by Doug Sheehan
Our first of five Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Championships were on the line in the Bandit division. With all four contenders (Vanasse Jr, Dion, LaBelle, Vogue) starting fourth through this was going to be a great battle throughout. Reese Bogue wasted little time jumping up to the lead on only lap 2.
The turning point came on Lap 9 when Brody Monahan took over the lead and the battle ensued for 2nd on track but 1st for the Triple Crown. Contact in turn 3 saw Reese Bogue and Ethan Dion go around bringing out the caution and sending them to the back. This narrowed our Triple Crown race down to Brendan LaBelle and Ryan Vanasse Jr.
When the checkered flag waved after lap after lap of battling, we saw Brody Monahan hold off a charging PJ Evans for the win and Brendan LaBelle take home the Triple Crown in 3rd place.
Crystal Murray had the early advantage of starting 4th on the grid while Jordan Lopes, Mike LeFort and Karlin Levesque all started outside the top 10 in their hunt for the Triple Crown. The race early on was led by pole sitter Tim Oulette until an early restart saw Sam Mattera blast by on the outside in search of her first Sport Four win.
A Lap 17 caution saw the ladies of Mattera and Murray share the front row and once the green flag flew we saw some of the craziest racing of the entire night. Multiple close calls for drivers like Mike LeFort and Tyler Almeida added to all of the race’s drama. Ultimately, the “Boss Lady” Sam Mattera took home her first win of her Sport Four career and Crystal Murray held off a tremendous charge from Levesque to cross the line first in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown. Levesque would eventually be awarded the Triple Crown Title after a post race tech inspection.
The Outlaw feature was an exciting yet very simple feature. The story of the race was leader Joey LeMay battling with a chasing Nathan Smith. LeMay looking for his first win while Smith looked for the Triple Crown. After some cautions took out a few competitors, the field dwindled down but the story remained the same. Nathan Smith was doing all he could to chase down LeMay until the checkered flag flew.
What followed was an overwhelming amount of excitement and emotion between the LeMay and Smith clans. Hugs and handshakes between family and drivers showed what this sport is all about as LeMay wins his first race and Smith takes the Triple Crown.
Coming into our fourth feature of the evening, Greg Perry, Danny Massa, Ava Chouinard and Doug Benoit all were vying for the Pure Stock Triple Crown. Chouinard had the initial advantage in this 30 lap battle starting in row number 2. That advantage was quickly taken away.
A caution on the first lap as a result of a spin ended up bunching the Triple Crown contenders up much closer than originally slated. Once the green dropped again, we saw a relentless push to the front from both Danny Massa and Greg Perry. When the caution flag flew at the halfway point, Massa and Perry sat 1-2 on the restart. The bad part about that? 2 time winner this season Scott Cestodio was right behind them. Over the last 15 laps, the trio fought bumper to bumper to take home the win.
On the very last lap, Cestodio, Perry and Massa were THREE wide around the speedway. On the inside lane, Cestodio emerged victorious winning his 3rd race in 4 tries. Oh and the other two guys? Perry and Massa came out of turn 4 glued together, slamming the wall as Massa edged out Perry by inches to take home the Triple Crown Championship.
Our final Fast Friday Triple Crown Championship took place in the Nick’s Pitstop Legends division. We saw Brendan Hammann, Peter Bennett, Kevin Nowak and Josh Parson within 3 rows of each other at the drop of the green.
Plenty of good racing early on with the 4 contenders moving up into the top 5 rather quickly. We hadn’t seen a sweep of the win and the Triple Crown yet in the night and this race had it’s share of spoilers as well. “Batman” Brandon Martinez and Mason Tessier ran up front for the first half of the race with Batman quickly making his run to the front.
Caution flew at the halfway point when Tessier and Bennett, fighting for 2nd, made contact and went around. Both would rejoin at the rear of the field but it would be too much to overcome.
A caution with 4 to go pit Martinez in 1st with three Triple Crown contenders in Parsons, Hammann, and Nowak rounding out the top 2 rows. The restart saw a great jump from both Martinez and Parsons when Parsons swooped to the bottom to hold off the contenders behind him. In the end, Martinez played spoiler and took home his another win on the season while Josh Parsons celebrated his night by winning the Legend’s Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Championship.