By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Second generation hot shoe Matt Kimball won the first of two scheduled NHSTRA Modified 35-lappers Sunday, April 25, as Claremont Motorsports Park opened its doors on its 2021 racing season.
Also Sunday, at the Thrasher Road speedplant, Jimmy Renfrew Jr rocketed to victory over a deep and talented field of Street Stockers, Dallas Trombley topped the LMS feature, and hometown blaster Haydon Grenier roared to victory in the Mini Stocks.
Former speedway open-wheel king Joey Jarvis scored a popular victory over a 25-car Pure Stock field, and 2020 CMP Six Shooter champ Dustin Thibodeau started his defense of that title with a dominating victory. The scheduled nightcap 35-lap Modified main was rained out, and will be rescheduled later this season.
Todd Patnode, by virtue of having set fast time earlier in the program, led the Modifieds to the green, with Kimball firing from his right, and reigning New Hampshire Mr. Modified Brian Robie at his back bumper.
Patnode and Kimball quickly went to war, with Kimball inching ahead on lap seven, then setting a fast pace until Patnode gained a slight advantage on a lap-22 restart, with Kimball then quickly moving back to the front. Robie claimed the deuce on the 28th circuit, then reeling in the leader and coming up just a wheel short of Kimball at the checkers.
Former track champ Ricky Bly led the first 13 laps of the LMS feature, with Ben Poland riding in his shadow. But, on lap 14, the potent pair looped together in turn three, moving Dallas Trombley to the point, from where he’d run out the race to score the opening day victory.
Both Bly and Poland worked their way quickly back onto the leader board but, on this afternoon, Trombley won with ease.
Jimmy Renfrew Jr. took the lead from polesitter Dave Greenslit on the fifth go-round of the Street Stock feature and then never looked back. Greenslit held strong the rest of the way to finish second, just ahead of hot shoe Jack McClay. Cody Schoolcraft strong all day, came home fourth in the big field, with Joe Tetreault fifth. Chris Riendeau charged up to fourth, before settling for seventh on the day.
Haydon Grenier raced in a different time zone in the Mini Stock feature, finishing far ahead of the field. Nick Skillings was second, with Cale Skillings holding off Ray King Jr. for fourth.
Second generation wheelsman Dylan Zullo put on a show of great things to come in the Pure Stock 25-lapper, but Joey Jarvis, a veteran of many victories at the Claremont third-miler, saved his best for last, taking charge with less than two to go, then leading Zullo and Bay Stater Nick Houle onto trophy lane.
In the Six Shooter feature, defending division king Dustin Thibodeau started up front and simply drove away. Robert Shaw was second under the checkers, and Bucky Thibodeau came home third.
The storied third-mile speedplant will begin its ambitious 2021 Friday night racing schedule this week, rolling out a full NHSTRA weekly racing series event, along with the first Spectator Racing competition of the summer on April 30. Post time for Friday’s event is 7 p.m.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK APRIL 25 TOP TENS:
NHSTRA MODIFIEDS: Matt Kimball, Brian Robie, Todd Patnode, George Helliwell, Cory Plummer, Cole Littlewood, Walt Hammond, Geoff Rollins, John Studley, Brad Zahensky.. * Second scheduled 35-lap race postponed due to rain, will be rescheduled as part of later event.
STREET STOCKS: Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Dave Greenslit, Jack McClay, Cody Schoolcraft, Joe Tetreault, Brianna Akusis, Chris Riendeau, Kevin Brown, Jeremy Zullo, Scott Wade.
LATE MODELS: Dallas Trombley, Ricky Bly, Ben Poland, Camdyn Curtis, Tyler Lescord, Ryan Bell, Chris Jackman, Scott Boisvert, Matt Winter.
MINI STOCKS: Haydon Grenier, Nick Skillings, Cale Skillings, Ray King Jr., Ryan Carmen, Eric Lanou, Mason Prouty, Dave Thibodeau, Daniel Young.
PURE STOCKS: Joey Jarvis, Dylan Zullo, Nick Houle, Kyle Robinson, Travis Sykes, Zach Richardson, JD Stockwell, Seth Melcher, Kyle Templeton, Andrea St. Amour.
SIX SHOOTERS: Dustin Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, Bucky Thibodeau, Ray Luce, Lucas Bernatchy, Chooch Snide, Xander Stillwell, Jeremy Blood.