By Gary Dutton
Photos by Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Second generation star Matt Kimball topped the Modified Racing Series main event Saturday at Claremont Motorsports Park, leading early and late to score his first career MRS feature win.
But, while the kid from bucolic Bennington, N.H. was dominant in victory, it was the slightly older youngster from the Vermont village just a few miles from the track who thrilled the crowd with his third-place performance.
New England racing legend Dwight Jarvis, 67 years young, returned in a one-and-done performance after several years away from racing to charge all the way from row nine and earn the bronze medal finish in Saturday’s 75-lap MRS Presented by Key Chevrolet Buick GMC of Newport main event at the storied speedplant.
CMP track champion Dave Greenslit roared to victory in the 73-lap Richard Tetreault Memorial Street Stock 73-lapper, while both Aaron Fellows and Kodi Sabins showed up late for practice but fully on top of their game to top the Late Model Sportsman and Pure Stock features respectively.
Dirt tracker Will Hull may be rethinking his game plan for next season. In his first-ever race on asphalt, he won the day’s Mini Stock feature. And, in the Six Shooter 25-lapper, track champ Dustin Thibodeau did what has become expected of him, scoring his 18th win of the year.
Kimball, a two-time NHSTRA Modified feature winner earlier this summer at the Thrasher Road oval, and Jacob Perry brought the 18-car field to the green, with Kimball immediately taking charge. Perry took the lead on lap seven, but Kimball wasn’t done.
The race’s only caution waved on lap 29 when things went wrong for the leader, and with Perry suddenly gone, Dylan Izzo took over, with Kimball nestled in his shadow. Jarvis was closing in on the top five..
Kimball would rocket back to the front on lap 57 and never look back. Jarvis, meanwhile, got up for fifth on lap 41, fourth on lap 50, and made a late-race pass in lapped traffic of teammate-for-a-day Brian Robie to take the checkers third to a thunderous applause. The 75-lapper was completed in just 19 minutes, 48 seconds.
Robert Hagar led the first 28 laps of the Tetreault Memorial Street Stock feature but was then picked off by a turn-four lapper. Back under green, it was two-time track champ Dave Greenslit taking charge and never looking back en route to his seventh CMP victory of the summer.
In a 33-lap battle of the titans, Greenslit, the Claremont champion, outgunned Nate Wenzel, the recently crowned Monadnock Speedway champion, for the win. Joe Tetreault, the race namesake’s son, was strong in third.
Aaron Fellows had been nearly unbeatable in recent summers at the Thrasher Road speedplant. In fact, he’d put together an unbeaten campaign two seasons ago. On Saturday, the Croydon, N.H. was a surprise entrant in the evening’s 50-lapper.
Showing up too late for practice, Fellows started 14th on the grid, quickly making his way forward to take charge on lap 17 and then breeze to victory. Teen star Cam Curtis, his car specially numbered 39 for the day to honor recently deceased Ken Thompson, was solid in second, taking the checkers ahead of steady Jack McClay.
Track Mini Stock champ Haydon Grenier was leading Saturday until getting clipped in a turn-two brush-up. Will Hull, meanwhile, thought asphalt was only used for getting to the races, not for competition. He’s probably rethinking that one now.
The dirt track racer won Saturday’s 25-lapper, taking the checkers ahead of late-season wonder child Braden Morrie and Ryan Carman.
Like Fellows, Windsor, VT four-holer king Kodi Sabins showed up late Saturday. No problem, Sabins took charge on lap four and never looked back, holding Friday night winner Nick Houle in his shadow to earn his third 2021 victory lap, that while running only a limited schedule. Nolan McClay’s hard day’s worked netted him the third-place finish.
And guess who wired the Six Shooter 25-lapper to score his 18th victory of the season? Dustin Thibodeau, crowned champion for the second season in a row a night earlier, made easy work of winning Saturday. Two-time winner Robert Shaw was second, and John Thibodeau came home third.
After taking the next three weeks off, Claremont Motorsports Park will conclude its 2021 campaign with the season-ending three-day Fall Challenge 2021 event on October 15, 16, and 17.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 TOP TENS
MODIFIED RACING SERIES 75 LAPS: Matt Kimball, Dylan Izzo, Dwight Jarvis, Brian Robie, Donnie Lashua, Carl Medeiros Jr., Trevor Bleau, Ryan Doucette, Anthony Bello, Mike Willis.
STREET STOCK 73-LAP RICHARD TETREAULT MEMORIAL: Dave Greenslit, Nate Wenzel, Joe Tetreault, Justin Beecher, Hillary Renaud, Chris Lindquist, Tim Wenzel, Robbie Streeter, Jeremy Zullo, Clark Brooks.
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Aaron Fellows, Cam Curtis, Jack McClay, Craig Smith, Cole Littlewood, Mark Hudson, Matt Winter, Dustin Leoutskoas, Ben Lambert, Steve Bly.
PURE STOCK: Kodi Sabins, Nick Houle, Nolan McClay, Dylan Zullo, Travis Sykes, JD Stockwell, Andrea St. Amour, Mark McClay, Bruce Jaycox, Jimmy Zullo.
MINI STOCK: Will Hull, Braden Morrie, Ryan Carman, Richard Stockwell, Tim Sheppard, Sean Lantas, Haydon Grenier.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, John Thibodeau, Chooch Snide, Lucas Bernatchy.