RAL / Homecoming Weekend

The fourth NERRC event of the 2023 season was dedicated to honoring the long history NER has had for almost five decades with this track location in Loudon, New Hampshire; as well as supporting our annual RAL fundraiser for the UMass Chan Medical Center.

What started back in 1964 as Bryar Motorsports Park, eventually became New Hampshire International Speedway in the 1980s, and finally transitioned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the early 2000’s. Check out a recap of the track history here.

For RAL, the region this year supported an online giving portal to collect donations. That link is still open, so if members want to make contributions, please do so here. So far, over $1500 has been generously donated.

However, given that this weekend also hosted an OWDE session, the Formula Vee drivers went way above and beyond in their support of RAL. Those guys rallied together and raised by themselves $1134. Almost matching the total given by everyone else. Way to go Vee drivers!

FV Grid at NHMS – these drivers raised $1134 in their group alone for RAL.

Photo by Josh Underwood from T&S

Summer ’23 Weather Strikes Again

Weather across the eastern seaboard has not been friendly this summer. Rain, thunderstorms, lightning – it seems race reports from tracks spread far and wide include stories of regions being forced to adapt and adjust schedules because of unsafe condition. NHMS joined that list this weekend. On Saturday, massive thunderstorms brought lightning and visibility conditions that required our event to be shut down early, cancelling race groups 5, 6 and 7 and having their sessions pushed to Sunday morning. This required all sessions on Sunday to be shortened. Thankfully, when the flooding cleared (check out the tunnel!), and the storm passed, everyone woke up Sunday to a beautiful day.

Race Recaps

The weather wasn’t the only rough aspect to this weekend of racing. Quite a few incidents and lots of double yellows were seen. Regardless, 5 drivers managed to find the speed and claim new track records. Congratulations to them!

Group 1 was our GT and Touring cars. Zach Kelly claimed victories in race 1 and 3, with Murat Mark Ketenci taking the checker first in race 2 over Zach by a mere 1.2 seconds.

Group 2 was our CRE students. Many of the participants were first-timers and a couple of repeaters. The novice drivers did a fantastic job during practice/qualifying, and had a successful race in the afternoon. Many thanks to CRE classroom and on-track instructors John Santos and Mike Ruggiero.

Group 3 was our fabulous FV group. Once again, it cannot be said enough how generous this group is. Thank you from everyone for giving so much. Now, for the racing, it was a class of 22, that Michael Hinkle managed to sit atop across all 3 races. John Petillo took 2nd in race 1 when Gerard Owen Callaghan only completed 9 laps. But Gerard was right back out there for the final sessions and swept the 2nd step on the podium for 2 and 3. Chase Johnson swept the third place spot for races 1, 2, 3.

Group 4 brought out the smaller touring and IT cars. Another well-represented class of 22, Justin Brigandi swept T3, Raymond Blethen swept T4, Ken Payson swept ITS, and J.C. Ogle swept SM2.

Group 5 was our least-subscribed group with just 8 wings and things entering the course. Todd Parks left the field behind in his P1, leaving Craig Chase and Gary Vizioli to alternate wins in SRFx. Richard Johnson Jr brought his F6, being one of those to claim a new track record.

Group 6 was the largest field, with 40 entries. Alexander Cunningham took races 1 and 2 in SM, and DNS during race 3, so Michael Tosi won that. For B-Spec, Ryan Soucy won on Saturday. Steve Introne joined the pack for Sunday only races, then took both Sunday wins. Unfortunately, B-Spec driver Milos Milivojevic took a scary wreck into the catch-fence during Sunday’s first race. Thankfully, he was fine, even though his car was not. Michael Lavigne won all 3 races in IT7.

Group 7 brought out the SRFs and production cars. Steve Owens swept SRF3, Tim Ginalsk swept SRF and Thomas McGinn swept SE30. Nicholas Sealey won race 1 and 2 for EP, with no winner in race 3, as he and Greg Amy, the only other EP driver, both DNF.

Group 8 was the OWDE with ten participants. Always love seeing new drivers and experienced drivers getting together for some fun on the track.

Coming Up: TSMP Majors

With Runoffs registration in full swing, some drivers may still be trying to get their final qualifying events in, and the NER Majors at Thompson scheduled for August 18-19 could provide that last needed race. For those already qualified, this is a great opportunity for a Majors level practice event before packing up and heading south to VIR.

Registration is already open for both drivers and workers. Be sure to sign up and we’ll see you there!

Official Results

Official results from all Qualifying and Race events from this weekend are now available. Select your race group, then view or download the final Timing and Scoring results as PDF files.

New Track Records

B-Spec – #12 Steve Introne – 1:19.349

F6 – #2 Richard Johnson Jr – 1:16.407

P1 – #21 Todd Parks – 1:01.754

SE30 – #117 Thomas McGinn – 1:18.113

T4 – #51 Raymond Blethen – 1:14.816