Lee, NH - With just a month remaining in the regular weekly season at Lee USA Speedway, the points battles are shaping up with several drivers still in contention for their respective championships. A strong field of entries filled the pit area last Friday night, with Vinnie Anarummo getting back on track with another win in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks presented by Dodge.
Rookie Sean Caisse completed his comeback by topping the Late Models, “Lightnin’ Lew” Fortin grabbing his second win of the year in the Street Stocks, Neil Kelly added his third in the Hobby Stocks, and Ricky Porter picked up his second victory of 2002 in the NGK Spark Plugs Roadrunners.
Coming back from a couple of tough weeks, Anarummo wasted little time making his way to the front of the 20-car Pro Stock field. Wayne Helliwell, Jr. followed Anarummo to the front, as they clicked off 14 quick laps before the first caution of the event came out when Gege Gravel oiled down the track after suffering mechanical failure.
When racing resumed, Anarummo picked up the lead once again, with Helliwell right on his heels. Boe Green had his hands full trying to hang on to third spot, with Charlie Rousseau and Ricky Wolf applying the pressure as halfway came and went. Rousseau eventually got the best of Green, but there was nobody up to the task of unseating Anarummo up front. When the checkers waved, Anarummo snagged his third win of the season, followed by Helliwell, Rousseau, points leader J.R. Baril and Wayne Helliwell, Sr.
Bobby Baillargeon led the first six laps of the Late Model feature event before yielding the top spot to Steve Borges, but things got worse for Baillargeon in a hurry. A lap later, Baillargeon got turned around in front of the oncoming pack, collecting several cars in the ensuing melee. Grant Aither picked off Borges shortly after the restart, with Scott Watts quickly making it a two-car battle for the lead.
Another big wreck brought out a red flag on lap 12, when Scott Bonney got spun and was drilled by Tom Raitt while Sean Nolan, Mike Mitchell, and Eric Morin piled in. Aither picked up the lead once again on the restart, but he lost power on lap14, with Watts getting stuck behind as Caisse slipped by into the lead and yet another big wreck ensued.
Tom Fuller took a wild rise after contact with Watts, and the rest of the field was sent scattering once again. From then on, Caisse had a rear view mirror full of high points man A.J. Begin, but the freshman held on the rest of the way to pick up his first career Late Model win. The resurgent Aither got past Begin late to checker second, with Gary Grubisa and Bonney rounding out the top five.
When the Street Stocks rolled out onto the speedway, Lance Davis was leading the way, and he quickly jumped out to grab the lead at the start. Four laps in, Gary Beauregard broke out of the pack to run second, and he quickly reeled in the leader. The duo circled the fast 3/8th’s mile oval nose to tail, while Fortin joined the lead battle just a few laps later.
At the crossed flags, it was Davis, Beauregard, Fortin, Jimmy Renfrew and Bill Fiske running at the head of the field, but there was a lot more action yet to come. Just after halfway, three-time defending champ Ron Bolduc took a serious hit to his title chances when he bounced off the inside guardrail, and then teammates Joe Delisle and Fiske both wound up spinning in separate incidents.
Up front meanwhile, Davis continued to lead though the series of cautions, but Fortin was heading to the front. By lap 16, he had disposed of Beauregard for second, and he quickly went to work on leader Davis. The pair ran side by side for a couple of laps before he could get the job done, but at the checkers, Fortin came out victorious for the second tie this year. Beauregard was next across the stripe, with Mike Marshall and Paul Nesbitt closing out the top five.
Rookie Howard Sullivan grabbed the lead from fellow freshman Eric Hoffman after a lap went into the record books in the Hobby Stock main, and he was off to the races. Sullivan was having his best race of the year by far, outrunning the field for the next several laps. In fact, halfway through the 20-lap run, it was still Sullivan out front, with veteran Brian Thompson, Steve Dickey, Jr., Chris White and Neil Kelly next in the running order.
Ricky Washburn spun on lap 13 to set up the first restart of the races, which eventually turned out to be Sullivan’s undoing. Heading three wide into turn one, Sullivan got caught in the middle and spun, ending a strong run by the first year driver. Thompson picked up the lead on the restart, but he was no match for Kelly, who motored past on the outside to claim the lead. Kelly went on to post his third feature win of the year with Thompson, Duda, Kevin Lanctot, Jr. and Todd Bregy the rest of the top five.
Another full field of NGK Spark Plugs Roadrunners took the green for their feature event, with Cory Sullivan and Heidi Brown setting the pace in the early laps. Ricky Porter was on a mission after starting the race 11th, up to run third after just a few laps. Brown soon fell to the charging Porter, and Sullivan quickly followed suit, as Porter moved out to a huge lead by halfway.
Sullivan continued to hold off the rest of the field at the crossed flags, with Melanie Vencis looking to take over the spot. Up front meanwhile, Porter simply outclassed the field, pulling away to win his second feature of the year by a full straightaway. Sullivan managed to hang on for runner-up honors, with Vencis, Paul Brown and Patrick Tanguay third through fifth.
Next up on the calendar at Lee USA is the second 2002 appearance if the ISMA Supermodifieds on Friday, August 16th. Along with the Supers will be a full regular program of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks presented by Dodge, 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 visit our website at www.leeusaspeedway.com.