Story By: GARY DUTTON / CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK – CLAREMONT, NH – Modified hot shoe Matt Kimball opened the 2022 Claremont Motorsports Park season the same way he did last season.
The Bennington, N.H. star, the third-mile speedplant’s reigning Modified champion, led every lap but one en route to winning Sunday’s season-opening NHSTRA Modified 100-lap main event.
In the afternoon’s other 100-lapper, teen superstar Gabe Brown dominated the Granite State Pro Stock Series 100-lapper to win his third consecutive GSPSS biggie at the Thrasher Road oval. Brown led 97 of the 100 laps to edge hometown star Luke Hinkley for Sunday’s victory.
Ricky Bly romped to victory in Sunday’s Late Model Sportsman feature, while Cody Schoolcraft was impressive in topping a deep Street Stock field. Greg Millette began the 2022 Mini Stock season the same way he’d closed out 2021, rocketing to victory Sunday, while JD Stockwell bested the Pure Stocks, and Steve Miller was the Six Shooter winner.
Kimball and Aaron Fellows led the Mod Squad to Claremont city mayor and Sunday honorary starter Dale Girard’s billowing green, with Kimball quickly blasting to the point.
With Kimball having his way for most of this one, the best race was waged for second between Fellows and Trevor Bleua, with the potent pair going back and forth for the deuce before Bleau, who had led briefly on lap 44, prevailed to claim the runner-up hardware just ahead of Fellows, who’d set fast time earlier in the show.
Ricky Bly had struggled through a forgettable final third of the speedway’s 74th season last autumn. Sunday, the Sunapee star was almost in a league of his own, winning with ease. Ryan Currier was strong in second, with defending track champ Ben Poland coming back from an early-race looper to claim third,
Cody Schoolcraft led early and often to top a huge field of Street Stocks and, while divisional kingpin Dave Greenslit would close in during the waning laps, on Sunday he had no answer for Schoolcraft.
With Greenslit strong in powering to the runner-up finish, Brandon Gray came home third, Jeremy Zullo fourth, and Tanner Woodward fifth.
Greg Millette, victorious a night earlier at Star Speedway and on fire here last fall, wasted no time in blowing the field away again in the In City Sugar Shack Mini Stock feature. Best of The Rest honors went to Sean Lantas, with rookie Nick Houle third on the day,
JD Stockwell led all the way to score his second career Pure Stock victsory, winning both his heat then the feature Sunday. Nolan McClay came from further back in the 23-car field to claim second, and Bruce Jaycox completed his strong and steady day’s work in third. Jacox, Stockwell, and Andrea St. Amour won the afternoon’s heats.
And, like Stockwell, Steve Miller earned his second career CMP victory lap, topping the Six Shooters with ease, taking the checkers ahead of Robert Shaw.
Claremont Motorsports Park will begin its summer 2022 Friday night series this week, on April 29, with a six-division card of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series events plus Spectator Races. Post time Friday at CMP is 7 p.m.
CMP APRIL 24 TOP TENS:
NHSTRA MODIFIED 100: Matt Kimball, Aaron Fellows, Trevor Bleau, Andrew Martell, Nathan Wenzel, Kimmy Rivet, Tyler Leary, Justin Beecher, Jesse Jakubajtus, Brad Zahensky.
GSPSS PRO STOCK 100: Gabe Brown, Luke Hinkley, Joey Doiron, Jimmy Renfrew, Casey Call. Dylan Estrella, Ryan Ripley, Josh King, Nick Cusack, Danny McKeg
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Ricky Bly, Ryan Currier, Ben Poland, Ryan Bell, Jack McClay, Tyler Lescord, Streve Bly, Cam Curtis, Dylan Zullo, Andrew Campbell.
STREET STOCK: Cody Schoolcraft, Dave Greenslit, Brandon Gray, Jeremy Zullo, Tanner Woodward, Mike Williams, Milton Duran, Joe Tetreault, Matt Sonnhalter, Andrew Brousseau.
MINI STOCK: Greg Millette, Sean Lantas, Nick Houle, Pat Houle, Lane Lantas, Regan Buffum, Hailey LaClair, Bradon Morrie.
PURE STOCK: JD Stockwell, Nolan McClay, Bruce Jaycox, Andrea St. Amour, Chris Chambers, Kyle Templeton, Brandon Picknell, Carlos Grenier, Doug Nelson, Colton Martin
SIX SHOOTER: Steve Miller, Robert Shaw, Lucas Bernatchy, Steve Miller Jr., Eric Griffin