spectacular Memorial Day weekend event, there will be no racing Friday, May 24 at the CMP oval. The Mod Squad will be supported by a full card of Motorsport Park weekly racing series events. Post time Sunday is 5 p.m.