WINCHESTER — It can’t be said that racing at Monadnock Speedway this season has lacked for drama.
Record and win streaks abound.
Saturday night, fans were treated to not one, but two 50-lap races for the Sportsman Modified division.
The first 50-lapper was a make-up race from July 6; the starting grid was previously qualified. Kenny Thompson of Alstead led the field to the green. After a back-and-forth battle with Alyssa Rivera of Claremont for the first five laps, former champion Keith Carzello moved in front, then gave way to Swanzey veteran Todd Patnode a lap later. Patnode came into the night with a 12-point lead in the point standings and a four-race win streak.
Forty-one laps and four cautions later, that streak was five. Carzello held position for second, and Ben Byrne of Greenfield, Mass., took third.
The second feature closed out the night’s racing. This time Scott McMichael of Newbury had the pole and led the race for the first 20 laps. On lap 21, Byrne squeezed by for the lead with McMichael, Joel Monahan and Patnode in pursuit. During a caution on lap 26, Patnode, who started slipping back in the field, pitted. He returned to the track at the back of the field as the race went green again.
Byrne stayed on top over the final 24 laps for his second win of the season. Patnode could only manage to get back to ninth, snapping his strong run of wins.
Brian Robie made a last-lap move to take second; Monahan took third.
Unofficially, Byrne appeared to have tied Patnode for the point lead.
Other win streaks were on the line Saturday. Most significant, of course, was the record-setting eight wins in a row to start a season set last week by Solomon Brow of Vernon, Vt. His Late Model Sportsman class took the green for its 25-lap feature with the Litttlewood brothers, Justin and Cole, on the front row. Justin led the first three laps, and Cole passed him on lap four and held sway until lap 12. That’s when Brow swept past and cruised to his record-setting ninth consecutive win.
Cole Littlewood held on for second, and Robert Hagar ran third.
In Pure Stocks, local driver Chris Davis scored his second win in row and fifth of the season.
Erin Aiken of Claremont was again second with newcomer Clark Brooks was third.
Speaking of streaks, Young Gun Jake Puchalski tallied his fourth win a row for a season total of six. Matt Lambert of Ashuelot was second with Brandon LaVoie third.
Also on the race card was the second visit of the year by the Granite State Legends and the first stop of the season for the Northeast Classic Lites. Shaun Buffington continued his dominance of the Granite State Legends with his second Monadnock win, with Luke and Eric Lebrun finishing second and third, respectively.
The 30-lap Northeast Classic Lites saw Danny DeGuio lead most of the race. Stew McCormick, starting deep in the field, caught DeGuio on lap 22 and took over the top spot and went on for the win. DeGuio was second and Erik Schofield third.
This Saturday, Monadnock Speedway, known colloquially as “Mad Dog”, will literally go to the dogs with a benefit night for Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption in Swanzey. Race fans who bring items like paper towels, bleach, toilet paper, Milkbone treats, or other products needed to maintain and care for the greyhounds as they wait to be adopted, will earn $5 off their adult general admission. Qualifying for the Whelen All-American divisions begins at 6 p.m.