Patnode Dominates In Whitcomb 125 Sunday At Monadnock

WINCHESTER, N.H. – Todd Patnode dominated a 22-car field of NHSTRA Modifieds to win Sunday’s 125-lap Whitcomb Classic main event and, with it, the $5,000 winner’s purse at Monadnock Speedway.

By Gary Dutton

Patnode, aboard a family-owned loaner ride he’d never raced before, took the lead from Geoff Rollins on lap eight and then set a blistering pace the rest of the way to score the big win.

NASCAR legend Bob Whitcomb was on hand to serve as Sunday’s Grand Marshal at the inaugural event of the five-race, four-track, 2022 Whitcomb series that will conclude back at Monadnock in September, assisted Sunday by honorary starters Brian Ross and S.J. Evonsion,

Patnode, like both Evonsion and Ross had done many times decades ago, put on a master class Sunday.

Run in two segments, the Whitcomb Classic was slowed by eight cautions and one six-car pileup Sunday, but Patnode was never fazed. Matt Kimball, Brian Robie, Rollins, and Sammy Rameau all took their best shot at overhauling the Swanzey star but none came close.

Patnode, only seventh the night before in the Tri-Track 100 at the quarter-mile speedplant, was untouchable Sunday. Rameau, second in the Tri-Track event, impressed as Sunday’s runner-up too, with Robie turning in his second bronze medal run of the weekend.

Ben Byrne recovered from an earlier looper to claim fourth, just ahead of Kimball. Rameau set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 12.692 seconds. Patnode, fastest a year ago, was second at 12.713, just ahead of Tyler Leary’s 12.714.

Kevin Vaudrien led the first eight laps of Sunday’s Late Model Sportsman feature, then giving way to Ryan Currier. Once in front, the Alstead pilot put his foot down and never looked back, earning his first career victory by a huge margin.

Ryan Bell was solid in second, with Vaudrien charging back from fourth to put a slick move on late and snatch third back from Justin Littlewood.

Zach Zilinski took no prisoners in dashing to both the heat and feature wins Sunday, topping the speedway’s biggest Young Guns field in years. And the Gill, Mass. youngster was just warming up.

Aaliyah Tacy was second in both Young Gun events, while Addison Brooks came home third in the heat and Traver Michaud, one day after his eleventh birthday, made his family’s long haul from Lebanon, Maine memorable by placing third in the 15-lap feature.

Thirty daredevils took starter Chris Horton’s green to start the nightcap King of The Hill 50-lap Enduro. EJ Flanagan had the lead late in the event when he was rudely delegated to lawn mower duty by a lapped car. That was all Matt Gauffin needed.

Gauffin, a master of many Enduro events in the region, led the last six go-rounds to emerge victorious. Claremont star Drake Nelson, who led the first 25 laps, was second, with upstart Zach Zilinski, who’d earlier won his first Young Guns feature, outdueling the rest of the field to impress in third.

The New England Dwarf Car Series made its first visit to the high banks this season on Sunday, with George Helliwell winning both his heat and feature races.

Justin Harris was in control of the 30-lap feature until suddenly dropping off pace on lap 27. Helliwell then blasted to the point, where he outran Tom Harwood and Duane Scofield to the checkers. Harris recovered to finish fifth.

Monadnock Speedway will return to action Saturday, May 7, when the fabled quarter-mile hosts a full card of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series action, headlined by the NHSTRA Modifieds. Post time each Saturday is 6 p.m.

 

NHSTRA MODIFIED WHITCOMB CLASSIC 125: Todd Patnode, Sam Rameau, Brian Robie, Ben Byrne, Matt Kimball, Tyler Leary, Nate Wenzel, Brad Zahensky, Russ Hersey, Geoff Rollins.

LATE MODEL SPORTSMAN: Ryan Currier, Ryan Bell, Kevin Vaudrien, Justin Littlewood, Nancy Muni Ruot, Andrew Campbell, Dan Comeau, Sammy Silva, Greg Belisle, Cole Littlewood.

YOUNG GUNS: Zach Zeklinski, Aaliyah Tacy, Traver Michaud, Colton Martin, Addison Brooks, Owen Zelinski, Markus O’Neil, Jaimielynn Flannery, Emma Blake, Dominick Stafford.

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