Lee, NH - The annual running of the All-Star Modified 100 was the featured event at the Lee USA Speedway last Friday night, with a stellar field of Modified cars and stars on hand for the event. Cars from virtually every Modified venue in the New England region attempted to qualify for the event, but it was NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series runner Ed Flemke, Jr. who came out on top of the time trial session.
By luck of the draw, Flemke also found himself on the pole for the main event, and he took full advantage of it, moving out to the lead immediately when starter Dick Brooks unfurled the green flag. Charlie Pasteryak, Kirk Alexander and Charlie Pasteryak gave chase to the leader in the early laps, while a few minor incidents brought the field under caution and kept things bunched up.
Flemke survived all the early-race restarts, and by halfway, it was clear that he would be the man to beat. Alexander had replaced Pasteryak in the challenger’s spot, but Flemke continued to hold the field at bay. The only major incident of the night occurred on lap 68, when John Kopec spun and took a hard hit from Dennis Albro just in front of the leaders, but everybody else made it through to continue the chase.
When racing resumed, Flemke was off to the races once again, with Charlie Pasteryak once again in second and challenging for the lead. With the laps winding down however, Pasteryak soon had his hands full with a challenge of his own from his brother Carl, and Flemke went the distance to post the big $7,000 win. Charlie hung tough at the checkers to collect runner-up honors, with Carl taking the other podium position.
In the companion NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pro Stock race, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Vinnie Anarummo continued their battle from the previous week, with the youngster leading the veteran for the first ten circuits of the 40-lap feature event. At that point, Anarummo made his move to the outside, and he quickly disposed of Helliwell to take his turn at the point.
Once out front, Anarummo began to open it up, as Helliwell began to fade back into the pack. Gege Gravel was next to break out of the pack and head off in pursuit of Anarummo, but just couldn’t get the job done, as Anarummo became just the second two-time winner of 2002 with his convincing run. Gravel grabbed his best finish of the season in the second spot, with J.R. Baril, Helliwell and Boe Green closing out the top five.
Bobby Baillargeon led a full field of Late Models down to the green flag for their 30-lap feature event, but it was outside starter Joe Frotton who had a strong start to take the lead in the early laps. With all the heavy hitters mired deep in the pack, Frotton immediately began to pull away from the field, threatening to make the race a runaway. On lap eight however, Ron Harkins got spun on the backstretch and brought the field under caution, erasing Frotton’s huge lead.
Former three-time champ Scott Bonney was the man on the move, up fro a 16th place start into fifth spot for the restart, and when another caution flew two laps later, Bonney was third and heading to the front. Frotton picked up the lead once again when the action resumed, and though Bonney soon picked off Bryan Kruczek to get second, there was little he could do to stop the high-flying Frotton, who led every lap on the way to his first win of the 2002 campaign. Bonney checkered second, followed by Tom Fuller, Grant Aither and A.J. Begin.
When the Street Stocks took to the speedway, rookie Bill Ahern brought the field around to take the green, and he set the pace for the first three laps. At that point, Lance Davis made his move and took over the top spot, with “Lightning Lew” Fortin soon following him to the front. A couple of cautions then slowed the action, including one on lap eight, when Ahern and fellow rookie Wayne Whitten tangled and got into the wall in turn three, taking points leader Ron Bolduc with them.
It was Davis and Fortin up front on the restart, but Billy Fiske quickly charged past both to take his turn out front. A lap later, Fortin got spun in turn one, with Gary Beauregard moving up to claim second, but that’s as close as he got. Fiske was just too strong this timew out, and he easily cruised the rest of the way to collect his second victory of the year. Beauregard, Davis, Mike Marshall and Jimmy Renfrew finished up the top five.
Hobby Stock action saw polesitter Mike Douglas, Jr. in trouble on the very first lap, with veteran Brian Thompson capitalizing on the miscue to grab the lead. Unfortunately for Thompson, rookie Todd Bregy was on a mission, and he replaced Thompson in the lead on lap four, powering his way past with ease. Once he got to the front Bregy opened up a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, taking the crossed flags way out front.
In the closing laps, Tom Duda reeled Bregy in and began to challenge for the lead, pulling almost alongside despite some damage from an early-race incident. With four laps remaining, a caution set up a final shootout, but Bregy got a great jump and pulled away from Duda to grab his first win of the year. Kevin Lanctot, Jr., Doug Tisdell and Paul Daskoski followed the lead pair across the stripe.
Dana Faulkner returned to action with a new car for the NGK Spark Plugs Roadrunner feature event, after his faithful Pinto wagon was destroyed in a wreck the previous week. Taking advantage of a pole position start, Faulkner moved out quickly to set the pace, and with no yellows to slow the pace, he quickly reached the crossed flags with Paul Brown, Lloyd Chapin, Ricky Porter and Jim Piaseczny in pursuit.
Faulkner was doing fine keeping Brown behind him, but Porter put his potent VW to the outiside, and swept past both to take over the lead. While the rest of the field mixed it up behind, Porter pulled away to a comfortable lead, and he held it until the checkers, picking up his first win of the season. Brown was the best of the rest to grab runner-up honors, with Chapin, Knight and Melanie Vencis closing out the top five.
Next up at Lee USA, it’s a regular weekly program on Friday night, July 12, featuring the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and NGK Spark Plugs Roadrunners. For information on this or any other upcoming event, call the race hotline at (978)462-4252, or log on to www.leeusaspeedway.com.