WINCHESTER — More wins and first wins and almost no wins were the recurring themes at Monadnock Speedway Saturday night.
A passing rain shower resulted in an hour-long delay for the Late Model Sportsman and Sportsman Modified races, but fortunately for drivers and spectators, it did not suspend what turned out to be a highlight-filled card.
Among the biggest wins of the day, Solomon Brow claimed a record-extending 10th straight race in the Late Model Sportsman category. Also, Swanzey native Todd Patnode tallied his sixth win in the Sportsman Modified finale, and rookie driver and Claremont native Haydon Grenier recorded his first win, in the Mini Stock feature.
As has become the norm, the attention was on Brow, of Vernon, Vt. Early on in the 25-lap feature, he appeared vulnerable. Orange, Mass., driver Cole Littlewood held the early lead, while back in the pack Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass., was challenging Brow for position.
Slight contact between Brow and Leary caused a flat tire for Leary, bringing out the caution flag. Leary pitted and returned with fresh rubber.
Littlewood led on the restart. Two laps later, at the halfway point, Brow made the inside pass for the lead. Littlewood fought back.
While attempting a pass on lap 15, Littlewood made slight contact, also cutting down a tire and causing a caution. He pitted and returned to the back of the field.
Brow continued to lead on the restart while Leary and Littlewood charged back to the front. At the finish it was Brow collecting win No. 10. Littlewood recovered to regain second. And going relatively unnoticed was Peterborough’s Eric Pomasko, who quietly moved into the top three over the second half of the race.
The 50-lap Sportsman Modified saw Patnode return to victory lane, but not before Kenny Thompson of Alstead and Joel Monahan of Whately, Mass., both had a turn at leading the race. While Patnode led the final 26 laps, the in-fighting behind him was fierce.
It was an important win, because Patnode and Ben Byrne of Greenfeld, Mass., came into the night tied for the point lead with Monahan in third. Monahan settled for second. Newbury’s Scott McMichael moved up to third in his best effort of the year, and Byrne fell to fourth.
Prior to the rain, the Mini Stock, Street Stock and a pair of Young Guns features were hurried along because of threatening skies.
The 25-lap Mini Stock feature looked to be a runaway for early leader Kevin McKnight of Orange, Mass. Four laps from the finish a stalled racer brought out the caution flag and McKnight, attempting to pass a lapped car, was forced into the front stretch wall and knocked out of the race.
On the restart, Kevin Clayton of Winchendon, Mass., took the lead with Grenier passing him with two laps to go. Clayton took the podium second. Agawam, Mass., driver Tim Wenzel was third.
The Street Stock main went green to checkers. Chris Buffone of Belchertown, Mass., jumped off the front row into the lead and never looked back for the win. Point leader David Greenslit of Claremont was second and Hillary Renaud of Vernon, Vt., had her best race of the season, running second most of the race before finishing third.
The twin Young Guns features were mirror images. Jake Pulchalski of Whately, Mass., won both for his seventh and eighth victories of the year; Matt Lambert of Ashuelot and Brandon LaVoie of Littleton, Mass., were second and third, respectively.
This coming Saturday could be the biggest night of the season so far. It will be the JBH Classic, featuring the Valenti Modified Racing Series in a 100-lap event and the Granite State Pro Stock series going 150 laps. Both races honor John Hoyt, who was an integral part of both divisions when they were organized and started.
Add in the 50-lap Sportsman Modified main plus five more divisions, and it brings the night’s features alone to more than 400 laps. The start time for qualifying will be 5 p.m. On Sunday at noon, the speedway will host the Cindy Hall Memorial Mudbog Mudslinger Series with six divisions.
Sportsman Modified: Todd Patnode, Joel Monahan, Scott MacMichael, Ben Byrne, Brian Robie, Keith Carzello, Dennis Charette, Kim Rivet, Eric LeClair, Alyssa Rivera, Keith Caruso, Kenny Thompson, Matt Zenisky, Kevin Pittsinger (DNS)
Late Model Sportsman: Solomon Brow, Cole Littlewood, Eric Pomasko, Tyler Leary, Justin Littlewood, Scott Beck, Nancy Muni Ruot, Will Kuhn
Street Stock: Chris Buffone, Dave Greenslit, Hillary Renaud, Ed Lofland, Greg Williams, Ben Williams, Craig Chaffee, Michelle Leh, Nathaniel Nunez, Josh Carey, Brad Zahensky
Mini Stock: Haydon Grenier, Kevin Clayton, Tim Wenzel, Louie Maher, Shelby Avery, Pat Houle, Cory Plummer, Gordon Farnum, Kevin McKnight, William Sylvia, Nathan Wenzel
Young Guns Feature No. 1: Jake Puchalski, Matt Lambert, Brandon Lavoie, JD Stockwell, Reagan Buffum, Aaron Thompson
Young Guns Feature No. 2: Jake Puchalski, Matt Lambert, Brandon Lavoie, JD Stockwell, Aaron Thompson, Reagan Buffum