CLAREMONT, N.H. – There was no fire, but plenty of smoke Friday, as three 2018 champions and the track’s only 11-time winner performed celebratory victory donuts as Claremont Speedway host its final event of the season.
Ricky Bly is king of the R.E. Hinkley Super Streets for the second summer in a row, as the 37-year-old Sunapee star tamed a car that began the season with a thud, turning it into a championship ride that he guided to four feature wins this summer.
Zach Lyn, like Bly, earned back-to-back titles, his scored in the T-Bird Mini Mart Wildcats. The 28-year-old hometown hot shoe turned the trick with seven 2018 feature wins.
Pepsi Street Stocker Bryan Town is also a two-time champion, adding his 2018 title to another won in 2007. Town tallied six feature wins and topped a dozen heat races to edge 11-time feature winner Chris Riendeau 1,015-1,013 for this year’s crown.
All’s Bell the ends Bell. Well, almost.
Mark Blair, Alex Poisson, and Ryan Bell hit the stripe three across as lap one of the R.E. Hinkley Super Street 40-lapper went in the books. Bell then took charge, bringing Kenny Fowler and Dylan Bodreau with him.
Bodreau got up for second a lap later, trying to somehow overcome the 11-point deficit he carried behind Ricky Bly into the season finale. Mark McClay dropped Bodreau to third on lap 17, with Bly still further back but marching methodically toward the front.
Bell and McClay battled tooth and nail over the next 20-plus laps, the latter inching ahead on occasion only to see Bell do the same over and over. But the classic battle ended with the checkers almost in sight as Bell’s second victory of the summer was denied in a cloud of tire smoke when the leader spun with plenty of help in turn two.
Bodreau, third when it all broke lose, charged past the looping Bell to claim his third victory of 2018, but Bly made a quick evasive move to come home second, claiming his second championship seven points ahead of the night’s feature winner.
Ben Poland, strong all night, earned the third-place hardware, Solomon Brow was fourth, Jack McClay gained 11 positions to finish fifth. Bell, who appeared headed for victory for most of the race, finished tenth. Pepsi Street Stock star Chris Riendeau had two goals in mind when the night’s 25-lap feature began; somehow erasing the six-point lead that Bryan Town carried into the season’s final event and, if possible, earn his track-high 11th stop of the summer in Daddy’s Pizza Victory Lane. He accomplished only the latter.
Town, firing from up front, led the first 11 go-rounds, then putting up little fight as Riendeau sped past him through turn three as the race neared its halfway point. Once in front, the Ascutney pilot drove away, winning in a landslide but coming up two markers shy of the championship.
Town’s runner-up finish netted him his second track championship, the first earned more than a decade earlier. His teammate Dave Greenslit completed his strong night’s work in third, Lenny Silver was fourth, and ROY Robbie Streeter dashed under the flags in fifth.
Birthday boy Chris Carver led the T-Bird Mini Mart Wildcats to their feature green, but this one was all Zach Lyn. The 2017 and 2018 divisional champion – he’d clinched his current title a week earlier – led all the way en route to his seventh win of the summer.
Super rookie Kyle Templeton got up for second on lap six but on this night had to be content with the runner-up finish. Templeton also finish the season second to Lyn in the points parade.
Rookie Haydon Grenier was solid in third, fellow first year man Raven Streeter powered to fourth, and Seth Melcher came home fifth.
Friday night’s Championship Night event concluded the 2018 racing season at Claremont Speedway. The season was comprised of 21 events run on 21 consecutive weekends, with the speedway’s next-night rain date policy utilized twice to complete the campaign without the cancellation of any event.
The speedway’s annual awards banquet is still ahead. For information, please visit www.claremontspeedway.net or the track’s Facebook page.
CLAREMONT SPEEDWAY SEPT. 28 TOP TENS: SUPER STREET: Dylan Bodreau, Ricky Bly, Ben Poland, Solomon Brow, Jack McClay, Ken Fowler, Tyler Lescord, Alex Poisson, Tyler Searles, Ryan Bell. STREET STOCK: Chris Riendeau, Bryan Town, Dave Greenslit, Lenny Silver, Robbie Streeter, Jeff Morse, Mike Burke, Nick Little, Mike Salois, Chris Emerson. WILDCAT: Zach Lyn, Kyle Templeton, Haydon Grenier, Raven Streeter, Seth Melcher, Kyle Currier, Chris Carver, Jim Carley, Cody Schoolcraft.