Racin’ With Jason: The fastest kid in Franklin County

  • J.D. Stockwell of Turners Falls celebrates one of his podium finishes earlier this season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • J.D. Stockwell of Turners Falls celebrates one of his podium finishes earlier this season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • J.D. Stockwell of Turners Falls competes in a Pure Stocks race earlier this season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • J.D. Stockwell of Turners Falls competes in a Pure Stocks race earlier this season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • J.D. Stockwell of Turners Falls competes in a Pure Stocks race earlier this season at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • Ben Byrne of Deerfield celebrates his victory in last Saturday's NHSTRA Modifieds feature at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

  • Justin Littlewood of Orange celebrates his victory in last weekend's Late Model Sportsman feature at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CHIP CORMIE

Published: 6/10/2021 7:40:53 PM
Modified: 6/10/2021 7:40:57 PM

J.D. Stockwell couldn’t wait to start racing.
After moving from Florida, the Turners Falls resident jumped in a car the day he turned 12, which coincided with the opening day of practice at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. He entered in the Young Guns division, which is for kids ages 12-15. He spent one season there before moving up to the Pure Stocks division, as there was no Young Guns division last season.

Now 14, Stockwell is one of the fastest rising drivers on Saturday nights at the Route 10 bullring and on Fridays at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway. The eighth-grader at Pioneer Valley Regional School finished third last Saturday at Monadnock. His best finish this season is second, and he stands second in the points standings, 12 behind Chris Davis of Winchester, N.H.

Armed with a new car this year, Stockwell sees dramatic improvement.

“All last year, our car wasn’t too good,” Stockwell said in a phone interview. “Now it feels good to be up there and run with the fast guys.”

At Claremont though, the No. 45 car didn’t have the same zip it had at Mad Dog to start the season.

“At Claremont, the car wouldn’t work most of the time, but at Monadnock it would. It gets a lot of damage at Claremont,” Stockwell said.

However, the results at Claremont aren’t all that bad. He’s got three top-10 finishes in four races and sits in seventh place in the standings.

With help from his parents as well as the Cormiers, who field the No. 14Z Mini Stock at Monadnock, Stockwell is knocking on the door of a win.

“Last year, we got quite a bit of help in general because I was a kid who just started,” Stockwell said. “We’ve got some new people to help us this year. They’ve helped a bunch. They’re probably the reason the car is so fast.”

Stockwell also has his sponsors to thank for their support: Doug’s Auto Body of Gill, Pioneer Valley Tire of Bernardston, Steel Shed, Garrett’s Carpentry, Houle Property Services and the Turn 4 Podcast.

“I think we’re getting close to (a win) if we can get a good start one week,” he said.

The big difference between the Young Guns and the Pure Stocks is that he’s now out there by himself. There are no spotters telling him where to go, and there is more beating and banging. He had to learn how to start two-wide as opposed to the single-file starts in the Young Guns.

“You just go out there, no spotters, no one telling you where to go,” said Stockwell, whose racing idols are the Earnhardts.

He isn’t the only youngster having success in the Pure Stock class. Last weekend, Jake Bosse made his debut and held off the 50-year-old Davis for the win.

Stockwell’s cousin, Shelby Avery, used to race at Monadnock, and she had a handful of podium finishes in her career.

In other Monadnock action last weekend, Orange’s Justin Littlewood earned his first Late Model Sportsman victory of the season and Deerfield’s Ben Byrne found Victory Lane for the first time in 2021 in the NHSTRA Modifieds.

Jacob Perry was victorious in the 100-lap Modified Racing Series feature.

This Saturday, the NHSTRA Modifieds will run twin 35-lap features as part of the Quest for the Cup series.

Stafford in spotlight

The moment race fans nationwide have waited for is only hours away — the debut of Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham’s venture, the Camping World Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) series.

For the first of its six-race, Saturday night series on CBS, organizers selected Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and the half-mile is ready for the spotlight.

Stewart leads a diverse group of drivers — mainly retired or semi-retired from major competition — into action under the bright lights of CBS. Drivers include recent Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Michael Waltrip, Paul Tracy, Willy T. Ribbs, Tony Kanaan, Ernie Francis Jr. and Marco Andretti. They will pilot cars identically prepared by Evernham, former Cup Series champion crew chief for Jeff Gordon.

Stafford star Doug Coby — six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion — has been selected to join the field and mix it up with the big guns.

The SRX at Stafford begins at 8 p.m. on WSHM TV-3.

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


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