LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – After a thrilling opening round of the Red Sox Racing League’s ‘Back To Our Roots’ championship, it’s time for another 30-minute battle, this time at Loudon’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the “Magic Mile” is perhaps best known for tightly contested oval stock car races, but the cars and stars of the Red Sox Racing League will be employing the 13-turn, 1.6-mile track layout instead. “There’s a little bit of magic to racing on some of the road circuits out there. Look at where we were, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, or Mid-Ohio, Road Atlanta, Road America, and countless others, where you know you’re essentially driving in circles, but strangely enough feel like you’re going somewhere.” said #16 Caribbean Food Delights driver James Prostell Jr. “Now, nothing against road racing at Daytona or other places like that, but usually when you’re racing on a roval (a road course layout on a track that’s primarily used for oval racing), you start with a portion of the main oval, followed by section that cuts into the infield, snakes around a bit, then puts you back on the oval. There’s only so much that can be done with a confined and flat space that has to also house vital track operation spaces and buildings. That said, I tip my hat to the folks here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – when the course designers decided to have the road course stretch outside the boundaries of the oval, they added so much of a true road course feel – it rises, dips, dives, there’s even scenery beyond braking markers and makes for an interesting drive to say the least!”

Track designers didn’t have to go far to find examples for inspiration as NHMS resides on land that once made up the Bryar Motorsports Park. While the current layout doesn’t share any cues from the former design that hosted Trans-Am races in the 60’s and 70’s, the flowing section outside the oval certainly has a throwback feel. In qualifying, Ohioan Dave Hoffman may have found himself inspired by Trans-Am greats who raced here like Sam Posey, Mark Donohue, or even Skip Barber himself in his efforts to take the Wil-Trans Pole Position award. Hoffman knocked nearly two and a half tenths off of his best practice time to record a 1:10:338 qualifying time, besting outside polesitter Jay Osborne by .392. Kevin Kyle starts third, with Brian Irby fourth followed by Storm Front Racing’s John Koscielniak and Terry Daul to fill the third row. 24 cars took part in qualifying for today’s race, but only 23 will start from the grid. “Between last week’s steering column failure and this weeks, ahem, agricultural driving, we decided it was best to give the chassis a good once over and a new set of BF Goodrich tires,” said Prostell after qualifying. “As a result we’ll start last from pitlane, but not a huge drop from 21st being honest.”

Dropping back out of harm’s way may not have been the worst idea. When the green flag dropped on the New Hampshire 30, 23 identically prepared Skip Barber Formula 2000’s screamed around NASCAR turns 1 and 2 only for the field to bottleneck at the tight right-hander that begins the roadcourse section. “It’s often said that you can’t win the race on the first lap, I know it, everyone else here knows it, particularly anyone who is present during the driver meetings where it’s consistently drilled in our heads,” recalled Dean Moll, driver of the #10. “But the best opportunities to make up ground are when the field is bunched up, and unfortunately this opportunity included a curb and a Les Turner.” Moll was able to drive away from the impact relatively unscathed as he climbed from ninth to sixth by the end of the opening lap, but Turner suffered suspension issues that needed to be tended to right away. The rest of the field worked its way around the scene nimbly, and outside of contact between Andrew Gantman and Jeff Sharp, a chaotic opening lap didn’t provide as much heartache as threatened by the close quarters fighting.

Up front, the pace that put Dave Hoffman on pole was on display once again as the #4 would run at the point for the opening five laps. That wouldn’t be enough to keep last week’s polesitter, Jay Osborne from taking his turn leading the field as he, as well as the #65 of Kevin Kyle and #11 Brian Irby all found their way by to start lap number six. Osborne would the next 10 tours before handing the point back to Hoffman to stop for fuel.

Hoffman stopped for fuel for his own Formula 2000, and the race for the checkers was on. Jay Osborne regained a two-second lead with only four laps to go, but Hoffman was on the charge. Lap by lap, the deficit was whittled away at by the #4, posting lap times that would have re-earned pole position in qualifying including the race’s fastest lap of 1:10.478 in a last ditch effort to wrest the lead from Osborne. Unfortunately for Hoffman, he’d only be able to regain half the time difference before the checkered flag fell, giving Jay Osborne his first win of the season and leaving Hoffman to settle for second. Leading the only two laps not claimed by Osborne or Hoffman, Reed Rundell finished third for the last step on the podium, followed by Michael Baley and Alan Hesebeck to round out the top five.

Race Results

1. Jay Osborne
2. Dave Hoffman
3. Reed Rundell
4. Michael Baley
5. Alan Hesebeck
6. Dennis Griffen
7. Dean Moll
8. Chris Weidner
9. Tony Duffey
10. Brian Irby
11. Sam Dobie
12. Terry Daul
13. Les Turner
14. Andrew Feldman
15. Steven Dager Jr.
16. Andrew Gantman
17. Ed Sutcliff
18. Jeff Sharp
19. Divina Galica
20. William Kabela
21. James Prostell Jr.
22. John Koscielniak
23. Kevin Kyle
24. Gerald Livingston

Next week, Florida’s classic Sebring International Raceway hosts Round 3 for the Red Sox Racing League’s teams and drivers.

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