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Pinkham Jr Tops 500cc's, Pittman Best in 600cc

Posted 2017-05-21 at 21:46

After two weather related cancellations the 2017 season for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Granite State Mini Sprints finally got underway Friday May 19th at The Legion Speedway.

The 500cc Feature was up first and found the #6 of Ken Stridsburg take the lead at the drop of the green flag from his pole position. While Stridsburg was building a nice lead rookie Willy Pinkham Jr in his #54, who started last on the field, was making his way forward. Eddie Puffinburger in the #47 moved into the second spot on lap two and held it until being involved in the races' first caution with 10 laps complete as he tangled with the #17 of Matt Calley. Their misfortune was Pinkham Jr's break as he restarted the race in the 2nd spot. On the green Ken Stridsburg once again took the lead but fell victim to a mechanical failure on the backstretch on lap 13 handing the lead to Willey Pinkham Jr, completing his last to first odyssey. Pinkham Jr. was not seriously challenged for the remaining seven laps and rolled to the win, his first in Granite State Mini Sprint Competition. Brian Lakin in his #11 moved past the #46 of rookie Tyler Vickery on lap 17 to secure the second finishing position. Vickery held on for third with Eddie Puffinburger coming from the rear after being involved in the races' only caution to finish fourth with the #51 of Riley Chaffee completing the top five.

The 600cc feature went caution free with Tony Shaw in his #20 breaking into the lead from the pole position when the green flag flew. Shaw held the top spot for the first three circuits before Kyle Belliveau in his #15 blasted into the lead and drove away to a substantial lead. Shaw held the second spot until Kyle Pittman in the #9 moved to second on lap seven. At this point Belliveau continued to pull away from the field but shortly after the halfway mark of the feature Pittman started to catch a noticeably slowing Belliveau. While Pittman was reeling in the leader Tony Shaw was fending off a stiff challenge for third by the #18 of Dick Lamotte. Kyle Pittman finally caught the slowing Belliveau with a little less than two laps to go and made the winning pass coming off turn four of the last lap with the checkers in sight to take the win in an exciting finish. Kyle Belliveau finished a disappointing second with Dick Lamotte finally getting by Tony Shaw on the last lap for third. Shaw was fourth with Adam Cunningham rounding out the top five.

Heat Race wins went to Ken Stridsburg in the 500cc's with Kyle Belliveau winning the 600cc Heat.

The next event on the calendar for the O'Reilly Auto Parts Granite State Mini Sprints is Saturday, June 3rd at The Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT.

Images courtesy of Alan Ward


Unofficial Results, Legion Speedway, May 19th 2017
500cc Class
1.   Willey Pinkham Jr
2.   Brain Lakin
3.   Tyler Vickery
4.   Eddie Puffingburger
5.   Riley Chaffee
6.   Matt Calley
7.   Kyle Pittman
8.   Ken Stridsburg
9.   Owen Carbee
10.  Matt Collins
DNS: Terry Balla
600cc Class
1.  Kyle Pittman
2.  Kyle Belliveau
3.  Dick Lamotte
4.  Tony Shaw
5.  Adam Cunningham

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