Barre, VT – Bennington, NH’s Matt Kimball made a statement in the North East Mini Stock Tour (NEMST) championship chase on Saturday, August 31 by taking the win at Barre’s Thunder Road as part of Coca-Cola Four Cylinder Saturday. Kimball, the NEMST point leader, put a crossover move on E. Thetford’s Brandon Gray following a lap-31 restart and cruised from there to the victory in the 50-lap main event.
Gray had led the event since grabbing the top spot from Lisbon Falls, ME’s Joe Katula on the second lap. The former Thunder Road Street Stock racer, who was in his first NEMST appearance of the season, made quick work from his third starting position. After getting to the front, Gray held off Winchester, NH’s Julia Raymond on a pair of restarts, seemingly in command of the field.
However, Kimball was steadily working his way forward from 10th on the starting grid. Kimball got to Raymond’s bumper near the halfway point and hounded her for several laps before making the pass for second on lap 28. Three laps later, the caution came out after Erin Aiken lost it on the frontstretch, putting Kimball on the outside of Gray.
Kimball tried to make a move on the initial restart, but Nick Anderson spun out on the backstretch before the lap was completed, re-racking the field for another try. On the second attempt, Kimball ran Gray hard into turn three, then swung from the top of the track to the bottom off turn four, flying underneath for the lead.
Gray did his best to counterattack in the same spot the following lap, but nearly spun himself out, giving up the second spot to Raymond in the process. Although Gray was able to re-pass Raymond a few laps later, Kimball was long gone by then as he motored off to his first win at Thunder Road.
Seekonk, MA’s Michael Viens followed the front trio across the line in fourth. Katula recovered from a midrace excursion through the infield to finish fifth. Kodi Sabins, Erin Aiken, Tom Silva, Pat Houle, and Timothy Paquette rounded out the top-10.
Allen Lumber Street Stock point leader Jeffrey Martin of Barre bounced back from a rough recent stretch to take his third win of the year in the 35-lap feature. Despite his position atop the standings, Martin started the event third thanks to a string of poor finishes to close out the Thursday night racing season. The hometown racer took full advantage of the opportunity, getting around polesitter Kyle MacAskill for the lead on a lap-five restart.
MacAskill didn’t give up easily, giving Martin a run for his money on three more restarts over the next 10 laps. However, Martin was just too much to handle. After Scott Weston lost a wheel to bring out the fourth and final caution on lap 15, MacAskill stayed glued to Martin’s bumper for the remainder of the race. But Martin never made a mistake and moved ever closer to his first Street Stock championship in the process.
Despite coming up short of the win, MacAskill took his first podium finish in more than two months with the runner-up effort. Fellow rookie Keegan Lamson of Berlin held off Lyndonville’s Dean Switser Jr. for third. Juan “Paco” Marshall, Tommy “Thunder” Smith, Kasey Beattie, Tanner Woodard, Justin Blakely, and Tyler Pepin completed the top 10.
Essex Jct., VT’s Mike Mitchell became a first-time Thunder Road winner by getting the victory in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Mitchell started sixth in the 30-lap feature and chased down early leader Trevor Jaques of Milton to swipe the lead away on lap 11. Following the second caution on lap 17 for Luke Marcheski’s spin, Mitchell pulled away from the pack. Berlin’s Eric “Pork” Chase fought his way to Mitchell’s rear bumper in the closing circuits, but Mitchell was able to hang on for the win.
Chase took second while Northfield’s Josh Vilbrin survived a late bid from Irasburg’s Tony Gravel for third. Chris Davis, Jaques, Kyler Davis, Dan Garrett Jr., Sean McCarthy, and Brian Putney also earned top-10 finishes.
Thunder Road continues its Labor Day doubleheader with the 41st Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic on Sunday, September 1. The ACT Late Model Tour goes 200 green-flag laps while taking on some of Thunder Road’s top Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model competitors. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers have a 50-lap feature while the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors cap their doubleheader weekend with the First Annual Road Warrior Challenge. The pits open at 8:30am and the front gates open at 10:30am. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
COCA-COLA FOUR CYLINDER SATURDAY
NORTH EAST MINI STOCK TOUR
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Matthew Kimball ( 50 ) Bennington, NH
2. Brandon Gray ( 00VT ) E. Thetford, VT
3. Julia Raymond ( 62 ) Winchester, NH
4. Michael Viens ( 85 ) Seekonk, MA
5. Joe Katula ( 4K ) Lisbon Falls, ME
6. Kodi Sabins ( 36 ) Windsor, VT
7. Erin Aiken ( 33NH ) Claremont, NH
8. Tom Silva ( 34 ) Groton, VT
9. Pat Houle ( 57X ) Vernon, VT
10. Timothy Paquette ( 93 ) Bennington, NH
11. Justin Faford ( 04 ) Westminster, MA
12. Dan Morris ( 33ME ) Auburn, ME
13. Mitch Bombard ( 54 )Willimantic, CT
14. Nick Anderson ( 55 ) Oxford, MA
15. Andrew Farnham ( 17 ) Baldwin, NY
16. Chris Chambers ( 28 ) Brookfield, VT
17. Matt Sonnhalter ( 33VT ) E. Thetford, VT
18. Desmond Skillings ( 90 ) Antrim, NH
19. Cale Skillings ( 95 ) Antrim, NH
20. Jake Rheame ( 52NH ) Rochester, NH
21. Nadine Coates ( 40 ) Newport, NH
ALLEN LUMBER STREET STOCKS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Jeffrey Martin ( 8 ) Barre, VT
2. #Kyle MacAskill ( 7 ) Williamstown, VT
3. #Keegan Lamson ( 55 ) Berlin, VT
4. Dean Switser Jr. ( 16 ) Lyndonville, VT
5. Juan Marshall ( 79 ) Pittsfield, VT
6. Thomas Smith ( 22 ) Williamstown, VT
7. Kasey Beattie ( 45 ) St. Johnsbury, VT
8. #Tanner Woodard ( 68 ) Waterbury Ctr., VT
9. Justin Blakely ( 17 ) Barre, VT
10. Tyler Pepin ( 78 ) Barre, VT
11. J.T. Blanchard ( 66 ) Graniteville, VT
12. Tom Campbell ( 85 ) Middlesex, VT
13. Tim Hunt ( 93 ) Derby, VT
14. Jamie Davis ( 43 ) Wolcott, VT
15. Bryan P. Wall ( 77 ) E. Kingston, NH
16. Gary Mullen ( 29 ) Tunbridge, VT
17. Michael Gay ( 3 ) So. Burlington, VT
18. Scott Weston ( 04 ) Berlin, VT
DNS #Jared Blakely ( 28 ) Barre, VT
DNS #Cooper French ( 4 ) Northfield, VT
BURNETT SCRAP METALS ROAD WARRIORS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Mike Mitchell ( 1 ) Essex Jct., VT
2. Eric Chase ( 13 ) Berlin, VT
3. Josh Vilbrin ( 07 ) Northfield, VT
4. Tony Gravel ( 29 ) Irsaburg, VT
5. Chris Davis ( 69 ) Berlin, VT
6. Trevor Jaques ( 57 ) Milton, VT
7. Kyler Davis ( 68 ) Berlin, VT
8. Dan Garrett Jr. ( 54 ) Berlin, VT
9. Sean McCarthy ( 86 ) Williamstown, VT
10. Brian Putney ( 87 ) E. Corinth, VT
11. James Dopp ( 0 ) Northfield, VT
12. Luke Marcheski ( 40 ) Boston, MA
13. Paige Whittemore ( 47 ) Graniteville, VT
14. Fred Fleury ( 99 ) Graniteville, VT
15. Tyler Whittemore ( 74 ) Graniteville, VT
16. Patrick Lacasse ( 96 ) Wolcott, VT
17. Brittany Lamprow ( 00 ) 0
18. Haidyn Pearce ( 4 ) Middlesex, VT
19. Cory Gilliander ( 43 ) South Barre, VT
20. Tom Blaney ( 23 ) Craftsbury, VT
21. Nate Brien ( 16 ) Brookfield, VT
22. Bernie Roy ( 2 ) Hinesburg, VT
23. Anthony Campbell ( 14 ) Berlin, VT
24. Donald Reno ( 04 ) Barre, VT
25. Terry Pearce Jr. ( 6 ) Middlesex, VT
DNS Todd Raymo ( 26 ) Swanton, VT
DNS Mellissa Putney ( 8 ) East Corinth, VT