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September 21. 2013 8:15PM

NHMS Notebook: Joyce 21st in K&N Pro Series debut

Cole Custer is hoisted in the air after winning the North American Power 100. (JAY REITER/Union Leader)

LOUDON -- Cory Joyce, who grew up in Gilford and now races out of North Carolina, finished 21st in the North American Power 100 on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut.

Joyce was running 12th in the Caplin Family Charities Chevrolet when he got involved in a multi-car crash with 24 laps left to go, ending his day prematurely.

"He was two laps from being clear of all that," said his veteran crew chief Mark McFarland. "These restarts just bunch everything up and in these cars it takes them a while to get spread out because they're so equal."

Cole Custer, 15, won the race. Daniel Suarez was second and Cale Conley third.John Salemi of Nashua was 17th and Eddie MacDonald, whose parents own Lee USA Speedway, got caught up in an accident, too, and was 23rd.

Ideally, the race will lead to more K&N chances for Joyce, 21.

"Hopefully we can get some races on the K&N Pro series next year and hopefully we won't have such bad luck," Joyce said.

The driver is ready, McFarland said.

"It's tough in your first K&N race to come to a place like this and run like he did," the crew chief said. "He needs to be in this series.

"He's good enough to be in this series. He's just got to get the right funding and the right breaks and get with the right team and build the chemistry it takes to run in the top five every week."

The K&N race was red-flagged on Lap 35 by a multi-car crash. Points leader Dylan Kwasniewski spun coming out of Turn 2 and went off the wall and slid down the track. The cars of Ryan Gifford and Ben Kennedy ran into Kwasniewski.

All three drivers were checked and released from the infield medical center.

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NHMS general manager Jerry Gappens said there will be general admission tickets on sale for Sunday's 2 p.m. race. He expects the event to be sold out. There are single and odd-seat tickets available in the grandstand and there will also be room on the hill in Turn 3 ... Gappens cited a weather forecast that calls for overnight rain to move out by 11 a.m., but figures some fans may be scared off by the weather. . . . "We've got our jet dryers ready and I feel pretty confident about getting the race in and starting on time," Gappens said ... Todd Szegedy bumped leader Donny Lia to the outside and passed him for the lead on the last lap to win the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W Webb 100, the first race on Saturday afternoon . . . Cup driver Ryan Newman, a regular in the Modified race here who started from the pole, slipped into the second spot and Lia fnished third. . . . Szegedy snapped a 28-race drought and won his 18th overall Modified race and third at NHMS.

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