By Gary Dutton
Photography By Miss Em's Photography Adventures
CLAREMONT, N.H. – Travis Sykes and Tim LaDuc each earned his first victory lap of the summer Friday, August 13, at Claremont Motorsports Park, as the third-mile Thrasher Road oval completed its 14th full event of the season.
And while both LaDuc and Sykes would scoff at the idea of Friday the 13th being anything but wonderful, there are others who’d swear to its unlucky character. Ray King got a heaping dose of Friday the 13th disaster, ditto for Carlos Grenier and Ricky Bly.
Joey Jarvis is always on top of his game when making one of his infrequent 2021 runs at CMP. Friday, the Ascutney pilot came from deep in the 26-car Pure Stock field to earn his fourth victory lap of the summer by topping the first race of the night.
Nick Houle took the lead from JD Stockwell on lap five and held a huge lead until Jarvis came from nowhere to fire low on lap 21 and then rocket off to his fourth win of the summer. Houle was strong in second, with Mark McClay coming home third.
In the nightcap 25-lapper, Travis Sykes left little doubt who the big dog was. Getting to the front early, he simply drove away, taking the checkers a full country mile ahead of runner-up Nick Houle. Second generation hot shoe Nolan McClay was third, wheeling the same car his father, Mark, had earned the bronze in a few hours earlier.
Carlos Grenier, a lap-two crash victim in the opening go-round, was unable to return for the nightcap. Points leader Dylan Zullo pitched a pair of top fives to stay comfortably atop the championship chase.
Ryan Bell and Ricky Bly were racing glued together atop the Late Model Sportsman feature when the race’s only caution waved on lap 12. But things weren’t done with the yellow flag.
Still under caution, as the field was lining up for a restart, Kevin Vaudrien, whose turn-four looper had caused the pause, blatantly trashed Bly’s ride near the entrance to turn three. When the smoke had settled, Vaudrien was tossed for night, Bly was done, and Bell then had Ben Poland knocking at his door.
Poland used the low groove to take charge on lap 15 and then speed off to his sixth win of the summer. Bell was strong in second, and Cory Bly completed his night’s good work in third. Bly was credited with tenth, losing 18 points to Poland in their tight championship battle.
Haydon Grenier wired the Mini Stock feature to win his ninth consecutive feature race, his tenth victory of the summer. But the last 15 go-rounds weren’t all the easy.
Grenier held a sizable lead when a lap-nine restart brought Cody LeBlanc to his side.
While Grenier would lead all the way, LeBlanc would stay in his shadow, as the Berlin, N.H. star pulled out every trick in the book before settling for second. Joe Olmstead was strong in third, while Ray King’s heat race blow-up caused him to lose 50 points in the championship chase.
Dustin Thibodeau ran wild again in the Avery Insurance Six Shooter feature, taking the lead from Robert Shaw on lap six and rocketing off to make it a dozen wins on the year. Shaw, the night’s heat race winner, earned the silver medal, and Bucky Thibodeau was third.
Tim LaDuc dominated the Peanut’s Auto Sales 602 Dirt Modified heat race then drew the pole and again ran roughshod in the night’s main event. Matt Lashua was strong in second in the caution-free 25-lapper, with two-time 2021 winner Tanner Siemons coming on strong in the final laps to claim third.
Colton Martin made easy work of winning the Junior Champ Kart 15-lapper. Hailey Maxham was second in the Sunday Karting Series feature, and Stephen Rouleau came home third.
Next Friday, August 20, the fastest cars in oval racing will invade CMP, as the ISMA Super Modifieds come to town for a very special 75-lap event. The Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Six Shooters will also be in action.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK AUGUST 13 TOP TENS:
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Ben Poland, Ryan Bell, Cory Bly, Jack McClay, Steve Bly, Craig Smith, Matt Winter, Ben Lambert, Ricky Bly.
PURE STOCK (Make-up event): Joey Jarvis, Nick Houle, Mark McClay, Dylan Zullo, Nolan McClay, Kyle Templeton, JD Stockwell, Doug Nelson, Andrea St. Amour, Travis Sykes.
PURE STOCK (regular event): Travis Sykes, Nick Houle, Nolan McClay, Joey Jarvis, Dylan Zullo, Kyle Templeton, Andrea St. Amour, JD Stockwell, Zach Richardson, Amy Jaycox.
MINI STOCK: Haydon Grenier, Cody LeBlanc, Joe Olmstead, Jayden Morrie, David Pratt III, Richard Stockwell, Mason Prouty, Dave Thibodeau, Sean Lantas, Dan Young.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, Robert Shaw, Bucky Thibodeau, John Thibodeau, Chooch Snide, Steve Miller, Lucas Bernatchy, Marc Laroche.
602 DIRT MODIFIED: Tim LaDuc, Matt Lashua, Tanner Siemons, Ryan Christian, Todd Buckwold.