By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Full moon racing? Not a problem, well, not much anyway Friday, July 23, at Claremont Motorsports Park.
R.E. Hinkley Oil Company Street Stock king Dave Greenslit set fast time in pre-feature trials and then swept a pair of 25-lappers, the first caution-free, while the nightcap was a tad more colorful.
Ben Poland led all the way in the Route 103 Auto LMS main event, and In City Sugar Shack Mini Stock star Haydon Grenier ran his winning streak to seven in a row by romping to his eighth victory of the season.
Nick Houle topped a 27-car Pure Stock field for his first CMP win this summer, and John Thibodeau romped to his first victory lap in the added laps, added purse Six Shooter feature.
The 602 Dirt Modifieds were back in town for their third Thrasher Road speedplant showdown this season, with second-generation hot shoe Tanner Siemons blasting to his second 2021 victory. Matt Lashua finished second, with Ryan Christian taking the checkers glued to his bumper in third.
In the night’s first Street Stock 25-lapper, Greenslit rocketed low through the west end of the track to take the lead from Cody Schoolcraft on lap 23, then taking the checkers a length ahead of Schoolcraft to boost his 2021 points lead. Robert Hagar was third.
In the nightcap, Greenslit dashed past Hagar on lap five and drove off into the night to win in a romp. Hagar, in his first time out after a car swap, was second, with Schoolcraft strong again in third. Briana Akusis, the night’s second fastest timer, was smashed out of a top three in a late-race mess along the frontchute.
Carlos Grenier led early in the LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock main, giving way to Nick Houle on lap five. Houle and Mark McClay then hooked up in a great back-and-forth, with Houle at the point the last five go-rounds to score his first CMP win of the summer.
McClay, gunning for two in a row, settled for a well-earned second, with rookie points leader Dylan Zullo third, just ahead of Travis Sykes and Nolan McClay.
Ben Poland led all the way to score his second win in a row in the LMS feature and fourth of the summer. Ryan Bell kept it close in second, and Ricky Bly recovered from an early wrinkle to take the checkers in third.
Seven in a row and eight on the season, Mini Stock blaster Haydon Grenier did it again. Taking the lead from Brayden Morrie on lap 16, Grenier won with ease. Morrie’s impressive runner-up finish was his best of the summer, and steady Joe Olmstead came home third.
Robert Shaw must have nightmares about guys named Thibodeau hoisting the Six Shooter checkered flag in front of him. Well, maybe not.
With eight-time winner Dustin Thibodeau’s sour night ending pitside, it was his father, John Thibodeau, running roughshod over the field to win his first CMP feature of the season in Friday’s 30-lapper. Shaw was second, but his week-in and week-out strength paid off, moving him to the top of the points pile. Bucky Thibodeau came home third.
Denied a banquet bow last autumn because of the pandemic, the top ten Pure Stock and Six Shooter drivers were honored on-track Friday. Kodi Sabins Was the 2020 Pure Stock champ, with Robert Shaw second and Dylan Adams. Dustin Thibodeau wore the Six Shooter crown, with Paul Colburn the season’s silver medallist and Todd Maguira third.
Next weekend, Claremont Motorsports Park will host two huge racing events.
On Friday, July 30, Fraser’s Place will present $5 admission Fan Appreciation Night, with a Street Stock Battle for The Belt event atop a full card of racing. And then, on a special Saturday night show, the Granite State Pro Stock Series rolls into town for a $10,000-to-win biggie, along with twin NHSTRA Modified 35-lappers and so much more.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK JULY 23 TOP TENS:
STREET STOCK (Regular feature): Dave Greenslit, Robert Hagar, Cody Schoolcraft, Trevor Rocke, Jeremy Zullo, Robbie Streeter, Mike Salois, Scott Wade, Rupert Thompson, Briana Akusis.
STREET STOCK (May 28 make-up event): Dave Greenslit, Cody Schoolcraft, Robert Hagar, Rupert Thompson, Trevor Rocke, Joe Tetreault, Jeremy Zullo, Briana Akusis, Scott Zalinsky, Mike Salois.
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Ben Poland, Ryan Bell, Ricky Bly, Jack McClay, Craig Smith, Cam Curtis, Matt Winter, Steve Bly.
PURE STOCK: Nick Houle, Mark McClay, Dylan Zullo, Travis Sykes, Nolan McClay, Kyle Templeton, Zach Richardson, JD Stockwell, Andrea St. Amour, Chris Conroy.
MINI STOCK: Haydon Grenier, Brayden Morrie, Joe Olmstead, Chris Judd, Erin Aiken, Ray King, Ryan Carman, Richard Stockwell, Dave Thibodeau, Sean Lantas.
SIX SHOOTER: John Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, Bucky Thibodeau, Marc Laroche, Lucas Bernatchy, Steve Miller, Xander Stillwell, Andy LeClair, Dustin Thibodeau.
602 DIRT MODIFIEDS: Tanner Siemons, Matt Lashua, Ryan Christian, Tim LaDuc, Todd Buckwold, Lenny Pillsbury, Brent Warren.
By Gary Dutton
Photos By Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – What a night, Friday, July 9, at Claremont Motorsports Park!
When Mike Parks woke up to another gloom-and-doom rainy Friday, he resisted the logical urge to pull an early plug on another rainy Friday night at the Thrasher Road speedplant. And, eventually, his hesitation paid off. Big time!
Not only did the sunshine return but, with it, came the largest crowd in years to the local speedway. And the biggest fireworks show the city of Claremont had seen in many moons. And, very improbably, on the ninth completed night of 2021 racing, two first-of-season feature winners.
Both Brian Robie and Mark McClay have taken many victory laps at Claremont Motorsports Park over the years. Neither, though, had graced the winner’s circle here this season before Friday.
There were over 100 racers in the pits Friday at CMP. Modified hot shoe Matt Kimball had set fast time earlier in qualifying, but nobody was faster in completing 35 laps than Sunapee’s Robie, the reigning Modified champion.
Robie took the top spot from Kimball after the third early caution of the night’s main event and then rocketed off to his first win here this summer. Geoff Rollins was strong in second, and Walt Hammond quick in third.
Southern state super teen Jimmy Renfrew Jr. returned from a couple month’s absence and picked right up where he’d left off after winning the first two Street Stock features this season.
Andrew Brousseau led the first six go-rounds of this one, then yielding the point to Rupert Thompson. Renfrew, charging forward from row four, took charge on lap 12 and never looked back. Joe Tetreault was strong in second, leading Dave Greenslit under the checkers, with Cody Schoolcraft and Briana Akusis close behind in the caution-free 30-lapper.
Ben Poland started up front in the Late Model Sportsman feature and simply drove away, leaving Ricky Bly and Ryan Bell far behind him to argue over second. Bly won that close one, earning the night’s runner-up hardware a half length ahead of Bell.
As with Poland, the handicapping system placed Pure Stocker Mark McClay on the front row of the 23-car starting lineup. And, like Poland, he led all the way.
Former winner Nick Houle took second from Amy Jaycox on lap six but that was as far as he would get. Top points man Dylan Zullo got up for third on lap 18 but without a caution to close the huge gap between himself and Houle, had to settle for Friday’s bronze medal finish. Andrea St. Amour was impressive in fourth, and Kyle Templeton came from row seven to finish fifth.
Dustin Thibodeau hasn’t been beaten on the track this season in the Six Shooters. Friday, he passed his father, John, on lap 18, to win the caution-free 20-lapper. It was a trophy row sweep for the racing Thibodeau family, with Dustin scoring his eighth 2021 win just ahead of his father, John, and brother Bucky.
The New England Antique Racers were in town Friday, making their first run of the season at CMP.
Hometracker Jamie Ferland scored a popular victory in the NEAR Modifieds, winning with a replica of a car once campaigned here by his dad, Danny Ferland. Bob Donahue was second, and Jimmy Allen third. The NEAR Sportsman checkers went to John Adams, aboard a one-time Bobby Dragon ride.
In the nightcap 50-lap Enduro, it was Drake Nelson taking over when then-leader Robert Shaw was roughed up on lap 21. From there, Nelson sailed off to his second Enduro victory of the summer. Chris Colburn was the runner-up, and Richie Turner third.
While speedway announcer DJ Girard finished out of the money in the Enduro 50-lapper, his efforts earned nearly $4,000 for David’s House, a victory in itself.
Claremont Motorsports Park will be silent next Friday, July 16, as the storied third-miler takes its annual mid-summer break. Action will resume at CMP on July 23.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK JULY 9 TOP TENS:
MODIFIED: Brian Robie, Geoff Rollins, Walt Hammond, Matt Kimball, Craig Smith, Brad Zahensky, Art Heino, Mike Smith, Andrew Martell, Cory Plummer.
STREET STOCK: Jimmy Renfrew Jr, Joe Tetreault, Dave Greenslit, Cody Schoolcraft, Briana Akusis, Jack McClay, Jeremy Zullo, Trevor Rocke, Scott Wade, Chris Emerson.
PURE STOCK: Mark McClay, Nick Houle, Dylan Zullo, Andrea St. Amour, Kyle Templeton, Nolan McClay, Raven Streeter, Amy Jaycox, Drake Nelson, Travis Sykes.
LATE MODEL: Ben Poland, Ricky Bly, Ryan Bell, Chris Jackman, Craig Smith.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, John Thibodeau, Bucky Thibodeau, Travis Hollins, Robert Shaw, Mike Yeaton, Chooch Snide, Lucas Bernatchy, Mark LaRoche, Andy LeClair.
50-LAP ENDURO: Drake Nelson, Chris Colburn, Richie Turner, Robert Shaw, Eric Sinclair.
By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Claremont Motorsports Park’s scheduled Independence Day Weekend event was rained out Friday, July 2. The aerial fireworks spectacular will now be added to next Friday, July 9, night’s big night of racing.
Friday’s rain cancellation was the third-mile oval’s second complete washout of the season, along with two partial events wrinkled by rain. The weather-shuffled 2021 season had kept CMP promoter Mike Parks on his toes and, to that end, he’s put together a huge night of excitement for the July 9 card.
Along with the huge fireworks display, the NHSTRA Modifieds will be back in town, topping a five-division card of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series action. The Late Model Sportsman, Street Stock, Pure Stock, and Six Shooter divisions will all be competing July 9 too.
The New England Antique Racers will also be competing, and the night’s on-track excitement will conclude with the third 50-lap Red Neck Enduro event of the summer.
That’s five-divisions of oval track racing, the NEAR antiquers, a 50-lap Enduro and a huge fireworks display all next Friday, July 9, at Claremont Motorsports Park. Post time for this major event is 7 p.m.