By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – For a while Friday night you could easily see Mt. Ascutney, the majestic Vermont spire looking down from high above turn two of Claremont Motorsports Park.
And then it was gone. Not long after Six Shooter speedster Robert Shaw had won his first feature event of the summer, the mountain went away. With rain then sweeping in from the west, Friday’s event at the storied third-mile was halted after six heat races and the Six Shooter feature had been completed.
More than 40 Pure Stocks were in the pits to vie for starting spots in the night’s scheduled Cody LaFont triple 20s. But, after making every effort possible to get this one in, CMP promoter Mike Parks was forced to pull the plug.
Pre-race showers had dampened the racing surface, but Seth Melcher, Amy Jaycox, Chris Riendeau, and a host of others had taken to the track to make it again race-ready. But when the rain came again, the show was done.
The Six Shooter 20-lapper went green-to-checkers in rapid-fire fashion after a lap-one jingle reshaped the field. Two cars danced the opening lap oh-oh in turn three, collecting three others in the process, including division strongman Dustin Thibodeau, who’d entered Friday’s event undefeated on the year.
And, while no fewer than five cars were involved in the bump-and-run, all kept going without causing the caution to be waved. Thibodeau, though, drove away worse-for-wear, while Shaw took off like a rocket.
With Thibodeau heading pitside on lap seven, Shaw ran roughshod over the rest of the field. Mark Laroche Jr. got up for second on lap 12, and Chooch Snide – powering into third with two to go- came home third.
Twenty Pure Stocks had qualified for the 24-car LaFont Memorial field, with the final four starting slots to be decided by consolation races before the triple-20 event is contested on June 18.
MAY 28 SIX SHOOTER FINISH: Robert Shaw, Marc Laroche Jr., Chooch Snide, Bucky Thibodeau, Xander Stillwell, Lucas Bernatchy, Dustin Thibodeau.