Tom Herzig's Trackside: Lee USA Speedway opens Friday
Star Speedway goes green for the first time this Saturday with four classes headed up by the EKeys Modifieds with plans to dial it up further Sat., May 11 with a race card that adds the Allen's Outlaws, NEMA Lites and Legends to the mix.
Canaan Dirt - refurbished grandstand and all opens Friday. Promoter Dick Therrien is feeling solid about having a full field of Modifieds, including 2012 track champion Randy Howe, Bear Ridge champion Adam Pierson and Ryan Avery of Thornton. Derek O'Hearn of Campton is back to defend his Super Street title.
Pierson was at Thunder Road Sunday in a Tiger Sportsman car and he won his heat. It was his first checkered flag on asphalt in 10 years. "You've got to get the feel of the race car - asphalt or dirt," he said, "but it's very different otherwise. You're only turning left with an asphalt car. On dirt, you're working the wheel in both directions."
Eddie MacDonald and crew chief Rollie Lachance were at T-Road for the Merchants Bank 150 after overachieving at Richmond Thursday in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race. MacDonald started 33rd in the Blue Ox 100 and finished fdourth.
"Richmond is a very line-sensitive 3/4 mile track," Lachance said. "If you get moved up high, watch out. Some of the teams that race there have years and years of history there. You may have a teenager in the car, but the crew chief's likely to have raced there for two decades."
Pre-race at Thunder Road, MacDonald was downplaying his chances, but he wound a respectable 11th after starting 23rd. "At Richmond, we made a small adjustment just before the race that made all the difference," he said. "Today, we're lacking a little speed off the corners. We might take a different car to Airborne (May 18). We struggled there the last time too."
Multi-time ACT champ Brian Hoar had the Thunder Road race "come to him" as they say. Dave Pembroke had opened a straightaway lead on Hoar, rookie Bobby Therrien, Jean-Paul Cyr and Wayne Helliwell Jr. and often had a four or five car buffer as he worked in lap traffic, but it just so happened that when the yellow came out on lap 126 there was only open space between himself and Hoar's Goss Dodge No. 37. Oops! Hoar took the lead on the restart and never trailed again. The American Canadian Tour moves to Devil's Bowl Speedway, a converted dirt half-mile on the New York border in West Haven, Vt., Sunday.
Saturday, the Granite State Pro Stock Series appears on the Canaan Asphalt. The race card includes the Pro-4 Modifieds. The Pro All Star Series (PASS) Super Late Models are at Beech Ridge Speedway Saturday for 150 green flag laps and a mid-afternoon post.
Bobby Santos was red-hot at the Stafford Spring Sizzler for NASCAR Whelen Tour Modifieds. Santos led all but three laps around a pit stop for tires. Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink diced for second most of the way, but Justin Bonsignore and Ted Christopher wound up 2-3 after a green-white-checker finish. The Whelen Tour comes to Monadnock next weekend.
Legion Speedway in Rumney opens Sunday - post time 5 p.m. New owner Si Allen, a former competitor and recent car owner for Chris Donnelly of Piermont, grew up near Westboro Speedway back in the day. Allen says 49.9 of the track's 50-acre parcel is actually in the town of Wentworth, but it's better known as being in Rumney. It's been a tough slog. The track has had a different name and a different promoter nearly every year. A full-season schedule is planned and Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) and other open-wheelers have put on good shows there before. Opening day offers Sportsman Modifieds, Super Streets, 600 cc Mini Sprint and Outlaw Mini Stocks for a $10 adult ticket. Seniors $8. Best of luck to all concerned.
Tom Herzig's Trackside column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.