(Photo: Al Plummer)
Final Laps Decide Championships at Riverside Speedway on Roger’s Campground Night
Three championships were decided by 2 points or less as the regular season comes to a close on Roger’s Campground night at Riverside Speedway this past Saturday night.
Bryan Mason entered the event just 7 points ahead of his brother Corey Mason in the North Country Ford Late Model division. Bryan would best Corey by one position in the heat, won by “The Colebrook Kid” Brandon Lambert, giving him an 8 point cushion going into the semi-feature. Corey would win the battle there, as he finished two spots ahead of Bryan, reducing the difference to 6 entering the feature. Lambert picked up the victory in the semi-feature as well, and for the second week in a row, only needed the feature win to pick up the Triple Crown. The green flew in the feature, and the sparks flew immediately. The top two in points were involved in a three-wide move in turns one and two, with Corey spinning and Bryan suffering body damage. Corey would restart the race from the tail of the field, needing a lot of work to get back into the championship hunt. As the laps ticked off the score sheet, Bryan’s sheet metal began peeling off the right side of his Chevrolet, and would eventually block the passenger’s window of the number 10. The black flag was thrown, and as Bryan entered turns one and two, the car spun around bringing out the caution. Bryan would go down pit road and make repairs on his car, and jump back out on the tail end of the field. Corey engaged in battle on the restart with Jason Corliss, making his debut at Riverside in a late model, but Corliss would hold on to the third spot. Bryan had to finish no further back than two spots behind Corey to secure the championship, and he fought his way back through the field to finish sixth, while Corey finished fourth, giving Bryan his fourth late model championship at Riverside Speedway. While the battle for the championship was happening, Brandon Lambert was trying to hold off Luke Shannon for the lead to pick up the Triple Crown. Lambert would lead most of the race, but would lose the spot on the restart on lap 24. Shannon picked up his fifth victory of the year, while Lambert and Corliss settled second and third. Corey Mason and Matt Carbone rounded out the top five.
In the Sign Depot Limited Late Models, “Hollywood” Chandler Davis entered Roger’s Campground night the point leader by a mere one point over Doug Laleme. Laleme would switch that around by winning the heat race, with Davis finishing third. Laleme’s one point advantage entering the feature would mean whichever driver finished ahead of his counterpart would take the 2013 championship. Aaron Smith and Jourdan Davis started on the front row, and as the race began, Jourdan would jump out to the lead, bringing his brother Chandler with him. Laleme would be held up in traffic a bit more, but when he finally broke free, he held the fourth position with Chandler Davis sitting second. Laleme worked his way around Jerrad Ledger, and set his eyes on the Davis brothers. Laleme swung his Pontiac GTO to the outside, would edge his way around Chandler, and began working Jourdan for the lead, as all three cars were separated by inches. Jourdan Davis and Laleme were side by side entering turn three as they came up on a slower car. The leaders would go three wide entering the corner, sending both leaders dirt tracking through three and four. Laleme saved his automobile, and would motor on for the win and the championship. Jourdan Davis would finish second, with his brother finishing third. Ledger and “Old School” Mike Paquette would complete the top five.
The Angels division also had a close point battle on their hands, as Vanessa Brown had just a 5 point advantage over Jenna Randall, and just a 6 point advantage over Tina Leveille. In the Angels heat race, Leveille, Randall, and Nicole Ouellette all made contact, sending Leveille down pit road under full speed and into the tire barrier. Neither Randall nor Leveille would take the green to complete the event, giving Brown a 9 point advantage going into the feature event. Brown would only need to finish in the top five to secure her second championship in the division. Randall would use the outside groove to pull out to the lead and pick up her fourth win in the division in 2013, and put the pressure on Brown. Nicole Ouellette would come across the line second, Leveille third, Jaime Carbone fourth, and picking up fifth and the championship, Vanessa Brown.
Jamie Heath only had to take the green flag in the heat race to pick up the championship in the Town and Country Inn and Resort Street Stock division. The story of the night was the side by side racing for the entire race. Jaime Carbone and Jenna Randall, who have done double duty all year long running Angels and Streets, ran the entire race door to door. The field ran two by two the entire way through the running order, even with a caution in the last half of the race, but the real action happened with just a couple of laps remaining. Carbone edged ahead of Randall with two laps to go, and looked as if she would pick up her first win in the division, but Randall worked that outside groove once more to power her Pontiac to victory lane. Carbone would finish second, and with a three wide move in the closing laps, “Stormin” Keith Normand nabbed the third spot. Josh Barney and “Nitro” Nick Gilcris finished fourth and fifth respectively. Heath was crowned champion for 2013.
James Record already had the championship sewn up in the DK-N-Sons Pure Stock division, so the champion set out to pick up his first win of his career. “The Frito Bandito” Aaron Bennett made his return to Riverside Speedway in the Riverside rental car, but the engine expired part way through the heat race, ending Bennett’s night. Perennial front runner Jay Bennett was drop kicked to the back of the pack early in the race, and had to fight his way back up through the field. Record would take the lead, and pull away from the field to pick up the win. Bennett did manage to find his way back to the front, as he and Gerard Cote put on yet another fine battle for the second spot, with Cote edging Bennett at the line. Nick Miller and Dave Glidden rounded out the top five.
The Marshall Insurance Agency Daredevils division had a makeup feature to complete from Passumpsic Savings Bank night, as well as their regular program. Dylan “The Dragon” Laleme lead the entire way in the makeup feature, picking up his first win in the division in his young career, followed by Zach Savage and Anthony Benoit. Benoit would best his counterparts in the second feature, picking up his second win of the season. Savage would grab another second place trophy for the night, and Matthew Kopp finished third. Kopp would be awarded the first ever “Junior Driver of the Year” in the Daredevils. Kopp gained points on and off the track to compile a complete season, and be given the honor.
(Photo: Al Plummer)