Tom Herzig's Trackside: Monadnock set to host Whelan Modified 200
MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY is the site of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Town Fair Tire 200 Saturday. Time trials begin at 4 p.m. Doug Coby is coming in off a Town Fair Tire sponsored victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coby's win snapped the three-race win streak of another Connecticut driver, Whelen Tour point-leader Ryan Preece. Coby has risen into third place in points behind Rowan Pennink, the Pennsylvanian who also is a regular on the Valenti Modified Series circuit and Tommy Barrett Jr.,who is two points ahead of Pennick.
Pennink drives Gary Casella's No. 25 in the Valenti Series and he put it in the winner's circle Saturday at Oxford Plains. Pennink stayed out while runner-up Richard Savary and Tommy Barrett Jr. (third) pitted to swap their right-side front and back tires.
"Oxford is tough on tires," Pennink said. "It's pretty flat. As soon as you arc out on the straightaway, you're turning again. I took it easy for a while and then later I went for track position and Savary and Barrett Jr. never got to me."
Remember that in Whelen Tour races, yellows count, so depending upon how the race unfolds, the 200 will be about the same deal as a Valenti Modified race where its green laps only.Joey Polewarczyk Jr. of Hudson won the ACT International 500 at Airborne — the ACT Late Model main event was 300 laps in three 100 lap segments, cumulatively scored — awin victory worth $25,000 plus lap-leader money. Polewarczyk won the first round with Brian Hoar second and Scott Payea and Eddie MacDonald were third and fourth. That put the four drivers at the rear in the inverted second segment line-up, but they got an early Christmas present when the front row cars tangled as the green was thrown, igniting a 10-car mash-up at the flagstand.
"My spotter (crew chief) Rick Paya was saying, 'Please stop! Stop the car,' " Hoar said. "He knew there was no escape route."
In round two, with the outside line the best on restarts, Polewarczyk caught a late yellow that put him on the front row outside of Hoar. Once again he won, with Hoar second. In the final segment, Hoar was much the best. He passed Patrick Laperle for the lead on lap 58 and needed only one car to keep the onrushing Pole's Automotive/NH Precision.com at bay, but it didn't happen. Polewarczyk got under Laperle with 15 to go and finished 2nd in the segment — good for a winning score of four points (1+1+2). MacDonald finished third overall (4+5+4). Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover finished ninth.
At age 24, Joey Pole has won an ACT Invitational at NHMS, the Milk Bowl, the Airborne Fall Foliage 200, the so-called ACT 500 and the 2012 Oxford 250. "It's a very humbling feeling and it's a helluva payday," he said.
Tommy Tombarello won the three-segment Money Bags race for Small Block Supers at Lee USA at the wheel of the Witkum Racing No. 21. Sparky MacGiver took second in the overall standings along with $1,800 on a tie with Jake Stergios of Candia. Haverhill's Mike Murphy was fourth in overall points. Tombarello won the first feature after winning the pole position in time trials, covering the 3/8th-mile oval in a lap of 13.838 seconds, averaging 97.628 mph. He was eighth in round two and he won the final segment. The payout was over $3,200.
"This is an important race for us," Tombarello said.
Travis Benjamin of Morrill, Maine, won the Pro All-Star Series 40th TD Bank Oxford 250 Sunday. Ben Rowe dominated the first half of the event, but it came down to Benjamin and Joey Doiron of Alfred, Maine. in the end and Benjamin's bold move between two lapped cars proved decisive down the stretch.
Doiron was driving a Dale Shaw car, as was D.J. Shaw, Dale's son. DJ won his heat, started fifth and got up to second, but after a second time in for tires he "got a little impatient with a lapped car" and finished 17th.
"We've been OK," Shaw said. "I've got a win at Beech Ridge and we're fourth in points, but lately the guys ahead of me have been finishing ahead of me."
Chris Jacobson won a white knuckler at Hudson, topping Jarrod Soucy for his first Roadrunner win. Dean Wendell dominated the Outlaw Sportsman main event. Heath Tourtellotte outlasted Roger Tanguay and Scott Duval for his first Rookie Stock win.
Riverside Speedway in Groveton is set for the Jake McDowell Memorial 100 for 4-cylinder cars Saturday.
Tom Herzig's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at email@example.com.