June 28, 2020
By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H.- Kyle Welch stormed past some stout competition Friday to win the Maurice Trailer Country Modified main event at Claremont Motorsports Park. It was the open-wheel series’ first event of the summer at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
Street Stock ace Dave Greenslit and Pure Stock king Kodi Sabins each earned another victory lap at the June 26 event, while Dustin Thibodeau scored his first career victory in the night’s 20-lap Six Shooter feature.
Week four in the pandemic-shortened season was, as the first three, a good one, as promoter Mike Parks guided the five-division, 70-plus-car event into the books in two and one-half hours.
Defending speedway Sportsman Modified champ Brian Robie and potent Grantham wheelsman Mike Willis won the open-wheel heats, with the dynamic duo then leading the ground-pounders to battle in the night’s 35-lap main event.
Willis blasted to the lead at the drop of the green, with Welch hooking onto his bumper to claim second. Three laps later, it was Robie holding the deuce and immediately going to work in the low groove below Willis.
The first of three caution flags waved on lap ten, when Robie looped in turn four while bidding for the lead. The restart brought Welch to Willis’s side where, three laps later, he rocketed into the lead from the outside line, then holding Willis in his shadow to score the victory 22 laps later.
Robie marched back through the field to begin his title defense with a strong third-place showing. Bay Stater Ben Byrne, solid all night, finished fourth, and Walt Hammond came home fifth.
Dave Greenslit made easy work of winning his third R.E. Hinkley Oil Company Street Stock feature of the summer. The hometown hot shoe outran first Briana Akusis and then Joe Tetreault most the way, as Ascutney powerhouse Chris Riendeau put on a show of his town not far behind.
Wheeling the Robbie Streeter ride, Riendeau claimed third on lap 15, then rode the low line to take second from the speedy Tetreault with three circuits to go. Randy Town got up for fourth, with Akusis completing her strong night’s work in fifth.
Bruce Adams led the first 16 laps of the LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock feature, with Kodi Sabins then taking over on a restart and quickly leaving the field far behind as he blasted to his third win of the young season.
Dylan Adams, on a rail all night, earned the runner-up hardware behind Sabins, with Green Mountain racer Robert Shaw third, Bruce Adams fourth, and rookie whiz Zach Richardson fifth on the night.
Rookie Dustin Thibodeau led all the way to earn his first career win far ahead of defending Six Shooter champion Jeremy Blood. Ryan Carmen claimed the three-spot, Todd Maguira was fourth, and Ricky Melcher came home fifth.
Bay State pilot Luke LeBrun outran a strong 20-car field in the night’s 25-lap NELCAR Legends feature. Jake Johnson was second, with Shaun Buffington third under the flags. The victory was LeBrun’s second of the series’ 2020 season.
Next Friday, July 3, Claremont Motorsports Park will host one of the area’s only aerial fireworks displays, with big time action on the track too, as the Granite State Pro Stock Series comes back to town to battle for 100 exciting green-flag laps. Time trials for this special holiday weekend event will begin at 7:15 p.m.
JUNE 26 TOP TENS:
SPORTSMAN MODIFIED: Kyle Welch, Mike Willis, Brian Robie, Ben Byrne, Walt Hammond, Russ Hersey, Kimmy Rivet, Stu McCormick, Cameron Houle, Cory Plummer.
STREET STOCK: Dave Greenslit, Chris Riendeau, Joe Tetreault, Randy Town, Briana Akusis, Kyle Buck, Cody Schoolcraft, Chris Emerson, Kenny Thompson, Raven Streeter.
PURE STOCK: Kodi Sabins, Dylan Adams, Robert Shaw, Bruce Adams, Zach Richardson, Alexis Aiken, Clark Brooks, Sean Lantas, Doug Nelson, Jim Carley.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, Jeremy Blood, Ryan Carmen, Todd Maguira, Ricky Melcher, Ray Luce, Chooch Snide, Keith Martin, Dakota Lanou, Stephanie Welcome.
June 23, 2020
By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Aaron Fellows won for the eighteenth time in a row, Dave Greenslit and Kodi Sabins each earned his second victory lap of the season, and for the first time this summer, fans flocked to Claremont Motorsports Park Friday, June 19, night.
Six Shooter kingpin Jeremy Blood also won for the second time in three outings Friday, and Desmond Skillings and Randy Burr were both victorious too, as the Thrasher Road speedplant – social distancing practices in place – opened its grandstands for the first time in 2020.
It wasn’t a Sonny-Fleury-back-in-the-day crowd but it was, none-the-less, a great turnout, as everyone came out to welcome racing back to the Twin State Valley. And nobody went away from Friday’s show disappointed, especially not Late Model Sportsman star Aaron Fellows.
Coming off his undefeated, 17-0, 2019 championship summer, the speedway’s all-time winningest driver picked up right where he’d left off last September. With the LMS warriors competing for the first time this season, Fellows dominated both his heat and feature races, easily social distancing himself from the rest of the field to win going away.
Behind Fellows, though, the competition was stout. Hayden Scott was strong all night, earning the runner-up hardware, with Charlestown’s Ben Poland coming home third, a whisker ahead of Cornish Comet Bucky Demers.
And, if Fellows made it look easy in the LMS main, ditto for R.E. Hinkley Street Stock powerhouse Dave Greenslit. The hometown hot shoe had almost left the building when a two-to-go looper – almost dumping the leader in the process – brought the field to his bumper for a green-white-checkers finish.
With Greenslit dominant in scoring his second victory of the young season, full-fendered novice Brian Robie – the track’s defending Modified champion – held off Randy Town to earn the silver medal. Briana Akusis, strong all night, came home fourth, and Kyle Buck earned the five spot.
Green Mountain Boy Kodi Sabins was in a class of his own en route to topping the Lavalley Building Supply Pure Stock 25-lapper. Robert Shaw claimed the deuce, with rookie whix Zach Richardson third under the flags, just ahead of the father and son duo of Dylan and Bruce Adams.
Ryan Carmen led the first three-go-rounds of the Six Shooter feature, then giving way to Paul Colburn. Jeremy Blood took over as lap six entered the books, with the 2019 novice champ then outrunning Dustin Thibodeau and Carmen over the last 14 circuits to score his second win of the year.
Desmond Skillings blasted off on a lap-four restart in the Mini Stock feature and then held off Floridian Mike Stebbins to earn his first victory lap of the season. With Stebbins powerful in second, Matt Boucher chased the two sizzling Hondas under the sticks to claim the three spot.
June 14, 2020
By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – With more than 140 racing teams competing, Claremont Motorsports Park ran its last fan-free pandemic-rules event of the season, Friday, June 12, with Jimmy Renfrew, Jeremy Blood, and Zach Richardson topping the weekly racing series divisions in the night’s five-division event.
With some restrictions, the storied third-mile speedplant will open it spectator gates for the first time this summer next Friday, June 19.
Street Stock star Jimmy Renfrew made easy work of winning Friday night’s 30-lap main event. He survived three late-race restarts to earn the win ahead of a blockbuster battle being waged for second and third, not far behind him.
Renfrew had opened a huge lead when a backmarker-waltz brought out the first caution flag on lap 24 The pause in action also brought Max Dolliver to Renfrew’s back bumper on the restart and, two restarts later, Dolliver had taken the deuce from Jarret Curtis, but the show wasn’t over yet.
In the most exciting finish of the young season, Brian Robie – the track’s defending open-wheel champion – earned his first Street Stock trophy of the season by storming past Dolliver to score the runner-up finish by inches. Nate Wentzel was fourth, Jim Storace fifth, and opening night winner Dave Greenslit came home eighth on the night.
A star is born? In only his second-ever outing in the Pure Stocks, ultra-rookie Zach Richardson led all the way to score his first career victory, leading the swarming 26-car field under the checkers in the night’s 20-lapper.
With two of the apparent top five finishers coming up short in the tech-line shuffle, Dylan Adams was moved up one spot to finish second, his dad, Bruce Adams, was third, with Doug Nelson and Mike Douglas rounding out the top five.
Six Shooter ace Jeremy Blood made easy work of scoring his first win of the season. The defending division champion started up front in the night’s 20-lap feature and never looked back
Opening night winner Eric Lanou had his second strong outing in as many weeks, earning the runner-up hardware. Todd Maguira came home third, Keith Martin was fourth, and the five spot went to steady Dustin Thibodeau in the one-caution event.
Only bad luck could keep second-generation star Matt Kimball from victory lane in the 50-lap In-City Sugar Shack Mini Stock main event. And, after dominating the first 44 laps of the half-century feature, the Bennington, N.H. racer heard Lady Luck knocking at his door and, this time, she wasn’t smiling.
With Kimball ducking pitside with a sour tire, veteran wheelsman Louis Maher took charge, then leading Hayden Grenier under the checkers six go-rounds later to win the series’ first event of the summer.
Matt Sonnhalter recovered strongly from early-race woes to grab the three spot, with Nick Anderson and Mike Viens completing the top five. Hometracker Erin Aiken was steady all night to come home seventh.
Enduro artist Matt Gauffin outran a 55-car field of fury to top the show’s nightcap event. Danny Gill was second in the turbulent 50-lapper, with hometrack hot shoe Jimmy Zullo earning the bronze medal. Fourth and fifth in the first Enduro Series event of the summer were Dan Lebraney and Chris Fultz.
Claremont Motorsports Park will return to action next Friday, June 19, when the Thrasher Road speedplant will open its grandstands for the first time this summer. Post time is 7 p.m. every Friday.
JUNE 12 Top Finishers:
IN-CITY SUGAR SHACK MINI STOCK: Louis Maher, Hayden Grenier, Matt Sonnhalter, Nick Anderson, Mike Viens.
STREET STOCK: Jimmy Renfrew, Brian Robie, Max Dolliver, Nathan Wentzel, Jim Storace, Jarret Curtis, Ben Bosowski, Dave Greenslit, Chase Curtis, Troy Waterman.
PURE STOCK: Zach, Richardson, Dylan Adams, Bruce Adams, Doug Nelson, Mike Douglas, Chris Carver, Matt Lambert, Matt Winter, Brandon Lavoie, Sammy Silva.
SIX SHOOTER: Jeremy Blood, Dustin Thibodeau, Nathan Leclair, Todd Muguira, Ben Bushey, Todd Muguria, Paul Colburn, Ray Luce, Ryan Carman, Dakota Lanou, Erix Lanou.
FOUR-CYLINDER ENDURO: Matt Gauffin, Danny Gill, Jimmy Zullo, Dan Labraney, Chris Fultz.
June 7, 2020
By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Racing is alive and well again in the Twin State Valley. Claremont Motorsports Park hosted its first event of the summer Friday, June 5, with more than 90 teams on hand to strut their stuff at the storied third-mile speedplant.
The pandemic-rules event played to an empty house – it was, however, televised – but otherwise went off perfectly, with a full field of Granite State Pro Stock Series teams providing the night’s main attraction with their series’ season-opening Let’s Go Racing 100-lapper.
Nutmeg State bomber Ray Christian III took charge late to win the GSPSS main event, duplicating his Claremont victory of last autumn, with hometrack stars Dave Greenslit, Kodi Sabins, and Eric Lanou also earning inaugural night victory laps.
Greenslit, on a rail all night, started up front in the R.E. Hinkley Street Stock 30-lapper and never looked back. Using his earlier heat race victory to earn a front-row starting slot, he held the 22-car field in his mirror from green to checkers.
Chris Buffone held the deuce spot until coasting to a stop mid-race, with Max Dolliver then taking up the chase. Dolliver was fast but, on this night, no match for Greenslit, who started the new season where he’d left off last autumn. Chase Curtis, steady all night, came home third, with former speedway open-wheel champ Brian Robie fourth, and Chris Curtis fifth.
Sabins, like Greenslit, swept both his opening night heat and feature events, topping the LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock 25-lapper with ease, blasting off at the drop of the green and then easily social distancing himself from the rest of the 28-car field to win in a romp.
Robert Shaw kept Sabins in sight, settling for a strong runner-up finish, edging Chris Conroy for the deuce spot after a spirited battle. Super soph Dylan Adams was fourth on the night, and Randy Phillips came home fifth.
Dustin Thibodeau led the first 13 go-rounds of the Six Shooter feature, with Eric Lanou getting serious about the whole thing at mid-race, then diving low through turn four to take command as lap14 went in the books. Once in front, the second-generation racer never looked back, taking the checkers a dozen lengths ahead of Thibodeau.
Paul Colburn, like Thibodeau an earlier heat race winner, finished his strong night’s work in third. Defending division champ Jeremy Blood was fourth on the night, and Adam Knowles came home third.
Joey Doiron led the Pro Stock field to the green, with first Casey Call and then Angelo Belsito riding in his shadow until Belsito used the outside lane to rocket into the lead on lap 36. This one, though, was far from over.
While Belsito would lead for more than 50 laps, he’d do it with both D.J. Shaw and Ray Christian III draped all over him. Christian took charge late, bringing Shaw with him, to score the third GSPSS victory of his career, the last two at Claremont. Belsito finished at Shaw’s bumper to claim the third-place hardware.
STREET STOCKS: Dave Greenslit, Max Dolliver, Chase Curtis, Brian Robie, Chris Curtis, Jaret Curtis, Chris Riendeau, Steve Dickey, Bill Clement, Mike Hopkins.
PURE STOCKS: Kodi Sabins, Robert Shaw, Chris Conroy, Dylan Adams, Randy Phillips, Matt Winter, Bruce Cantara, Doug Nelson, Bruce Adams, Sammy Silva.
SIX SHOOTERS: Eric Lanou, Dustin Thibodeau, Paul Colburn, Jeremy Blood, Adam Knowles, Ben Bushey, Ryan Carmen, Todd Smith, Chad Snide, Dakota Lanou.
GSPSS: Ray Christian III, DJ Shaw, Angelo Belsito, Gabe Brown, Joey Polewarczyk Jr.