Mecteau Grabs First As Godin, Stone, and Gagnon Continue Their Winning Ways

Thompson, CT; The Smith Boilers Triple, a 75-lapper for the Late Models, highlighted a night of racing action at Thompson International Speedway and when the checkered flag fell it was Lonnie Mecteau of Plainfield, CT taking down the win. Pro Stock winner Roger Godin of Spencer, MA and Strictly Stock winner Ryan Stone of Branford, CT both scored consecutive wins, while Chris Gagnon of Moosup, CT made a return visit to victory lane in the Mini Stocks.

Late Model point leader Lonnie Mecteau extended his lead by working his way through traffic and keeping his nose clean to take the down the victory in the Smith Boilers 75. Attrition played a major role in the outcome of the 75-lap event. Early leader Bruce Adams of Dayville, CT got heavy pressure from Scott Bronczyk of N. Grosvenordale, CT until he got loose going into turn two and made hard contact with the wall. On the restart a torrid battle developed behind Adams between George Greco, Jeff Plakias, and Gerry Young. Contact between the three on lap 36 sent Plakias into the backstretch wall and Young to the back of the pack.

On the ensuing restart at lap 43 Adams lost the handle and spun at the start-finish line collecting a number of strong cars including Dennis Botticello and Charles Bailey III, handing the lead to George Greco. His stint at the front of the pack was short-lived as Lonnie Mecteau took the lead. An extended green flag run saw the top-five run nose to tail. A caution on lap 71 for debris set-up a two lap shoot out to the finish. Mecteau, anxious to make his first trip to victory lane this season, jumped starter Tony Leckey’s flag bringing out the caution. Another shot at the green saw a picture perfect restart and a win for Mecteau. “Once I got the lead I radioed my crew,” said Mecteau, “and told them that the car just keeps getting better and better.” And so, too, does the season as Lonnie Mecteau extends his point lead.

Thirty-four cars took the green in the 40-lap extra distance event for the Strictly Stocks. Local favorite Cliff Gaumond of Thompson, CT set the early pace up from his sixth starting position. Gaumond showed the way until lap 24 when Bill McNeil of Taftville, CT grabbed the top spot. Gaumond was shuffled back to sixth as the freight train of the top-five went past. On the ensuing lap McNeil got out of shape slipping back bringing Kevin Mason back with him allowing Ryan Stone to take the lead.

The run to checkers was not without incident as Stone had to hold back the hard-charging Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor, Kevin Mason, and Larry “Lead Foot” Barnett through a number of restarts. Stone would hold on to take his second consecutive victory and fourth of the season. “This is the first time I ever even finished an extra-distance race,” said Stone in victory lane. Larry Barnett and Frank Kiser scored top five finishes after being involved in a first lap incident.

Roger Godin recovered from a first lap spin, made a three-wide pass for the lead and went on to take his third straight win. Rusty Bryant of Weymouth, MA and Phil Rondeau of Baltic, CT provided the fans with tons of side-by-side racing, battling for the lead for over half of the race. The defining moment of the event came when Rusty Bryant ran high coming out of turn four on a lap 24 restart in an effort to get a run on Rondeau. This opened up the bottom enabling Godin to pass both Bryant and Rondeau. Godin stretched out his lead taking the checkers over Rondeau.

It first appeared that Rich Barry had made it two in a row taking down the win in the 15-lap Mini Stock feature until post race inspection proved otherwise. A rules infraction handed the victory to Chris Gagnon.

Smith Boilers Late Model 75: Lonnie Mecteau, Plainfield, CT; George Greco, Jr., Easton, CT; Rick Gentes Woonsocket, RI; Bill Wheeler Sag Harbor, NY; Gerry Konopka Lebanon, CT; Jim McCallum, Fall River, MA; Gerry Young, Jr., Jewett City; Jeff Zuidema, N. Brookfield, CT.

Strictly Stock Finish: Ryan Stone, Branford, CT; Tim Taylor, Danielson, CT; Larry Barnett, Ledyard, CT; Frank Kiser, Jr., N. Providence, RI; Cliff Gaumond, Thompson, CT; Scott Cook, Uncasville, CT; Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; Mark Jenison, Brooklyn, CT; Ken Fecteau, Franklin, MA; Jeff Hesselton, Auburn, MA.

Pro Stock Finish: Roger Godin, Spencer, MA; Phil Rondeau, Baltic, CT; Steve Ribbe, Kingston, MA; Chris Perley, Rowley, MA; Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; George Bessette, Danbury, CT; Rusty Bryant, Weymouth, MA; Joe Perry, Ashaway, RI; Chris Ignazio, Colchester, CT; Liane Lombardi, Manchester, CT.

Mini Stock finish: Chris Gagnon, Moosup, CT; Roger Larson, Milford, CT; Rod Rixham, Sutton, MA; Dennis Coates, Wrentham, MA; Gene Vitiello, Pascoag, RI; Cindy Larson, Milford, CT; Dave Huard, Oxford, CT; Brian Marcotte, Danielson, CT; Dave Clark, Plainfield, CT; Ray Fitzgerald, Worcester, MA.

Sources: Thompson Speedway PR

August 2000
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