Lee USA Speedway 6/17/22 Race Report

Lee, NH – It was an action-packed night of racing at Lee USA Speedway Friday night, with a stellar field of Supermodified Atlantic Charter (SMAC) 350 Super teams on hand along with a full card of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series competition.

By Rich Hayes

The SMAC 350 Supermodified event marked the first time in a few years that the powerful open wheelers have appeared at “New Hampshire’s Center of Speed”, and it was the first time ever under the SMAC banner.

For many drivers, it was a homecoming of sorts, as two of the three heat race wins went to veterans Mike Spurling and John Leonard, who both have hundreds of Lee laps under their belts. The other qualifier fell to 350 newcomer Jimmy Renfrew, Jr, who has been dominant in the Lee Street Stock ranks for the past few seasons.

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The draw put another former Lee USA regular, James Witkum on the pole for the 50-lap main event. A many time feature winner back in his stock car days on the fast 3/8th’s, Witkum put his experience to work and jumped out to set the pace when the race went green.

Mike Keddy held down the second spot until lap 14, when Mike Netishen slipped past him and set his sights on leader Witkum. A quick yellow for a Mike Humphrey spin reset the field, with Scott Watts, Sr. moving past Keddy into third on the restart.

Two laps later, Watts passed Netishen for second, and it was game on. He quickly glued himself to Witkum’s bumper and pressured hard for the lead for the next several circuits, finally getting by to take over the point on lap 30.

A pair of multi car incidents on lap 34 brought the field under red flag conditions and eliminated several top contenders from the event, including Witkum, who blew his engine after running impressively in the first half of the race.

When racing resumed, Kenny White, Jr. took over the role of challenger, and at one point he even managed to pull alongside leader Watts as they worked lapped traffic. But Watts was up the task, and held White at bay over the remaining laps to lead the field under the checkers and post the win.

White scored a solid runner-up, with Renfrew’s series debut netting him an impressive third place finish. Fourth went to Bobby Timmons III, followed by Ben Tinker, Spurling, Ken Goodrow, Leonard, Bill Helliwell, and Sparky MacIver.

In the Northeast Sand and Gravel Street Stocks, it was another longtime Lee veteran who showed them the fast way around. Grant Aither jumped out to the lead early, and he outdistanced the field to take down the win.

Former champion Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. debuted a brand new car and brought it home with runner-up honors, with Andrew Morin, sophomore ace Milton Duran, and Clark Brooks rounding out the top five finishers in the feature event.

Former division champ Tom “Hulk” Harton was the man of the hour in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Six Shooters, outrunning another former champion, opening night winner Adam Knowles to take down his first feature event win of the 2022 campaign.

Michael Yeaton, a multi-time feature winner in 2021, came home with a strong third place finish, with veteran Gary Grenier and second year campaigner Chris Jones finishing up the top five.

Rookie Adam Bousquet grabbed the early lead in the MLM Diagnostic Services Pure Stock feature, setting the pace for seven laps before Darryl Quinlan slipped past to take over the top spot. Quinlan remained out front until lap 15, when the yellow flew for Katie Buxton.

Defending champ Noah McGrath took advantage of a great restart to grab the lead when racing resumed, and he led the rest of the way to pick up his first checkered flag of the young season. Quinlan took second, with Justin Faford, Bousquet, and Jeff Turcotte finishing third through fifth.

Dave Cameron made it two-for-two in the Black Flagged Podcast Ridge Runners, easily leading from green to checker to post the win. Mike Dube was next across the stripe, with Jon Provost, Carl Gagnon, and Seth Drown the rest of the top five.

The next racing event on the calendar at Lee USA Speedway features the return of the Rodfather Pro Stocks on Friday, July 1, along with the Northeast Sand and Gravel Street Stocks, O’Reilly Auto Parts Six Shooters, MLM Diagnostics Pure Stocks, the Black Flagged Podcast Ridge Runners, and a huge fireworks display.

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