Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Clay Dow Redeems Himself at Canaan,Sixth Different SCoNE Winner this Season
by Mark McKeon
CANAAN, N.H. -- When the Sprint Cars of New England visited the Canaan Dirt Speedway for their season opener in May, Clay Dow led most of the event, until his late race decision regarding a lapped car allowed Chris Donnelly to scoot by for the win. On Tuesday night, a near replay had a much different outcome as Dow’s brilliant run through the field on the topside of the racetrack allowed him to earn his first feature win of the year.
Dow’s wildly popular victory kept alive SCoNE’s season-long streak of no repeat winners.
Starting ninth in the 25 lap event- which went 23 laps without a yellow flag- Dow first tried his hand in familiar territory at the bottom of the track. When that didn’t work, he sought speed at the cushion and found an abundant supply.
“I never, ever run the high side; everyone calls me a bottom feeder and I’ve had that nickname since I started racing Sprint Cars,” Dow explained. “For some reason, tonight something felt different so I stepped up to the high side and the car was on a rail. I ran two laps on the bottom and I wasn’t going forward, so I let it slide up two grooves and it just started going. I could pick cars off and it was the best I ever had my car going. There were a couple times we went three wide down the backstretch and that was the perfect car to do it.”
Dow’s dramatic performance before a packed house nearly had a déjà vu plot twist. With just two laps remaining, Dan Douville, who had raced from 14th, used a lapped car to get by Dow and grab the lead for a few feet. Immediately after the pass, however, the yellow flag flew for a spin by another lapped car. Reverting to the lead for the single file, green-white-checkered restart, Dow was able to utilize the clear track ahead and pull away. Douville hammered back and finished a fraction of a second behind Dow.
After battling with early race leader Jake Williams, Will Hull placed third. Chris Donnelly, whose strenuous night also included competing in the Modified Twin 20’s, raced from 12th to finish fourth. Former ice racer Williams, in what may have been his best run in a Sprint Car, was fifth. Hometown hero Donnie Lashua used a series provisional to race the SCoNE guest car to 13th.
A bumper crop of 23 Sprint Cars vied for the 18 starting spots in the feature. Heat winners were Williams, Hull and Mark Cole. Bob Giuliani won the B Main.
The Winged Warriors of New England’s Fastest Dirt Track Cars only have a brief respite to pour in a few gallons of methanol and slap on a fresh supply of tear offs. They’ll be at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT this Saturday for Dennis Preston Builders Night to Benefit David’s House at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
SCoNE Feature (25 laps) Finish. Name (Start) Hometown 1. Clay Dow (9) Barnstead, NH; 2. Dan Douville (14) Bridgewater, NH; 3. Will Hull (2) E. Montpelier, VT; 4. Chris Donnelly (12) Piermont, NH; 5. Jake Williams (1) Ctr. Tuftonboro, NH; 6. Mark Cole (3) Lebanon, NH; 7. Shawn Lawler (11) Mason, NH; 8. Tyler Rich (7) Lyme, NH; 9. Andy Seuss (18) Hampstead, NH; 10. Matt Robie (4) Hill, NH; 11. Brandon Valley (5) Ctr. Ossipee, NH; 12, Shawn Berry (15) Ctr. Ossipee, NH; 13. Donnie Lashua (19) Canaan, NH; 14. Bob Giuliani (17) Middleton, NH; 15. Lacey Hanson (10) Orwell, VT; 16. Chris Downs (6) Moultonboro, NH; 17. Jim Lowrey (8) Tilton, NH; 18. Eldon Townes (17) Weare, NH; 19. Kevin Chaffee (13) Fairlee, VT. DNQ: Bruce Kimball, Tunk Berry, Butch Valley, Jr. Also in the pits: Robbie Bodwell.