After running the table in 2016, with no rainouts slowing the championship chases in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, three straight rainouts early in the 2017 campaign had drivers chomping at the bit to get back in action at Lee USA Speedway on Fridaynight.
In addition to the weekly divisions, the Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) and Northeast Classic Lites were on the schedule, and it was a longtime Lee regular who made the headlines in the 100-lap GSPSS feature event.
Joe Squeglia of Derry, who started his racing career some 25 years ago in the Hobby Stocks at Lee USA, took advantage of a late-race incident to collect yet another Lee USA checkered flag in the P & H Electric, Automart-sponsored machine.
Squeglia led the early laps of the 100-lap grind, with another longtime Lee runner, Jeremy Harclerode of Newmarket, running second in the early going. Harclerode eventually made his way past Squeglia to take over the lead, and he stayed out front as the field approached the 75-lap mark.
Jeremy Davis of Tamworth, who is no stranger to Lee’s victory lane, was past Squeglia and moved by Harclerode to the lead inside the 25-to-go mark, but he blew up on lap 85, with Harclerode spinning in his oil and slamming hard into Davis‘ stalled racer, knocking both from contention and handing the lead back over to Squeglia.
The Derry veteran held serve the rest of way to post the win, the Derek Griffith of Hudson taking home runner-up honors. Another former Lee regular, Jeff Fagan, took third. Fagan was a weekly Late Model competitor at Lee USA some 25 years ago, when an upstart Busch Series (now Xfinity Series) driver named Jeff Gordon won an exhibition race in his Late Model.
Two-time Hobby Stock champion Patrick Tanguay of Berwick ME claimed top honors in the main event, outrunning Torrey Kovalesky to collect the win. Tanguay was the best of the bunch, outfinishing Kovaleskty for the win, with Traditional Mortgage’s Paul Palen coming home third.
After a post-race disqualification, former champion Travis Hollins was awarded Ironman top honors, with Matt Kimball, Christin DeStefano, Adam Knowles, and Austin Elliott the rest of the top five.
Epping’s John Boomhower scored the Pure Stock win, with Epping’s Anthony Nadeau coming home second ahead of David Stone, Rob Carleton, and Leon Keniston.