CLAREMONT, N.H. – Nutmeg State Modified ace Ronnie Silk led the final 16 laps of the Claremont Open Modified 100 Saturday, August 18, to pocket the $4,000-plus winner’s purse at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
While the former Whelen Modified champion was the night’s big winner, both Ricky Bly and Bryan Town left the oval with big smiles in place too; each having won his division’s feature race and, in so doing, reclaimed the top spot in his respective 2018 championship race. Rookie star Kyle Templeton was the night’s Wildcat winner.
Dana DiMatteo set fast time for the first 22 go-rounds of the Modified 100, then giving way to Les Hinkley, who, as he had done earlier this summer in a Tri-Track Series event here, piled up lap after lap atop the leader board.
Hinkley had the point when a routine caution on lap 80 sent most of the front runner’s pitside for fresh rubber. Todd Patnode elected to chance staying on old rubber, staying out and taking the lead, with Silk, then third, pulling up behind him on the restart, before taking his first lead of the race three laps later.
Hinkley was quickly back up to second but had to content himself with the runner-up finish, glued to Silk’s bumper. Patnode, Chase Dowling, and Russ Hersey completed the top five.
Ben Poland took the lead from Tyler Lescord on lap two of the R.E. Hinkley Super Street 40-lapper, then opening a comfortable margin as Dylan Bodreau, Ricky Bly, and Mark McClay battled for second. A lap-21 brushup sent Bodreau to the turn-three grass and McClay to Poland’s side.
Bly charged into second on lap 24 and took the lead five laps later, then picking up a dash of gold paint on his backside before darting off to victory. Poland, strong all night, earned the runner-up hardware, with Bodreau roaring back to third on the final trip around the third-mile oval. McClay and Ken Fowler rounded out the top five.
The win was Bly’s second of the summer but only his first in a points race. It moved him back atop the chart, two markers ahead of Bodreau, whose last-lap dash to third saved him from going four down.
Robbie Streeter and Briana Akusis brought the Pepsi Street Stocks to the green but, after an opening lap Kenny Thompson looper, Bryan Town quickly took control.
The second caution of the race brought seven-time winner Chris Riendeau to Town’s bumper and the battle was on. The two would trade paint over the next 13 laps, with Riendeau finally muscling into the lead on lap 22, only to have a Mike Salois looper put Town back at the point.
With Riendeau firing from outside, Dave Greenslit hooked onto Town’s shadow to take second but Lenny Silver, who’d refired from the back earlier in the event, had saved his best for last, rocketing into second as the checkers waved. Greenslit was third, with Thompson and Riendeau completing the top five.
Town’s visit to Daddy’s Pizza Victory Lane placed him eight points ahead of Riendeau with a half-dozen events remaining in the season.
Rookies Cody Schoolcraft and Kyle Templeton led the T-Bird Mini Mart Wildcats to the green, with Templeton – currently second in points – taking command on lap four and then never looking back en route to his second victory of the summer.
Seth Melcher inched past Schoolcraft for second on lap ten but the rookie, in only his third career event, would budge no more. With Templeton winning by a country mile, both Melcher and Schoolcraft posted career-best finishes. Erin Aiken, in a rare 2018 appearance, was strong in fourth, and rookie Haydon Grenier came home fifth. Schoolcraft had earlier scored his career-first heat race victory.
Claremont Speedway will return to action next Friday, August 24, with a full three-division card of racing plus, for the younger set, another fun round of Big Wheel racing. The Super Street, Street Stock, and Wildcat divisions will all be in action, with post time set for 7 p.m.
CLAREMONT SPEEDWAY AUGUST 18 TOP TENS: MODIFIED: Ronnie Silk, Les Hinkley, Todd Patnode, Chase Dowling, Russ Hersey, Tommy Barrett, Dana Smith, Brian Robie, Jeff Murray, Kirk Alexander. SUPER STREET: Ricky Bly, Ben Poland, Dylan Bodreau, Mark McClay, Ken Fowler, Tyler Lescord, Hayden Scott, Ryan Bell, Alex Poisson, Justin Littlewood. STREET STOCK: Bryan Town, Lenny Silver, Dave Greenslit, Kenny Thompson, Chris Riendeau, Briana Akusis, Robbie Streeter, Erin Aiken, Chris Emerson, Mike Salois. WILDCAT: Kyle Templeton, Seth Melcher, Cody Schoolcraft, Erin Aiken, Haydon Grenier, Raven Streeter, Jim Carley, Kyle Currier, Mikayla Duval, Ken LaFont.