Story By: GARY DUTTON / CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK – CLAREMONT, NH – Pro Stock ace Ryan Christian III stormed to his second 100-lap victory of the summer Friday, July 3, at Claremont Motorsports Park, topping the Independence 100 presented by Newport Chevrolet main event before a huge crowd.
With the bleachers buzzing with excitement as the night’s huge fireworks display approached, the Uncasville, Conn. star took charge on lap 90 and then held Hudson’s Joey Polewarczyk at bay to win his third-career series main event, all three happening at the Thrasher Road speedplant.
Mainiac Joey Doiron was third under the flags. Hometown star Luke Hinkley led for 77 laps until being nudged up-track by Angelo Belsito in turn four. Belsito’s resulting lead was brief, though, as he and Hinkley came together again at the other end of the track, moving Joey Pole to the point, where he’d ride until Christian stormed past him five circuits later.
In the Late Model Sportsmen, the beat marched on. Aaron Fellows, firing from row two, rocketed through the bottom of turn two on the opening lap, had the lead when he hit the east end of the speedway, and then never looked back en route to his staggering 19th feature win in a row.
Ben Poland was, as he’s been many times over the last two summers, on this night was the best of the rest, with Ryan Bell solid in third. Former track champ Ricky Bly lost a motor in warm-ups but is expected back next week, when there’s big money up for grabs in the Dean Smith Memorial Race.
Nobody, it appeared, was going to keep hometown hot shoe Dave Greenslit from his fourth victory lap of the season. The defending R.E. Hinkley Oil Co. Street Stock champion had opened up an enormous lead when a dozen laps had been completed, but then abruptly slowed, coasting into the infield as Randy Town took over.
Once in front, the veteran Town never faltered, holding off a hard-charging Kyle Buck to score his first feature win in many moons. With Buck strong for a career-best second, Alstead’s Kenny Thompson came home third.
It was business as usual for Green Mountain ace Kodi Sabins. Starting up front, and with no cautions to slow him, Sabins romped to his fourth LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock win of the summer.
Unity’s super sophomore Bruce Adams took second from his son Dylan on lap four and then held him at bay to earn the runner-up hardware 21 laps later. Freshman star Zach Richardson was fourth, and Robert Shaw competed the top five.
Paul Colburn set the pace for all 20 laps of the Six Shooter main, with potent rookie Dustin Thibodeau strong in second a week after his first career victory. Todd Maguira was solid all night to claim the three spot, while three-time winner Jeremy Blood recovered for fourth after being dumped to the rear on lap one.
Nic Skillings led all the way to score his first speedway win ever in the Mini Stocks. But staying at the point was never easy.
Skillings had Hayden Grenier draped all over him for most of the 25-lapper, with Matt Boucher grabbing the deuce on lap 22 and then riding in Skilling’s shadow until the checkers waved. Grenier came home third, glued to Boucher’s bumper.
Claremont Motorsports Park will return to action next Friday, July 10, with a big field of Late Model Sportsman anticipated in to battle for the $1,000 winner’s purse up for grabs in the 52-lap annual Dean Smith Memorial Race.
JULY 3 TOP FINISHERS:
THE FANS, who flocked to the speedway to see the huge Independence Day fireworks display
MINI STOCK: Nic Skillings, Matt Boucher, Hayden Grenier, Ray King, Cale Skilllings, Tom Engelhart, Braden Morrie, Erin Aiken, Aaron Thompson, Desmond Skillings.
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Aaron Fellows, Ben Poland, Ryan Bell, Cam Curtis, Bucky Demers, Mark Blair.
STREET STOCK: Randy Town, Kyle Buck, Kenny Thompson, Chris Emerson, Erin Aiken, Cody Schoolcraft, Dave Greenslit.
PURE STOCK: Kodi Sabins, Bruce Adams, Dylan Adams, Zach Richardson, Robert Shaw, Randy Phillips, Joey Jarvis, Doug Nelson, Amy Jaycox, Chris Carver.
SIX SHOOTER: Paul Colburn, Dustin Thibodeau, Todd Maguira, Jeremy Blood, Ryan Carmen, Ray Luce, Todd Smith, Keith Martin.