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Tom Herzig's Trackside: Star hoping for better luck

By TOM HERZIG
May 23. 2018 11:54PM
Eddie MacDonald collects the $5,000 winner's check at Oxford Plains winner last weekend. (Courtesy of ACT)
On Track This Weekend
Legion Speedway: Friday, 7 p.m.

New London/Waterford (Conn.): Saturday, 5 p.m.

Star Speedway: Saturday 5:45 p.m.

Bear Ridge (Vt.): Saturday, 6 p.m.

Claremont: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Monadnock: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Speedway 51: Saturday, 6 p.m.

White Mountain: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Thunder Road (Vt.): Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Hudson Speedway: Monday, 1 p.m.



"Weather permitting" is the catch phrase for the region’s stock car racing schedule this Memorial Day weekend.

Star Speedway, which was rained out last weekend, hopes to get back up to speed Saturday with the Bob Webber Sr. Memorial event. Webber purchased the Epping bullring in 1980 and it’s an understatement to say the property wouldn’t still exist as race place without his dedication and love of the sport.

You could always get an extra rise out of Bob Sr. around Memorial Day weekend by bringing up some aspect of the Indy 500 or open-wheel racing in general. It was best to have some time on your hands because it was hard to put the phone down.

Saturday’s Salute to Service event is scheduled to begin qualifying action for all divisions following speaker tributes on the front stretch at 5:45 p.m. Military members with identification will be admitted free of charge.

Claremont Speedway plans to go racing Saturday night rather than its usual Friday schedule to accommodate an anticipated big crowd and a large field of cars for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series Ron Bouchard’s Auto Stores 100 presented by SPAFCO Race Chassis and Jericho. Sunday is listed as the rain date.

Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., who has pocketed more loot than any other competitor since the Open Modified Series began in 2014, heads up a list of over 40 entries.

Hirschman is a master at tire strategy and preservation. He swept the table last year, including a pair of wins at Star, one of which was setup by a quick exit from the pits after nearly the entire field went in for a tire change. He’ll square off against the likes of Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat, Ronnie Silk, Tommy Barrett, Anthony Nocella, Rowan Pennink, Todd Patnode, Kirk Alexander, Mike Willis Jr., Russ Hersey and 2017 Claremont Modified champion Dana Smith.

The Ron Bouchard Auto Parts 100 is an only-green-flag-laps count event paying $6,000 to win. Racers can lose track position in the pits under yellow, but they won’t go down any laps.

Tri-Track Open Modified Series impresario Dick Williams, when joshed about the possible need to handicap “Big Money” Hirschman to avoid another Series sweep, recalled that Geoff Bodine once swept all seven events when he was involved in a similar series in the late 70s.

Claremont’s weekly divisions will also be in action. Last Friday, Hayden Scott of Charlestown won the Super Street Dean Smith 52-Lap Memorial. A three-time feature winner in 2017, Scott was making his first start of the season in the Jewell Excavating No.30. Craig Smith — son of Dean — aka. the Newport Craig Smith, placed third and took over the points lead.

Bear Ridge, having endured a rare rainout last weekend, will try again Saturday.

Lee USA, which begins its regular season next Friday, enjoyed a packed house for its recent Monster Truck Show.

The American Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All-Star Series Super Late Models got their Oxford Plains doubleheader in last Sunday. Eddie MacDonald came out on top in the ACT race. Curtis Gerry continued to dominate the PASS races he enters. Gerry outran Travis Benjamin and late closer TJ Brackett of Buckfield, Maine, for his third win in three PASS outings.

MacDonald had to hold off Jimmy Hebert after a pair of late cautions for his win. The winner’s check was $5,000 given that the race was the first of three events in the “Summer Showdown Series”. Should “The Outlaw” manage to sweep the series, he’ll pocket a $5,000 bonus.

The PASS schedule shifts to Thunder Road this Sunday. PASS gets top billing for the Mekkelsen RV 150. There will be a full field of ACT Tour-type cars on hand for the 100 lap Late Model portion of the card, but the race is not an ACT point race.

Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, Vt., the 2017 “King of the Road” was a winner at last year’s Memorial Day Weekend event. He’s expected this weekend, but he’s not racing a full schedule this season, so a new champion is assured.

The next stop on the American Canadian Tour schedule is at Speedway 51 in Groveton Saturday, June 2, for the running of the Caron Fabrication 151.

Monadnock postponed the ISMA Supermodified Genden Carquest 75 series opener last Saturday. It was the right call because rainfall arrived right on schedule. The make-up date is Saturday, July 23.

Here’s wishing for the best possible outcome complete with healing energy and positive thoughts for White Mountain Motorsports Park’s Teri Avery, who underwent major leg surgery at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester this week. Further info and ways to wish Teri well will be forthcoming on White Mountain’s Facebook page.

The Granite State Pro Stock Series is at New London Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday and a Milk Bowl-style, three-segment event with field inversions and accrued finish scoring will be in effect.

Carrying on a long tradition, Hudson Speedway, under the direction of Ben Bosowski, will be in action Monday. Bob Webber Sr. would be pleased.

Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at tomherzig@hotmail.com.


Trackside