Racin’ With Jason: For he’s a jolly good Fellows

  • Aaron Fellows, of Croydon, N.H., celebrates his 11th victory of the season last Saturday at Monadnock Speedway. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/EMILY MILLER

Published: 9/17/2020 4:13:27 PM
Modified: 9/17/2020 4:13:18 PM

Meat Loaf once sang that “two out of three ain’t bad.”
Well, how good is 11 out of 12?

That’s the success rate for Aaron Fellows in the Late Model Sportsman division at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., following his victory in last Saturday’s feature.

The Croydon, N.H., hotshoe has won all but one of his starts this season after winning the first eight in a row. Last week, he held off a late charge — and a tap — from two-time Stafford Motor Speedway champion Adam Gray of Granby to take down another checkered flag.

Fellows took the lead from Orange’s Justin Littlewood on lap nine. Cole Littlewood, also of Orange, finished fourth behind Fellows, Gray and Robert Hagar. Greenfield’s Scott Beck was eighth and Justin Littlewood was 11th.

Two out of three also wasn’t bad for Franklin County drivers on the podium in the Pure Stocks, with Greenfield’s Jimmy Zellmann and Northfield’s Mike Douglas placing second and third, respectively. Turners Falls’ J.D. Stockwell was ninth.

Douglas took the top spot on lap nine before being chased down by eventual winner Erin Aiken, of Claremont, N.H., who was driving the car her husband, Dave, won in twice this season.

Douglas leads Chris Davis by 38 points, while Stockwell and Zellmann are third and fourth, respectively.

■ Todd Patnode, of Swanzey, N.H., racked up his third victory of the season in NHSTRA Modified action. Deerfield’s Ben Byrne was fourth.

Patnode reeled in early leader Trevor Bleau, methodically weaving through the field of the 40-lapper from row four. By lap 25, he was second, and the lead was his nine laps later.

Bleau held on to second place, and rookie Corey Plummer charged from row six to finish third. Points leader Brian Robie, who is also third in NASCAR Weekly Series national points, was fifth.

■Yes, you are seeing double atop the Street Stock points list, as Rutland, N.H., twin brothers Jaret and Chase Curtis are tied with 514 apiece. Jaret took the lead from Tim Wenzel on lap 13 and never looked back for his third win of the season. Belchertown’s Chris Buffone took second, and Chase Curtis was third. Montague’s Paul Barnard was eighth.

Barnard and Erving’s Mike Radziuk are sixth and seventh, respectively, in the points chase.

■Agawam’s Kevin Cormier was victorious in Mini Stocks for the second time this season, taking the lead from Kevin Russell on lap 14. Bernardston’s Shelby Avery finished eighth.

Gordon Farnum, of Fitzwilliam, N.H., finished fourth and remains the points leader for the Minis.

■ The Six Shooter division made its debut at the Mad Dog, with Brandon Mailhot, Adam Knowles and Pat Houle occupying the top three spots. One of the greatest names in racing — Chooch Snide — finished 12th.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: We know at least one race Jimmie Johnson will attempt to qualify for next year.

The NTT IndyCar Series announced Wednesday the addition of a new event for the 2021 season — a race through the streets of Nashville, Tenn. The 11-turn, 2.17-mile Music City Grand Prix course includes an out-and-back trip over a bridge on the Cumberland River. The parking lots adjacent to Nissan Stadium — home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans — will be home to the paddock area, and the finish line will be in front of the stadium.

The Music City Grand Prix is the first race officially announced for the 2021 season, and IndyCar officials expect the full schedule to be released in about two to four weeks. Nashville is the first new street race added to the schedule since the Grand Prix of Houston, which lasted two years in the 2010s.

Every time I hear of a new city hosting an IndyCar race, I think of the all-hype, no-action bid to have one in Providence, R.I., in 2015 and the 2016 race in Boston that fell through that spring.

The Providence event never made it on the schedule, but the Boston one did. However, it was canceled a few months before due to sponsorship issues and tension with the city. In 2018, IndyCar was awarded $4 million in damages from race promoter John Casey — the cost of sanctioning fees for the 2016 and 2017 races. City officials were skeptical of environmental impact and disruption to the seaport area where the race would be held.

It reminded me of the situation in Springfield in 2011 surrounding a vintage car race in the city that appeared to get City Council approval, only for there to later be concerns over liability and safety. The race would have been a boon to the downtown area if it were successful — with “successful” being the big “if.”

I was hoping to cover races in either Providence or Boston, so my disappointment in them not being held is selfish yet professional. It does, though, show that it takes more than a good plan on paper to have a successful event.

Jason Remillard is a copy editor and page designer for the Recorder. He can be reached at jremillard@recorder.com and followed on Twitter @racinwithjason.

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