Story By: GARY DUTTON / CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK – CLAREMONT, NH – And then there was only Ricky Bly. The Sunapee star stormed to his third consecutive Late Model Sportsman feature win Friday, May 6, at Claremont Motorsports Park.
Bly, a former track champion in the sleek powerhouse division, entered Friday’s third CMP event of the season as one of only two drivers still undefeated on the young 2022 campaign. When teen star JD Stockwell could muster only third on the night in the Pure Stock main, that left only Bly able to go home still perfect on the year.
And Bly jumped all over the opportunity, wiring his 25-lap feature to stay comfortably atop the Route 103 Auto LMS division.
Dynamite Dave Greenslit won is second Street Stock feature in a row Friday, while Braden Morrie was strong in becoming the third different Mini Stock victor in as many races.
Craig Smith, the one years ago dubbed “the other Craig Smith,” not to be confused with “the original Craig Smith,” who was second to Bly in the LMS go-round Friday, scored his first Pure Stock victory of the season, and Steve Miller, the older version, earned his second 2022 Six Shooter victory lap.
Bly ran basically uncontested in the Late Model 25-lapper. One of three feature races run caution-free Friday night, this one was quickly over. Starting up front alongside the original Craig Smith, Bly jumped all over the opening green and never looked back.
Smith held strong to come home second, his best showing of the young season, while defending LMS champion Ben Poland completed his solid outing in third.
Trevor Rocke led lap one of the R.E. Hinkley Street Stock main event, completing that first circuit just inches ahead of Andrew Brousseau. Greenslit, the two-time defending track champ and widely recognized as one of New England’s elite Street Stockers, took charge on lap three and never looked back. But what a battle was waged behind him!
Robert Hagar, who’d fired from row two, took second from Brousseau on lap 11, bringing week one winner Cody Schoolcraft with him. While Greenslit quickly sailed off to run a race all his own far ahead of the pack, the three-car battle behind him was furious.
When Hagar and Schoolcraft danced the ugly tango on lap 24, Brousseau was quick to jump all over second again, beating Joe Tetreault to the stripe by a wheel, as the potent duo reversed their two-three finishes behind Greenslit of a week earlier.
Joe Olmstead and Nick Houle led the In City Sugar Shack Mini Stocks to the green, with Houle taking charge on lap two and then setting fast time over the next nine go-rounds. Braden Morrie, charging from row three, then took over and blazed off to his first win of the summer.
Chris Judd’s late-race surge netted him the runner-up hardware Friday, while Sean Lantas’ third-place run kept him atop the early-season points parade.
Craig Smith, the other one, started up front in the LaValley Building Supply Pure Stock main and simply drove away at will to win his first of the year. The fact he fired from row one probably didn’t matter, on this Friday he and his ride were simply the class of the field.
Nolan McClay scored his second runner-up finish of the season and two-time winner JD Stockwell, whose ride lacked its magic of weeks one and two, was still good enough for third in the 20-car field, finishing just inches ahead of Chris Chambers, impressive in his third top-five finish.
Steve Smith Sr. topped the Avery Insurance Six Shooters, earning his second 2022 victory lap. Robert Shaw impressed again in second, while Lucas Bernatchy was third for the third race in a row.
Claremont Motorsports Park will return to action on Friday, May 13, when the Thrasher Road speedplant will honor speedway patriarch Sonny Fleury when the NHSTRA Modifieds top a seven-division card of racing in the Sonny Fleury Memorial 150 event. Post time is 7 p.m. each Friday.
CLAREMONT MOTORSPORTS PARK MAY 6 TOP TENS
LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Ricky Bly, Craig Smith, Ben Poland, Camdyn Curtis, Jack, McClay, Ryan Bell, Steve Bly, Andrew Campbell, Dylan Zullo, Dustin Leoutsakos.
STREET STOCK: Dave Greenslit, Andrew Brousseau, Joe Tetreault, Brandon Gray, Trevor Rocke, Jeremy Zullo, Cody Schoolcraft, Haydon Grenier, Briana Akusis, Kayleigh Eastman.
MINI STOCK: Bradon Morrie, Chris Judd, Sean Lantas, Nick Houle, Ryan Carman, Dave Thibeault, Lane Lantas, Richard Stockwell, Dan Young, Joe Olmstead.
PURE STOCK: Craig Smith, Nolan McClay, JD Stockwell, Chris Chambers, Andrea St. Amour, Bruce Jaycox, Kyle Templeton, Aiden White, Travis Sykes, Jacob Fowler.
SIX SHOOTER: Steve Miller, Robert Shaw, Lucas Bernatchy, Steve Miller Jr., Ryan Partidge, Tyler Scott, Eric Griffin, Andrew Scott.