WINCHESTER — Perhaps it was the impending potential for a race-ending thunderstorm or an urge to get home to watch the Bruins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Either way, drivers raced with intensity Saturday night at Monadnock Speedway. From the Young Guns division to the Sportsman Modifieds, hard-fought battles were waged.
The day began badly for eventual Sportsman Modified winner Joel Monahan of Whately, Mass. When a rear part disabled his primary car, Monahan’s team was forced to roll out his back-up.
Luck changed when he started on the outside pole in the 50-lap feature. Monahan jumped to the lead on lap one and rolled into victory lane. Todd Patnode of Swanzey started ninth and carved his way to second. With 10 laps to go, Monahan and Patnode separated themselves for the rest of racers. Patnode tested Monahan several times over the final laps before settling into second. Scott McMichael of Newbury also battled with Patnode in the middle laps before finishing third.
Late Model Sportsman driver Soloman Brow of Vernon, Vt., collected his fifth consecutive win dating back to the end of the 2018 season, and second in row this year. Brow again used the pole position to establish his lead at the start of the 25-lap event and ran green to checkers for a second week for the win. Veteran Dennis Stange of Athol, Mass., collected the second spot at the checkers, and the division’s defending champion, Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass., rolled into third.
The Mini Stock division ramped up the intensity in its 25-lap main event. Last week’s winner, Louie Maher of Baldwinville, Mass., used a pole start to lead the field for 22 laps. Then it got exciting.
After challenging for the lead for on every lap, Kevin McKnight of Orange, Mass., made an inside pass to take the lead from Maher on lap 23. Tim Wenzel of Agawam, Mass., followed moving into second. On lap 24, Wenzel found just enough daylight to slip by McKnight for the lead. Maher was still in the money until the final turn of lap 25 when he spun, allowing Keene driver Corey Plummer to collect third. In post-race tech inspection, Wenzel was disqualified for a rules infraction, awarding the win to McKnight.
Chris Davis of Swanzey moved from the fourth starting spot to win the 25-lap Pure Stock main event. Davis took the lead from rookie Taylor Streibel of Dalton, Mass., on lap six and raced to his first Pure Stock win. Streibel and Rich Hammann of Tolland, Conn., raced hard for second. At the checkers, it was Streibel second and Hammann third behind race winner Davis.
The Young Guns 15-lap feature was a two-car race all the way. Jake Puchalski of Sunderland, Mass., and Chris Phelps from New Salem, Mass., traded paint before Puchalski claimed the win. Phelps was second and JD Stockwell of Turners Falls, Mass., third.
Puchalski’s win made him the third generation of his family to collect a victory at Monadnock.
Action heats up again this Saturday, when the very competitive Valenti Modified Racing Series joins the NASCAR Whelan All American series regulars on the high banks. The Valenti regulars will highlight the night’s racing in a 100-lap event. Qualifying begins at 6 p.m.
Sportsman Modified: Joel Monahan,
Todd Patnode, Scott MacMichael, Ben Byrne, Tyler Jarvenpaa, Kim Rivet, Keith Carzello, JT Cloutier, Alyssa Rivera, Eric Leclair, Kenny Thompson, Brian Chapin and Kevin Pittsinger.
Late Model Sportsman: Solomon Brow,
Dennis Stange, Tyler Leary, Cole Littlewood, Eric Pomasko, Ryan Currier, Justin Littlewood, Nancy Muni Ruot, Scott Beck and Will Kuhn.
Mini Stocks: Kevin McKnight, Corey
Plummer, Ethan Marsh, Kevin Cormier,
Haydon Grenier, Louis Maher, Shelby Avery, Kevin Clayton and Nathan Wenzel.
Pure Stocks: Chris Davis, Taylor Streibel, Rich Hammann, Sammy Silva, Nike Douglas, Carter Chamberlain and Bruce Cantara.
Young Guns: Jake Puchalski, Chris Phelps, and JD Stockwell.