The ¼-mile Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH is a notoriously difficult track to figure out. But Saturday evening, Sam Rameau made everything look easy, charging up through the field late to score a stunning win in the Tri-Track Open Modified Series season-opening Wonder Casino 100.
Rameau started the race off strong, leading almost the entire first half before a caution on Lap 56. The entire field came in for pit stops, and Rameau found himself buried down in 17th on the following restart. He stormed back though the pack to find himself in contention, and made a thrilling pass on Ron Silk coming to the white flag to notch his second TTOMS win at “Mad Dog” in as many races.
“[It was a] good run. I wish I didn’t have to rough him up like that, I don’t like to win like that, would rather have a clean race. But with three to go, I knew I was coming and I had the car to win, so I had to make a move,” Rameau said after the race. “It’s awesome to beat guys like Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, and Chase Dowling, and guys like that that win everywhere. To win here at the Dog twice is pretty cool, but we’ve got some more coming this year.”
Despite opening the 2021 campaign with a victory, Rameau is focusing on the season-long championship instead of occasional race wins, and he certainly feels that he and his crew can get it done.
“I know one thing, at the end of the season, it’s going to feel damn good to be the champion! That’s all I care about, that’s why I’m here. We came here to win races, and that’s what we do. We’ve got many more coming, these guys don’t give up.” – Sam Rameau
Even though Ron Silk led the majority of the second half of the race, he had to settle for second place. He emerged from the Lap 56 pit stop cycle with the lead, but was unable to hold back a surging Rameau in the final laps.
“He was just better than we were at the end,” Silk said. “Obviously it’s disappointing to lead that much of the race and come up short there right at the end. Those guys did a good job, they were fast all day, and he did what he needed to do to win. We’ll build off that, second is a decent result. Disappointing, but you can’t be too disappointed with second, I guess.”
“Big Money” Matt Hirschman survived an early race spin, and came back from as far back as 22nd to finish third. Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore drove Jimmy Paige’s chrome-nosed No. 00 up to fourth, and New Hampshire’s own Les Hinckley finished fifth.
Ben Byrne, Woody Pitkat, Anthony Nocella, Ryan Preece, and Joey Cipriano III completed the top 10.
A full replay of Saturday’s Sri-Track Open Modified Series season opener can be viewed now on Speed51.TV.
The next race for the Tri-Track Open Modifieds is Saturday, May 22 at Star Speedway in Epping, NH, for the Prelude to the SBM.
-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Rick Ibsen / Speed51
WONDER CASINO 100 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
1) Sam Rameau
2) Ron Silk
3) Matt Hirschman
4) Justin Bonsignore
5) Les Hinckley
6) Ben Byrne
7) Woody Pitkat
8) Anthony Nocella
9) Ryan Preece
10) Joey Cipriano III
11) Anthony Sesely
12) Max Zachem
13) Devin O’Connell
14) Joel Monahan
15) Chase Dowling
16) Chris Pasteryak
17) Kurt Vigeant
18) Brian Robie
19) Dylan Izzo
20) Richard Savary
21) Earl Paules
22) Matt Swanson
23) Matt Kimball
24) Tommy Barrett
25) Kirk Alexander
26) Austin Kochenash
27) Ronnie Williams
28) Glen Reen