Contenders Emerge on Rain-Shortened Northeast Classic Practice Day

Alan Ward Photo

Loudon, NH — Well over 120 drivers got their New Hampshire Motor Speedway race weekend off to an early start at Northeast Classic Practice Day on Saturday, April 18. Although time was precious to ongoing weather issues, several notable contenders emerged in each division as they prepared for Sunday’s big-money showdowns.

After practice started a little late due to track-drying efforts from Friday’s snow, and despite a couple brief showers, each division was able to get in two rotations. Shortly after 3:00pm, though, more steady rain moved in. Faced with the prospect of needing at least two hours to re-dry the 1.058-mile oval, officials elected to call the day short. Sunday’s forecast is much more favorable with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the high 50s.

A total of 26 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models and 27 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models took advantage of the time they had to dial in their cars. Double-duty racer D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, NH ended up topping the ACT charts. Shaw, a five-time PASS champion and last year’s ACT Late Model Tour runner-up, set the day’s fast time at 31.689 seconds in a brand-new car from the Arny Hill Racing stable.

East Bridgewater, MA’s Ryan Kuhn and reigning ACT champion Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, VT were the other Late Model drivers to crack the 32-second barrier. Hebert did so in his first outing after converting his title-winning car to a Ford engine and sheet metal over the winter. Stephen Donahue, Woody Pitkat, Tom Carey III, and Derek Gluchacki also looked string throughout the afternoon.

The only ACT driver to encounter significant trouble was Lancaster, NH’s Shawn Swallow. For the second time in as many events this year, the veteran developed engine valve trouble in the first practice session of the day. His team reportedly had finished patching up the car by early evening and is ready to race in tomorrow’s point-counting opener.

On the Super Late Model side, it was 2019 PASS National Champion Mike Hopkins of Hermon, ME showing the way. Hopkins followed up third-place finishes in the first two PASS National events of the year with a lightning-fast 29.534-second time in an abbreviated second session.

To no one’s surprise, Rowley, MA’s Eddie “The Outlaw” MacDonald wasn’t far behind. Even though MacDonald was “only” second-fastest on the PASS time sheet at 29.609 seconds, the 11-time New Hampshire Motor Speedway winner has to be considered the Northeast Classic favorite. Shaw, Brandon Barker, Johnny Clark, and NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Alex Labbe looked like potential threats to dethrone him.

The North East Mini Stock Tour (NEMST) and Open Street Stocks also had solid turnouts, with car counts unofficially reaching the mid-20s by day’s end. Multi-time NEMST champion Emerson Cayer of Contoocook, NH was the fastest 4-cylinder racer by a longshot on Saturday. His quick time of 35.189 second was nearly half a second faster than Oxford, MA’s Nick Anderson. Defending NEMST champion Desmond Skillings of Antrim, NH also looked strong. On the 8-cylinder side, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Devon McConologue, and Jordan Russell were among the drivers to watch.

The Tour-type Modifieds got a chance to tune up for their $5,000-to-win, 50-lap Sunday sprint. Major Modified stars such as Bobby Santos III, Mike Christopher Jr., Anthony Nocella, and Eric Goodale were in attendance for practice. However, it was Harvard, MA’s Matt Swanson topping them all with a 29.253-second lap.

That blazing time, equal to 130.202 MPH, came in a rules package that sees the Modifieds racing at “The Magic Mile” without a restrictor plate for the first time in nearly 30 years. Ronnie Williams, Andy Shaw, Sam Rameau, and Chase Dowling were some of the other drivers enjoying some high-speed action.

Last but not least, the EXIT Realty Pro Truck Challenge turned their first laps at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. By day’s end, Lowell, MA’s Jason Ferreria was the only trucker who came in below the 34-second mark. Gerard Giordano, Jr., the winner of the season-opening thriller at Thompson Speedway, was in a near dead-heat with Andy Lindeman for second on the charts.

By unofficial count, at least four racers will do double-duty on Sunday. Ben Rowe and D.J. Shaw running both the PASS and ACT features. Renfrew will pilot both an ACT Late Model and a Street Stock, while Giordano has his Late Model and Pro Truck in the pits. All of them are legitimate contenders in at least one of those events, adding another interesting foil to the day ahead.

The Northeast Classic at Loudon’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway goes green this Sunday, April 18. A six-division card features $5,000-to-win events for the ACT Late Model Tour, PASS Super Late Models, and Tour-type Modifieds. The EXIT Realty Pro Truck Challenge, 8-Cylinder Street Stocks, and North East Mini Stock Tour are also on the card.

Qualifying begins at 11:00am with features at 1:30pm. General admission is $30 for adults and $10 for kids ages 12 and under. Tickets will be sold at the track on race day. A live pay-per-view is available on Speed51.TV for $29.99.

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact passracing@roadrunner.com or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

Ronnie Williams Looks To Return To Tri Track Title Form in 2021

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza Photo Tom Morris/Myracenews


SEEKONK, Mass. — Two years ago, Ronnie Williams became the second driver not named Matt Hirschman to win a Tri Track Open Modified Series presented by All Phases Renovations championship. In 2021, he looks to do it again. 

Williams, driving for veteran car owner Gary Casella, returns to Tri Track driving the familiar No. 25 he’s taken to Victory Lane before, and hopes to be consistent enough to contend for the title at the end of the six-race schedule.

“Gary can be a clown when you’re around him, it’s fun,” Williams said. “If you look at Gary, you might not think he can set up a race car… but every single place we go, we are fast. He wants to win, I want to win…. and we just work well together.”

Williams is set for another busy year as a driver, competing full-time chasing his third SK Modified championship at Stafford Motor Speedway, while also running with the Tri Track Series and some select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Open Modified events. Over the last three years, Williams has become one of the quickest and most successful rising stars the Modified ranks in New England offers.

“It’s fun,” Williams said of all of his driving ventures. “It’s better when we are winning… last year we didn’t have as much success as we would have liked, but hopefully this year we can turn it back around and have some more fun.”

Tri Track will visit three New England race tracks in 2021 — Monadnock Speedway, Star Speedway and Seekonk Speedway. Williams has previous wins at Monadnock and Seekonk, but has yet to hold the checkered flag at Star.

“I don’t have a ton of laps at Star but I love it,” Williams said. “It’s a weird little track. We almost had a win there in the SBM when Ron Silk beat us, which was a great race. It’s one track that both Gary & I really want to win at this year. Hopefully we can get it done.”

Williams knows the competition is going to be stout, and the path to wins, or the championship, will not be easy with Tri Track.

“You have a guy like Matt Hirschman racing and a lot of people from a lot of different parts of New England coming to run with Tri Track,” Williams said. “It provides some of the best racing and brings the best drivers.”

The Tri Track Open Modified Series presented by All Phases Renovations season begins on Saturday, May 1 at Monadnock Speedway. For more information on the Tri Track Open Modified Series, visit TriTrackModifieds.com and follow the series on social media.

ROBINSON AND HARDY TOP THURS. NIGHT BATTLE OF THE BAY AT GEORGETOWN

GEORGETOWN, DE – With Late Models taking center stage Thursday at Georgetown Speedway, Ross Robinson (Super Late Model) and Kyle Hardy (Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series) shared the spotlight.

Robinson, a Georgetown native, picked up an emotional victory in the Stockley Materials-presented Mark ‘Coot’ Williams Memorial for the Super Late Models, leading all 26 laps in memory of the popular Delmarva competitor who passed away in Oct. 2018.

Robinson earned $3,026 from the purse, $676 in lap money from Atlantic Prime Mortgage and $150 as the Collins Landscaping Halfway Leader.

Hardy, meanwhile, was the best of a 48-car RUSH Late Model field, topping the Battle of the Bay 30-lap main for a $3,000 payday after a back-and-forth tussle mid-race with Max Blair.

Robinson started the 26-lap Super Late Model main from the outside pole. He completed a cross-over pass of Max Blair in the first turn and took a lead he would never relinquish.

Hardy arrived in second position and saw his opportunity to challenge for victory on a lap-19, double-file restart.

Robinson, however, fired off the outside lane and paced the remaining seven circuits to collect the $3,852 top prize.

“’Coot’ was family,” Robinson told announcer Jeff Ahlum during the post-race interview. “I really wanted to win this one for him. It’s nice to win right here at home.”

Robinson credited his early season traveling, including a month in Florida during Speedweeks, for his success.

“I have to thank everyone who allows me to do this,” Robinson said. “They stayed behind me and didn’t let me get down on the bad nights. When you are in a position like I was in Florida with the best drivers in the country, it’s ‘sink or swim’ and you have to make it happen.”

Virginian Hardy settled for a second-place effort. Blair, who lost ground early after slipping wide in turn three, placed third, ahead of Jason Covert of York Haven, Pa., and Logan Zarin of Moon Township, Pa.  The $250 Adkins Law Firm Hard Charger Award was claimed by Zarin.

$50 Adkins Law Firm heat winners were Blair and Hardy.

Max Blair received $100 from Adkins Law Firm as the fast timer with a lap of 17.571 seconds.

After his runner-up finish in the Super Late Model event, Linden, Va.’s Hardy did one better in the RUSH Late Model 30-lap nightcap. Hardy’s triumph did not come without a challenge.

Hardy led the event from the outset, but a hard-charging Max Blair emerged as a victory contender around the race’s mid-point. As Hardy’s pace slowed in lapped traffic, Blair pounced, sweeping to the lead on lap 19.

Moments after taking the top spot, the right-front corner of the nose piece on Blair’s No. 111 dug into the track and bent downward. Blair’s pace slowed and Hardy regained command on the 20th tour of the half-mile track.

Hardy powered away from the ailing Blair but had to survive one final scare when a caution set up a double-file restart on lap 29.

Hardy held on to win over Titusville, Pa.’ s Blair, who nursed his No. 111 home second. Kyle Lukon of Burgettstown, Pa., emerged in third after a final-lap scramble entering turn three. Donald Lingo Jr. of Millsboro, Del., and defending track champion Trevor Collins of Seaford, Del.

Heat winners for the 48 RUSH Late Models were Robinson, Blair, Hardy, John Waters, Lingo and Devin Brannon. The B-Mains were taken by Darrell Bossard, Derek Magee and Brandon Sturgis.

John Waters won the 6-lap DASH and the 8-lap Non-Qualifiers’ event to conclude the evening went to Cody Dawson.

Jamie Eicholz won a down-to-the-wire 12-lap Southern Delaware Vintage Modified main event and received a $120 cash bonus courtesy of Key Advisors Group. Kerry King, Harold Sylvester, C.J. Schirmer and John Burton trailed.

Robert Blann blasted through traffic to annex the 12-lap Southern Delaware Vintage Sportsman main. Blann received $120 extra from Residential Mortgage Service. Terry Chaney, L.J. Walbert, Dave Schamp and Glen Lyons finished second through fifth, respectively.

Shane Clogg won a $500 cash prize in the 12-lap Delaware Super Truck headliner thanks to Benson Concrete. Nate Benson, Ryan Efford, Dick Beauchamp and Danny Cropper trailed.

Joe Waters dominated the Delmarva Charger 12-lap event and received $500 thanks to Benson Concrete. Kevin Taylor, Ashley Merritt, Chris Carroll and Jay Lowman filled out the front five.

LATE MODEL LINES: The Thursday program attracted 104 race cars to the Sussex County facility including the 48-car RUSH Late Model field from six different states despite the Canadian border remaining closed….

The event drew a solid crowd to the Georgetown stands despite morning rain and a cool, blustery race night. The event was also broadcast live nationally by FloRacing….

Mark Williams Jr. worked tirelessly to raise additional cash for the event in memory of his father and ended up with $2,700 spread over the Super Late Models, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers. Williams addressed the crowd prior to the National Anthem….

The next event at Georgetown Speedway is scheduled for Friday, May 14 featuring $10 grandstand admission for ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ with Chesapeake Paving Modifieds, First State Chevrolet RUSH Late Models, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Little Lincolns, Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers on the card.

Georgetown Speedway, originally constructed by Melvin L. Joseph in 1949, is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Del., just miles from the Delaware beaches and less than a 40-minute drive from Ocean City, Md.

A website is live for the speedway at www.thegeorgetownspeedway.com. Like Georgetown Speedway on Facebook, follow @thegtownspdwy on Twitter, e-mail georgetownspeedway@gmail.com or contact the speedway hotline at 302.563.GTWN (4896).


MARK WILLIAMS MEMORIAL – BATTLE OF THE BAY RESULTS SUMMARY – GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY APRIL 15, 2021

Mark Williams Memorial Super Late Model Feature Finish (26 laps): ROSS ROBINSON, Kyle Hardy, Max Blair, Jason Covert, Logan Zarin, Amanda Robinson, David Dill, Rob Schirmer, Donald Lingo Jr., Danny Snyder, David Smith.

Atlantic Prime Mortgage Lap Money ($676 total): Ross Robinson ($676)

Ad-Art Sign Company Awards ($125 each): Kyle Hardy (second) & Amanda Robinson (sixth)
Adkins Law Firm Fast Time Award ($100): Max Blair (17.571 seconds)
Adkins Law Firm Heat Winners ($50 each): Max Blair & Kyle Hardy
Adkins Law Firm Hard Charger Award ($250): 
Logan Zarin(10th to fifth)
Collins Landscaping Halfway Leader Award ($150): Ross Robinson
L&L Geothermal Hard Luck Award ($150): 
Amanda Robinson
Pella Windows & Doors of Lewes Pole Position ($100): 
Max Blair 

Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series Battle of the Bay Feature Finish (30 laps): KYLE HARDY, Max Blair, Kyle Lukon, Donald Lingo Jr., Trevor Collins, Logan Roberson, Austin Hubbard, Levi Crowl, Matt Glanden, Walker Arthur, Joe Martin, Derek Magee, Devin Brannon, Amanda Robinson, Nick Davis, Michael Duritsky, Jr., Joe Warren, Darrell Bossard, Brandon Sturgis, Jeremy Wonderling, Logan Zarin, Ben Scott, Ross Robinson, Cory Sines, John Waters.

Pace Performance RUSH Late Model Series Battle of the Bay Non-Qualifiers’ Race Feature Finish (8 laps): CODY DAWSON, Chuck Bowie, Robert Smith, Timmy Booth.

Did Not Qualify/Start: Cody Dawson, Chuck Bowie, Robert Smith, Timmy Booth, Jason Genco, Bud Watson, David Smith, Ed Pope, Jerry Barker, Al Shawver Jr., Jeremy Pilkerton, Joe Pete, J.J. Mazur, Andy Michael, Kyle Murray, Ryan Frazee, Geoff Carey, Sparky White, Dana Walker, Matt Hill, Josh Ferry, Billy Henry, David Dill Jr.

RUSH Late Model Dash (6 laps): JOHN WATERS, Donald Lingo Jr., Kyle Hardy, Ross Robinson, Max Blair, Devin Brannon.

Southern Delaware Vintage Modified Feature Finish (12 laps): JAMIE EICHHOLZ, Kerry King, Harold Sylvester, C.J. Schirmer, John Burton, Dave Parsons, Roscoe Clough, Thomas Hughes, Robert Paczkowski, Brayden Ritter, Josh Smith, D.J. Cameron.

Key Advisors Group Winner’s Bonus ($120): Jamie Eichholz
Liz Kapp of Long & Foster Bonuses ($26 each): 
Kerry King (second) & Dave Parsons (sixth)

Southern Delaware Vintage Sportsman Feature Finish (12 laps): ROBERT BLANN, Terry Chaney, L.J. Walbert, Dave Schamp, Glen Lyons, Chris Killen, David Tucker II, Todd Miller, Maddy Jefferson, Pete Morris.

Residential Mortgage Services Winner’s Bonus ($120): 
Robert Blann
Justice Sealcoating & Excavating Bonuses ($26 each): 
Terry Chaney (second) & Chris Killen (sixth)

Delaware Super Truck Feature Finish (12 laps): SHANE CLOGG, Nate Benson, Ryan Efford, Dick Beauchamp, Danny Cropper, Michelle Jackson, Zack Phillips, Scott Trice, Thomas Jackson, Brian Jones, Mark Townsend, Mattie Long.

Benson Concrete Winner’s Bonus ($300): Shane Clogg

Delmarva Charger Feature Finish (12 laps): JOE WATERS, Kevin Taylor, Ashley Merritt, Chris Carroll, Jay Lowman, John Chandler, Jonathan Pitcher, Wyatt Cummings, Sean Martinez, Randy Merritt, Tyler Hottle.

Benson Concrete Winner’s Bonus ($300): Joe Waters

Covering the Entire Northeast