Story By: KYLE SOUZA / JDV PRODUCTIONS – WINCHESTER, NH – The Duel at the Dog is on deck.
Monadnock Speedway will roar back to life this weekend, on Saturday, June 18, as a six-division card, headlined by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, returns to the high-banks in New Hampshire.
The 200-lap Tour race will showcase the top talent in Modified racing, with the largest car count of Tour-Type Modifieds at Monadnock for the 2022 season set to roll in there on Saturday. Over $80,000 in posted awards is on the line for the Whelen Modified Tour race alone, boosting the total purse for all six divisions during the day to six figures.
The entry list is stacked with talent. Three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore, Ron Silk, Tommy Catalano, Jon McKennedy and others are ready to continue their championship battle in the sixth race of the season, but they will have to contend with six-time champion Doug Coby.
Returning to the seat of the No. 7NY for Tommy Baldwin Racing, Coby will look for his third straight Whelen Modified Tour win personally, but will look to continue Baldwin’s dominant streak in Modified racing. Baldwin’s team is coming off their latest triumph – a $5,000 to win checkered flag at Thompson Speedway on Wednesday – and has won the last three Whelen Modified Tour events with Coby (twice) and Mike Christopher Jr.
“I’m certainly happy to be back in the car,” Coby said. “Tommy Baldwin has two opportunities to win Saturday, with my car and Jimmy Blewett driving the No. 1 for him. It’s a chance to extend the streak. Monadnock is an awesome little technical track, where you have to be smart, smooth and consistent and repeat that and do it over and over again for the whole race. It seems like as the race goes on, you can move around and use different parts of the track to get the car to turn. It’s a fun place.”
There will be a local flavor in the field Saturday – with Todd Patnode, Brian Robie and Matthew Kimball – three regulars in the NHSTRA Modified divisions at Monadnock and in New Hampshire – will all be in the field. Names like Jake Johnson, Sam Rameau, Jacob Perry, Patrick Emerling, Kyle Bonsignore, Eric Goodale, Austin Beers, Craig Lutz and Anthony Nocella are also expected to be contenders.
It would also be tough to count-out “Big Money” Matt Hirschman, as the Pennsylvania native won the Tri-Track event at Monadnock last month and will head to the track Saturday looking to continue a streak of five consecutive podium finishes in Whelen Modified Tour competition, including two victories.
The 200-lap race will mark the second of three in the Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup – as teams will continue to chase the $5,000 prize as champion of the Cup. The final standings for the Cup will be determined and paid out based on the car owners, and Tommy Baldwin Racing is hope to cash in. With his success in round one of the Cup at Lee USA Speedway on May 21, Baldwin has a short lead over Roy Hall and Tim Lepine, car owners for Matt Hirschman and Jon McKennedy.
On top of the champion bonus, multiple award incentives also return at Monadnock, including the Challenger Bonus, awarded to the highest finishing driver who has competed in less than 50% of the races on the Tour the last two seasons. The Hard Charger bonus, $200 per event, is awarded to the driver who improves the most positions from their starting position to finish. The Moe’s Moving Move of the Race award will be given to the driver who improves the most in their finishing position from the Lee USA Speedway event. The Critical Move of the Race award, courtesy of Critical Screen Printing, will be awarded to the driver who makes the most important move en route to their finish, as voted on by JDV Productions officials.
On top of the Whelen Modified Tour, the Granite State Pro Stock Series will be in town for 75 laps of high-speed excitement. Jimmy “Showtime” Blewett is set for double-duty, as the New Jersey native will wheel the No. 1 for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the Duel at the Dog, and the No. 05 for Jacob Dore in the Granite State event. Some of the top names in Pro Stock racing – including series points leader Joey Doiron, Garrett Hall and others – will be competing on Saturday.
The Monadnock Speedway Late Model Sportsman, Mini Stocks and Pure Stocks will also compete. The NHSTRA Street Stocks will go the extra-distance with a special 50-lap feature to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
It should be a busy night of racing.
The race day schedule for Monadnock will begin with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice at 2 p.m., followed by practice for the Granite State Pro Stock Series and Monadnock house divisions. At 4:45 p.m., the green flag will drop on Granite State Pro Stock Series qualifying, while the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will complete time trials at 5 p.m. to fight for the Mayhew Tools pole award. Feature action for house divisions and the Pro Stocks will follow, until the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hits the track for the Duel at the Dog 200 at 8:30 p.m. For those who can’t make it to the track, FloRacing.TV will have a live stream of the Whelen Modified Tour feature.