CLAREMONT, N.H. — track release — Crystal Snape photo —
The all new Claremont Speedway kicked off its 2015 racing schedule on Friday night, in front of a crowd that braved the elements to see what new ownership and management could bring to the famed speed plant. Along with the four weekly divisions of the Twin State Property Maintenance racing series, the Granite State Prostock series took to the track for one hundred twenty five laps of racing.
The first division to run their feature event was the North American Infrared Late Models. Art Heino Jr. led the field to the green flag to kick off a new era at the six decade old racing facility. Heino, would lead just one lap as Robert Hagar in his Ford made an aggressive move to the bottom of turn two and took over the lead. Hagar would be virtually unchallenged from there despite several cautions.
The most severe of these would fall at lap nine when Chris Riendeau and Allen Fellows came together against the back stretch wall eliminating Fellows from competition. Podium finishers would at the checkers were Hagar, Heino and Riendeau who would battle back from is early race troubles. Chris Curtis and Jeremy Zullo would round out the top five.
Next to take to the track was the Claremont Speedway Limited Sportsman Division. Randy Mcgee led the field to green and led the first several laps before Gary Colburn would get around for the top spot. Colburn would lead the middle part of the race and seemed to have things under control but Mcgee wasn’t done just yet. The last seven laps of the event would see a back and forth battle between these two fierce competitors culminating with a pair of crossover moves on the last couple of laps.
In the end Colburn would triumph leaving Mcgee in second and young Tyler Janovsky with a strong run in third. Dirt track ace Trevor Rocke and defending champion Chris Emerson would round out the top five.
The Granite State Prostock Series would run their feature race next. Youngster Derek Griffith of Hudson NH would score his first career series win in a dominating performance. He was followed to the stripe by veteran drivers Barry Gray and Mike Parks. Mike O’Sullivan and Larry Gelinas would complete the top five.
The R.E. Hinkley Oil Co. super streets would be up next. Jack McClay who had experienced numerous mechanical Difficulties in both practice and qualifying, would lead the field to green. McClay would control the race through multiple restarts including three on lap twenty three alone. Finally at lap twenty five, John Lavoie would use a very slippery outside groove to maneuver around the outside of McClay to take over the lead and go onto the win. McClay would have to settle for second while “The Outlaw” Mark Blair would wind up third after battling for the lead for most of the race. “Radical” Russ Davis and Joe Tetreault would round out the top five.
The final event of the night was the Sanel Auto Parts Wildcat feature. Seventeen cars would take the green flag led by Alexis Aiken. Hayden Scott, in his Honda, would jump to the lead on lap one and never look back. Fierce racing throughout the field would lead to several caution flags but on each restart Scott would quickly jump back to the lead. A late restart would see Scott and Aiken line up side by side with Matthew Gauffin in his Saab in third. Gauffin looked to be the only car on track that could challenge Scott and on the restart quickly jumped to second and began to challenge for the lead. In the end laps would run out and Scott would triumph. Gauffin would wind up second with Aiken third, Kyle Currier would finish fourth and Josh Rondeau rounding out the top five.
Claremont Speedway returns to action Friday, May first at 7:30. All four divisions will be in action as well as spectator drags. Anyone with a registered, insured, inspected vehicle can participate. All drivers will be required to wear a seatbelt and helmet. Claremont Speedway is located on Thrasher Rd in Claremont NH. Racing is every Friday night starting promptly at 7:30.
For more information go to www.claremontspeedway.net or check us out on facebook at www.facebook.com/claremontspeedway.
CREDIT: Claremont Speedway