The last few days have been a whirlwind for regional stock car racing, from Vermont and New Hampshire to New York and Connecticut, asphalt and dirt. Briefly, let’s discuss several key topics:
RICH DUBEAU: The Plainfield, New Hampshire, racer scored the biggest win of his career and certainly of his Cinderella dream season Saturday night, taking the Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road. The win gives Dubeau a massive 81-point lead in the American-Canadian Tour standings, virtually assuring him of the championship in what will unquestionably be the biggest title upset in ACT’s 41-year footprint. Interestingly, the win was Dubeau’s first at the track, making him the 100th different driver to win a Late Model race there in the division’s modern era since 1992.
MIKE STEFANIK: One of the most skilled drivers that New England has ever produced died as a result of injuries sustained after crashing an ultra-light airplane on Sunday. Stefanik was the pilot of the aircraft and reported an engine failure that led to his crash. The Massachusetts native and longtime Rhode Island resident was a nine-time NASCAR touring series champion — tied with Richie Evans for the most titles in NASCAR history — and achieved the unthinkable double-double by sweeping both the NASCAR Modified Tour and NASCAR Busch North Series championships in the same year in both 1997 and 1998. Stefanik retired in 2014 with a record 74 wins and seven championships on the Modified tour.
ROBERTS FAMILY: The father-son team of Joey and Evan Roberts paired up for a magical night of accomplishments on Sunday at West Haven’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway. Joey, the elder of the two, scored his career-first win in the track’s headline Sportsman Modified division by beating Middlebury’s Justin Comes by inches — officially one one-thousandth of a second — in a photo finish. Evan, in turn, won his ninth race of the season in the 500cc Mini Sprint division to wrap up the season championship. Both drivers also clinched the Rookie of the Year titles in their respective divisions, and Evan Roberts became the youngest champion in the track’s history at age 13 years, five months, six days.
SPEEDWAY 51: East Montpelier’s Joey Laquerre sold his Groveton, New Hampshire, facility on Monday to the Humphrey family of Cornish, Maine. The new owners are brothers Mike and Richard Humphrey and their wives, Stephanie and Wendy, respectively. The track will continue operations as scheduled for the balance of its 2019 season and will revert to its more familiar name, Riverside Speedway, in 2020. Laquerre, 77, is reportedly returning to driving racecars on a regular basis; he is Thunder Road’s all-time leading feature winner (45) and track champion (7).
AARON FELLOWS: The Croydon, New Hampshire, veteran and former ACT Late Model Tour competitor put a cap on his undefeated season at Claremont Motorsports Park on Friday night, taking his 16th win in the Late Model Sportsman division at the season finale. It is believed that Fellows is the first driver to have a perfect season in Claremont’s 73-year history.
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford
LAST WEEK: In Saturday’s double features, Todd Buckwold and Steve Lary won DIRTcar Sportsman Modified features as hometown driver Jordan Fornwalt clinched his first championship. Tanner Siemons and Bradford’s Todd Hayward won the Sportsman Coupe races. Ryan Christian and Corinth’s George Osgood each won Limited Late Model races as rookie Tyler Tremblay won the championship. Morrisville’s Zach Audet and East Corinth’s Buddy Welch won the Four Cylinder features, Tom Keith won the Twin State Dirt Stock race while Dan Lang and Orange’s Tom Chaffee won the Granite State Mini Sprint races. THIS WEEK: Bear Ridge has a two-day event this weekend. Racing is Friday at 7 p.m. with time trials, heat races and four divisions. Racing starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday as the Sprint Cars of New England tour joins a 100-lap Sportsman Modified race, 50 laps for the Sportsman Coupes, a 75-lap Enduro and the annual “Growler” racers.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway — West Haven
LAST WEEK: Fletcher rookie Joey Roberts was a first-time Sportsman Modified winner in Sunday’s season finale as Kenny Tremont Jr. celebrated the track championship, and Poultney’s Marty Hutchins won the Limited Sportsman race as Castleton’s Johnny Bruno took the title. Benson’s Mark Norris won the Super Stock race with West Rutland’s Scott FitzGerald the champion, and Middlebury’s Jake Barrows inherited the Mini Stock win after inspection as St. Albans’ Craig Kirby locked up the title. Fletcher 13-year-old Evan Roberts, son of the Sportsman winner, took his ninth 500cc Mini Sprint win and the championship, and Clarendon’s Cory Gray won the Enduro.
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — Barre
LAST WEEK: Rich Dubeau won the American-Canadian Tour’s Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200 on Saturday night. Craftsbury’s Mike Martin won the 50-lap Flying Tiger feature and Middlesex’s Haidyn Pearce was a first-time Road Warrior winner in a 50-lap race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with the Barre Granite Association Championship Day program. The Late Model and Flying Tiger divisions will each run 60 laps, and the Street Stock and Road Warrior classes will each race 30 laps.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway — Malta, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Jessey Mueller won Friday’s Small Block Modified race, Andrew Buff won the Sportsman Modified feature, and Vergennes’ Kaleb Shepard was the Four-Cylinder Single Cam winner. THIS WEEK: The “Malta Massive Weekend” three-day season finale is Thursday through Saturday. Five divisions are in action on Thursday at 7 p.m. featuring a $5,400-to-win Big Block/Small Block Modified race. Friday’s racing is 7 p.m. with four divisions including a $4,000-to-win Small Block race, plus Vintage Modifieds. Saturday features the Super DIRTcar Series Modifieds for $10,000 to win, along with the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series and Limited Sportsmen.
LAST WEEK: Rich Dubeau won the Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200 at Barre’s Thunder Road, giving him a large 81-point lead. NEXT EVENT: The championship finale is on Oct. 12 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Claremont Speedway — Claremont, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Aaron Fellows completed his perfect season Friday with his 16th Late Model Sportsman win in as many starts, sweeping the championship in the process.
Fonda Speedway — Fonda, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Stewart Friesen won Saturday’s Modified race, Jeff Trombley topped the CRSA Sprint Cars, and Tim Hartman Jr. won the King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series “Northeast Crate Nationals” event as Bobby Hackel won the KOD championship. NEXT EVENT: The Fonda 200 Weekend is Sept. 27-28.
Lebanon Valley Speedway — West Lebanon, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Saturday’s season finale was rained out. Kenny Tremont Jr. is the Big Block Modified champion, Andy Bachetti won the Small Block title, John Virgilio took the Sportsman Modified crown, and Bennington’s Brandon Ely won the Four-Cylinder Dual Cam championship.
Monadnock Speedway — Winchester, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Chase Dowling won the Tri-Track Open Modified Series 100, which was postponed by rain from Saturday to Sunday. Ben Byrne won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman Modified feature, and Vernon’s Solomon Brow took his 12th Late Model Sportsman win. THIS WEEK: The season finale is Saturday at 2 p.m. with seven divisions in action.
Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway — Plattsburgh, N.Y.
NEXT EVENT: Enduro 125 — Sept. 29.
RumTown Speedway — Rumney, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Clay Dow won Saturday’s Sprint Cars of New England race. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 4 p.m. with four weekly divisions and the Granite State Mini Sprints.
Speedway 51 — Groveton, N.H.
LAST WEEK: No racing scheduled. THIS WEEK: There are two events scheduled for Saturday. The first begins at 1 p.m. with five divisions including a 75-lap Late Model race. The second event begins at 5 p.m. with five divisions including 100-lap features for both Late Models and Flying Tigers.
White Mountain Motorsports Park — North Woodstock, N.H.
LAST WEEK: No racing scheduled. THIS WEEK: Racing is Saturday at 6 p.m. beginning with the 50-lap Late Model championship finale that was rained out on Sept. 7, followed by the PASS Super Late Model 150, PASS Modifieds, PASS Street Stocks and Dwarf Cars.
Justin St. Louis is a motorsports journalist, publicist, broadcaster, historian and former driver. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Twitter: @Justin_StLouis