By Gary Dutton
Photos By Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT. N.H. – They came from just down the street, they came from as far away as Pennsylvania. They came in swarms Saturday to Claremont Motorsports Park, as more than 180 entrants jammed the pits to compete in the third-mile speedplant’s first annual Turkey Day Classic.
It’s not unusual when top guns like Jimmy Renfrew and Gordon Farnum swoop into Claremont to take away the top prize. And it’s almost commonplace when both Dustin Thibodeau and Drake Nelson hoist the evening’s winner’s trophy.
Each of them knows the victory lap waltz quite well. None, though, had danced it only three days shy of December.
Saturday morning began at the Thrasher Road oval with two inches of fresh show blanketing the asphalt racing surface. And those that may have then questioned CMP promoter Mike Parks’ wisdom in boldly pitching the holiday weekend season finale left more than five hours later with chilly noses and wide smiles on their faces.
Renfrew’s Street Stock victory gave the youthful southern tier rocketman bookend victories on the year. His first 2021 CMP victory was back on opening night, April 25. Saturday, he took the checkers ahead of frequent rival Max Dolliver and Kris Watson.
Farnum, an eleven-time 2021 Mini Stock feature winner at Monadnock Speedway, held off 2021 Monadnock champ Louie Maher for the Turkey Day victory. Ryan Keniston earned his first trophy of the year in third.
Andrew Harmon topped the Pure Stocks but not the tech line giving the checkers to Travis Sykes, with Nick Houle, Kodi Sabins, and JD Stockwell rounding out the top 4.
The Six Shooters? Who else, two-time defending track champ and ultimate dominator Dustin Thibodeau who, like Renfrew, earned his first victory lap of the season way back on April 25. Robert Shaw was second, and Steve Miller third.
Justin Harris was victorious in the Classic Lites, no surprise there, with George Helliwell and Tom Harwood joining him in trophy row.
Drake Nelson entered Saturday’s Enduro fray a perfect six-for-six this year at CMP. He extended that streak to seven by topping the Six Cylinder Enduro but then ran into a buzz saw in the Four Cylinder go-round.
Matt Gauffin, another ace of the Enduro battles, lapped the 67-car field to win Saturday’s four-holer 50-lapper, with Nelson coming home second – not the worst way to end a winning streak – and Kevin Boucher third.
Jim Walsh was strong in powering to the Eight Cylinder win, while Katie Buxton was tops in the Lady’s Enduro event.
And the last checkered flag lap of the year was taken by Robert Shaw, a beast in both the Friday night Six Shooters and Enduros, who won the speedway’s first-ever Flag Pole Race. Justin Faford was second in negotiating the loopty loops, and Drake Nelson added a third to his earlier first and second-place runs.
FIRST ANNUAL TURKEY DAY CLASSIC TOP PERFORMERS:
Complete Enduro results still being tabulated at press time.
STREET STOCK: Jimmy Renfrew, Max Dolliver, Kris Watson, Brandon Gray, Jim Storace, Corey Fanning, Collin Cornell, Matt Sonnhalter, Kyle Buck, Jon Porter.
MINI STOCK: Gordon Farnum, Louie Maher, Ryan Keniston, Roy Hathburn, Tommy Silva, Bob Williams, Pat Houle, Hailey Beal, Jeff Heath, Kevin Vaudrien.
PURE STOCK: Travis Sykes, Nick Houle, Kodi Sabins, JD Stockwell, Chris Sumner, Jamie Heath, Cam Curtis, Zach Zilinsky, Colton Martin.
SIX SHOOTERS: Dustin Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, Steve Miller, Ryan Nelson, Lucas Bernatchy, Ryan Partridge, Steve Miller Jr, Garrett Barry, Chooch Snide.
CLASSIC LITES Justin Harris, George Helliwell, Tom Harwood, Andrew Harman, Dave Helliwell, Jason Hodgdon. T.J. Laroche, Kaycie Kustra.
FOUR-CYLINDER ENDURO: Matt Gauffin, Drake Nelson, Kevin Boucher, Leon Keniston, Corey Downs.
SIX-CYLINDER ENDURO: Drake Nelson, Josh Hodgdon, Jamie Heath.
EIGHT-CYLIDER ENDURO: Jim Walsh, Adam Gray, Billy Davis, Wayne Foster, Buddy Wilkins.
LADIES ENDURO: Katie Buxton, Cathy Hubble, Sarah Hodgdon, Nadine Coates, Chrissy Rizzuto.
FLAG POLE RACE: Robert Shaw, Justin Fafford, Drake Nelson.
*Story was edited to reflect disqualification in Pure Stocks.
by Gary Dutton
Photo by Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Get your coffee and hot chocolate ready, it may come in handy, as Claremont Motorsports Park opens its doors for ten divisions of racing at the first annual Turkey Day Classic Saturday, November 27, afternoon at the storied Thrasher Road speedplant.
And, best yet, grandstand admission is set at an affordable post-Black Friday price of only ten bucks.
Looking for a good way to work off some of Thursday’s big holiday feed? How about shedding some of those excess calories by cheering for your favorite drivers. Promoter Mike Parks is opening the gates for one last time this year at the third-mile oval, with a ten-division card of stock car racing beginning at 1:00 Saturday.
Four of the regular racing season’s weekly divisions will battle, as the Street Stock, Mini Stock, Pure Stock, and Six Shooter classes will all be in action, as will the visiting Classic Lites touring series.
The Turkey Day Classic will include no fewer than four Enduro events, as the Four Cylinder, Six Cylinder, and Eight Cylinder Enduros will also be joined by a special Ladies Only Enduro. Need more mayhem on the asphalt? Parks will provide that too, as he serves up the speedway’s first-ever Flag Pole Race
In conjunction with Saturday’s racing event, CMP is also hosting its third annual Kiwanis of Claremont Gift Collection. Race fans are urged to bring an unwrapped child’s or teen’s holiday gift to support this worthy cause.
The first annual Turkey Day Classic begins at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Adult admission is $10 and kids 6-12 are admitted for $5. Concessions will be open.
Press Release from the Racing Guys
Photo Credit to Miss Em's Photography Adventures - 2020 Maurice Enterprises 100
Claremont Motorsports Park, The Racing Guys, Maurice Enterprises, Ron Bouchard Auto Stores and friends have joined forces to bring you the Racers Honoring Racers 100 Modified Tour race on Friday May 27, 2022.
The race will honor Dick Williams and the late Bob Summers, former owner of Hoosier Tire East along with several other local heroes. “We are working on bringing in a racing legend to help celebrate this event”, stated Wayne Coats of the The Racing Guys. Our goal is an 11K to win payday, $1,100 to start the race and a lucrative B Main or Dash for Cash. “Right now, to my knowledge, this would be the biggest purse paid out at Claremont” said Maurice Hurd, partner and co-promoter of this event.
“We are happy to have Ron Bouchard Auto Stores on board again with many of our other sponsors joining in”, said Coats. Also, we would like to announce that Long Island Mod Maniac, James Schaefer, has jumped into help us celebrate D.W.’s retirement from racing.
We are still looking for additional sponsors and we will be selling laps for this race so if anyone is interested in getting involved, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for your support over the years and may God bless you all!
The Racing Guys
JDV PRODUCTIONS TO PROMOTE THIRD EVENT FOR NEW SEASON
ATTLEBORO, Mass. -- NASCAR, JDV Productions and Claremont Motorsports Park announced on Tuesday that the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will visit the New Hampshire facility on Friday, July 29, 2022 for a 150-lap race.
The event will be promoted by JDV Productions -- led by Josh Vanada and his team of motorsports professionals. It confirms another race on the 16-event schedule for the Whelen Modified Tour, with three of them now officially set to be promoted by JDV Productions. The team will also promote events at Jennerstown Speedway on May 28, 2022 and Monadnock Speedway on June 18, 2022.
“We are eager to bring the prestige and the excitement of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to Claremont, New Hampshire for the first time in over a decade,” Josh Vanada, owner of JDV Productions, said. “The long time between visits will provide an interesting challenge for those who may not have competed at the third-mile oval before. The track’s unique characteristics will put crew chiefs and drivers to the test. Fans will not want to miss this race.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has only visited Claremont twice -- once in 1985 -- and another race in 2007. Richie Evans went to Victory Lane in the inaugural race, while James Civali used his southern flavor to steal the show in 2007.
The track, nestled deep into the mountains of New Hampshire, runs NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series divisions on Friday nights throughout the summer.
“We are really excited to welcome the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to Claremont,” Mike Parks, promoter and operator of the track, said. “Having the Whelen Modified Tour is something we have been looking at doing for a while ourselves and it just wasn’t quite right for us. I’ve worked with Josh on and off for about 10 years. We communicated with each other and we felt this was the right time to work together and have JDV Productions promote the race.”
NASCAR’s 16-race schedule for the Whelen Modified Tour for the 2022 season begins on Saturday, February 12 at New Smyrna Speedway, and will end on Thursday, October 27, 2022 at Martinsville Speedway. In between, teams will visit over five different states and showcase Modified racing in front of passionate race fans. JDV Productions is excited to continue to work with NASCAR, the teams, and the race fans to put the best product possible on the track.
For more information on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, visit nascar.com. For more information on Claremont Motorsports Park, visit ClaremontMotorsportsPark.com. For more information on JDVProductions, visit JDVProductions.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @_JDVProductions.