Tom Herzig's Trackside: Numerous divisional champs to be crowned
Monadnock, Legion Speedway, Riverside, White Mountain and Star Speedway will crown numerous divisional champions this weekend. Some point battles are essentially over, but others are very much up for grabs.
Last Friday, Tom Forward of Lyme bested Chris Donnelly by a few feet to win Canaan Dirt's final regular season Modified event. Randy Howe of Lebanon is the Modified champion.
Jake Williams, an emerging 19-year-old talent from Center Tuftonboro, won the Sprint Cars of New England feature. Williams also pilots the No. 73 Granite State Mini Sprints 600cc car with help from his father, Lance. He's currently third in SCoNE points, trailing only Donnelly and Dan Douville. This is Williams' third season in a 600 HP Sprint car. The Kingswood High School alum started out racing 4-cylinders on ice. His cars are sponsored by Level River Trucking, Lance Williams and Sons Logging, Scott Milligan Builders, Dan Livvy Logging and Bruce Williams.
Canaan's final dirt event ever, in all likelihood, goes Saturday, Oct. 19. The two-track facility has been purchased by Dartmouth College professor Tillman Gerngross, who has termed stock car racing there "highly unprofitable and no longer sustainable." Losing tracks is obviously not a welcome deal.
Legion Speedway owner Si Allen has mixed feelings about Canaan's demise. It would seem that the Wentworth/Rumney track might see an increase in competitors and fans without Canaan around. But the former racer won his first Sprint Car title at Canaan. "It's sad to see it go, really" Allen said.
Jason Sanville of Grafton heads into Sunday as Legion's Modified point leader. Sanville is 39 points up on Pittsfield's Chad Turck. Doug McPhail of Tilton has the Super Street crown in sight. Chris Conroy of Newport has clinched the Outlaw Mini Stock title.
Numerous top-three finishes earned Ed Brehio Jr. of Baldwinville, Mass., the Monadnock Super Stock title. It's down to Bill Kimball of Bennington and Tyler Jarvenpaa of Orange, Mass., in the Sportsman Modified division. In Mini Stocks, Beth Adams of North Swanzey takes an eight-point lead over Mike Stebbins into Saturday's race. Chris McTaggart and defending champ Kimmy Rivet are also still in it.
The Mason brothers, Bryan and Corey, will have at it for Riverside's North Country Ford Late Model honors Saturday. Bryan has a seven-point lead. If the family feud gets out of hand, Brandon Lambert a.k.a "The Colebrook Kid", now in third place, could benefit.
Chandler Davis of Whitefield and Doug Laleme of Bethlehem enter the Limited Late Model finale one point apart. Davis gained the top spot last weekend.
At White Mountain, Tim Anderson of Shelburne had three third-place finishes to win the overall in the Dwarf car triple feature combo. Defending champion Stacy Cahoon won the Late Model main, but barring disaster, Travis Fadden of North Haverhill will become the 2013 champion Saturday.
Fan favorite Jon McKennedy won the 48th ISMA Supermodified Star Classic. McKennedy, driving the Paul Dunigan Jr. No. 79, set a fast time in qualifying but was trailing Rob Summers when a red flag for Russ Wood proved pivotal. McKennedy soon had the lead for keeps while Summers started leaking oil and eventually went up in smoke. Jeff Abold got up for second with Joey Payne third.
"I'd just like to say this is a really big win," McKennedy said in victory lane. "To say I won the Classic is awesome. I've been so close at times. The red flag was definitely in my favor. It helped with the heat cycle. After the red, it was a whole different car again."
Star packed them in for the Classic and many a fan was appreciative of the way management moved the show along to defy Mother Nature. Saturday, Josh Cantara and Jacob Dore will compete for the Star Modified title.
All's well for Wayne Helliwell Jr. these days. He showed up for the Granite State Pro Stock Series event at Riverside, qualified on the front row and wired the field. Veteran Larry Gelinas placed second, followed by Derek Griffith of Hudson. The series moves to Canaan Saturday. Helliwell Jr. won the Subway 150 there a few weeks back. Meanwhile, on the American Canadian Tour, Helliwell Jr., the defending champion, is leading the point parade with one point race — the Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne on Sept. 28 — remaining.
ACT's next event is the Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 21. In a recent test and tune session, Jimmy Hebert set a fast time with a 31.491 lap — an average speed of 120.9 mph. Hebert has two ACT wins this season and is third in the standings. Not far behind was Joey Polewarczyk at 31.509. Joey Pole won on the "Magic Mile" in 2010.
Tomorrow night the Valenti Modified Series is at Stafford for the Lincoln Tech 80. Heats are at 6:15.
Tom Herzig's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at email@example.com.