Sontag Takes Sportsman Modified Checkers
WINCHESTER, NH – The high banked ¼ mile of Monadnock Speedway was back in action this past Saturday night after taking a week off for the summer break with K & N Night. The NASCAR Whelen All American Series weekly divisions along with Young Guns competed on the special Christmas in July event where fans and competitors donated unwrapped toys to be distributed to families in need at Christmas time. Prior to the feature events, a moment of silence was held for long time announcer and friend Mark Weirnasz who passed way during the week after sudden health complications. The winners’ circle included; Mariah Stebbins (Young Guns), Ed Lofland (Thunder Stocks), Desmond Skillings (Mini Stocks), Joel Monahan (Super Stocks) and Cameron Sontag (Sportsman Modifieds).
The Young Guns rolled out to start the evening as Chloe Wright led the field to the green. Wright was challenged early for the top spot and by lap three Mariah Stebbins moved into first. Wright held onto second as Chris Sontag put the pressure on Chris Phelps for third. On lap seven, Wright lost the groove as Phelps and Sontag both passed to settle in second and third. Two laps to go, Stebbins continued to widen her lead as Sontag looked to the inside of Phelps and the pass for second. At the checkers, it was Stebbins with her third win of the year followed by Sontag, Phelps, Cale Skillings and Isabella Minchella.
Jaret Curtis and Devin Guy were set up side by side to bring the Mini Stock field to the green but Guy was not able to take the green leaving Curtis to fend off Matt Kimball for the top stop for the 25 lap feature. Rookie Curtis jumped to lead and held it for the first three laps until Kimball made the pass for the top spot. On lap six, the caution flag was displayed ending the night for Bill Chaffee. On the restart, Kimball continued to lead as Jaret and Louis Maher followed. On lap eight, Curtis and Maher made contact which brought out the second caution. Kimball and Desmond Skillings brought the field back to green as Skillings took over the lead as point leader Alexander Pearl put the pressure on Kimball for second. The top three ran bumper to bumper as Pat Houle and Tim Paquette followed for top five. Lap traffic became a factor as the leader weaved in and out to work through it. On the final lap, Skillings was shown the checkered flag for his first win of the season followed by Pearl, Kimball, Houle and Maher.
Super Stocks were up next as pole sitter of Justin Littlewood pulled off the track with mechanical problems which left Mike McGoldrick as the pace setter to the green. On lap one, Cole Littlewood took the lead from McGoldrick. On lap two, the field was slowed for a caution involving Nancy Mui, Craig Smith and Eric Pomasko. Pomasko suffered heavy damage as he pulled into the pits for the night. On the restart, McGoldrick was shuffled back to fifth as Littlewood and Monahan ran wheel to wheel for the lead. Chris Curtis and Tyler Leary battled for third. Monahan took the lead on lap four, Littlewood fell back to fourth. The top three of Monahan, Curtis and Leary spaced themselves apart as they ran single file. Littlewood held fourth with Muni in fifth. Leary attempted to get by Curtis for second but was not able to complete the pass. At the checkers, it was Monahan followed by Curtis, Leary, Littlewood and Muni.
Michelle Leh and Craig Chaffee both on the front row led the Thunders Stocks to the green in a feature that was filled with plenty of action. Chaffee wasted no time to take the lead as Jason Kozacka passed Leh for second. The first caution came out early as Richard Vincent spun. On the restart, Chaffee battled it out with Kozacka for the lead as James Nowakowski moved into third. The field was once again slowed as Vincent spun again as he was put two laps down. Chaffee again brought the field to the green as Nowakowski pulled into second. The next two laps, the top two bumped and banged as Kozacka and Ed Lofland ran wheel to wheel for third. On lap ten, the field again was slowed for contact between Leh and Clark which gave Vincent one lap back for the Lucky Dog rule. The race went green again as the top two of Chaffee and Nowakowski continued to run each other as Nowakowski made the pass for the lead. As the two entered into turn two, Chaffee made hard contact with Nowakowski sending him into the infield as his car slammed into the flag pole with Kozacka also sailing into the infield. Vincent, who was one lap down was awarded the Luck Dog again placing him on the lead lap. On the restart a battle for the ages developed as Ed Lofland and Randy Rameau, who ran together years ago, challenged each other side by side for the top spot. On lap twenty, Rameau took the lead but Lofland kept fighting back. Two laps to go, the two continued to put on a show as Lofland took the lead, Vincent and Kozacka battled it out for third. As the checkers flew, Lofalnd celebrated his first win followed by Rameau, Vincent, Kozacka and Chaffee. (The top five finishers are unofficial and under review).
The final division of the night were the Sportsman Modifieds as eighteen were brought to the green by Cole Littlewood and Kim Rivet. Littlewood quickly took the lead as Rivet felt early challenges by Mike Flynn for second. On lap five the caution flew for Brian Chapin as he retired to the pits. On the restart, Littlewood continued to lead as Flynn moved to the second spot. On lap eight Littlewood dropped back to fourth as Flynn took the lead. Cameron Sontag followed in second and Matt Kimball ran in third. On lap ten, the caution was displayed for Bergenty who spun on the back stretch as Paul Smith headed to the pits. On the restart, Flynn was unable to hold off Sontag and Kimball as he fell back to third and was challenged by Ben Byrne. The field settled in as Byrne ran on the back bumper of Flynn. On lap nineteen, Byrne gave Flynn a slight tap that unsettled his car and he fell back to sixth. Flynn continued for a lap to get back into shape as Geoff Rollins ran Byrne hard for third. On lap twenty, the caution was once again displayed as Nathan Johnson suffered heavy damage out of turn four ending his night of competition. On the single file restart, Sontag showed the way as Kimball followed in pursuit of the top spot. The ten lap shoot out went caution free as Sontag took the checkers celebrating the only repeat winner in the division this season. Kimball, Byrne, Rollins and Carzello followed for the top five.
This Saturday, July 29th, the “ACT” type Late Models return to Monadnock Speedway along with Sportsman Modifieds, Super Stocks, Lightning Stock and Young Guns. Race time is at 6PM. For more information, log onto the speedway’s website at www.monadnockspeedway.com.
Sportsman Modifieds: Cameron Sontag, Matt Kimball, Ben Byrne, Geoff Rollins, Keith Carzello, Cole Littlewood, Joel Monahan, Brian Robie, Mike Flynn, Eric Leclair, Todd Patnode, Chris Ignazio, Nathan Johnson, Kim Rivet, John Bergenty, Paul Smith, Brian Chapin, Todd Warren
Super Stocks: Joel Monahan, Chris Curtis, Tyler Leary, Cole Littlewood, Nancy Muni, Mike McGoldrick, Scott Beck, Craig Smith, Jeff Morse, Eric Pomasko, Justin Littlewood
Mini Stocks: Desmond Skillings, Alexander Pearl, Matt Kimball, Pat Houle, Louis Maher, Tim Paquette, Kevin McKnight, Darren Jacobs, Ethan Marsh, Jaret Curtis, Nic Skillings, Zachary Morse, Shelby Avery, Jay Maki, Bill Chaffee, Devin Guy, Kevin Pittsinger, Jack Beal
Thunder Stocks (unofficial): Ed Lofland, Randy Rameau, Richard Vincent, Jason Kozacka, Craig Chaffee, Michelle Leh, Bruce Clark, Joshua Nutto , James Nowakowski, Nate Nunez
Young Guns: Mariah Stebbins, Chris Sontag, Chris Phelps, Cale Skillings, Bella Minchella, Chloe Wright, Matthew Lambert, Sammy Silva
Photo (courtesy of New England Graphix) – #13 Sportsman Modified Cameron Sontag – Sterling, Ma, #03 Super Stock Joel Monahan – Whately, Ma & Thunder Stock Ed Lofland – Belchertown, Ma