Lee, NH – The David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stocks were the headliners at Lee USA Speedway on Friday night, running twin 25-lap feature events with bonus money on the line for the driver with the best combined finishes.
Former two-time champion Patrick Tanguay of Lebanon, ME put in first bid for the honor, taking down the win in the first feature with an impressive run, holding off points leader Boe Green of Berwick, ME to score his second feature win of the season by a 0.239 second margin of victory.
Paul Palen of Pelham finished up the podium with a solid third place run, with former LMS champion Ryan Green of Berwick, ME taking home fourth, and rookie Dave Langlais of Shapleigh, ME scoring fifth. Sixth through tenth were Brian DeStefano of Tewksbury, MA, Jake Michaud of Lebanon, ME, Kevin Bowman of N. Grafton, MA, Torrey Kovalesky of Atkinson, and Kevin Aberle of Wilmington, MA.
In the nightcap, Palen improved on his finish from the first race with his fourth win of the 2017 campaign aboard the Traditional Mortgage machine, and on the strength of a third and a first in the two features, he claimed the overall win.
DeStefano collected his best finish of the year in the runner-up slot, with Langlais doing the same with his first podium of the season in third. Fourth went to Ryan Green, with Tanguay, Aberle, Boe Green, Kovalesky, Bowman, and Jay Avery of Barrington rounding out the top ten.
The championship battle in the Rodfather-sponsored, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Supermodifieds took an unexpected turn at the start of the feature event, when Northfield racer Leslie Keyser got tangled up and found the frontstretch wall, ending his night some 30 laps too soon.
Keyser came into the night off back-to-back wins and just 25 points behind defending track champion Dave “Hollywood” Helliwell, but the untimely bout with the unforgiving Lee USA concrete basically ended his chances of knocking Helliwell off the top of the 2017 standings.
With just a single race left on the schedule to run on September 15, Helliwell all but locked up his second straight championship title with an impressive run that ended with his fifth win of the year. Along the way, Helliwell topped the charts with a lightning-fast 13.728 second lap, and he took the checkers with a 5.619 second margin of victory.
Raymond’s Mike Keddy was the best of the rest to collect a solid runner-up finish, with Auburn’s Mike Netishen, John Burke of Derry, Moe Lattime of Kingston, Mike Scott of Hampton, P.J. Murphy of Groveland, MA, Jim Barker of Meredith, Mike Murphy of Groveland, MA, and Keyser the remainder of the top ten.
The R & R “The Tool Store and More” Late Model Sportsman feature saw defending champ Jimmy Russell of Exeter and Pelham’s George Helliwell fly past polesitter “Mad Max” Dolliver of Londonderry to battle for the early lead.
But as quickly as they had found their way to the front, the two got together and found the their way to the turn three wall, sending both to the pits for the night just four laps in.
Dolliver found himself back on the point when racing resumed, and he ran the race of his season from there, still leading the way at the two to go mark. But Nate Leavitt of Buxton, ME was a man on a mission, and he got underneath Dolliver coming off turn four to take over the lead with the laps winding down.
Leavitt went on to finally shake the monkey off his back with win number one on the season, with the white flag scramble allowing “Billistic” Bill Helliwell of Salem to score his best result of the year in the second spot, and Erick Sands of Hudson to get his best finish of the season in third.
Fourth went to 2015 champ Jay Sands of Hampton, followed by points leader Frankie Eldredge of Exeter, Bryan Kruczek of Newmarket, Dolliver, Bobby Melvin of Groton, MA, Kris Miller of Bedford, and “Big Steve” Paquette of North Hampton.
Christin DeStefano of Tewksbury, MA ran off to her third victory of the season in the Tri City Line-X Ironman main, surviving a late-race restart to head home with the winner’s trophy. Three-time 2017 winner James Witkum of Methuen, MA collected runner-up honors, with his teammate, Jeffrey Battle finishing out the podium in third.
Fourth spot went to Adam Knowles of Seabrook, followed by Somersworth ace Jamie Holland, Travis Hollins of Milford, “Rockin’ Randy” Washburn of Farmington, Shane Horvath of Northwood, Mike Farrington of Farmington, and Shawn Baker of Rochester.
John Boomhower of Epping posted his third feature win of the season in the MLM Diagnostics Pure Stock main, with former champ Jesse Tellier of Derry, defending champ and current points leader Tyler Mailhot of Epping, Jessica Michaud of Lebanon, ME, and Jaden Curtis of Buxton, ME rounding out the top five.
The fan favorite Senior Tour Auto Racers made their final appearance of the 2017 season on Friday, with Bob Harless taking down the win in the Sportsman division, and Ryan Chadwick taking the checkers in the Modified main.
Next up at Lee USA is another special event on Friday, September 8, featuring the Ironman 200 along with racing action for the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Sportsman, Hobby Stocks, and Pure Stock divisions.