• Kyle Busch supporting Grassroots Racing at Lee USA Speedway

    Kyle Busch supporting Grassroots Racing at Lee USA Speedway

    Column and Photo By Terrill Covey

    Lee, NH – Kyle Busch has never been a big fan of finishing anywhere other than first place, but Friday night the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion had to settle for the bridesmaid role as Hudson, NH hot shoe Derek Griffith took home the $10,000 to win Keen Parts 125 at Lee USA Speedway.

    After chasing Angelo Belsito and Joey Doiron for most of the race, Griffith charged to the lead on a late-race restart after Doiron selected the outside lane for the restart, and Busch worked his way around Doiron as well to secure the runner-up spot.

    “It feels good,” Griffith said of the win. “I think (Busch) is one of the most talented race car drivers, in general, of all time. He hasn’t seen that car or the track before today and he goes out there and is really good. He just lays eyes on it today and comes out and is stout.

    “He’s won hundreds and hundreds of races – late model stuff, Xfinity, trucks, Cup – not many people have a pedigree that substantial. It’s damn cool. I’m pumped. So it shows our little team from New Hampshire does alright.”

    Busch was disappointed with a second-place finish, but he said he enjoyed competing in the Pro Stock.

    “Thanks to Keen Parts and Chevrolet and Fisher Weir for being on the hood. We had a good solid night, it just wasn’t quite enough.”

    Doiron was not as happy with his finish. He chose the outside on a lap 94 restart, allowing Griffith to his inside, and after the initial start was called back due to a false start by Griffith, Doiron said he didn’t get the grip he needed to hold onto the lead. Griffith got away, and Busch got around the outside of Belsito, then quickly dropped down to follow Griffith through the hole into second.

    “I shouldn’t have taken the top on that restart,” Doiron said. “I had gotten the lead from (Belsito) and I honestly thought he was a little bit better than Derek at the time. They called back the first start and into turn one I got super free and tried to make it up and got up into the marbles. I don’t know if I just didn’t get my tires cleaned up enough. It’s just one of those things, I feel terrible for my guys. IF the yellow didn’t come out, we probably had it.”

    Early on in the night it looked like Auburn, Mass. driver Angelo Belsito set the pace – a frantic pace – at the head of the field. Doiron was able to get past Belsito on a lap 41 restart, when Belsito ran him high, and Griffith punched it 3-wide. Belsito had to back out and Doiron cleared to the lead with Griffith behind him.

    Both Griffith and Doiron said the pace that Belsito set early on made it hard to pace themselves through the 125 lap race, but both drivers have had their share of success at Lee USA Speedway and were able to adjust.

    “(Belsito) ran a really, really hard pace,” Griffith said. “I just kept pressure on everybody in front of me until they messed up. Kyle (Busch) kind of hit the front stretch wall and gave me room to get by him, but really, the rest of them it was all pressure. Everything we got done tonight was putting the pressure to people until they made a mistake. Joey was good on the restarts, but for some reason our car just wrapped the bottom so well on that lap when I needed to, and he washed up, and that was that. I knew Kyle was coming at the end, but we held him off.”

     “I definitely had to go a little harder than I wanted to at the beginning,” Doiron said. “I never got a good opportunity to ride. I didn’t feel like I was pushing super hard, but at the same time I didn’t get to do what I usually do here. I had to go a little bit harder than I wanted to and it might’ve bit me at the end. I definitely felt like I had the second best car behind the (Griffith). (Busch) just wheeled the hell out of it at the end. That’s probably why he races on Sundays.”

    In addition to Griffith, the support division winners also had their day on the big stage. In the Six Shooter division, Christin Destefano won over Paul Childs and Steve Miller Sr.. Geoff Rollins won the NHSTRA Late Model battle for the belt race over Milton Duran and Andrew Morin, and Dave Cameron won the Ridge Runner feature over Heath DeButts and Carl Gagnon.

    In a race riddled with top talent from throughout the northeast, Kyle Busch might not even have been the biggest draw in the field for many local fans. Busch, the former Oxford 250 winner, was joined by fellow Oxford 250 champions Wayne Helliwell Jr, Joey Polewarczyk, and Eddie MacDonald, as well as Pro All Star Series champions Ryan Kuhn, Doiron, and Griffith. But regardless of who they came to see, fans were packed into the 3/8-mile oval to watch their heroes do battle.

    For Busch, who doesn’t do as many short track appearances as he used to, it was a rare opportunity to get out and have some fun.

    “it’s just scheduling. Scheduling is the biggest thing,” he said. “With my kid racing as much as he does it’s hard to do, but he’s got a race this weekend down at home so they didn’t come this weekend, so I had a free night to come out and have a little fun for myself. I haven’t done it as much lately because I sold all my cars. I don’t have anything anymore. I really don’t enjoy coming out and doing it with somebody’s stuff because I always want to make sure my guys are doing it, and doing it right. But these guys tonight were really good so we had a good night.”

    Busch was joined by his NASCAR spotter Derek Kneeland, a Maine native who looked forward to racing with Busch as well as some familiar faces from back home. Kneeland finished 14th, and although he was disappointed with the finish, he was happy to be back behind the wheel.

    “It’s awesome to be here. It was cool last year we were able to make it happen with Tyler, and Archie (St. Hilaire) had asked me if I thought I might be able to get Kyle once he knew I was going to be spotting for Kyle and I asked Kyle before the season even started, and he said, ‘Absolutely.’”

    While getting back in the car was fun for Kneeland, it wasn’t the outcome he was looking for.

    “I love driving race cars and I am highly frustrated that I finished where I did. I want it so bad, and everybody comes up to me and says, ‘Well, you don’t get to do it very often,’ but it’s the racer in me. It’s never good enough until you get to where you want to be. But fun, absolutely. I didn’t have to spot. I got to have fun.”

    The impact of Busch’s presence was not lost on his fellow competitors.

    “He’s a racer at heart,” Griffith said. “You see it on a day-to-day basis with him. There’s no fluff with him, no bullsh-t. That’s not really a common thing in NASCAR nowadays. I got a taste of it the last year or two, and he’s the first one to tell you what he thinks and what’s going on. And he’s a short track guy.”

    Helliwell said Busch’s presence at the track put a spotlight on Lee USA Speedway that can only help the track, fans and sponsors.

    “It’s great for the community and the track,” Helliwell said. “His name brings all these people, and that’s what we need. This sport has gotten so expensive and the younger generation isn’t here like it was. So, if it takes someone like that coming in once or twice a year to keep this place running – we all need a place to play – I thank him for that.  He hasn’t gotten too big on his high horse to come and run with us. We appreciate that.”

  • Home Sweet Home: Martin Truex, JR dominates. wins first NASCAR Cup Series Race at NHMS

    Home Sweet Home: Martin Truex, JR dominates. wins first NASCAR Cup Series Race at NHMS

    Story By: Terrill Covey

    Photo By: Matthew Wiernasz

    LOUDON – Monday may have been Martin Truex Jr.’s first NASCAR Cup Series win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but you would never know it by the way he dominated the Magic Mile during Monday’s rain-delayed Crayon 301.

    Truex fended off early challengers Christopher Bell and Joey Logano early, and he had no challengers late as he led 254 laps en route to the victory.

    “It’s no secret that I’ve been after this one for a long time,” Truex said. “It’s always been one I wanted so bad – maybe too bad at times. But it’s been well worth the wait to be able to do it finally today, and take home the lobster and put another win at Loudon with the name Truex on it.”

    It took Truex 30 tries to lock down his first win at what he considers his home track, but he left no doubt on Monday.

    “The car was super fast, again, like we’ve been in the past,” he said. “But it was fast all day long and not just in the first two stages, which is good.”

    While Truex was thrilled with his car’s speed, runner-up Joey Logano left the track feeling a little frustrated, not with his second-place finish, but with the fact that his Ford couldn’t challenge Truex’s Toyota.

    “The guys did a good job of putting us in position and making our car better throughout the race and we got where we could run in the top 2. We just weren’t quite as good as the 19,” Logano said. “We (Fords) don’t have quite enough yet. We still have a lot of work to do to catch the Toyotas. We can’t look at this and say this is good enough. We got smoked by the 20 and the 19 all day long. The 20 just screwed up enough times to keep him from leading every lap with the 19. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

    Fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski had mixed feelings about his fifth-place finish, though he agreed with his former teammate about the work that Ford needs to do to gain ground on the competition. He said his feelings about the day depending on which hat he is wearing.

    “My owner hat: I want both cars to be competing for wins,” he said. “That’s not where we’re at. It’s frustrating. We have to find more speed. We have to get better to be the team we want to be to contend for playoff spots and race wins, and do that every week.”

    From a driver’s perspective, however, he said he was happy to take what he thought was a 10th or 11th place car and drive it to a top five finish.

    “From the driver’s side I’m fairly pleased. I felt like we had a 10th, maybe 11th place car today, and we brought home top 5 by being really solid on pit road and solid on moves we made on the track. I’m proud of that. So I guess wearing two competing hats today on how I feel.”

    The only Chevy represented in the top five was third-place finisher Kyle Larson, who lined up next to Truex on a restart with eight laps to go when Logano chose to restart in the top groove behind Truex. He didn’t have enough to outrun Truex or Logano, but he said he feels like the podium finish is a good result for his Hendrick Motorsports team, which has historically struggled at Loudon.

    “In my career short tracks have been the worst, but this year any time we go to a short track we’ve got a really great car,” Larson said. “I’ve won a lot of them and been third here, and maybe 4th at Phoenix. It’s been good. Hats off to Hendrick Motorsports.”

    He said he was hopeful that Truex and Logano would race hard or make a mistake on the last restart, but he knew it was a long shot and didn’t want to risk a strong finish.

    “Joey chose the outside because the top launches better,” Larson said. “I was just hoping I could launch okay on the bottom and maybe clear him off of 2 and then get racing with him. But everybody is so good that they don’t make too many mistakes. Joey and Martin were both able to get good jumps and cleared me off the line so I just had to kind of tuck in line and ride to the finish.”

    For Truex and his Joe Gibbs Racing team, the win was his third of the season, and they hope to parlay this mid-season run into a regular season championship, and ultimately a series championship. Crew Chief James Small said the team’s consistency across different tracks is impressive, but the results are what really matter.

    “We’re showing a strong pace across a variety of tracks, but it’s just about executing,” Small said. “You can do that all day and have things outside your control go wrong and take you out of it. So we just take every race one at a time, every week at a time and try to maximize it. We’ll see if we wind up there and if we can do it, but I feel really good about it right now.”

    The win for Joe Gibbs Racing was the team’s sixth in the past 11 races at New Hampshire, and team owner Joe Gibbs said he feels like his team has a good grasp on the track and comes in with confidence every year.

    “I think we have a real confidence when we come here,” Gibbs said. “Our guys believe they are going to run good. Christopher is good here and obviously, Martin was last year, and Denny has been.”

    Crayon 301 results

    1. Martin Truex Jr
    2. Joey Logano
    3. Kyle Larson
    4. Kevin Harvick
    5. Brad Keselowski
    6. Tyler Reddick
    7. Denny Hamlin
    8. Bubba Wallace
    9. Austin Dillon
    10. Chase Briscoe
    11. Erik Jones
    12. Chase Elliot
    13. Michael McDowell
    14. Alex Bowman
    15. Chris Buescher
    16. Daniel Suarez
    17. Justin Haley
    18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    19. AJ Allmendinger
    20. Harrison Burton
    21. Todd Gilliland
    22. Ryan Blaney
    23. Ross Chastain
    24. William Byron
    25. Austin Cindric
    26. Ty Dillon
    27. Ty Gibbs
    28. Ryan Preece
    29. Christopher Bell
    30. Ryan Newman
    31. BJ McLeod
    32. Noah Gragson
    33. Corey Lajoie
    34. Aric Almirola
    35. Cole Custer
    36. Kyle Busch
  • John Hunter Nemechek dominates in Ambetter 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at NHMS

    John Hunter Nemechek dominates in Ambetter 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at NHMS

    Story By Terrill Covey

    Photo By: Matthew Wiernasz

    LOUDON, N.H. – John Hunter Nemechek ran away and hid in Saturday’s Xfinity series AmBetter 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which was probably a good idea considering everything that happened behind him.

    Nemechek picked up his fourth win of the season, and second in a row, while extending his Xfinity Series regular-season point lead over Austin Hill in the process.

    “I expect to win with the best car,” Nemechek said. “It feels really good. Our Toyota GR Supra was really good all weekend. We struggled a little bit in practice, but made the right adjustments overnight and yesterday for qualifying. I think I led three-quarters of the race, so it was a pretty dominating performance by the whole 20 team.”

    Nemechek said he felt like his team had the best car all day, and it was simply a matter of making sure he didn’t make any mistakes. With a flurry of cautions marring the race behind him, he had plenty of opportunities to make a mistake, but he never did.

    “Winning just gets better and better every time you do it,” he said. “I don’t feel like we’re peaking. I wouldn’t say that. I think we have gelled since day one. We’ve been really fast every single week. I feel like this is the first weekend – or one of the first weekends – where we’ve had no issues, no mistakes and not had anything we need to overcome. And I think that showed.”

    Through the rest of the field issues and mistakes were the rule of the day. Justin Allgaier, who appeared to be the only driver who had a shot at Nemechek, slid through his pit stall after winning stage 1, and although his team got the car rolled backward, his rear tire changer had begun working on the far and as a result he was penalized to the rear of the field. Not long after that Allgaier was caught up in an accordion style crash which left his car damaged. Although he recovered to earn a sixth place finish, that effectively ended Allgaier’s chance at a win. Allgaier’s frustration was evident post-race.

    “Really aggravated at how the race ended,” Allgaier said. “The calls on some of the timing lines and things like that. You work your guts out all day to get back up there just to have it all taken away. Yea, there’s a lot of promise from the rebound, but just aggravated. We had a solid top five car, drove back into the top five for nothing. Just really disappointing.”

    One driver who wasn’t disappointed was Austin Hill, who languished around the back half of the top 10 for most of the day, but when his teammate Sheldon Creed and Cole Custer got together during the race’s second overtime attempt, Hill was able to navigate the chaos and weave his way to a third place finish.

    “I really didn’t have a great Bennett Chevrolet, so for us to come up with a third place finish – I know a lot of guys got wrecked out there and it was kind of a game of attrition there at the end,” Hill said. “We lost some points to the 20, but at the end of the day we had a decent day and we’re just going to keep fighting.”

    While Hill felt like he got a better finish than expected due to the late race chaos, he said he still needs to find ways to finish ahead of Nemechek looking ahead to the rest of the regular season.

    “Obviously we didn’t need the 20 to win, but big picture racing, we didn’t lose a ton on him. But we’re still in the fight for the playoffs and we’re still in the fight for the regular season championship, and that’s kind of our biggest picture right now that we’re looking forward to is trying to get those 15 extra bonus points.”

    Chandler Smith claimed the runner up spot, but was quickly rushed off to the Infield Care Center after the race due to heat exhaustion. Daniel Hamric salvaged a fourth-place finish by keeping his nose clean during the rough and tumble event, and Sammy Smith rounded out the top 5.

    “It was a solid day, coming from the back twice,” said Sammy Smith, who had to start at the rear due to an oil leak on his car that the team found after qualifying. “Good day overall. I thought we had a shot there, but just kind of fell off and it didn’t work out.”

    For Nemechek there were several chances to see the race slip away on a barrage of late race restarts, but he met every challenge and came away with a big win at a big time in the season.

    “I knew we had a good Toyota GR Supra, but when it comes to restarts, you never know,” Nemechek said. “When you have a car like we did today and you have those late restarts, it’s like, ‘Man, what’s gonna go wrong that’s going to take me out of this?’ From a driver’s perspective, it’s about not overextending the car and trying to get too much out of it. Just let the car do the work.”

    The win allowed him to open his lead for the regular season championship, a goal that Nemechek said he sees as the first step toward winning the Xfinity championship.

    “I’m trying to go win the regular season championship and trying to win the championship at the end of the year, come Phoenix,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to do that.”

  • Logano, Preece, feel right at home at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

    Logano, Preece, feel right at home at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

    Column By: Terril Covey

    Photo By: Matthew Wiernasz

    LOUDON – The 36-race NASCAR Cup Series schedule is a grind, but once or twice a year the drivers get to visit their home tracks, and those moments can make the grind seem just a little less cumbersome.

    Last weekend NASCAR Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Ryan Preece were back in their home territory, and both are looking for some home cooking at the Magic Mile.

    “This place has more memories for me than any other race track I go to,” Logano said. “Coming here as a kid, watching the races. I watched my first Cup race here and we camped out here behind the midway. I met Jeff Gordon and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.”

    In addition to his childhood memories, Logano has to make great memories at the track, even though now it is young aspiring drivers who get wide-eyed when they meet him.

    “I got my first win here – have a couple wins here – it’s a very special place to me,” he said. “And it is close to home. I have so many family, friends and everything here, so it’s always been a special one.”

    Preece, like Logano, has many childhood memories at the track. Preece has also had success at the track in a modified, but he hopes this weekend to join Logano as a first-time Cup winner at his home track.

    “It’s a place I grew up as a kid,’ Preece said. “I really love the passion for racing up here. I’m excited for Sunday. We’ve definitely put a lot of emphasis into this weekend and I think we could be really fast.”

    Logano will roll off in the fourth position on Monday after the race was postponed due to rain, while Preece will have a tougher hill to climb, starting from the 21st position on the grid.

    Preece said that part of what makes coming home to New England so special for him is the fans, who are both knowledgeable and passionate about the sport.

    “Obviously, being from New England, you’re a big sports fan,” he said. “So, when you love racing, you love your short track racing like Stafford or Thompson or any of the other great race tracks in the Northeast, when New Hampshire comes to town with the Cup Series and NASCAR it’s a big thing. Being up here, seeing a lot of familiar faces is nice.”

    Although he grew up in North Carolina, another driver with New England Roots is Spire Motorsports wheelman Corey Lajoie, whose father went from Norwalk, Connecticut to multiple NASCAR Xfinity championships. Lajoie said he enjoys coming back to New England where his name still resonates, despite his Southern upbringing.

    “Charlotte is obviously the home race, but this is legitimately a second home race,” he said. “My grandfather and aunts and uncles and cousins all come up. It seems like the fans remember my grandfather’s and dad’s roots here.”

    In addition to the fan reception, Lajoie said he looks forward to actually racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as well.

    “I’ve always just taken to the Magic Mile since the first time I came here. It’s cool to tap into the New England roots that the Lajoie’s have. I’m a southern boy, man, but if they want to claim me as their own for a weekend, I’m cool with it.”

  • American-Canadian Tour Celebrates Quebec’s Iron Man at Autodrome Chaudiere

    American-Canadian Tour Celebrates Quebec’s Iron Man at Autodrome Chaudiere

    Press Release from the ACT Tour

    Photo Courtesy of Sylvain Fournier

    Barre, VT ­— Growing to become one of the most exciting and anticipated events on the yearly American-Canadian Tour schedule over the last several seasons, the Claude Leclerc 150 at Autodrome Chaudiere is next up for North America’s most historic late model touring series. Teams on both sides of the US and Canadian border have been steadily preparing their machines to duke it out in honor of the Iron Man of ACT competition at one of the most dynamic and exciting ovals in North America.

    The Claude Leclerc 150 celebrates Claude Leclerc, a Canadian who needs no introduction. The Iron Man of American-Canadian Tour competition, Leclerc made it to every single ACT Tour race between 1979 through 1995 and competed in the evolution from the steel bodied Sportsman of the 1970s through the fiberglass, big-motor Pro Stocks of the late 1980s through the 1990s and into today’s modern Late Model. In that time, Leclerc has started nearly 600 events under American-Canadian Tour sanctioning, a feat that will never be surpassed, and found himself standing in the victory lane podium in each of the last five decades.

    Although off the schedule in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 border closures, the two events run by the American-Canadian Tour have been evenly won by both sides of the border. New Hampshire’s Rich Dubeau won an emotional first ACT victory in the inaugural Claude Leclerc 150 on his way to the 2019 ACT championship while Jonathan Bouvrette turned a devastating season around last season by winning the $5,000 grand prize over fellow standouts William Larue and Dany Trepanier.

    For the first time since 2017, the American ACT teams will also battle against local Canadian Serie ACT Quebec front runners with the likes of D.J. Shaw, Derek Gluchacki, Gabe Brown, Jimmy Renfrew Jr. and Jason Corliss up against Quebec’s hot-shoes like Raphael Lessard, Patrick Laperle, Jeff Cote and Alexendre Tardif. Although not a point-counting event for the Quebec Serie, many Canadians will be on hand to defend the home turf.

    The $32,000-USD purse has attracted many of the American hopefuls North of the Border including fellow full-timers Erick Sands, Bryan Wall Jr., Andrew Molleur, and Tanner Woodard with Shawn Swallow among the American invaders looking for his first taste of Chaudiere. Among the Québécois will also include ACT Tour full-timer Jonathan Bouvrette, with Autodrome Chaudiere confirming the return of longtime star Jean-Francois Dery along with Mathieu Kingsbury, Patrick Cliché, Sebastien Couture, Remi Perreault and Marc Begin.

    The American-Canadian Tour returns to Vallee-Jonction, Quebec’s Autodrome Chaudiere on Saturday, June 24th for the Claude Leclerc 150. The $5,000-to-win showdown will pit the best of the United States against the best of Quebec at one of the North America’s most dynamic short tracks for the showdown of the summer. Along with the Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series Vintage, Trucks and Sport Compacts, qualifying will begin at 4:30pm with Feature Racing set to start at 6:00pm. The Claude Leclerc 150 will be streamed on Racing America for subscribers to the streaming service.

    For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com.  You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

  • Stafford Speedway and FloRacing Extend Live Streaming Partnership Through 2028

    Stafford Speedway and FloRacing Extend Live Streaming Partnership Through 2028

    Press Release From Stafford Speedway

    Photo Courtesy of Stafford Speedway

    (Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway and FloRacing have agreed to extend their live streaming partnership through the 2028 season.

    Stafford and FloRacing announced a groundbreaking partnership in 2021 with Stafford becoming the first pavement track on the streaming platform. Since the partnership began in 2021, weekly racing action from the Connecticut half-mile has been consumed by thousands of race fans throughout the country.

    “FloSports is proud to be the broadcast home for Stafford Motor Speedway. In our earliest days in short track pavement racing, The Arute family believed in our mission to grow grassroots racing in America. We’re grateful for their partnership, leadership, and vision and look forward to continued growth in the years to come.”  – Mike Levy, Vice President, Global Rights Acquisition & Partnerships, FloSports

    “When we began our partnership in 2021 it was very clear to all of us at Stafford that FloSports was going to be the long-term streaming home for our events. It’s not often that you find a partner that is so closely aligned with our mission of growing short track racing. To be side by side with world renowned racing properties like Eldora, Chili Bowl, Lucas Oil Late Model, USAC, and ASCOC is something that we take great pride in and our entire team is looking forward to bringing the best in pavement racing to the FloRacing platform each week.” – Paul Arute, COO, Stafford Speedway

    Sign-up for FloRacing to watch Stafford Speedway events live

    About FloSports:

    Founded in 2006, FloSports is a subscription video streaming service dedicated to sports, offering live and on-demand access to hundreds of thousands of competition events across 25+ vertical sport categories in the US and abroad. FloSports’ mission is to give underserved sports the love they deserve. With a growing library of more than 300,000 hours of premium content including news, expert commentary, films, documentaries and more, FloSports has established itself as an innovator and leader in sports streaming. Finally, your sport has a home. For more information, please visit: flosports.tv.

    About Stafford Speedway:

    Located in Stafford Springs, CT, Stafford Speedway is a half-mile paved short track and the home of asphalt Modified racing. Stafford’s annual schedule consists of weekly racing every Friday night throughout the summer, with multiple special events including the biggest asphalt Modified race in the country, the $20,000 to win Spring Sizzler®. Stafford’s weekly racing is often recognized as one of the toughest in the country with strong fields and intense competition from the SK Modifieds® to the Street Stocks.

    For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

  • Street Stock Spotlight on Action-Packed Community College of Vermont Night

    Street Stock Spotlight on Action-Packed Community College of Vermont Night

    Press Release From Thunder Road Speedbowl

    Photo Courtesy of Alan Ward

    Barre, VT — When Thunder Road opens its gates once again on Thursday, June 22nd it does so to celebrate an unsung hero. With the help of the Community College of Vermont, and alongside all four Thunder Road divisions, will be the 9th annual Marvin Johnson Memorial First Time Winners Race for the rk Miles Street Stocks. A 19-lap affair open only to non-winners in the region’s most competitive four-cylinder division, the Marvin Johnson Memorial honors one of the good ones taken far too soon before he, himself, could visit victory lane at the Nation’s Site of Excitement.

    The Marvin Johnson Memorial has been held every year since 2015 in honor of the late Marvin Johnson, a well-liked underdog racer and professional pharmacist. Johnson never won a feature in his long career, but he loved racing and would do whatever it took to get to the track. His spirit was rewarded posthumously with the 2014 Ed Carroll Memorial Sportsmanship Award.

    Since Johnson’s passing Thunder Road has held the Memorial First Time Winner’s Race in his honor, with the 19-lap distance inspired by his former car number. Leading Rookies Ryan Foster and Logan Farrell along with hard-charging Jesse Laquerre, Paige Whittemore, Todd Raymo and Thomas Peck are among those looking to be a first-time winner in Marvin Johnson’s memory on Thursday.

    In the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Cody Blake continues to lead the point’s path but the road is well traveled by those looking to pass him in the hammer lane. Christopher Pelkey sits just three points behind with a tied Brandon Lanphear and Chris Roberts just one point below the defending champion. All four looked to have stout equipment last Thursday, each of them hoping to continue that momentum right into Community College of Vermont victory lane this week.

    The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers are just as hotly debated as they were one week ago. Even after a stellar battle at the end saw Jason Pelkey take fourth away from Sam Caron under the checkered flag, it wasn’t quite enough to edge out the defending track champion. Caron currently sits at a cool 274-points to Pelkey’s 273, both taking advantage of Logan Power’s hold-up in the back of the pack last week to gain a little distance on the points sheet. Both Pelkey and Caron are the only drivers to finish in the top-10 in all four events so far in 2023, setting up for yet another season-long battle in the ‘Number One Support Division in North America.’

    Action returns to the Thunder Road highbanks on Thursday, June 22nd for Community College of Vermont Night. The 9th annual Marvin Johnson Memorial First Time Winner’s Race for Street Stock non-winner’s headlines CCV Night along with a full card of championship racing action for the Maplewood/Irving Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and rk Miles Street Stocks with the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also added to the program! Grandstands open at 5:00pm with Post Time set for 7:00pm. Adult General Admission is available for $15, kids 12-6 for $5 and children 5 and under free! The Family Four Pack, two adults and two children, is also available for $30.

    For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.

  • ‘Hall of Fame’ Action Coming to Weedsport on July 16

    ‘Hall of Fame’ Action Coming to Weedsport on July 16

    Press Release From Super DIRTcar Series

    Photo By: Quentin Young

    WEEDSPORT, NY (June 16, 2023) – Weedsport Speedway welcomes back the Super DIRTcar Series for the Hall of Fame 100 on Sunday, July 16 with big prizes on the line.

    The Series’ second trip to the 3/8-mile track brings a $10,000 payday and guaranteed starting spot for the Billy Whittaker Cars 200 during Super DIRT Week 51 (Oct. 2-8).

    Mat Williamson scored his third Series win at Weedsport in May, leading 78 of the 100-lap Feature. Jimmy Phelps – who won the Hall of Fame 100 last year – finished second to Williamson and Matt Sheppard finished third.

    Sheppard was the first driver to secure a Super DIRT Week guaranteed starting spot this year with a win at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

    What you need to know:

    3/8 mile in Weedsport, NY
    Track Record: 15.156 seconds by Demetrios Drellos on Sept. 2, 2019
    More Event Info

    Times (ET):
    4 p.m. Pit Gates Open
    5 p.m. Grandstands Open
    6 p.m. Hot Laps/Qualifying
    -Racing to follow

    Tickets: Available HERE

    Previous winners:
    2023 – Mat Williamson on May 28
    2022 – Stewart Friesen on May 29, Jimmy Phelps on Aug. 15, Larry Wight on Sept. 10
    2021 – Mat Williamson on May 30, Stewart Friesen on July 25, Matt Sheppard on Sept. 11
    2020 – Max McLaughlin on Oct. 11
    2019 – Erick Rudolph on May 27, Matt Sheppard on July 28, Matt Sheppard on Sept. 2
    2018 – Stewart Friesen on May 28, Erick Rudolph on July 28
    2017 – Stewart Freisen on July 11, Matt Sheppard on Sept. 4
    2016 – Gary Tomkins on Aug. 9, Matt Sheppard on Sept. 5, Danny Johnson on Sept. 17
    2015 – Matt Sheppard on Aug. 6
    2014 – Billy Decker on Aug. 7
    2010 – Matt Sheppard on May 30, Jimmy Phelps on July 16, Matt Sheppard on July 17, Larry Wight on Sept. 5
    2009 – Ryan Phelps on July 18, Ryan Phelps on July 19, Billy Decker on Sept. 6
    2008 – Dale Planck on May 25, Alan Johnson on Aug. 31, Billy Decker on Aug. 31
    2007 – Danny Johnson on Aug. 19, Tim Fuller on Aug. 19, Alan Johnson on Sept. 2, Billy Decker on Sept. 2
    1988 – Jack Johnson on Sept. 11
    1987 – Bob McCreadie on Sept. 13
    1986 – Danny Johnson on Sept. 7
    1985 – Alan Johnson on July 17, Bob McCreadie on Sept. 8
    1984 – Bob McCreadie on July 18, Bob McCreadie on Sept. 9
    1983 – Danny Johnson on July 20, Jack Johnson on Sept. 18
    1982 – Dave Lape on July 21, Alan Johnson on Sept. 12
    1981 – Will Cagle on Aug. 12, Merv Treichler on Sept. 20
    1980 – Jack Johnson on July 16, Jack Johnson on Sept. 21
    1979 – C.D. Coville on July 18
    1977 – Will Cagle on July13
    1976 – Davey Moore on July 14

    If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision.

  • Boston Beer Company Returns for Two Wednesday Night Shows at Thompson Speedway

    Boston Beer Company Returns for Two Wednesday Night Shows at Thompson Speedway

    Press Release from the American Canadian Tour

    Photo Courtesy of Alan Ward

    Barre, VT and Naples, ME — Officials from the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) announced today that they have once again renewed their partnership with the Boston Beer Company for a fourth consecutive year at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway. Boston Beer, through its popular Twisted Tea brand, will serve as the headline sponsor for a pair of Wednesday Night Specials slated for June 21st and July 26th. 

    Both events include a $5,000-to-win Outlaw Open Modified Series ‘Dash for Cash’ 50-lap sprint along with a full card that includes the Thompson Speedway Late Models, SK Lite Modifieds, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks. 

    The first Twisted Tea Dash for Cash on Wednesday, June 21st will also feature a visit from the New England Supermodified Series (NESS) and the EdenRafferty Limited Sportsman Clash for Cash as the popular full-fendered division goes for extra cash bonuses on the Wednesday Night midweek opener. Twisted Tea will return as the headlining sponsor of the second Open Outlaw Modified Dash for Cash event on Wednesday, July 26th that will include special Double Features for the popular SK Light Modifieds.

    The agreement continues a partnership that began in 2020. Boston Beer Company sponsored three divisions at the 58th World Series of Speedway Racing, continuing as a summer series partner in 2021 and 2022 to set the stage for this year’s multi-race deal. As part of the agreement, Boston Beer Company products will be sold in the Thompson Speedway concession area for fans of legal drinking age.

    “We’re very proud and excited to continue our partnership with the Boston Beer Company,” PASS President Tom Mayberry said. “Our fans have told us how much they enjoy watching some great racing while responsibly enjoying Boston Beer Company products on a warm summer night.” 

    Boston Beer Company of Boston, MA is the fourth-largest brewery in the United States. Jim Koch founded the brewery in 1984 with Samuel Adams Boston Lager as its initial offering. The Vienna lager has remained the company’s flagship beverage to this today. The Samuel Adams line now includes more than a dozen year-round brews along with popular seasonal offerings such as Cold Snap, Summer Ale, Oktoberfest and Winter Lager.

    In addition to expanding its Samuel Adams line-up, Boston Beer Company has added several other nationally-known brands, including Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea, Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, and Dogfish Head Craft Beer & Spirits. Learn more about the company and its products at www.bostonbeer.com.

    Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park opens its midweek summer racing season on Wednesday, June 21st at 6:00pm. The Twisted Tea Dash for Cash #1 will feature the region’s top open-wheel racers for the $5,000-to-win prize in the first test of the all-new 50-lap format. Thompson Speedway will also be invaded by the New England Supermodified Series (NESS) in their second event of the 2023 season along with the special EdenRafferty Clash for Cash for the Limited Sportsman. The ACT-type Late Models, SK Light Modifieds, and Mini Stocks also join the card for an exciting summer season opener!

    Post Time for Wednesday, June 21st is set for 6:00pm with Adult General Admission tickets available for $30, kids 12-6 for $10 and children 5 and under free! Pit Gates will open promptly at 2:30pm with Adult Pit Passes on sale for $45 with kids 12 and under available for $20.

    For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com.  You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

    For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact passracing@roadrunner.com or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

    For general Thompson Speedway inquiries, call (860) 923-2280, email oval@thompsonspeedway.com, or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

  • Eric Goodale Wins Casella Waste Open 80 At Stafford Speedway

    Eric Goodale Wins Casella Waste Open 80 At Stafford Speedway

    Press Release from Stafford Speedway

    Photo Courtesy of Stafford Speedway

    (Stafford Springs, CT)—Open Modified cars returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for their third of five visits of the 2023 season on Friday, June 16th for the Casella Waste Open 80.  Eric Goodale used a fast pit stop under a caution flag period to vault himself towards the front at the midway point of the Casella Waste Open 80 and he took control of the race in the second half to take the checkered flag.

    Teddy Hodgdon led the field to the green but Max Zachem took the lead on the opening lap before Hodgdon came back to the inside of Zachem on lap-4 to retake the lead.  Woody Pitkat was third in line in the early going with Stephen Kopcik up to fourth and Ronnie Williams and Chris Pasteryak were wheel to wheel for fifth.  Williams got clear of Pasteryak on lap-7 and his pass brought Glen Reen up to sixth and dropped Pasteryak back to seventh.  Dave Salzarulo brought the caution flag out with 10 laps complete as he spun into the turn 1 wall.

    Hodgdon took the lead back under green with Kopcik taking second.  Glen Reen jumped up to third with Zachem falling back to fourth and Williams was fifth.  The caution came out for Matt Gallo, who spun in turn 4 with 39 laps complete.  All the leaders came to pit road under the caution except for Flynn, who assumed the race lead for the restart.  Reen came off pit road first to restart in second and he was followed by Williams, Craig Lutz, Zachem, Anthony Bello, Matt Galko, Hodgdon, Tyler Barry, and Chris Pasteryak.

    Goodale took the lead on the restart but Reen powered his way into the lead on lap-42.  Goodale came back to the inside of Reen on lap-44 and he retook the lead.  Williams was third in line with Zachem fourth and Lutz in fifth.  Hodgdon was sixth and he was followed by Galko, Bello, Pasteryak, and George Bessette, Jr.  Zachem spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 46 laps complete.

    Goodale took the lead with Hodgdon coming up to second.  Reen was third in linen followed by Williams and Galko before the caution came back out with 49 laps complete for a spin through the frontstretch grass by Todd Owen.

    Goodale and Hodgdon went wheel to wheel for a lap before Goodale got clear into the lead on lap-50.  Reen got by Hodgdon to take second with Galko fourth and Bello up to fifth.  Lutz was sixth with Bessette, Lutz, Williams, and Joey Mucciacciaro making up the top-10.

    With 10 laps to go, Goodale was still in the lead with Reen giving chase from second place.  Hodgdon and Bello were third and fourth with Galko in fifth.  Bessette was sixth with Pasteryak, Williams, Mucciaciaro, and Tyler Barry making up the top-10.

    Bello made a move to the inside of Hodgdon on lap-78 in a bid for third place and he completed the pass on lap-79.  It was all Goodale at the front as Reen couldn’t get close enough to make a move with Goodale winning the Casella Waste Open 80.  Bello finished third with Hodgdon and Galko rounding out the top-5 behind Goodale and Reen.

    For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.



    1) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY

    2) Glen Reen, Belchertown, MA

    3) Anthony Bello, Newtown

    4) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury

    5) Matt Galko, Moodus

    6) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury

    7) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon

    8) Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA

    9) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT

    10) Tyler Barry, Griswold

    11) Joey Mucciacciaro, Wolcott

    12) Todd Owen, Somers

    13) Buddy Charette, Dracut, MA

    14) Devin O’Connell, Madison

    15) Matt Gallo, Berlin

    16) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, MA

    17) Craig Lutz, Center Island, NY

    18) Max Zachem, Oakdale

    19) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown

    20) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA

    21) Robert Bloxsom, III, Milford

    22) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA