Winchester, NH: This past Saturday the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series took to the track for their 2nd to last point’s race of the season for Whelen Night at the races. The Mini Stocks would run an extra distance $500 to win special event. The New England Pro Four Modifieds were also in town for the 35 lap Paul Roach Memorial race. This week’s winners were: Nate Wenzel (Young Guns), Louis Maher (Mini Stocks), Geoff Rollins (Super Stocks), Rob Richardi Jr. (Pro Four Modifieds), PJ Peters (Pro Four Lite Modifieds), Jason Kozacka (Thunder Stocks), and Joel Monahan (Sportsman Modifieds).
The first feature of the evening would be the 10 lap Young Gun Feature. Nate Wenzel in the 03 led the field to the green. Wenzel took off at the drop of the green and never looked back on his way to capturing his first career Young Guns feature win. Chloe Wright in the 17 started 2nd and would hold onto the 2nd spot until lap 7 when she would succumb to the continued pressure from Bella Minchella in the 99. Minchella tried her hardest to chase down Wenzel but would run out of time and finished 2nd; while Wright held on to finish 3rd. This was an emotional win for Wenzel who made sure to thank his parents, family and sponsors for making everything possible.
The Mini Stocks rolled onto the track for the 2nd 30 lap Mini Stock Conquest of the season. Tim Paquette in the 93 and Ben Williams in the 7 made up the front row. Paquette and Williams brought the field to green. At the drop of the green Paquette got the early advantage to lead lap 1. On lap 6 Louis Maher in the 69 passed Williams for the 2nd spot and then 3 laps later on Lap 9 Maher passed Paquette for the lead. Maher was followed by Paquette until just after halfway when Williams and the 50x of Matt Kimball found a way around Paquette. The first of two cautions flew on lap 18 for the 8 of Shelby Avery spinning on the front stretch. At the time of the caution Maher had opened his lead to half of a straight away. Maher and Williams would bring the field back to green after the caution but before anyone could really get up to speed the 2nd caution flag flew for the 76 of Kevin McKnight. For this restart Maher had a new dance partner in Kimball. Maher wrestled the lead away at the drop of the green. Maher would have to hold off a few more challenges for the lead from Kimball but was up to the challenge each time. Maher captured his 2nd win of the season. Kimball took 2nd place and Julia Raymond in the 62 made a pass on the closing laps to capture 3rd place. Maher entered the race 32 points out of 1st place in the point’s standings. Current point’s leader Alexander Pearl finished 6th which will allow Maher to make up a few points in the standings. In victory lane Maher noted that he was happy that he made the needed switches to get his primary car back up and running after running his backup car the past few races.
Super Stocks rocketed onto the track next for their feature event. Mike McGoldrick in the 1 and Geoff Rollins in the 02 brought the field to the green. Rollins used the outside line to jump out to a large lead. By lap 2 Rollins held a half a straight away lead over the 71 of Rookie Eric Pomasko who was running 2nd. On lap 3 Joel Monahan in the 03 passed Pomasko. When Monahan passed Pomasko, he brought the 12 of Cole Littlewood and the 11x of Tyler Leary with him. On lap 5 Leary passed Cole Littlewood for the 3rd spot. By lap 10 Monahan and Leary pulled within a few car lengths of Rollins but that would be as close as they would get as Rollins captured his first Super Stock win of the season. Monahan would finish 2nd and Leary 3rd. In victory lane Rollins stated “(he was) pretty happy a caution never came; as the power steering was gone and I knew they (Monahan and Leary) were right there.”
Pro Four Modifieds took to the track next for the 35 lap Paul Roach Memorial. One unique thing about the Pro Four Modifieds is that they have a “Lite” class that runs their own race within the same feature event that has their own winner. The “Lite” class cars are identified by an L after their number. The front row consisted of pole sitter Phil Lausier in the 07 and the 0 of Rob Richardi Jr. on the outside. Richardi Jr. shot out to the lead at the drop of the green. Lausier took control of the 2nd spot, while Brett Meservey in the 7NY dropped into the 3rd spot. Brett Meservey made the pass for the 2nd spot on lap 10 and started to chase down Richardi Jr., who by lap 10 had a commanding lead. Just before the halfway point Andy Major in the 60 passed Lausier for the 3rd spot. The race would be slowed by one caution for the 2L of Dion Doyle on lap 21. On the restart Brett Meservey started on the outside of Richardi Jr. and for a lap provided some pressure for the top spot but Richardi Jr. held the attempts off to capture the win. Richardi Jr. captured the win at the race here early this season too. Brett Meservey finished 2nd and Major finished 3rd. PJ Peters in the 3L captured the win in the “Lite” class. In his victory lane interview Richardi Jr. was very happy to win the race in memory of Paul Roach. Richardi Jr. noted that this is a special race to him and it feels good to win it again. PJ Peters stated that Monadnock Speedway is his favorite track and called it a “mini Bristol (because of the banking).”
Sportsman Modifieds roared onto the track next. Paul Smith in the 45 and Cole Littlewood in the 5c started on the front row. On the start Smith and Littlewood raced side by side for the lead but before the first lap could be completed the caution flew as the field all checked up in the middle of turns 3 and 4 causing the 24 of Todd Patnode to get a flat tire. This made Patnode have to start from the rear. On the restart Smith and Littlewood led the field to the green but before turn 1 Joel Monahan in the 03 would pass them both for the lead. Littlewood was off the pace and faded to the back pretty quickly. Smith settled into 2nd place. Kim Rivet in the 99 controlled the 3rd spot. On lap 3 Smith would get a little loose coming out of turn 2 and Rivet was there to capitalize. Rivet drove past Smith for 2nd place and a few laps later Cameron Sontag in the 13x would pass Smith for 3rd place. At the halfway point Monahan stretched his lead to over half a straight away lead over Rivet. On lap 22 the battle for 2nd place between Rivet and Sontag started to heat up as Sontag tried high and low to get by but was unable to make the pass. Then on lap 27 Sontag got into the back of Rivet causing both of their cars to spin bringing out the 2nd caution of the race. The restart would be single file. Monahan brought the field to the green followed by Brian Chapin in the 44 and Smith. Monahan drove away from the field on the restart to capture his first career Sportsman Modified win. Chapin finished 2nd. Smith would barely finish 3rd as Patnode, who had driven to the front, made an attempt to complete a last lap pass that was so close it took a few minutes to get the official word to the drivers on who actually finished 3rd. Monahan summed up how his first career Sportsman Modified win with “bout time.”
Thunder Stocks thunder onto the track for the final feature of the night. The 48 of Michelle Leh and the 09 of Dan Comeau brought the field to the green. Leh and Comeau raced into turn 1 side by side. Comeau came out of turn 2 with the lead, but before lap 1 could be completed Leh found herself facing the wrong direction bring out the first caution of the race. Bruce Clark in the 39 jumped into the lead at the drop of the green flag. The caution flag flew again on lap 6 when the 21 of Doug Mclean spun coming out of turn 4 with broken left front suspension. Clark maintained the lead on the restart but was followed closely by the 9 of James Nowakowski and the 43 of Jason Kozacka. Lap 8 brought the second caution of the race as the 26 of Chris Curtis and Randy Rameau in the 45x spun in turns 3 and 4. Nowakowski tried to get around Clark for the lead at the drop of the green but was unable to complete the pass and in the process Nowakowski had to settle for the 3rd spot as Kozacka squeaked by him (Nowakowski) for 2nd. Lap 14 Clark got loose coming out of turn 4 and Kozacka took the top spot. Nowakowski took over the 2nd spot and Richard Vincent in the 4 took over 3rd. On lap 23 Ed Lofland passed Vincent for the 3rd spot. Kozacka captured his 5th win of the season and increased his points lead. Nowakowski did everything he could to get past Kozacka but came up just short finishing 2nd. Ed Lofland finished 3rd. I caught up with Kozacka after the win and asked him about his feelings heading into Championship Saturday with such a small points lead over Nowakowski. Kozacka had this to say: “I will just have to go out there and do the best I can.”
With the last point’s race for the 2017 scheduled for next Saturday September 16, 2017 there is a lot to be decided. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be joined by the EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series as they go 125 green flag laps. Racing will start at 5pm! Then two weeks later, on Saturday September 30th, join us as be crown the champions on Super Saturday.
Sportsman Modified Results: Joel Monahan, Brian Chapin, Paul Smith, Todd Patnode, Matt Kimball, Mikey Flynn, Nathan Johnson, Brian Robie, Kim Rivet, Joe Kendall, Cameron Sontag, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Cole Littlewood, Eric Leclair, Chris Ignazio, Ben Byrne
Super Stock Results: Geoff Rollins, Joel Monahan, Tyler Leary, Cole Littlewood, Marc Curtis, Eric Pomasko, Mike Mcgoldrick, Nancy Muni, Justin Littlewood, Tyler Lescord, Marshall Usher, Scott Beck, Mike Heffernan
Mini Stock Results: Louis Maher, Matt Kimball, Julia Raymond, Ethan Marsh, Ben Williams, Alexander Pearl, Darren Jacobs, Jeff Morse, Desmond Skillings, Matt Gauffin, Pat Houle, Mike Radzuik, Shelby Avery, Kevin McKnight, Kevin Pittsinger, Bill Chaffee, Zach Lyn, Tim Paquette, Leon Keniston
Thunder Stocks: Jason Kozacka, James Nowakowski, Ed Lofland, Chris Curtis, Richard Vincent, Randy Rameau, Craig Chaffee, Bruce Clark, Michelle Leh, Dan Comeau, Doug Mclean, Nate Nunez
Young Gun Results: Nate Wenzel, Bella Minchella, Chloe Wright, Chris Phelps
Attached Photos: #03 Sportsman Modified Joel Monahan (Whately, Ma) and #02 Super Stock Geoff Rollins (Groton, Ma)