Thomas Conquers NEMST Opener at Lee USA
The North East Mini Stock Tour kicked off its ninth season on Sunday at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway. 30 cars entered the pit area for the largest car count in NEMST history at Lee USA. Following an early practice session the drivers would line up for time trial qualifying, something that has never been done before on the NEMST.
Qualifying kept the fans and drivers on edge with Brandon Gray turning a 17.08 lap early and holding the top spot while nearly 20 other competitors ran until he was knocked off by his NEMST veteran team mate and birthday boy Matt Sonnhalter. Sonnhalter ran a 17.04 lap barely beating his rookie team mate. Following time trials Sonnhalter drew the inversion chip of 3 rows which would put the Young Guns Racing teammates in 5th and 6th position and putting Mike Soucy and Glen Thomas on the front row leading the field to green.
2017 North East Mini Stock Tour presented by Twisted Tea
Claremont Speedway to Host $1500 to Win 4-Cylinder Nationals
The NEMST has continued its growth across the east coast while providing the biggest and best races for mini stock competitors nationwide. The latest addition to the 2017 schedule is the first annual standalone 4-Cylinder Nationals event. The 100 green flag lap event will be the longest race in NEMST history and put driver, team, and machine at the maximum test to outlive the race.
Saturday June 18 marked the first leg of the Temp Setters Mechanical Contractors Triple Crown which will also run at Speedway 51 on August 6th
and back at Oxford Plains on August 28
for the HP Hood 250 weekend. The Texas Roadhouse mini stocks flocked through the gates at oxford alongside the Valenti Modified Racing Series and PASS Modifieds for a night of adrenaline filled racing action. Many new and part time competitors joined the NEMST presented by Twisted Tea for the 2nd
Maine event of the 2016 racing season.
Two fields of 10 cars each rolled out to their heats with multi time heat race winner Haywood Herriott leading the way in his respective heat and Matt Sonnhalter holding on over a hard charging Emerson Cayer to win the second heat race. Haywood would draw an invert of 1 row placing the fast cars at the front while leaving himself in the 11th starting position according to series rules regarding current season feature winners.
2016 Texas Roadhouse North East Mini Stock Tour presented by Twisted Tea
Bleak forecasts and gloomy skies surrounded the days leading up to the return of the North East Mini Stock Tour along with its sponsors Texas Roadhouse and Twisted Tea to the one third mile flat oval in Hermon, ME. The last race at Speedway 95 for the NEMST was held in May of 2009 the first year of the mini stock touring series which has since become one of the most recognized in New England.
That first day saw Justin Trombley take home the feature win, a driver that has had so many laps around the oval he could do it with his eyes closed. Fast forward to 2016. Trombley has decreased the number of tour races he competes in currently and the tour has drawn in the highest caliber of four cylinder competitors the region has to offer. Those competitors include Haywood Herriott and Zach Audet who both won their heat races during Sunday’s event, as well as 2 time champion Emerson Cayer and entering point leader Nick Maniatis.
The 2016 season opener may have been postponed by two weeks however the competition garnered the extended off season bringing 27 tour style mini stocks to the Lee USA annual Governors Cup race. Veterans of the NEMST lead the way throughout Saturday
practice with lap times approaching mini stock record speeds.
On Sunday the cars were unloaded and prepared for a single practice session before lining up for the 3 heat races. In practice the 19 driven by Zach Audet of Skowhegan hounded the 42, former Toby Wells car, that was purchased in the offseason by Jarrod Soucy an NEMST rookie. Other notable front runners were two-time champion Emerson Cayer, 2015 Rookie of the Year Haywood Herriott, Nick Maniatis, Matt Sonnhalter, and Mike Parker.
The heat races ran caution free with the teams of Nick Maniatis, Matt Sonnhalter, and Haywood Herriott. Nick Maniatis drew the invert chip of 3 rows following NEMST procedures and setting up a thrilling feature line up. 2 of the fastest cars in the field Jarrod Soucy and Mike Parker would make up the front row for the largest starting field in NEMST history.
The North East Mini Stock Tour is pleased to announce a new official photographer for the 2016 racing season. The new photographer is currently covering events in Florida for Area Auto Racing News and has spent many season shooting across New England speedways as well as being the official photographer for Canaan Fair Speedway and Claremont Speedway.
Wally Morton of Extreme Action Photo will be taking the controls this year while documenting the exciting NEMST action all across the region with his great photography skills. “Wally is an asset to add to the NEMST group of officials and will give our teams access to the shots they need to show appreciation of current supporters while giving high action photos to bring new sponsors and fans into the series” NEMST Promoter Bob Guptill said. (more…)