Gray Says Three is Just as Sweet; Chapin is Feeling Fabulous with Win Number Two at Monadnock
By RYAN LAWLISS
WINCHESTER, NH – The “ACT” Type Late Models took to the High Banks of Monadnock Speedway for their 3rd special event of the season and would be joined by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions along with the Young Guns. Victory Lane would see some familiar faces and new ones alike. Race fans would see a race decided on the track only to have the victory disqualified in technical inspection, but more on that later. Your winners on the night would be Skillings (Young Guns), Guy (Mini Stocks), Curtis (Super Stocks), Renaud (Lightning Stocks), Gray (“ACT” Type Late Models), and Chapin (Sportsman Modifieds).
In typical Monadnock Speedway fashion the Young Guns would roll onto the track for the first feature of the night. Sammy Silva in the #28 would lead the field to the green. Chloe Wright in the #17 would waste no time and at the drop of the green she would fly past Silva and take the lead. Wright would lead the first few laps but by the halfway point would surrender the lead to the #95 of Cale Skillings. Skillings wouldn’t be the only one to get past Wright before the halfway point. The 10 of Mariah Stebbins would be glued to the rear bumper of Skillings. Stebbins would work for 2 laps trying high and low to get around Skillings for the lead. Unfortunately on Lap 9 Stebbins would try a little too hard and would make contact with Skillings causing him to spin out. This resulted in the first caution of the night and would also see Stebbins being sent to the rear. Wright would assume the lead at the drop of the green, but the race was slowed a lap later as the 21 of Chris Phelps would lose his right front tire in the middle of turns 3 and 4 resulting in Phelps making hard contact with the wall. This would bring out the Red Flag. Thankfully Phelps was okay. Wright would lead the field to the green with 5 laps to go. While Wright was running a nice smooth line, Skillings and Stebbins were working their way back to the front. As the white flag flew Wright would see her lead completely disappear as Skillings was so close you could cover them with a blanket. Both Skillings and Stebbins would work their way around Wright on the last lap. Skillings would capture his 6th win of the season. Stebbins would finish 2nd and Wright would round out the top 3. Skillings noted in victory lane that his crew was very light tonight as his dad (Mini Stock Driver Desmond Skillings) is racing on the Northeast Mini Stock tour at a different track.
Shelby Avery in the #8 and Devin Guy in the #23 would lead the mini stocks onto the track for their feature event. Avery would stumble at the drop of the green. Guy would capitalize and fire into the lead like a rocket ship. Guy would take a commanding lead and never surrender it on his way to his first victory of the season. Kevin McKnight in the 76 and Matt Kimball in the 50x would give chase as they battled for 2nd place. McKnight and Kimball would battle for 2nd place over the first 4 laps until Kimball would prevail. Kimball would try his hardest to chase down Guy. Kimball would cut the lead in half on lap 20 when Guy was slowed by lapped traffic but it wouldn’t be enough and Kimball would have to settle for 2nd place. Ethan Marsh in the 97 would run a solid race as he would hang around in the top 5 the entire race and would find himself crossing the line in 3rd place. Guy was visibly happy in victory. I was able to catch up with him after the race to ask him what this win meant to him and he had this to say “It’s been a rough year with breaking things; so it feels great to get this win for myself and my team.”
Super Stocks would roll onto the track next for their feature event. The Littlewood brothers would lead the field to the green flag. Little brother Justin Littlewood in the 37 would get the advantage over Cole in the #12 at the drop of the green. As Justin took the 37 to the lead Chris Curtis in the 26 would get around Cole Littlewood for 2nd place. Curtis wouldn’t settle for 2nd place as he would pass Justin Littlewood for the lead on Lap 6. Curtis would never surrender the lead on his way to another Super Stock victory. Curtis would have very few challenges for the lead but the excitement would be behind him as Tyler Leary in the 11x would find himself at the rear of the field a few times and would drive to the front the first time but wouldn’t have enough time the second time. This would result in Leary losing some ground in the championship point’s battle. Justin Littlewood would hold onto 2nd place resulting in his best finish in the Super Stock division to date. Craig Smith in the 52 would hold on to finish third. Curtis was excited to find himself back in victory lane but was a man of few words tonight as he needed to head back to the pits to get ready for the “ACT” type late model feature.
The lightening stocks would take to the track next for their special event. Robert Horne in the 5x and Mike Radzuik in the #7 would lead the field of 17 lightening stocks to the green. Radzuik would take off at the drop of the green. Radzuik would be followed by the 3 of Dylan Stebbins and the 13k of Leon Keniston. Over the next 11 laps Hillary Renaud in the 88 would work her way up to 2nd place and on lap 14 the first and only caution flag would fly for the 15 of Darin Briggs. Radzuik and Renaud would lead the field to the green. Radzuik would take the lead and Renaud would fall into 2nd place to give chase. Stebbins and Keniston would be close in tow. Radzuik would cross the line first and would be followed by Renaud (2nd), Stebbins (3rd), and Keniston (4th). However during post race inspection Radzuik would be found to have tires that didn’t meet the requirements as spelled out in the rule book and would be disqualified. This would result in Renaud being awarded the victory. This would also result in Stebbins being awarded 2nd place and Keniston 3rd place. This would be both drivers best finish this season in the lightening stocks.
The 88 of Leo Martin and the 27 of Marc Curtis would lead the field of “ACT” type late models to the green. Marc Curtis would motor into the lead at the drop of the green flag and would start to pull away from the rest of the field. Martin would fall into 2nd place. A battle for 3rd place would start to heat up between the 03 of Joel Monahan and the 26 of Chris Curtis. This battle would go on for a few laps until the 97 of Adam Gray would find his way around both cars to take over 3rd place. On lap 10 Gray would catch Martin and would make the pass for 2nd place as they entered turn 1. At the halfway point Marc Curtis would lead Gray, Martin, Monahan, and Chris Curtis. A 3 way battle for third between Martin, Monahan, and Chris Curtis was starting to heat up. Chris Curtis would go into turn 3 a little too fast on lap 18 and would make contact with the 03 of Monahan, causing him to spin and bring out the caution. On the ensuing restart Monahan would get into the back of the 01 of Jackie Lanou, Monahan would get out of the throttle to allow Lanou to save the car but before that could happen Chris Curtis had nowhere to go causing all 3 cars to spin out. Chris Curtis would need to go to the pits to have some repairs but would return to the track before the green would fly. The field would attempt another restart and again they would have a difficulty, as the entire field would stack up. Everyone would be okay and stay on the track. The field would get back to green quickly and Marc Curtis would keep the lead until lap 20. On lap 20 Gray would find his way to the lead. On lap 22 William Wall would bring the 07 into 2nd place. There would be one more caution on lap 25 as the 27 of Marc Curtis would come to a stop on the back stretch. The field would finish as they restarted on lap 25. Adam Gray would cross the line first followed by William Wall in 2nd and Leo Martin in 3rd. I caught up with Adam Gray in Victory lane and I asked him if his strategy was different tonight than the last two races? He stated that he was just trying to “get to the front as quick as possible.”
The last feature of the night was the Sportsman Modifieds. Cole Littlewood in the 5c and Kim Rivet in the 99 would start on the front row. At the drop of the green Littlewood would take the lead and the remainder of the field would be 2 by 2 back through 10th place. Littlewood wouldn’t have the lead for long as the 03 of Joel Monahan would get underneath Littlewood going into turn 3 and Monahan would waste no time taking the lead. Brian Chapin in the #44 would pass Littlewood for 2nd place. On lap 4 the first of 2 caution flags would fly as the 13x of Cameron Sontag would spin out as he exited turn 4. Monahan would take the lead on the restart but it wouldn’t last long as Chapin would assume the lead on line lap 8. Chapin would hold onto the lead for the remainder of the race though he would be tested on a lap 26 restart. Monahan and the 6 of Ben Byrne would go back and forth for 2nd place but in the end Monahan would cross the finish line in 2nd place and Byrne would be 3rd. After a very emotional victory lane for Brian Chapin, in which there was plenty of hugging, I was able to sit down with him for a few minutes to discuss how getting his 2nd win of the season felt. Chapin stated he has never won 2 modified races in the same season. Chapin mentioned that it was well timed after a few weeks of rough finishes. When asked if he can get a 3rdwin this season Chapin responded with “I’m going to try.”
Monadnock Speedway will be back into action this Saturday featuring Sportsman Modified Twin 25s plus Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Lightning Stocks, Young Guns, Classic Lites and STAR Antique Racers. Race time at 6PM. For more information log onto the speedway’s website atwww.monadnockspeedway.com.
Sportsman Modifieds: Brian Chapin, Joel Monahan, Ben Byrne, Todd Patnode, Mike Flynn, Matt Kimball, Kim Rivet, Geoff Rollins, Keith Carzello, Nathan Johnson, Cole Littlewood, Cameron Sontag, Paul Smith, Jason Barden, Eric Leclair, Chris Ignazio, Richard Ferreira, Ralph Flannery, John Byrne
“ACT” Type Late Models: Adam Gray, William Wall, Leo Martin, Mike Flynn, Joel Monahan, Chris Curtis, Jackie Lanou, Marc Curtis
Super Stocks: Chris Curtis, Justin Littlewood, Craig Smith, Joel Monahan, Cole Littlewood, Mike McGoldrick, Eric Pomasko, Tyler Leary, Ian MacDonald, Nancy Muni, Scott Beck, Marshall Usher
Mini Stocks: Devin Guy, Matt Kimball, Ethan Marsh, Louis Maher, Alexander Pearl, Darren Jacobs, Kevin McKnight, Chase Curtis, Eric Bourgeois, Bill Chaffee, Shelby Avery, Jack Beal, Kevin Pittsinger, Pat Houle, Jay Maki, Hailey Guy
Lightning Stocks: Hillary Renaud, Dylan Stebbins, Leon Keniston, Zachary Lyn, Steve Fucile, Eric Silvernale, Robert Petropoulus, Alex Barden, Andrew Hill, Robert Horne, Darin Briggs, Kai Moreland, Ed Wheeler, Matthew Holbrook, Harry Seavey, Randall Phillips, Mike Radzuik, Justin Harris, Tyler Purington
Young Guns: Cale Skillings, Mariah Stebbins, Chloe Wright, Nate Wenzel, Bella Minchella, Sammy Silva, Chris Phelps