Celebrating 25 years, 1995 - 2020

Reigning Super Street champion Tim Wenzel Wins at Monadnock


Monadnock Speedway



By Gary Dutton

WINCHESTER, N.H. – Jake Johnson won Saturday’s Granite State Derby main event at Monadnock Speedway, scoring his first career Whelen Modified Tour victory before a large crowd at the storied speedplant.

The 21-year-old Bay State pilot, aboard the fabled Boehler Ole Blue ride, took the lead from series titan Ron Silk on lap 102 and then withstood the all-out challenges of Silk and event runner-up Austin Beers to score his first Whelen series victory.

Super star Matt Hirschman set fast time on the newly paved oval with a scorching lap of 11.637 seconds but started seventh on the 24-car grid after a top-eight redraw. Anthony Sesely, second fastest in qualifying, sat on the pole.

Sesely had his mirror filled by Jon McKennedy in the early laps, with both Johnson and Silk in the mix all day, and Austin Beers, from way back in 17th, charging through the field at breakneck speed.

Lutz took the lead on lap 47 but five circuits later it was Silk at the point, bidding for his third 2024 series win in only four events. Johnson, though, was not far behind.

Diving low through turn three, Johnson took control on lap 102 and never looked back. Silk’s bid from the top groove saw him kiss the backstretch wall, with Beers quickly filling the deuce spot. Patrick Emerling’s steady charge brought him home third. Silk salvaged tenth on the day, while Sesely, the pole sitter, was 13th.

With the oval’s new racing surface taking away years of advantage from the more veteran drivers, it was the two 21-year-olds – Johnson and Beers – each 20 years Silk’s junior, taking the top spots in Saturday’s JDV Productions biggie at Monadnock. Maybe the Bonsignores, the Hirschmans and the McKennedy’s with their countless hundreds of laps knowledge of the high banks have lost their edge. Or perhaps, on this Saturday, the youth brigade was simply faster. Round two is set for July 20.

Reigning speedway Super Street champion Tim Wenzel topped Saturday’s caution-free 25-lapper, taking the top sport from teen phenom JD Stockwell on lap 19 and then holding him in his shadow to score the win. Opening day winner Chris Riendeau made a late-race pass to edge Jake Vanada for third.

Nick Anderson led every lap but two in Saturday’s JDV Open Mini Stock feature, with those – the most important of the day – won by Julia Kendall, who blasted low through turn four to lead the 24th go-round and dart off to victory lane.

Opening day winner John Fultz followed Kendall to the front, settling for second, just ahead of Anderson. Early leader Louie Maher finished out of the money, while strongman Bob Williams grenaded during qualifying.

Jimmy Zellman led all the way Saturday to repeat his opening day Pure Stock victory. The potent Chelsea, VT pair of Chris Chambers and Andrea St. Amour stayed glued to his bumper for all 25 caution-free laps before settling for second and third.

Todd Bertrand dominated the NEMA Lites feature, holding off the late race charge of series ace Randy Cabral to win Saturday’s 30-lap main. Cabral came from fifth to second over the final five laps but had to settle for the runner-up hardware, with Paul Scally, Joey Bailey, and Kyle Valeri rounding out the top five in the 16-car field.

Putting five-time Pro Four Modified champion Rob Richardi on the point is never a good idea for the rest of the field. Saturday, Richardi was cruising in third when Kurt Lester and Jake Dumas tangled ahead of him. Once in front, he simply drove away. Brandon Lavoie was second, with Dumas recovering for third.

Jase Mongeon topped a swarming 27-car field of Nelcar Legends Saturday, holding off Devin Deshaies. PJ Evans, the series winner a week earlier, came home third, nipping Cole Robie. Mason Tessier was fifth.

Young pilot Parker Davis held off Grayson Day in the 15-lap Bandaleros feature. Brady Wakefield walked away unharmed after barrel-rolling his ride down the frontstretch.

The Whelen Modified Tour will return to Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, July 20, to battle in the 250-lap third annual Duel At The Dog event, the second leg of the 2024 Whelen Granite State Short Track Cup series, all three run at Monadnock.

The storied high-banked oval is in action next Saturday, May 11, with its 53rd Annual Weekly Racing Series Opener, featuring the Mad Dog Modifieds and JDV Super Streets atop a six-division card of racing. Post time is 6 p.m.

WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR TOP TEN: Jake Johnson, Austin Beers, Patrick Emerling, Craig Lutz, Matt Hirschman, Justin Bonsignore, Brian Robie, Joey Cipriano III, Anthony Nocella, Ron Silk.
JDV SUPER STREET TOP FIVE: Tim Wenzel, JD Stockwell, Chris Riendeau, Jake Vanada, Daniel Petrovich.
JDV OPEN MINI STOCK TOP FIVE: Julia Kendall, John Fultz, Nick Anderson, Kevin Clayton, Patrick Houle.
PURE STOCK: Jimmy Zellman, Chris Chambers, Andrea St. Amour, William Graham, Adrian Smith.

Article Credit: Gary Dutton
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