Many teams across New England felt that the 2014 NEMST event at Waterford Speedbowl may have been the final time the series battled on the weathered Connecticut surface. Thankfully Waterford Speedbowl was bought in the off season and kept a race track. The NEMST would have a chance to return to one of the raciest tracks in New England once again, this time under a new name, management, and officials.
Saturday night the touring mini stocks filled the gates of New London-Waterford Speedbowl with a 20 car field set to take green later in the evening. Nick Anderson and Toby Wells won their respective Environmental Engines heat races however Wells would be forced to start in the rear of the field after failing to report directly to the NEMST inspection trailer following the heat race. The invert of 4 rows was drawn by Anderson after winning his heat.
New driver Andrew Gilles and Veteran Mike Viens would lead the field to green after driver introductions held on the front straight on the southernmost NEMST points race of 2015. Viens would break out to the early lead with Gilles switching lanes and digging forward on the outside back to the lead. On lap 4 Dana Shepard would spin to the infield and the caution would fly before he could refire and join the field.
On the ensuing restart a missed shift by Tim Collins cause havoc throughout the pack and multiple cars would spin into turn one quickly bringing out the caution yet again. Another speedy restart would show the 22 of Gilles get turned entering turn 1 and a pile of cars getting stranded along the wall some with wrecked cars. Viens, Anderson, Miranda, and Thomas all received heavy damage in the wreck with a few returning to competition.
Wells had began making his way to the front after the early attrition and was setting a striking pace passing cars high, low, and in between not stopping until he reached the front. Around the halfway point Justin King clobbered the wall exiting turn 4 bringing out another single car caution and resetting the field once again. Wells would take off from the restart one again not looking back and pushing his Volkswagen forward. Matt Sonnhalter was making steady fast laps while tracking down Wells on the long green flag runs.
A spin by Tim Collins with only 3 laps to go would setup a finish that no one saw coming. The caution reset the leaders and place Sonnhalter to the outside of Wells for a shootout to see who would close out the victory. Sonnhalter ran low, high, and in the tire tracks of wells. A slight bump out of turn 2 on the final lap caused Sonnhalter to lose momentum and settle for a close second place finish behind the undefeated Wells in 2015 competition. Wells would take home the $700 winner’s purse provided by Gino at RH2way.com. Zakarite, Collins, and Gilles would round out the top 5. On his 4th win the car of Wells had a complete engine teardown performed by NEMST tech inspectors. Items ranging from valves, compression ratio, camshaft, bore, stroke, and porting were all inspected and found to be within NEMST tolerances.
The North East Mini Stock Tour will have 4 weeks off heading into its largest event of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for an $1100 to win $30 per lap lead 30 lap main event on New England’s largest oval. For full payout, rules, and event information please visit www.northeastministocktour.com or Like Us on Facebook for the most up to date information and pictures.
-North East Mini Stock Tour Press Release & Photo
|Race Results for 6/6/2015|
|North East Mini Stock Tour – Feature|
|1||2NH||Toby Wells||Dublin, NH|
|2||33||Matt Sonnhalter||E. Thetford, VT|
|3||07||Pete Zakarite||Niantic, CT|
|4||18X||Tim Collins||Windsor, ME|
|5||22E||Andrew Gillis||Hasland, MA|
|6||5||Nathan Taylor||Wauregan, CT|
|7||24||Joe Baxter||Pascoag, RI|
|8||66||Devin Miranda||Taunton, Ma|
|9||43||Dana Shepard||Putney, VT|
|10||70CT||Jeremy Bourbeau||Ledyeard, CT|
|11||69||Louis Maher||North Brookfield, MA|
|12||10CT||Mitchell Bombard||Willimantic, CT|
|13||18NH||Jacob Rheaume||Rochester, NH|
|14||37||Jordan Hadley||Quakerhill, CT|
|15||53||Glen Thomas||New London, CT|
|16||90||Desmond Skillings||Antrim, NH|
|17||48||Justin King||Derry, NH|
|18||85||Michael Viens||Seekonk, MA|
|19||55||Nicholas Anderson||Oxford, MA|
|20||25||Nic Skillings||Hillsboro, NH