Racin’ With Jason: Eight is enough at Monadnock Speedway

  • Robert Hagar, of Windsor, Vt., ended Aaron Fellows' seven-week win streak in the Late Model Sportsman division last Saturday at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/EMILY MILLER

  • Belchertown's Chris Buffone won the Street Stock feature for the second straight week last Saturday at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/EMILY MILLER

Published: 8/13/2020 4:23:00 PM
Modified: 8/13/2020 4:22:49 PM

Eight was enough for the field in the Late Model Sportsman division to end Aaron Fellows’ domination at Monadnock Speedway. After winning the first seven races of the season, Fellows had to settle for second place last Saturday at the Route 10 quarter-mile.

It instead was a night of first-timers, as three drivers claimed their first victories of the season, led by Robert Hagar as the one who conquered Fellows’ streak. The Windsor, Vt., hot shoe chased Orange’s Justin Littlewood for the lead before taking it on the 14th lap. Fellows soon rumbled into second, but there was no late-race pass for the win, as Hagar held on in clean air, navigating lapped traffic to hand Fellows his first defeat of the season. Cole Littlewood, of Orange, finished third for his fourth top-three finish in a row. Justin Littlewood came home fourth, while Greenfield’s Scott Beck was ninth.

In NHSTRA action, defending points champion Todd Patnode finally made it to Victory Lane this season. He started up front and led every lap but one, which was paced by points leader Brian Robie with three laps to go. Patnode soon retook the top spot on the next circuit with a crossover pass, relegating Robie to second at the checkers.

Deerfield’s Ben Byrne, second in points behind Robie, had a mechanical issue and dropped out at lap 34. He finished 14th.

The other first-time victor on the night was Damon Roy in Pure Stocks. The Claremont, N.H., driver passed Nick Houle on lap 9 and cruised from there. Points leader Mike Douglas, of Northfield, was running second until the last lap, when Erin Aiken overtook him. Defending champion Chris Davis suffered a mechanical issue late in the race and fell further behind Douglas in the championship chase.

Gordon Farnum proved he can drive any car to Victory Lane in Mini Stock competition. After blowing an engine in practice, Farnum borrowed Louis Maher’s 2019 championship-winning car and drove it to his fourth win of the season. The Fitzwilliam, N.H., pilot took the lead from Orange’s Kevin McKnight on lap 21 and pulled away for the win and sole possession of the points lead.

McKnight settled for second. Sunderland’s Jake Puchalski was sixth, and Bernardston’s Shelby Avery settled for ninth. Both had solid runs going until running into trouble of someone else’s doing.

Belchertown racer Chris Buffone claimed his second straight victory in Street Stocks, taking the point on lap 4 and pulling away from the field. Northfield’s Mike Radzuik came home a season-best third behind runner-up Chase Curtis, who pulled even with twin brother Jaret atop the points standings.

Randy Cabral cruised to victory in the Pro-4 Modifieds event, leading Tom Royer and Al Reiser to the checkered flag.

In NELCAR Legends action, Luke LeBrun used a lap-2 restart to grab the lead from Devin Deshaies and stormed to the victory in the 25-lap feature. Shawn Buffington, Darren Gallant, Connor Souza and Deshaies rounded out the top five.

The Tri-Track Open Modified Series makes its second trip to the high banks on Saturday, heading the show with a 100-lap feature. Tickets for all shows, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on Aug. 29, are available through monadnockspeedway.com.

TOUR SCHEDULE UPDATES: NASCAR announced Wednesday that the Whelen Modified Tour will contest the NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Sept. 26 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. The race is part of a packed September at the half-mile, which also includes the TC 13 SK Modified Shootout on Sept. 11 and the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 the following Friday.

The Tour’s next event is Aug. 22 at Jennerstow (Pa.) Speedway, followed by Monadnock a week later. There have only been three races this season — one at Jennerstown and two at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park. Justin Bonsignore won the first two races and holds the points lead over Doug Coby, who won the most recent race at White Mountain. It was the first win as an owner-driver for Coby, who is sponsored by Mayhew Tools of Turners Falls.

The Tour announced last week a pair of races at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park: a Wednesday night affair on Sept. 2 and the annual World Series of Speedway Racing Oct. 10-11.

ALL BETS ARE OFF: This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series ventures into uncharted territory with a race on the road course at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 3.61-mile circuit traverses most of the 2.5-mile oval, with a more traditional road course portion in the infield.

The race is on the schedule to replace Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, which is unable to host it due to coronavirus concerns. The only drivers with previous experience on the course are those who have competed in the Rolex 24. Kyle Busch did so this past January.

The uncertainty, and the lack of practice and qualifying, will make for an interesting race.

“I think me leading everybody into Turn 1 at Daytona could be interesting because I have no freaking clue where I’m going as we go down there,” Kevin Harvick, who drew the pole, told NASCAR.com. “Most everybody in the field is the same way. We’ll prepare the best that we can and hope that we can make it around the first lap with all the wheels still headed in the right direction.”

Jason Remillard is a copy editor and page designer at the Recorder. He can be reached at jremillard@recorder.com and followed on Twitter @racinwithjason.

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