WINCHESTER, NH – Fourteen-year-old TJ Bleau put his name in the NASCAR record book Saturday, August 16, at Monadnock Speedway, eclipsing the record of youngest winner of a NASCAR Division 1 feature race set by Austin Brehio two seasons ago at the high-banked speedplant.
Bleau wired the Sportsman Modified main event, becoming the division’s sixth different winner this season. The youthful speedster was one of three first-of-season winners Saturday on the high banks. Fellow teen Joel Monahan won the Mini Stock feature, while veteran Chris Curtis was victorious in the Super Stock main event.
In other feature races Saturday at Monadnock, Young Gun Matt Kimball scored his second win of the summer, and Thunder Stock ace Dave Greenslit earned his seventh 2014 victory lap.
Bleau led the 19-car Sportsman Modified field to the green, rocketing to an immediate lead, with fellow rookie Kimmy Rivet leading the chase in second for the first three laps. Brian Chapin, from row three, powered into the deuce spot on lap four, quickly setting his sights on the leading Bleau.
Seven-time 2014 feature winner Todd Patnode charged past Bill Kimball to take over third on lap nine but, on this night, that was as far as he would advance. Bleau would run a perfect line in first, and Chapin would be errorless in second.
Bleau survived a lap-four restart on his way to the victory. With Chapin a strong second behind the 14-year-old speedster, Patnode came home third, Kimball was fourth, and Tyler Jarvenpaa took the checkers in fifth.
Ian MacDonald led the first lap of the Super Stock feature, with Alyssa Rivera moving up from second to take command a lap later. Geoff Rollins stormed into second on lap three bringing Chris Curtis with him. For the next seven laps, Rivera, Rollins and Curtis would run nose-to-tail, blistering the hardtop as if hooked together.
The only caution of the event happened on lap ten, when Tyler Lescord’s ride came to a stop at the top of pit road. Curtis made the move of the night after the restart, diving low on the track to rocket from third to first.
Rollins would take over second on lap 15, but then had to be content running in Curtis’s shadow until the checkers waved. With Curtis making his first outing of the season on the high banks a successful one, Rollins came home second, and Tom Carey III third. Rivera and Tyler Leary rounded out the top five.
Joel Monahan led all the way in the Mini Stock feature, but had to withstand constant pressure from fellow rookie Cameron Sontag – like Monahan, a recent Young Guns alumnus – en route to scoring his first career victory in the highly competitive division.
Beth Adams, the reigning Monadnock Mini Stock champion, held the third spot from green to checkers but on this night had to be content riding behind her two teenage competitors. Mike Stebbins passed Chris McTaggart for fourth on lap ten, but would advance no further.
Over the final ten laps the top five blistered the track nose-to-tail, with Sontag taking the checkers in second, followed by Adams, Stebbins, and McTaggart; each previous feature winners this season.
Henry Martin set the early pace in the Thunder Stock feature, leading the 15-car field until giving way to Paul Barnard on lap five. Dave Greenslit reeled Barnard in on lap eight, and the pair would race wheel-to-wheel the next two trips around the high banks until Greenslit inched ahead.
Divisional points leader Marshall Usher got up for second on lap 13, but would have to settle for second behind Greenslit, who scored his seventh win of the summer.
Barnard, running in third, and Randy McGee both saw strong runs go for naught when they were spun out of contention on the final corner by Brandon Ovitt. Tyler Janovsky was able to steer clear of the excitement to come home third.
Matt Kimball started up front, survived two restarts, and led all the way to score his second Young Gun victory of the summer. The second-generation driver had Solomon Brow glued to his bumper from green to checkers but never flinched.
With Brow completing another impressive run in second, Mike McGoldrick Jr. came home third. Dylan Morse was fourth, and Hailey Guy took the checkers in fifth.
This Saturday, August 23, Monadnock Speedway will host the Valenti Modified Racing Series as it visits the high banks to battle in the second annual Victor Johnson Memorial Race presented by Swanzey Oil. A full six-division card of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing will also be on tap. Post time is 6 pm.
For more information, visit www. monadnockspeedway.com.
Sportsman Modifieds: Trevor Bleau, Brian Chapin, Todd Patnode, Bill Kimball, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Keith Carzello, Scott MacMichael, Greg Williams, Steve Fifield, Kim Rivet, John Studley, Glen Griswold, Brad Zahensky, Eric Leclair, Ray Grassetti, Sahne Foss, Carlos Gray, JT Cloutier, Nathan Johnson
Super Stocks: Cghris Curtis, Geoff Rollins, Tom Carey III, Alyssa Rivera, Tyler Leary, Dave Striebel, Ina MacDonald, Tyler Lescord, Nancy Muni
Mini Stocks: Hoel Monahan, Cameron Sontag, Beth Adams, Mike Stebbins, Chris McTaggart, Justin Faford, Kevin McKnight, Ethan Marsh, Eric Pomasko, Tim Leblanc
Thunder Stocks: Dave Greenslit, Marshall Usher, Tyler Janovsky, Henry Martin, Paul Barnard, Randy McGee, Brandon Ovitt, Ben Williams, Chris Lawrence, Jeff Staiti, Craig Chaffee, James Nowakowski, Chuck Roberto, Jason Barden, Caleb Cashman
Young Guns: Matt Kimball, Solomon Brow, Mike McGoldrick, Dylan Morse, Hailey Guy, Chris Buffone, Colton Smith, Alicia Springer, Dan Starkweather, Bow Smith
-Monadnock Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Gary Dutton