Winchester, NH: —It was another fun evening as the always entertaining Star Antique Racers came to the ¼ mile oval. They weren’t alone as the Pro 4 Modifieds joined the Sportsman Mods, Super Stocks, Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Young Guns.
The Antique Racers split their division into two six lap heats, and then they rolled out as the first two feature of the night.
It was an exciting 15 lap Sportsman feature that saw Rick McDowell take the checkered flag in his ’76 Chevy Camero SS. It was the first win at Monadnock for the driver of the #76 car.
“I was happy to finally win one here at Monadnock,” McDowell said after the win.
“I’ve never won here before, but I’ve finished second a lot of times.”
McDowell went on saying “I love coming to Monadnock, we always have a great time.”
“Slingshot” Skip Sterns finished in the runner up spot in the #7X automobile. Sterns also voiced his adoration for Monadnock saying, “Thanks for inviting us, I love this little, tight track.”
Ed Mulligan didn’t need a do-over to take home the win in the Modified division for the Star Antique Racers in the #61 Richie Evans ride.
Bob Donoghue came in the runner up position for his second career podium at Monadnock.
Scott Poirier in the #73 Pinto came in third place to fill out the Star Modified Division.
Once the Star Antiques finished the night proceeded straight into the other features with the Young Guns set to kick things off with a 15 lap event.
When the green dropped on the Young Guns feature Dan Starkweather was out front and despite one or two of his opponents taking a spin, Starkweather was able to persevere and bring home the victory.
“It was awesome,” Starkweather said after the race, “It handled great going around all those cars.”
Starkweather had some luck on his side as he snapped Justin Littlewood’s three race win-streak. Littlewood in the #37 was reeling Starkweather in, but just ran out of laps.
“A couple more laps, maybe,” Littlewood said after the race when asked if he thought he had something for Starkweather.
Chris Sontag followed his third place finish last week with a repeat appearance on the podium this week bringing the #12 car home in third.
The yellow flag flew early and often in the Mini Stock Feature with the first caution coming out on just lap 3. Ethan Marsh had an eventful night behind the wheel of the 8X ride. He and Solomon Brow came together on the third lap bringing the caution out over the racetrack.
The caution came out again on lap 9 for a spin on the backstretch. When the field went back to green, last week’s third place finisher, Matt Gauffin in the #68 grabbed the lead and didn’t look back.
Yellow was out on the track for a lengthy period of time when Marsh’s 8X got loose and went around between turns 1 and 2 only to be run into by Kevin McKnight in the #76. The track crew had to carefully separate the two cars as the right front of McKnight had become lodged in the left front of Marsh’s vehicle.
Julia Raymond and Mike McGoldrick each had spins that slowed the field, but each time Guaffin held off the charge from the likes of from DJ Lazelle and Eric Pomosco.
Gauffin had to fend off some tough challenges on a couple of restarts, but was able to fend off his opponents and win the race to the line to bring home the win.
It was a tight race that even Gauffin was unsure of the outcome with all the cautions flying, “I was trying not to [give up the lead],” Gauffin said, “I don’t know if I had it or not but we’ll take it.”
Eric Pomasko came into the night as the points leader for the Mini Stock Division. He did his title chase some good with a solid second place finish followed by DJ Lazelle in third place.
Thunder Stocks took to the track next following the Mini Stock feature. For the Thunders, honorary flag man Bob Sargent Jr threw the green flag and rookie Ben Williams led the field to the green.
Williams got a great start and took the holeshot out to a two car length lead over the field. With the rookie Williams running ahead of the pack, the veteran drivers battled it out behind him.
Among a host of fast cars behind Williams, Paul Barnard in the #24, Craig Chaffee in the #28, Richard Vincent in the# 4, defending series champ Marshall Usher in the #11 and David Greenslit’s #20 all duked it out for position.
On lap 12 the #95 car of Joe Ethier spun out after having a tire go down bringing the yellow out for the first time. Ethier came in 7th place.
Caution came out again on lap 18 when Michelle Leh got into some trouble. Leh would go on to finish 9th.
At the front, Ben Williams was fast enough to hold everyone else off as they battled for position behind him.
Marshall Usher climbed to second after the restart with 8 laps to go. Usher put pressure on the rookie, but ultimately Williams won the race to the checkers.
After his first win, Williams shared how it was for him in the driver’s seat with all those fast cars breathing down his neck, “Every time there was a caution I was like ‘come on, I know they’re coming!’”
Following Williams and Usher, David Greenslit came in third place followed by Vincent and Chaffee to round out the top five.
The win for Williams means that in four Thunder Stock races this season, four different drivers have led the field to victory lane.
Pro 4 Modifieds came out on the track next for their second event of the season at Monadnock. In the Pro 4 feature, Andy Major was able to hold off a hard charging Norm Wren III for the win. Randy Clark was the second runner up, and in the Pro 4 Modified Lite division Mark Charette was the first to cross the finish line.
With the sun now set and the lights on over the racetrack, the Super Stocks began to roll out for their 25 lap feature event.
When the green flag was given to Nancy Muni, the field hit the gas. It was in the first turn on the first lap that saw witness to one of the most frightening types of wrecks. Replays showed that the #99X of Andrew Martell go straight off into turn 1 into the tire barrier that lines the concrete wall. It was unclear if the throttle stuck, but despite apparently applying the brakes, Martell was unable to slow the car very much before colliding with the tire barrier and concrete wall behind it.
After the track crew cleaned everything up, the race would go back to green and Muni would walk away with it.
Following the lap 1 restart, the race went green; checkers and Muni came in first place for the first time in three years.
“It was a great night, it’s about time, thank you!” Muni exclaimed as she got out of her car victoriously.
Muni explained how she was feeling prior to coming in first this week, “Angry,” she said, “To go 24 laps and get taken out, week after week, well this one, it’s here. It’s real!”
Chris Curtis and Jon Lavoie were in a battle for 2nd on the final lap when Curtis put a move on Lavoie to get around the #33 and take 2nd place.
“John has done that to me, we’ve raced clean for over 20 years,” Curtis said.
“The way those guys were battling,” Curtis said, “Nancy actually started walking away from us.”
“The Tank Commander” John Lavoie brought the #33 home in third place.
“The car is running good, I just come down here to play,” Lavoie said after the race, “I’ve been playing up at Clairemont.”
Track announcer for the evening George Powers astutely pointed out that Lavoie hold the points lead at his regular track.
Lavoie and Dennis Leary drove door to door for much of the race before Leary fell out of the running for third, eventually conceding fourth place to Dennis Stange in the #71.
The final event of the evening was the 30 lap Sportsman Modified feature. Early in the race, the lead was between JT Cloutier, Trevor Bleau, Bill Kimball, and Tyler Jarvenpaa. While those drivers battle it out, Scott MacMichael and Keith Carzello joined in the fun. The #7 and #8 cars of MacMichael and Carzello worked well together going around on the outside as they went to the front of the pack. Along with them came the #87 of Brett Gonyaw.
With MacMichael out front, TJ Bleau in the #15 spin out brought out the first caution. On lap 17 Bill Kimball had contact with JT Cloutier, sending him for a spin.
Rookie Scott Nordman had a strong run going in the #11 car before he and Tyler Jarvenpaa got together on the restart on lap 17, sending them both for a spin in turn 1.
Five laps after the next restart the yellow came out again, this time Jarvenpaa got into Bleau and they took a spin. Bleau took exception to Jarvenpaa’s contact, delivering a bit of payback once they got back rolling again under yellow with a little love tap to the rear bumper.
The restart was delayed as the #5J of Nathan Johnson had a tire go down while under yellow.
When the green came back out for the final 8 laps, Carzello and Gonyaw gave MacMichael everything they had, but the #7 was just too quick and on lap 30 he won the race to the line for his second win of the season.
MacMichael now has two wins, two seconds, and a sixth place this season.
“It was awesome,” MacMichael said, “Goin around the outside of those guys was fun.”
“It was great for a rough night, hopefully we’ll do better next week,” he said after the win.
“I knew Brett was going to be tough, so I’m just happy to win.”
Gonyaw and Carzello were back and forth for second place, as the #87 followed up last week’s fourth place finish with a 2nd place this week.
Gonyaw thought he might have something for MacMichael at the end, but it didn’t work out, “I thought I could get him at the end there, but he’s just been so good this year. We’re trying but one of these days we’ll get him.”
Third place went to Keith Carzello. Last week’s winner wanted single file restarts a few laps sooner, but didn’t get what he was hoping for, “You just deal with it,” he said after.
Carzello went on to say, “It was a good night for this team.”
JT Cloutier had his best finish of the season, as the #13 car just missed being on the podium with a fourth place finish.
Bill Kimball, Trevor Bleau, Eric LeClair, Jeff Gallup, and Scott Nordman rounded out the top 10 finishers in the Sportsman Mod division.
Next week, June 13th, The Racing Guys will be hosting the Tri-Track Open Modified event at Monadnock Speedway. Racing will being an hour earlier than usual with heats beginning at 5pm.
Along with the Tri-Track series, Young Guns, Mini Stocks, Super Stocks, Lightning Stocks, and Sportsman Modifieds will all run heats and features.
-Monadnock Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Chip Comrie
Monadnock Speedway Results
Young Gun Results: Dan Starkweather, Justin Littlewood, Chris Sontag, Bow Smith, Colton Smith, Mariah Stebbins, Shelby Avery, Hailey Guy
Mini Stock Results: Matt Gauffin, Eric Pomasko, DJ Lazelle, Joel Monahan, Cameron Sontag, Solomon Brow, Justin Faford, Kevin McKnight, Ethan Marsh, Julia Raymond, Mike McGoldrick, Alicia Fohlin-Parker, Matt Kimball
Thunder Stock Finish: Ben Williams, Marshall usher, Dave Greenslit, Richard Vincent, Craig Chaffee, Paul Barnard, James Nowakowski, Gus Coelho, Joe Ethier, Michelle Leh, Chris Lawrence, Daniel Comeau
Top Three Pro 4 Modifieds: Andy Major, Norm Wrenn III, Randy Clark
Pro 4 Modified Lite: Mark Charette
Super Stock Results: Nancy Muni, Chris Curtis, John Lavoie, Dennis Stange, Tyler Leary, Joel Monahan, Tyler Lescord, Dave Striebel, Cole Littlewood, Andrew Martell
Sportsman Modified Results: Scott MacMichael, Brett Gonyaw, Keith Carzello, JT Cloutier, Bill Kimball, Trevor Bleau, Tyler Jarvepaa, Eric Leclair, Jeff Gallup, Scott Nordman, Nathan Johnson, Jason Barden, Brian Robie, Kim Rivet