Story By: MICHELE CLOUTIER / MONADNOCK SPEEDWAY – WINCHESTER, NH – Monadock Speedway hosted a full venue of racing this past Saturday with five of the weekly divisions along with visiting tours of the STAR Antique Racers and Por 4 Modifieds.
The fans cheered on first time winners of Chris Sontag (Young Guns) and Kim Rivet (Sportsman Modifieds). New faces in victory lane for the 2018 season included Dennis Stange (Super Stocks) and Julia Raymond (Mini Stocks). There was only one repeat winner on Saturday Night, Matt Gauffin in the Lightning Stocks. For the Pro 4 Modifieds, it was Rob Richardi celebrating a win along with Pro 4 Lite Winner P.J. Peter. STAR Antique winners included Rocky Cusanelli in the Sportsman division and Danny Ferland in the Modified division.
The Young Guns rolled onto the track for their 15 Lap feature race with Taylor Striebel setting the pace to the green. An early battle for the lead started on lap one as Elijah Costello moved into the number one spot. Striebel continued to fight back as Chris Sontag sat in third followed by Cooper Roberge and Nathan Wenzel. On lap 8, Striebel regained the lead as Sontag made the pass on Costillo for third. On lap twelve both Costello and Wenzel made contact as Wenzel headed into the pits. Striebel continued to hold off the challenges from Sontag as Sammy Silva moved into third. On the final lap, Sontag made a bold move under the #57 of Striebel off turn four to claim the win. Striebel, Silva, Costillo and Roberge followed for top five.
The Mini Stocks headed onto the track as Rookies Mike Radzuik and Tim Wenzel brought the field to the green. Radzuik held the lead for two laps until Kevin McKnight who started third took over the top spot. On lap five, McKnight started to gain a good lead as Radzuik felt the pressure from Matt Kimball. On lap six, Wenzel and Jacobs made slight contact resulting in a red flag as Wenzel went into front stretch wall and Louie Maher’s race machine rested on top of the 97 of Ethan Marsh. Track crew cleared the front stretch as all drivers were unhurt, Wenzel however suffered the most damage and did not return from the pit area. On the restart, the field again would be slowed the next lap for Jacobs and Marsh. On the third restart, it was McKnight and Kimball going for the lead as Jaret Curtis, Radzuik, and Shelby Avery followed in the top five. On lap 9, contact between McKnight and Kimball for the lead resulted in another caution. Finally, on lap ten, the competitors settled down as Curtis was the new leader. Raymond, in second, put the pressure on the young driver as Maher challenged Radzuik for third. Curtis and Raymond went wheel to wheel for the lead as Kimball made his way into the third spot. On lap 15, Raymond took over the top spot as Kimball followed for second. Curtis dropped to third. Raymond gained a good lead from the rest of the pack as the top three began to stretch out and encounter lap traffic. At the checkers, it was Raymond followed by Kimball, Curtis, Maher and Marsh.
Alyssa Rivera and Matt Kimball led out the Sportsman Modified for their 35 lap feature. Rivera quickly took the lead as Joel Monahan and Kim Rivet put the heat on Kimball for the second spot. On lap two, Monahan sat in second with Rivet in third. Monahan continued to look inside of Rivera but was denied. On lap five, Monahan made contact with Rivera resulting in a caution. On the restart, Rivet inherited the lead followed by Tyler Jarvenpaa, Kimball, Geoff Rollins and Keith Carzello in the top five. On lap 8, Carzello and Rollins ran wheel to wheel for fourth. The top five ran nose to tail when on lap 13 the caution was displayed for Ben Byrne who appeared to be over-heating. On the restart, the battle brewed between Kimball and Carzello for third until lap 15 as Carzello went into turn four and came out sideways across the front stretch resulting in a caution. Rivet brought the field to the restart as Jarvenpaa continued to pursue her for the top spot. Kimball had his hands full as he attempted to hold off both Rollins and Joe Kendall. On lap 20, Rollins made his move to the inside of Kimball for second. Ten laps to go, the motor of Joe Kendall’s machine came apart ending his night. A single file restart gave Rivet a little relief as she brought the field to the green. The top three of Rivet, Jarvenpaa and Rollins ran tight. Two laps to go, Jarvenpaa put the pressure on and looked to inside for the pass but on the final lap, Rivet held on to win her first career Sportsman Modified victory. Jarvenpaa, Rollins, Kimball and Dana Smith followed for top five.
The Lightning Stock came out next as Randall Phillips Jr and Jon Fultz were side by side for the green. On lap one, the fans saw a new leader of Ernie Coates as Phillips Jr slipped back to third. Lap three, Fultz took the lead. Hillary Renaud and Matt Gauffin ran wheel to wheel for third. Lap ten, Fultz and Gauffin battled for the lead as Leon Keniston worked over Coates for third. Gauffin won the side by side battle for the lead and started to cruise away from the field. Keniston began reeling in Fultz for second. Ten laps to go, Keniston moved into second as the top runners weaved through lap traffic. On lap 19, the caution flew as a tire came flying off the 55 of Randall Phillip Sr and rested on the backstretch. On the restart, Fultz and Keniston ran side by side for second. Josh Carey and Renaud ran wheel to wheel for fourth. Three laps to go, Keniston moved into second as Fultz felt the pressure of Carey on his back bumper. On the final lap, Gauffin continued to lead as Carey looked to the inside of Fultz for third out of turn four. Contact was made between the two allowing for Fred Rogers to slip into third. At the checkers it was Gauffin followed by Keniston, Rogers, Fultz and Eric Banks. In a post-race inspection, Keniston, Rogers and Carey were penalized for a rules infraction resulting in Fultz claiming second and third went to Banks.
The Super Stocks were the final division to take to the track as Dennis Stange and Justin Littlewood set the pace to the green. Stange wasted no time to take the lead as the rest of field stacked up behind him side by side. Lap two, the caution was displayed for contact between Marc Curtis and Craig Smith. On the restart, Stange contined to show the way as Solomon Brow ran in second. Justin Littlewood attempted to protect third from Geoff Rollins until Rollins made the pass on the outside to take the spot. Lap 10, Brow, Rollins and Tyler Leary ran strong to try to reel in the leader of Stange. Half way to go, Rollins tried to make a move for second while holding off Leary. Leary moved to the inside of Rollins for a side by side battle until the two approached lap traffic and Leary had to back out. The next lap, Leary made his move into third. Rollins fought back and took the spot back. Less than five to go, Brow began to feel the pressure from Rollins and Leary as Stange loved seeing the battle behind him. At the checkers, it was Stange followed Brow, Rollins, Leary and Cole Littlewood.
This Saturday, Monadnock Speedway will host the Granite State Legend Car Series and Bandoleros along with the Sportsman Modifieds, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Thunder Stocks and Young Guns. Race Time is at 6PM.
Sportsman Modifieds: Kim Rivet, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Geoff Rollins, Matt Kimball, Dana Smith
Keith Carzello, Eric LeClair, Mike Smith, Alyssa Rivera, Joel Monahan, Joe Kendall, Ben Byrne, Mark Hayward
Super Stocks: Dennis Stange, Solomon Brow, Geoff Rollins, Tyler Leary, Cole Littlewood, Marc Curtis, Chris Curtis, Craig Smith, Justin Littlewood, Nancy Muni-Ruot, Scott Beck, Robert Hagar, Jason Kozacka
Mini Stocks: Julia Raymond, Matt Kimball, Jaret Curtis, Louis Maher, Ethan Marsh, Tim Paquette, Kevin Pittsinger, Shelby Avery, David Elliott, Kyle Robinson Newell, Cory Plummer, Mike Radzuik, Kevin McKnight, Darren Jacobs, Tim Wenzel, Robert Matheson
Lightning Stocks: Matt Gauffin, John Fultz, Eric Banks, Randall Phillips Jr, CJ Johnson, Nathan Wenzel, Hillary Renaud, Randall Phillips Sr, Ernie Coates, Craig Carlson, Leon Keniston, Fred Rogers, Josh Carey
Young Guns: Chris Sontag, Taylor Striebel, Sammy Silva, Elijah Castillo, Cooper Roberge, Chloe Wright, Nathan Wenzel