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Allen Lessels' Motor Sports: Third Loudon Classic win in five years for Narbonne
But there was no catching Shane Narbonne on Saturday in the 90th running of the Loudon Classic Motorcycle Race on the road course at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Cronin finished third for the second time in the Classic. He also has a runner-up finish.
"I still haven't won it," Cronin said. "I would love to win this race. But third's not bad at all."
Greenwood, 40 of Dunbarton, won the Classic in 2003 and 2010. He finshed second Saturday.
"Especially the local guys, they know the history," he said. "Everyone wants to put their name on it if they haven't won it. If they have, they want to do it again."
He thought he had a shot at a third title early after passing Narbonne and leading for a few laps. But Narbonne got him back on Lap 7 of the 20-lap event and began to pull away.
"Once I got in front, I put my head down for two, three, four laps and was able to open up a big lead," Narbonne said. At the end, I knew where he was and how close he was."
"It feels pretty good," he said.
Defending champion Eric Wood finished fourth and Steve Giacomaro was fifth.
The National Hot Rod Association New England Nationals, touching down at New England Dragway in Epping this week, have been a long time coming.
"The Board of Directors and shareholders have wanted to have the NHRA Nationals for many, many years," said Dragway general manager Joe Lombardo. "But it wasn't until the past eight or 10 years that we thought we could really make it happen."
"They came in and looked at the facility and said there was plenty of room," Lombardo said. "Then it was a matter of getting our financing together. The First Colebrook Bank understood what we were trying to do and so did the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority. Everyone's been looking at it as really working for the community and working for the state and bringing a lot of tourist money and dollars to the state."
Seating capacity has been doubled from 7,500 to 15,000 by adding grandstands down the right side of the track and seating along the hill on the left side increases capacity even further.
The New England Nationals will be around for a while.
New England Dragway and the NHRA have a 10-year deal for the event and there are also a pair of five-year renewals.
After Epping, the series moves on to Chicago and then Norwalk, Ohio.
Brian Hoar led the American Canadian Tour standings heading into the fifth race on the schedule on Saturday night at Canaan Fair Speedway.Jimmy Hebert of Vermont was second and defending series champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover was third in points. Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson was sixth.
The ACT stops at Star Speedway in Epping on July 6.
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