Strap In Racing Column - May 18, 2019

Stephen Denio

RIP – Stephen Denio, 1972-2019

Stephen died of a heart attack on May 4. He loved racing and working on race cars at Bear Ridge Speedway and White Mountains Motorsports Park. He seldom missed a race at Thunder Road. He owned and operated his own race car at one time.

Now That’s Better – Jayski Is Back

From Jayski.com: “Welcome to the new Jayski.com. We wanted to get the site live as quickly as we could, so we are still working on older pages and getting everything linked up like it should be.

“There will be a few growing pains, so please give us a little time to button everything up.

“We hope this new ‘throwback’ design makes it easy for you to find all the information you are looking for.

Send any NASCAR news, schemes, questions, and feedback to the Jayski.com team, please email at jayski@jayski.com.”

• I, for one, couldn’t be happier. In the past few months many, many times I found myself looking for stats I knew used to be on Jayski’s. Welcome back!

ACT Late Model Tour

Rick Paya, car owner of the No. 37 driven by Scott Payea, verified that the race at Thunder Road May 5 was the first time in his LM career one of his cars failed to qualify for the main event.

Six days later, the team won the Caron Fabrication Spring Green 119 at White Mountain Motorsports Park. He took the lead for good on lap 66 and went on to win his 16th career Tour victory.

They earned the maximum amount of points possible at an ACT event. Scott won his heat, five points, the main event 75 points, he led a lap in feature, five points, and he led the most laps in the feature, five points. They got 25 points for filing a timely entry and 10 points for displaying battle flags and crew uniforms.

• Seven-time WMMP Champion Quinny Welch’s second-place finish matched the best result ever by a WMMP regular in an ACT event at the track. Brock Davis is the other WM guy to finish second.

Rich Dubeau finished third and now has a three point lead over Jimmy Hebert, (307-304) who came from 18th to finish fourth. Dubeau, in the 30NH, has a third and two fifths in the season’s first three events. He was also third at Richmond in the non-point-counting race, March 30.

Patrick Laperle, Ryan Kuhn, Christopher Pelkey, Tyler Cahoon, Mathieu Kingsbury, and Stacy Cahoon rounded out the top 10.

The other 20 finishers were: 11. Jean-Francois Dery, 12. Stephen Donahue, 13. Jeff Marshall, 14. Joel Hodgdon, 15. Claude Leclerc, 16. Oren Remick, 17. Corey Mason, 18. Dylan Payea, 19. Peyton Lanphear, 20. Scott Coburn, 21. David LaBrecque, 22. Chip Grenier, 23. Reilly Lanphear, 24. Jesse Switser, 25. Scott Corey, 26. Trent Goodrow, 27. Wayne Helliwell Jr., 28. Mike Kenison, 29. Craig Bushey, 30. Jonathan Bouvrette.

• Failed to Qualify: Mike Bailey, Cody LeBlanc, Matt Morrill, Steve Fisher and Allison Menard. Jason Larivee scratched before qualifying with engine problems. Reilly Lanphear was added to the main event by the rule book which reads, “if only one Tour 100%er is left after all qualifying is completed, they get added to the field.”

• 18 cars finished all 119 laps, no one was down one lap but three were down two laps

• Lap Leaders: Helliwell Jr. 1, Pelkey 2-11, Helliwell 12-28, Dubeau 29-48, S. Payea 49-63, Welch 64-65, S. Payea 66-119 (6 lead changes among 5 drivers).

• Time of Race: 57:40

• Margin of Victory: six car lengths

• Cautions: five (1-20-28-48-63)

• The Tour opens the Summer Kickoff Series on June 1 at Vallée-Jct., QC’s Autodrome Chaudiere. The Claude Leclerc 150 is the first of three $5,000 to-win events in the month of June and is also part of a Quebec doubleheader with the following day’s Jean-Paul Cabana 125, a non-point counting event at Circuit Riverside Ste-Croix.

Cup All-Star Race

Is tonight May 18. The race is 85 laps and will have four segments of 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and a 15-lap final segment. Yellow flag laps will not count in the final segment. Why they count them in the earlier stage makes no sense to me.

Each segment must end under green, regular overtime rules will be in place. In the final stage there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish.

There will be no mandatory pitting. And that’s too bad because in the past it’s made for some interesting strategy.

Invitations went out to race winners from last season and so far this season, previous all-star winners who are competing full-time, Cup champions who are running full-time the three stage winners from the Open and the winner of the fan vote.

The 15 drivers that are already locked into the main event are Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Four more drivers will transfer into the All-Star Race from the 50-lap Open (divided into segments of 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps). The three segment winners and a fan vote will make 19 cars starting the main event.

The main event still only pays a measly million bucks to win and has done so for a while now. If they really want to spice up the shows make it $3,000,000 for the first guy under the checkers.

• Active drivers with a win in this event include Jimmie Johnson 4, Kevin Harvick 2, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano all with one win.

Cup Stuff

Isn’t it interesting we’re 12 races into the season and not one winner has been disqualified yet? Before the season started, NASCAR said they’d take wins away from anyone failing tech. Maybe they should look at doing something similar during pre-race inspection.

According to NASCAR statistical archives, the last time a premier series driver was disqualified occurred in 1973 when early retiree Buddy Baker was demoted to last place in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The last time an apparent race winner in NASCAR’s top division was disqualified came on April 17, 1960 when Emanuel Zervakis’ victory at Wilson (NC) Speedway was thrown out because of an oversized fuel tank on his No. 85 Chevrolet.

• Alex Bowman finished second at Kansas. It was his third consecutive second place finish. He becomes the first driver in NASCAR history to finish runner-up in three consecutive races before winning a race.

WMMP

May 18 – It’s the first round of the Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series. They’ll race a 75-lap feature. Joining them will be the Late Models, Strictly Stock Minis, Dwarf Cars and the Kids Trucks. Post time is 6:30 p.m.

PASS

Reigning Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model Champion DJ Shaw drove to his second win of the season May 4 in the Little Webb’s Tire & Fuel 150 at Star Speedway in Epping, NH.

Longtime Star Speedway competitor Joe Squeglia, who led a healthy chunk of the 150-lap race, rebounded from a couple of mid-race skirmishes to earn runner-up honors. Nick Sweet posted an impressive third-place finish after lining up for the race in 20th position.

• RESULTS: 1. DJ Shaw, 2. Joe Squeglia Jr., 3. Nick Sweet, 4. Johnny Clark, 5. Reid Lanpher, 6. Garrett Hall, 7. Derek Ramstrom, 8. Jimmy Renfrew Jr., 9. Bryan Kruczek, 10. Gabe Brown, 11. Travis Benjamin, 12. Bobby Therrien, 13. Scott Chubbuck, 14. Ben Rowe, 15. Dan Winter, 16. Jeremy Davis, 17. Jake Johnson, 18. Angelo Belsito, 19. Alan Tardiff, 20. Cory Cassagrande. 21. Mike Hopkins, 22. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., 23. Derek Griffith.

• The next PASS race is scheduled for May 19 at Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH. Post time is 1 p.m.

Speedway 51

The season kicks off for the Groveton oval today, May 18, with a car show at Mom’s North Country Powersports in Groveton from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. At 1 p.m. a parade of race cars and haulers will drive to the track for some practice. The concert in the all new Turn 4 Pub Saturday night has been canceled due to the forecast of cold weather. Camping will be allowed.

May 19 the PASS Super Late Models invade the high-banked speedway for the NAPA Spectacular 151. Joining the Super Late Models will be the PASS Mods, Legends, Tiger Sportsman and Street Stocks. Post time is 1 p.m.

Bear Ridge

May 18 – The four weekly divisions will be joined by the USAC Dirt Midget Association. Post time is 6 p.m.

Thunder Road

Is idle until the Memorial Day Classic, May 26.

Until Next Week

Join me, but remember: “If you’re not having fun, stay home and don’t bother those of us who are.”

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