By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H. – It rained cats and dogs, just like Hurricane Katrina; it rained Friday at Claremont Motorsports Park. Later, the lights went out, and still later, the fog rolled in.
But when all was said and done, Aaron Fellows had won his 25th consecutive feature race at Claremont Motorsports Park. Not to be outdone, Dave Greenslit earned his sixth victory lap of the summer, both Zach Richardson and Jeremy Blood stayed red hot, and Matt Sonnhalter topped the Mini Stock 50-lapper, all Friday after the rain had stopped.
For thousands of years, Claremont motorheads have known that as long as Mt. Ascutney can still be seen rising beyond turn two, racing high on Thrasher Road will go on. Friday, with the pits nearly full, the mountain suddenly disappeared but, after a half-hour-plus super soaking, there it was again.
With fish now jumping in the infield, promoter Mike Parks and the stars and cars of the venerable speedplant rolled up their collective sleeves and, with a slight delay, were off to the races.
Qualifying races were quickly run, including a Pure Stocker won by Green Mountain Boy Doug Nelson aboard his Shaggin’ Wagon entry, a Saturn station wagon of all things, and then it was feature time.
Reigning Six Shooter king Jeremy Blood took the lead from Todd Maguira on lap seven of their 20-lapper and then sped off to his third victory in a row. Charlestown’s Paul Colburn finished in Blood’s shadow, and points leader Dustin Thibodeau was third.
The Pure Stock feature was, again, a dandy! Zach Richardson low-lined past Bruce Adams on lap ten and never looked back en route to his second victory in a row and third of the season.
With the white flag in sight, Joey Jarvis moved up to second, just ahead of Bruce Adams, with son Dylan Adams coming home fourth to stay atop the points parade. Robert Shaw was strong in fifth.
Briana Akusis set fast time the first five go-rounds of the Street Stock main event, then giving way to Cody Schoolcraft. Brian Robie and Dave Greenslit were sailing through the pack and, on lap nine, the battle was on.
After some great back-and-forth racing, Greenslit held the point the last five laps to add another victory lap to his impressive list. Robie finished at his back bumper, with Chris Riendeau just behind in third.
It could be said that Aaron Fellows toyed with the pack in his earlier heat race win. In the feature, though, the Croydon super star wasn’t fooling around. Coming from row three, he took the lead from Ryan Bell on lap five and then drove away, staying perfect on the year at Claremont Motorsports Park.
Bell, strong all night, scored his second deuce finish of the summer, with fellow Charlestown hot shoe Ben Poland coming home third.
Gordon Farnum, king of the Monadnock Mini Stockers this year, led the first 32 laps of the Battle of The Belt main event, then giving way to Vermont star Matt Sonnhalter as his tires began to fade.
Desmond Skillings, Cody Leblanc, and Skillings’ younger brother Nick then went to war for the runner-up spot, with the elder Skillings – like his brother, already a two-time Claremont winner this summer – prevailing. Leblanc was rock solid in third, while Farnum finished the night fifth in the 15-car field.
Jerry Humiston topped the New England Antique Racers Sportsman 12-lapper. John Adams was second, and Jeremy Huntoon third. Ken Brown won the NEAR Modified feature, taking the checkers ahead of Gomer Taylor and Scott Decota.
Next Friday, August 28, Maurice Enterprises will present the biggest event of the summer at Claremont Motorsports Park, an Open Modified 100-lapper paying a whopping $10,000 to win. A virtual all-star list of 32 teams has already signed on for this huge event.
For more information, please log in at www.claremontmotorsportspark.com or visit the speedway’s Facebook page.
AUGUST 21 CMP TOP TENS:
MINI STOCK (50-lap Battle For The Belt Event): Matt Sonnhalter, Desmond Skillings, Cody Leblanc, Nick Skillings, Gordon Farnum, Ray King, Pat Houle, Louis Maher, Daniel Sweeney, Bill Chaffee.
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Aaron Fellows, Ryan Bell, Ben Poland, Joe Brown, Dallas Trombley, Camdyn Curtis, Matt Winter, Eric Martell, Mark Blair, Chris Jackman.
STREET STOCK: Dave Greenslit, Brian Robie, Chris Riendeau, Cody Schoolcraft, Randy Town, Kyle Buck, Robbie Streeter, Briana Akusis, Raven Streeter, Trevor Rocke.
PURE STOCK: Zach Richardson, Joey Jarvis, Bruce Adams, Dylan Adams, Robert Shaw, Kodi Sabins, Doug Nelson, Jim Rhodes, J.D. Stockwell, Andrew Brousseau.
SIX SHOOTERS: Jeremy Blood, Paul Colburn, Dustin Thibodeau, Todd Maguira, John Vorhees, Zach Washburn, Todd Smith, Keith Martin, Scott Wade.