By Gary Dutton
CLAREMONT, N.H.- Kyle Welch stormed past some stout competition Friday to win the Maurice Trailer Country Modified main event at Claremont Motorsports Park. It was the open-wheel series’ first event of the summer at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
Street Stock ace Dave Greenslit and Pure Stock king Kodi Sabins each earned another victory lap at the June 26 event, while Dustin Thibodeau scored his first career victory in the night’s 20-lap Six Shooter feature.
Week four in the pandemic-shortened season was, as the first three, a good one, as promoter Mike Parks guided the five-division, 70-plus-car event into the books in two and one-half hours.
Defending speedway Sportsman Modified champ Brian Robie and potent Grantham wheelsman Mike Willis won the open-wheel heats, with the dynamic duo then leading the ground-pounders to battle in the night’s 35-lap main event.
Willis blasted to the lead at the drop of the green, with Welch hooking onto his bumper to claim second. Three laps later, it was Robie holding the deuce and immediately going to work in the low groove below Willis.
The first of three caution flags waved on lap ten, when Robie looped in turn four while bidding for the lead. The restart brought Welch to Willis’s side where, three laps later, he rocketed into the lead from the outside line, then holding Willis in his shadow to score the victory 22 laps later.
Robie marched back through the field to begin his title defense with a strong third-place showing. Bay Stater Ben Byrne, solid all night, finished fourth, and Walt Hammond came home fifth.
Dave Greenslit made easy work of winning his third R.E. Hinkley Oil Company Street Stock feature of the summer. The hometown hot shoe outran first Briana Akusis and then Joe Tetreault most the way, as Ascutney powerhouse Chris Riendeau put on a show of his town not far behind.
Wheeling the Robbie Streeter ride, Riendeau claimed third on lap 15, then rode the low line to take second from the speedy Tetreault with three circuits to go. Randy Town got up for fourth, with Akusis completing her strong night’s work in fifth.
Bruce Adams led the first 16 laps of the LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock feature, with Kodi Sabins then taking over on a restart and quickly leaving the field far behind as he blasted to his third win of the young season.
Dylan Adams, on a rail all night, earned the runner-up hardware behind Sabins, with Green Mountain racer Robert Shaw third, Bruce Adams fourth, and rookie whiz Zach Richardson fifth on the night.
Rookie Dustin Thibodeau led all the way to earn his first career win far ahead of defending Six Shooter champion Jeremy Blood. Ryan Carmen claimed the three-spot, Todd Maguira was fourth, and Ricky Melcher came home fifth.
Bay State pilot Luke LeBrun outran a strong 20-car field in the night’s 25-lap NELCAR Legends feature. Jake Johnson was second, with Shaun Buffington third under the flags. The victory was LeBrun’s second of the series’ 2020 season.
Next Friday, July 3, Claremont Motorsports Park will host one of the area’s only aerial fireworks displays, with big time action on the track too, as the Granite State Pro Stock Series comes back to town to battle for 100 exciting green-flag laps. Time trials for this special holiday weekend event will begin at 7:15 p.m.
JUNE 26 TOP TENS:
SPORTSMAN MODIFIED: Kyle Welch, Mike Willis, Brian Robie, Ben Byrne, Walt Hammond, Russ Hersey, Kimmy Rivet, Stu McCormick, Cameron Houle, Cory Plummer.
STREET STOCK: Dave Greenslit, Chris Riendeau, Joe Tetreault, Randy Town, Briana Akusis, Kyle Buck, Cody Schoolcraft, Chris Emerson, Kenny Thompson, Raven Streeter.
PURE STOCK: Kodi Sabins, Dylan Adams, Robert Shaw, Bruce Adams, Zach Richardson, Alexis Aiken, Clark Brooks, Sean Lantas, Doug Nelson, Jim Carley.
SIX SHOOTER: Dustin Thibodeau, Jeremy Blood, Ryan Carmen, Todd Maguira, Ricky Melcher, Ray Luce, Chooch Snide, Keith Martin, Dakota Lanou, Stephanie Welcome.