By Gary Dutton
Photos provided by Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Joey Jarvis won the prestigious Cody LaFont Memorial Race for the second year in a row Friday at Claremont Motorsports Park, winning one of the three 20-lap segments to edge Nick Houle in a tiebreaker to score the $1,000 victory over the swarming 28-car Pure Stock field.
Seth Melcher, Jarvis, and Josh Rondeau were each segment winners, with Jarvis racing to a runner-up finish in the nightcap to secure the victory. Houle had two seconds and a third to finish one spot shy of winning. Rookie sensation Dylan Zullo was close behind in third.
Jarvis got up to third on lap six of the third round, then holding Houle in his shadow the next 14 go-rounds to score the overall win as he followed Rondeau under the checkers.
Early on, Steve Morris was the first of several LaValley Building Supply Pure Stockers to headbutt the wall in significant fashion. Ken LaFont later did a wild up-and-over in round two, while former track champ and LaFont race winner Kodi Sabins finished the same segment sunside-up on the backchute.
The R.E. Hinkley Oil Company Street Stock brigade showed up in full combat mode Friday. Torn sheet metal, clouds of tire smoke, and more than a few differences of opinion made this 25-lapper colorful.
Former track champ Chris Emerson led laps one through five. The next three went to Jack McClay, and then it was Dave Greenslit’s turn at the point. The 2020 division ace, though, had to pit for repairs on lap ten, moving Chris Riendeau and Cody Schoolcraft up to row one, with Schoolcraft then taking charge.
The recent UNH grad, once in front, never looked back en route to his second 2021 feature win. Greenslit finished his night in the pits; ditto for late-race dropout Jack McClay, while both Joe Tetreault and Briana Akusis were bashed out of top-three finishes.
Emerson earned his first trophy of the season with his runner-up performance, and Trevor Rock avoided much of the mayhem around him to finish third.
Matt Kimball took the lead from Geoff Rollins on lap ten of the NHSTRA Modified feature, stretching his advantage to then lead Rollins by a dozen lengths as they sailed under the checkers.
Cory Plummer, able to return from a huge heat race wreck, was solid in third in Friday’s 35-lapper. Kimball’s victory lap was his second of the summer at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
It’s never a good idea for the rest of the field to start 2020 champ Dustin Thibodeau up front in a Six Shooter race, but that’s where the handicapping system placed him Friday.
Thibodeau led all the way in the caution-free 20-lapper, crushing the 14-car field for his sixth win of the still-young season. Robert Shaw was strong in second, and Ben Bushey came home third.
Front row starter Joe Olmstead led the first three go-rounds of the Mini Stock 25-lapper, then giving way to Ray King. Haydon Grenier followed King to the front and rode in his shadow until low lining out of turn two to take charge on lap 17.
Once in front, Grenier never looked back, taking the checkers six lengths ahead of King, with Olmstead holding strong in third. The win was Grenier’s fifth of the season.
Next Friday, June 25, the Mini Stocks will contest double features, the 602 Dirt Modifieds will make their second stop of the season, and a full card of Advance Auto Parts Weekly racing will be on tap at Claremont Motorsports Park.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK JUNE 18 FEATURE FINISHES:
PURE STOCK CODY LAFONT TRIPLE 20s: Joey Jarvis, Nick Houle, Dylan Zullo, Nolan McClay, Josh Rondeau, Craig Smith, Brandon Picknell, JD Stockwell, Zach Richardson, Drake Nelson.
STREET STOCK: Cody Schoolcraft, Chris Emerson, Trevor Rock, Joe Tetreault, Briana Akusis, Andrew Brousseau, Kayleigh Eastman, Jack McClay, Scott Wade, Ronnie Carman.
NHSTRA MODIFIED: Matt Kimball, Geoff Rollins, Cory Plummer, Walt Hammond, Art Heino, Kirby Goodrich, Mike Smith.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, Ben Bushey, Eric Lanou, Bucky Thibodeau, Jeremy Blood, Chooch Snide, Marc Laroche Jr, Lucas Bernatchy, Xander Stillwell.
MINI STOCK: Haydon Grenier, Ray King, Joe Olmstead, Ryan Carman, Brayden Morrie, Sean Lantas.