LOUDON NH: The 2019 Short Track Showdown at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway gave drivers in the VMRS, PASS, and even local street stock, weekly modifieds as well as mini stock tour drivers a chance to jump on the big track and live out a dream. The event run by Bob Guptill seems to get more popular every year, attracting a high of 47 cars in the Street Stock division alone, which is insane for a race in this generation of racing.
Right down to the thick of things, when things got serious Alby Ovitt would continue his recent dominance in the street stock division in the area but not for a lack of effort by Connecticut hot shoe Corey Hutchings. The two would battle late in the race as Alby dropped back early on due to the crazy restarts the Street Stock division had and multiple long yellows. However, the Renfrew Motorsports driver wouldn’t be denied. He would take down the "W" for the second straight year. The Mini Stock Tour event was a great storybook day for a youngster from New Hampshire. Matt Kimball would take down the win in a very pleasing battle to watch with Emerson Cayer. Devin Guy would round out the podium. Tyler Jarvenpaa took down the SK/Weekly Modified win over Justin Albernaz which included SK/SK LITE/Sportsman Mods and Sunoco Mods.
The Pro All Star Series Super Late Model race would create another great finish with Mike Hopkins and the “King of Loudon” Eddie Macdonald going at it for the last 6-7 laps of the event. Early on, it looked as if Derek Griffith had it almost wrapped up, but as the competition yellow came, the other teams made better adjustments and outraced the hometown kid. Macdonald would hang on barely to take down the win over Hopkins, with a crafty move to keep the lead.
The VMRS race was a very good show for the fans, as just about the 4 or 5 top cars had to come from the rear due to winning their last races. The train of Chase Dowling, Ronnie Williams, Anthony Nocella, and Mike Willis Jr all had to come from the back of the field, but they would quickly make up their ground. A long run would ensue, Dowling would start to pull Williams, getting him out of his draft and Willis would sit lonely in 3rd. A hard hit with the #35 of Ethridge and the #22 of Sidel would bring the red out as Sidel would be cut from the car and transported. We learned today that he is doing okay but looks to spend a week in the hospital recovering. Dowling would get a controversial penalty for not heading the red flag quick enough. This would seem to be the difference in the plays at the end as Dowling would have to use up a bit more of his car to make a quick dash back to the front. A caution with about 12 to go would fly, and chaos would ensue. Nocella who pit before the long run got the caution he needed and made the most of it. Nocella would climb his way to the front and the top 6 would break away. Nocella would hold the lead down into turn 3 on the last lap, until off turn 4 where Williams would put the 25 machine up to the fence and make it work to take down the win by about a nose!
Ronnie would tell Mod Squad Racing Media “I knew at the end of the race it was going to come down to battling with Nocella and Dowling. Dowling was strong the first 3/4 of the race but when it came down to the final laps, Nocella was the man we were going to have to challenge with on the final lap and knew he wasn’t going to give it up easily” . Williams, Nocella, Gallup, Dowling and Willis were the top 5. A very impressive run by young star Andrew Molluer for his first time ever at the Magic Mile. He would look as if he has had many laps there finding his way in the draft and finishing a very respectable 6th in the Ted Anderson #1. Jeff Gallup would also impress with his podium run. After the race owner of Williams #25 Gary Casella told Mod Squad racing Media “After we blew up in practice the day before we took the car back to MA and I had to get the motor out of my truck….” He said as he smiled still in shock that they “just won Loudon”. Williams would go on to tell Mod Squad, “You look back at that weekend and after blowing the motor on Saturday, to come back and do what that team did, is truly amazing. We had a strong car and put ourselves in the right spot at the end of the race. Gave ourselves a chance to win and we did that at Loudon." Mike Willis retains his points lead, headed into Monadnock in two weeks time.
Lots of racing this week in any direction. Tuesday night Albany-Saratoga Raceway has Brett Hearn's Big Block Big Show #11 with $11,111 to win after 111 LAPS. Whos who of big blocks in the Northeast will be there with huge car counts expected for this mid week tradition. The Tri Track modifieds invade Seekonk Wednesday for their annual Open Wheel Wednesday $10,000 to win open tour modified show. The Wednesday event will be the second Tri Track race of the season. Claremont Speedway in NH will be running Friday as well as Lee Speedway, Lee NH.
STAFFORD SPRINGS CT- Friday marks the big SK 5K at Stafford Motor Speedway where the SK mods will run 100 laps for a $5,000 1st prize and lots of additional prize money. With 27 starting spots many cars are expected to be going home after qualifying. The only two 5K past winners expected to be trying to nail down a second are Chase Dowling and Ronnie Williams. Many are anticipating a show between these two as they are coming of a fresh hard battle between them at Loudon. The mod racing is starting to heat up at Stafford, last week the SK mods put on a great show, best of the season with Todd Owen getting number two in a row adding to his points lead. Steven Kopcik, Gleen Reen, Ronnie Williams, Todd Owen and Joey Cipriano put on a awesome show up front side by side, lap after lap with some three wide moves as Berndt worked his way up front. At the end of the night the top 5 would be Owen, Reen, Williams, Kopcik and Berndt. The SK Lites have been the consistent show of Friday nights at Stafford, this week they would not disappoint but would have to take back seat to the big brother SK mods for the best Race of the night. Between the yellows there would be good racing in the lites. Narducci would cross the line first again as he did last week but also like last week would not be awarded the win. Unlike last weeks penalty for contact, Bryan lost weights during the race and did not pass scaling along with Puleo who also had a weight violation. This would make the official top 5, Korner, Chapman, Prucker, Pearl and Matthews. Still leaving Teddy Hodgdon on top of the points.
WEST LEBANON NY- Last Saturday #35 Connecticut's LJ Lombardo took down the Big Block win at Lebanon Valley Speedway Followed by 2) Peter Britten, 3) Keith Flach, 4) Kenny Tremont Jr., 5) Andy Bachetti, In the 358 mods it was Jason Herrington for the win then 2) Frank Harper, 3) J.R. Heffner, 4) Frank Hoard, III, 5) Brett Haas. The Pro Stocks would see 1) Jason Casey, 2) Jason Meltz, 3) Jay Casey for the podium. Jesse Murphy and Ed Hatch would each win a Pure Stock Feature while Jon Sheppard and Brandon Ely each one their own 4cylender division.
This Saturday is also a packed day. Lebanon Valley is running with $5,000 to win Big Blocks and all weekly divisions plus Sportsmen Modifieds along with a big fire work show. Speaking of Big Blocks the ISMA Super Winged Modifieds will be tearing up the high banks of Monadnock in Winchester NH. These machines are looking to run 10 second laps at this quarter mile banked bullring. Along with the Supers The Madog's weekly divisions will also being in competition adding to the Thunder through the hills. Sunday is a regular Thompson show for those looking for more racing this week. #ModOn #ShortTrackNation