Lee, NH – Last weekend brought the final regular Friday night program of the 2022 season to Lee USA Speedway, setting the stage for the championship finale scheduled for Sunday, September 11.
In the Black Flagged Podcast Ridge Runners, it was another notch in Dave Cameron’s belt, as he jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green, and went flag to flag to raise his unbeaten streak to six straight, dominating the action once again.
Former Pure Stock champ Jon Provost gave it all he had, getting to Cameron’s bumper around mid-race, but he couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for second at the checkers. Donnie McCaffrey put in a strong run to round out the podium in third, with Seth Drown and Carl Gagnon the rest of the top five.
The 47-lap Decourcy Memorial events were the highlight of the night in both the MLM Diagnostics Pure Stocks and the O’Reilly Auto parts Six Shooters, and both feature events had the fans on the edge of their seats from green to checker.
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In the Pure Stock feature, it was Ernie Coates assuming the early lead, with James Brownell, Jr. right on his bumper in the second spot at the start. Defending champ Noah McGrath was next to take up the pursuit, moving past Brownell on lap three to give chase to the leader.
Two laps later, things went bad for Darryl Quinlan, as he got caught up in a tangle that sent him hard into the retaining wall coming off turn two. Quinlan was done for the night, but uninjured in the wreck.
When racing resumed, it was Coates and McGrath leading the way, with Justin Faford moving up to make it a three-way battle for the lead. Faford eventually slipped back a few car lengths, with Coates and McGrath seemingly off to settle it between themselves.
At the 35-lap mark, McGrath found himself out of shape on the front straightaway, with Faford moving up to second as McGrath slid through the grass. But he gathered it back up, and on lap 39, he motored back past Faford into second once again.
The lead trio had been putting down some impressive laps around New Hampshire’s Center of Speed, leaving the remainder of the field a lap down as they reached the 40-lap mark. Coates had led all 40, but he looked to be doomed when he blew a tire and came to a stop in turn four, bringing the field under caution.
The Coates crew pulled off a quick tire change and got him back on track, and because the rest of the field was down a lap, he restarted third. But he didn’t stay there long, making a bold three-wide move to regain the lead on the restart, and he held it until the checkers to post the win.
Faford regained the runner-up slot when McGrath also had a tire go down, but he nursed it back around to close out the podium in third. Fourth spot went to Jeff Turcotte, with Bill Faford rounding out the top five.
After a strong run to win his heat earlier in the night, Ryan Partridge jumped out to the early lead in the Six Shooter main, setting the pace for the first four laps before Tom “Hulk” Harton made his way past to claim the spot.
Former champion Adam Knowles followed Harton to the front, and he glued himself to the Hulk’s back bumper waiting for an opportunity to make the pass. The two quickly found themselves several car lengths ahead of the rest of the pack, and as the 47-lapper wore on, it became obvious it was going to be a two-car race for the win.
Knowles saw his opportunity late in the race as the pair came up on lapped traffic, pulling even with the leader as they worked through the backmarkers. But Harton held him off and went on to collect the checkers.
Knowles settled for runner-up, with Michael Yeaton, Jenna Beaulieu, Gary Grenier, Partridge, Trystin Bodwell, Chris Chadwick, Ethan Howard, and Chris Jones the remainder of the top ten.
The NEMA Midgets were on hand to contest the Dave Humphrey Memorial race, with Jim Chambers of nearby Atkinson, NH taking down the victory. Chambers got by Richie Coy to take the lead early in the event, and in the late going, he held off a tough challenge from Avery Stoehr to post the victory. Randy Cabral, Coy, and Matt O’Brien rounded out the top five.
The Senior Tour Auto Racers held a pair of feature events, with Dennis Desautels taking down the Sportsman checkers, and Tommy Trempe winning the Modified portion. Local favorite Gage Osborne came home victorious in the 50-lap King of the Hill Enduro.