GROVETON, NH – Joe Arena held off a hard-charging Chris Douton to pick up the win in the North East Street Stock Tour’s second event in the championship series, the Caron Fabrication 51, presented by L & L Riverside Inn, at Speedway 51 (NH).
Steve Kenneway led the field to green at the newly renovated facility in northern New Hampshire, after earning a plus-2 from his qualifying heat. Kenneway led the first three laps, before Geoff Rollins and Jim Boyle made contact on the front stretch, resulting in Boyle slamming hard into the wall, and leaving both with heavy body damage. Both cars would return to the track, as Kenneway had a new dancing partner on the front row in the form of Arena. Arena took command on the restart, and cleared Kenneway on the back stretch. Soon after, Kenneway’s Greener Blast Technologies/ Welch Welding and Truck Equipment Chevrolet would lose power, and Kenneway would retire from the race with transmission issues.
Arena would log laps until the door of Rollins’ Clement Realty/JSK Chevrolet flew off, landing on the nose of Boyle, bringing out the second and final caution of the race. A battle ensued on the restart, with Arena, Douton, Patrick Tanguay, and Bryan Town nose to tail for numerous laps. Town dove to the inside of Tanguay, looking for the third position, but the two made contact, sending Town careening into the infield. Town saved the car from spinning, but a power steering hose broke, retiring the Charlestown, NH native from competition.
Arena and Douton slowly began to pull away from Tanguay, as Boyle and Rollins fought their way back in the top five. Douton threw everything he had at Arena, but Arena would not be denied, as he piloted the Hen House BBQ Chevy Malibu to Victory Lane.
After the race, Arena would say “I had a small cushion until [Chris] Moose [Douton] showed up in my rear view mirror. He’s a veteran like I am, and I knew I had my hands full. He gave it everything he had, but we held on for the win”
Even with the hard racing, Arena knew Douton would respect him at the front, continuing “We go way back, and he’s a tough competitor, but he’ll respect anybody as long as you respect him. That’s the great thing about him, actually.”
Douton would settle for second, right on Arena’s bumper. When asked about the battle with Arena, Douton commented “He knew I was going to be on his back bumper, but I wouldn’t take Joe [Arena] out for the win. That’s not how you win, you win by beating people on the track. He had a little bit better car than me today, but we’ll fix that.”
Tanguay posted his best finish in the North East Street Stock Tour, rounding out the podium, and finishing third. Tanguay felt the race was entertaining, saying “I hope it was a good race to watch, because it was a lot of fun to be in. This track is great to race on, and the guys that are in this tour, it’s a lot of fun to race with them.”
Both Boyle and Rollins rebounded from their incident early in the race, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Matt Morrill earned the sixth spot, David Brannon seventh, with Brian Gosselin, Town, and Jay Bennett completing the top ten. Arena and Rollins picked up the win in their respective qualifying heat races.
The North East Street Stock Tour will travel to Monadnock Speedway for the third event of the 2015 season, July 11. For more information on the North East Street Stock Tour, visit www.nestreetstocktour.com, on Facebook (N.E. Street Stock Tour), Twitter @NEStreetStock, or on Instagram at NorthEastStreetStockTour.
-North East Street Stock Tour Press Release. Photo credit: Alan Plummer
Pos (Start) Driver Hometown
1. (3) Joe Arena Bristol, CT
2. (6) Chris Douton Waterford, CT
3. (9) Patrick Tanguay Lebanon, ME
4. (2) Jim Boyle Waterford, CT
5. (33) Geoff Rollins Groton, MA
6. (8) Matt Morrill Moultonborough, NH
7. (5) David Brannon Lisbon, ME
8. (10) Brian Gosselin Littleton, NH
9. (7) Bryan Town Charlestown, NH
10. (11) Jay Bennett Stark, NH
11. (1) Steve Kenneway Lowell, MA
DNS Howie Switser West Burke, VT