(Press Release from North East Mini Stock Tour)
On April 26 the Texas Roadhouse North East Mini Stock Tour presented by Twisted Tea opened its 2015 season. Nearing the end of the 50 lap feature there was a violent crash between Bruce Knowles and John Larsen reducing the 2014 NHMS Oval winning machine to a mangled mess of metal and wires. On July 5 the repaired Dodge Neon returned to the track as a surprise to NEMST officials with one mission in mind, defend the 2014 NHMS win. From the minute Justin Larsen unloaded the machine it was the fastest at the track setting the fast time of the day in qualifying of 36.010, a full seven tenths of a second quicker than the closest competitor.
For the 2nd Annual New Hampshire Motor Speedway Oval event 38 tour style mini-stocks rolled through the tunnel over the Independence Day weekend from as far away as North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Thanks to numerous individuals and sponsors the purse was able to be increased to nearly $10,000 in cash and prizes including $30 for the leader of each lap.
TJ Canipe made the 900+ mile trip from Maiden, NC to claim to $100 long traveler bonus and fought engine issues all weekend making a total of about 8 laps before having to pull off the track. NEMST point leader Toby Wells qualified second but was forced to start in 11th per NEMST rules about prior feature winners starting position. Nick Maniatis would take the spot on the outside front row to mirror the grid from last year with Larsen to his inside.
As the green flag flew Larsen would battle Maniatis until lap 3 when Mike Soucy spun by himself on the front stretch bringing out the caution for the first time. The restart would put the top 2 back at pace speed before taking off again. Cayer battled past Maniatis to take second as another caution flew on lap 8 due to a Pete Zakarite spin in turn 2.
The final restart of the event would be Larsen and Cayer on the front row with Maniatis and Labrecque lined up behind them. Glen Thomas made big moves up the pack using the cautions to his advantage alongside Justin Trombley who also started in the rear. Cayer would take the lead from Larsen on the restart as he battled back for the next four laps before Larsen would move back into the lead. On lap 12 Larsen would pull away while Cayer, Wells, and Labrecque started a battle for second that would last for the next 14 laps.
The trio swapped positions, gestures, and paint numerous times during the battle with Wells moving into the second position with 4 laps remaining in the event and Justin Larsen leading by an entire straightaway. Additional battles throughout the top 10 hustled cars around made all of the competitors fight for their lane in 3 and 4 wide battles.
With 3 laps remaining Justin Larsen, who had been smoking since lap 3, had his engine expire entering turn 3. Larsen hung on for another lap and was black flagged for heavy smoke coming from the #20 Neon. Wells took over the lead on lap 28 and lead the final two circuits winning the second annual NHMS Oval event by one second over 2 time NEMST champion Emerson Cayer. Ricky Labrecque won the side by side battle for third inching ahead of Matt Sonnhalter with Joe Kendall coming home fifth.
The NEMST is back in action alongside the ACT Late Models and weekly racing divisions July 25th at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, ME for its first feature at the track in the NEMST’s 7 year history. For additional results or upcoming event information please visit the NEMST website at www.northeastministocktour.com or Like Us on Facebook for images of all of our events.
Environmental Engines Fast Qualifier: Justin Larsen
Twisted Tea Pole Starter: Justin Larsen
Thirty Racewear Hard Charger: Justin Trombley (+13)
Sunoco Race Fuels Winners Circle Challenge: Toby Wells
Texas Roadhouse Hard Luck Award: Glen Thomas
RH2way Top Rookie: Mike Soucy (13)
NEMST Results 7/5/15
1. Toby Wells, Dublin, NH; 2. Emerson Cayer, Contoocook, N.H.; 3. Ricky Labrecque, Antrim, NH; 4. Matt Sonnhalter, E. Thetford, VT; 5. Joe Kendall, Winchendon, Mass. 6. Nick Maniatis, Hooksett, N.H.; 7. Justin Trombley, Winter Harbor, Me.; 8. Michael Viens, Seekonk, Mass.; 9. Pete Zakarite, Niantic; 10. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, R.I.; 11. Loren Smith, Allenstown, N.H.; 12. Tim Collins, Windsor, Me.; 13. Mike Soucy, Hopkinton, N.H.; 14. Shaun Waites Sr., Raymond, N.H.; 15. Justin King, Derry, N.H.; 16. Jim Windrow, Concord, Vt.; 17. Cole Littlewood, Orange, Mass.; 18. Dylan Cabral, Richmond, R.I.; 19. Taylor Morse, Waterbury, Vt.; 20. Justin Larsen, Peru, Me.; 21. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic, Ct; 22. Nick Bissell, Palermo, Me.; 23. Desmond Skillings, Antrim, N.H.; 24. Devin Miranda, Taunton, Mass.; 25. Nicholas Anderson, Oxford, Mass.; 26. Jacob Rheaume, Rochester, N.H.; 27. Dana Shepard, Putney, Vt.; 28. Glen Thomas, New London. 29. Nic Skillings, Hillsboro, N.H.; 30. Haywood Herriott, Gorham, N.H.; 31. Timothy Canipe, Maiden, N.C.