Chase Dowling dominates EXIT Realty MTS 125, while the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championships were determined.
By RYAN LAWLISS
WINCHESTER, NH – The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series held their last point’s race of the season this past Saturday night. The EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series joined the racing action as well. Before the racing action got under way an announcement was made about the tragic passing of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Teddy “TC” Christopher followed by the flag being lowered to half mast and a moment of silence and a special moment of silence and tribute by Ben Dodge. Victory lane saw repeat winners this weekend as Chris Phelps (Young Guns), Hillary Renaud (Lightning Stocks), Randy Rameau (Thunder Stocks), Matt Kimball (Mini Stocks), Eric Pomasko (Super Stocks) and Todd Patnode (Sportsman Modifieds) captured the checkered flag in their respective division.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champions will officially be crowned with celebrations on Super Saturday, September 30th, but everything was determined this past Saturday on Championship night. Todd Patnode captured the Sportsman Modified crown and the NH State Championship. Matt Kimball captured the Sportsman Modified Rookie of the Year while finishing 2nd overall in points. Joel Monahan won the Super Stock championship, while Eric Pomasko took Rookie of the Year honors for the division.
Alexander Pearl won the Mini Stock championship, with Rookie of the Year honors going to Pat Houle. Thunder Stock championship goes to Jason Kozacka. Hillary Renaud took the Lightning Stock championship in convincing fashion with Rookie of the Year going to Alex Barden.
Young Guns took to the track for the first feature of the night, 15 laps the distance. Chris Phelps in the 21 brought the field to the green followed closely by Bella Minchella in the 99. Phelps and Minchella pulled away from the pack early on but by the halfway point Nate Wenzel in the 03 had caught up. The lone caution flew on lap 13 as Wenzel and Minchella got together on the backstretch. Minchella was able to drive off under her own power but didn’t return. Wenzel pulled up to the rear of the field with only two laps remaining to get back to the front. Phelps brought the field to the green for the restart and held on to the lead to capture his 2nd win of the season. Wenzel wasted no time getting back to the front and was able to cross the line in 2nd place. Newcomer Cooper Roberge in the 96 took full advantage of the caution and found himself taking 3rd place in his first race. In typical Phelps fashion he was a man of few words in victory lane, but wanted to make sure to thank his dad for everything he does.
Mini Stocks darted onto the track next for their 25 lap feature. Kevin Pittsinger in the 50 and Shelby Avery in the 8 made up the front row but it would be Tim Paquette in the 93 that took the lead as the dust settled in turn 1. Paquette jumped out to a commanding lead. Matt Kimball in the 50x started a few rows back and it took him a few laps to get up to the 2nd spot but by lap 6 Kimball was starting to work on reeling in Paquette. By lap 9 Desmond Skillings worked his way out of the pack to take the 3rd spot as he looked to catch the top 2 and compete for the win. At the halfway point Kimball dove under Paquette to take the lead. The race ran caution free as Kimball captured a win on Championship night. Paquette finished 2nd and Skillings was unable to gain anymore ground settling for 3rd. Kimball was clearly having fun in victory lane when he summed up the race by simply saying, “It was a lot of fun.”
Thunder Stocks thundered onto the track next for 25 laps. Jason Kozacka entered the race with only an 8 point lead over 2nd place James Nowakowski. Bruce Clark in the 39 and Jon Goddard in the 25 brought the field to the green. Clark shot out into the lead. Goddard followed closely in the 2nd spot until lap 4 when Craig Chaffee drove his #28 under him in turn 3 to take the spot. Kozacka and Nowakowski followed Chaffee past Goddard.
Nowakowski tried everything he could to get around Kozacka without wrecking him and on lap 15 Nowakowski tried a little too hard causing himself to spin out in turn 1. Clark and Chaffee led the field to the green on the restart. Clark managed to hold on to the lead but Chaffee lost a few spots and found himself in the 4th spot. Kozacka took over the 2nd spot followed closely by the 45 of Ed Lofland. Lap 20 the caution flew again as Lofland drove in a little too hard making contact with Kozacka causing him to spin. Lofland would be sent to the rear for his part in bringing out the caution. Clark still holding onto the top spot found himself with the advantage of a single file restart with 5 laps remaining. Randy Rameau in the 45x assumed the 2nd spot. Chaffee took over the 3rd spot. The field thundered into turn 1 on the restart; Clark holding onto the top spot but Rameau lurking closely behind waiting to make his move. Chaffee started to be pressured for the 3rd spot by the 4 of Richard Vincent. With 2 laps to go Rameau decided to make his move jumping to the outside of Clark. They raced side by side but it was Rameau that crossed the line first for his 2nd win of the season. Clark was forced to settle for 2nd. Chaffee and Vincent made contact entering turn 3 coming to the checkered and Goddard seized the opportunity to slip by to take 3rd place. Rameau pulled into victory lane after a clean hard fought win and with a grin from ear to ear stated “(I) love this stuff.”
Super Stocks raced onto the track next, 25 laps the distance. Scott Beck in the 22 and Mike McGoldrick in the 1 sat on the front row. Before the first lap could be completed the caution flew for the 27 of Marc Curtis spinning in turn 3. The 26 of Chris Curtis and the 87 of Robert Surdell were also involved. Surdell’s night was over as he damaged the radiator. Chris Curtis headed pit side as well. The field was reset to the original starting order minus those involved in the caution. Beck and McGoldrick were set to try it again. Beck took the lead and was followed closely by the 37 of Justin Littlewood. However the caution flew after only 1 lap as the 11x of Tyler Leary came to rest atop turns 3 and 4 with a flat tire. On the restart Beck was joined this time by Justin Littlewood but before a lap could be completed another caution flew as McGoldrick spun coming out of turn 4. Numerous cars headed to the pits, one of which was Justin Littlewood and he wouldn’t return. When the dust settled from the caution it was Eric Pomasko in the 71 in the lead. Marc Curtis had rebounded from his earlier spin and found himself in 2nd. Caution flew on lap 6 as Beck lost a tire and spun in turn 2. Due to the number of cautions the decision was made to go to a single file restart. Pomasko led the field to the green and took off like a rocket. On lap 17 the caution flew for the last time as Ray Germain in the 19VT spun. This was a quick caution and the field was lined back up quickly to be sent back to green. Pomasko maintained the top spot as he took his 2nd win of the season. Marc Curtis took 2nd and a lap 22 pass got Leary a 3rd place finish. This was a great win for Pomasko who earlier in the week celebrated his birthday. When asked which win was better he answered “this one, definitely this one.” Twice definitely is just as nice!
Lightning stocks rolled onto the track next to see if they could put on an electric show for the fans in their 25 lap feature event. Rookies Alex Barden in the 27 and Randall Phillips Jr. in the 19 brought the field to the green. Barden took the lead at the drop of the green as Phillips Jr. started dropping back fast. Caution flew before lap 1 was completed as the 7J of Josh Carey made contact with Phillips Jr. causing them to spin out. Barden would be joined by Steve Fucile in the 61 on the front row. Barden was up to the challenge again as he took the lead at the drop of the green. Barden was followed close by the 13k of Leon Keniston. On lap 4 Mike Stebbins passed Keniston for 2nd and Hillary Renaud passed Keniston as well. Lap 6 Stebbins wrestled the lead away from Barden and a lap later Renaud took 2nd from Barden. Renaud wanted the top spot and on lap 10 made the pass for the lead. Renaud set a blistering pace and pulled away from the 10 of Stebbins. On lap 20 Fucile passed Barden for the 3rd spot. Cale Skillings making his Lightning stock debut passed Barden for the 4th spot on lap 23 but would be unable to get past Fucile for the 3rd spot as time ran out. Renaud captured the win, followed by Stebbins in 2nd and Fucile in 3rd. It was a special night for Renaud as both her father and brother were in attendance, a first for her.
Sportsman Modifieds roared onto the track for their 30 lap feature. Kim Rivet in the 99 and Cameron Sontag in the 13x brought the field to the green. Rivet took control of the top spot at the drop of the green as the 6 of Ben Byrne gave chase. The rest of the field battled side by side for position. Tyler Jarvenpaa in the 22 snuck his way out of the pack to take the 3rd spot early on. Lap 12 the caution flew as Rivet was spun by Byrne coming out of turn 2. Both cars were sent to the rear. Jarvenpaa assumed the lead and Brian Robie in the 25 took over 2nd. Jarvenpaa jumped out in front as the green waved. On lap 14 Todd Patnode in the 24 had completed the pass for 3rd and 2 laps later took over 2nd. Patnode was a man on a mission. Lap 20 Patnode dove to the inside of Jarvenpaa and made it stick as he drove out of the turn with the lead. Caution flew on lap 25 as Sontag spun. With 5 laps to go the field lined up for a single file restart. Patnode led followed by Jarvenpaa and Robie on the restart. Patnode kept the lead but Robie wasted no time getting around Jarvenpaa for the 2nd spot. Patnode took the win while Robie finished 2nd and Jarvenpaa finished 3rd. Patnode who hurt his wrist in last week’s Sportsman Modified feature was happy to return to victory lane and to capture the championship. Patnode added that they knew as soon as the green waved they had the championship based on the number of cars, so why not just go for the win.
The EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series 125 was all that remained for the evenings activities. Before beginning the feature the EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series paid tribute to #13 Teddy “TC” Christopher by taking their parade laps with the pole position as an imaginary #13. The fans stood with lights in hand as they paid tribute to one of the greats. The EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series put on a race that TC would have been proud of. The race was slowed by 3 caution periods, 2 of which were pretty quick. The 99 of Richard Savary and Chase Dowling in the 25 brought the field to the green. Dowling took the lead and led every lap on his way to a dominating performance. Dowling who was filling in for Rowan Pennink in the 25 was pressured early in the race by Ronnie Silk in the 58, who was filling in for Eric Goodale. Lap 11 saw the first caution as the 52CT of Gary Buyington spun. The field was quickly reset and sent back to green. The field went into turn 1 wheel to wheel and as the dust settled on the restart Dowling led followed by Silk, Savary, Jon McKennedy in the 29, and the 52 of point’s leader Woody Pitkat. Caution flew on lap 23 as the 0 of Mike Holdridge, 15NH of TJ Bleau, and 73x of Andy Jankowaik came to rest on the front stretch wall ending all of the driver’s nights early. Dowling was joined by Silk on the front row for the restart and what a restart it would be. Dowling and Silk went side by side for numerous laps before Silk settled into the 2nd spot. On lap 31 McKennedy dove to the inside of Silk to take 2nd. Dowling and McKennedy started to pull away from the rest of the field setting a blistering pace. Buyington would spin again on lap 46 bringing out the last caution of the race. Numerous drivers took the opportunity under caution to go the pits to change a tire and make adjustments; Dowling and Silk where not one of these drivers. Dowling and Silk once again brought the field to the green but this time Dowling took off with ease. At the halfway point Dowling held the led followed by Silk, Les Hinckley in the Art Barry #21, Kirk Alexander in the 43 and Pitkat rounding out the top 5. Lap 69 saw the leaders check up a little and Chris Pasteryak in the 15CT who was running 6th at the time took full advantage of this as he went from 6th to 3rd. Pasteryak then took over 2nd place on lap 76 as Silk started to slowly lose ground. Pasteryak was able to get within a car length of Dowling on a few occasions but that would be as close as he would get as Dowling took the win in the EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series 125. Pasteryak finished 2nd while McKennedy used a lap 117 pass to take the 3rd spot. Dowling was very appreciative of the opportunity to pilot the Gary Casella owned 25. After the race I caught up with Dowling and asked him if he was nervous at all about the cars that took tires on the lap 46 caution.
Dowling stated “I was a little; especially knowing a few cars had gone out due to the earlier wreck, but I just looked to save my tires and made sure I ran my own race.”
Gary Casella stated he was very proud of the race Dowling ran and extremely proud of his team. He pointed out that he has a newer crew to him over the past few years and that this car was completely apart on Wednesday afternoon due to the wreck they suffered the race before. EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series owner Gary Knight stated he was much more pleased with the racing this time around at Monadnock and hoped the fans enjoyed the show.
There will be no racing held this Saturday, September 23rd. The final race of the 2017 season will be held on Saturday, September 30th. The Super Saturday Season Finale will feature all the Monadnock Speedway divisions, Spectator Races, Big Wheels Race, Championship Ceremonies the Champions Go Kart Challenge as the Monadnock Speedway champions have challenged Claremont Speedway Champions to a duel Go Kart competition. Race time is at 2PM.
Sportsman Modifieds: Todd Patnode,, Brian Robie, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Brian Chapin, Matt Kimball, Ben Byrne, Kim Rivet, Joel Monahan, Nathan Johnson, Paul Smith, Jason Barden, Eric Leclair, Cole Littlewood, Chris Ignazio, Cameron Sontag
Super Stocks: Eric Pomasko, Marc Curtis, Tyler Leary, Geoff Rollins, Joel Monahan, Shawn Stone, Cole Littlewood, Frank Carey, Mike McGoldrick, Nancy Muni,Ray Germain, Scott Beck, Justin Littlewood, Chris Curtis, Robert Surdell
Mini Stocks: Matt Kimball, Tim Paquette, Desmond Skillings, Louis Maher, Alexander Pearl, Ethan Marsh,Kevin Pittsinger, Jaret Curtis,Bill Chaffee, Kevin Mcknight, Shelby Avery, Zach Lyn, Pat Houle, Mike Radzuik, Nadine Coates
Thunder Stocks: Randy Rameau, Bruce Clark, Jon Goddard, Jason Kozacka, Ed Lofland, Michelle Leh, Doug Mclean, James Nowakowski, Chase Curtis, Richard Vincent, Craig Chaffee
Lightning Stocks: Hillary Renaud,Mike Stebbins, Steve Fucile, Cale Skillings, Jason Barden, Leon Keniston, Randall Phillips Jr, Eric Silvernale, Randall Phillips Sr, Josh Carey, Tim Leblanc, Darin Briggs, Dave Donahue, Chris Carver, Matthew Holbrook
Young Guns: Chris Phelps, Nate Wenzel, Cooper Roberge, Sammy Silva, Bella Minchella