Monday, June 18, 2012

NHMS ~ 6/17/12

reprinted from
photos by RPM Photography

Buffington Back On Top At 89th Loudon Classic

The Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour was back at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for one of the most insane weekends of the year, the 89th Annual Loudon Classic, otherwise known as “Bike Week.” The field has been getting tight in recent road course races, as last year’s dominating driver, Shaun Buffington, has been shut out in the two road course races thus far this season by Evan Beaulieu and Reid Lanpher. However, on this day, he knew he had a shot to win and the race did not disappoint the many fans who came out to enjoy their day at NHMS. The fifth race of the Moat Mountain Legends Series showed 22 of the best Legends Car drivers, once again doing battle on the 1.6 mile road course.

On the pole with a new track record in qualifying was defending Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour champion, Evan Beaulieu, with current point’s leader Matt Bourgoine on his outside. On the start, Beaulieu was able to get the jump into turn one with the race lead, but he had both Bourgoine and Lanpher right behind, as the top three were able to open up some distance on the rest of the field. It was all Beaulieu in the lead until about the halfway point, when Lanpher started to close in and made his move to the race lead, which allowed both Bourgoine and Buffington to catch right up to them and started a four car battle for the lead. The first yellow would come out with five laps to go, while in the battle for the lead, Lanpher went off in the downhill section of the track, along with Ryan Hammar in the 2 car having a mechanical failure in turn two.

On the restart, with just five laps to go, Beaulieu opted to restart from the outside, with Buffington running second next to him. The two went in a drag race into the first corner, but Buffington was able to get around and take the lead. The two who fought each other hard in the first road course race, were once again running one-two for the win. Beaulieu would stalk Buffington for the final laps, but coming around to the white flag, Buffington was able to open up enough distance to hold him off, as he took his first road course win of the season! Beaulieu finished second, for the sixth straight race, while Bourgoine rounded out the top three. Tom Gray in the 18 was fourth while Bob Weymouth finished fifth.

After ten races, Bourgoine still holds on to the Amsoil Nelcar Legends Tour points lead, but it’s tight up at the top as Beaulieu is just three points behind. In the Moat Mountain Legends Series at NHMS, Buffington was able to stretch out his points lead to four points over Beaulieu and 33 ahead of Lanpher. The next stop for the Tour is at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Thursday night, June 21st, for the second round of VIP Thursday Thunder, racing starts at 7 PM. Then the Tour will be back at Star Speedway on Saturday, June 23rd. Racing starts at 6 PM! For more news, info and how you can get into Legends Car racing, visit