On Wednesday night, the MRolfeDesigns Pro Late Model Series made the trip up north to visit the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for their Week #5 event. The Magic Mile would host the division’s first and only road course of the event, which would see 22 drivers bring their cars out to make some right hand turns for a change.
In open qualifying, two drivers would break the 1 minute 10 second barrier, and it was the road course ringer, David Krikorian, who would set the fast time of 1:09.587 seconds beating out Anthony Celentano who would join him on the front row.
Krikorian led the field around to start the 40-minute timed event, and would jump out into the lead as the field headed down into the tight first set of corners. Throughout the first lap, Celentano was able to keep pace with Krikorian out front as they came around to complete lap 1 about a half-second ahead of 3rd place. But once Krikorian’s tires began to heat up, the lead for him out front would begin to stretch out a bit as he would start to pull away.
Once Celentano started to see Krikorian pull away, he would begin to face some pressure from behind as 2nd through 5th would all run fairly close with each driver looking to find a way each other to get to the front. Jacob Linkiewicz ran in the 3rd spot early, with Derek Robinson and Bill Martin not too far behind in the top five.
On lap 7 Celentano would slip up a bit which allowed Linkiewicz to get by, and just a few short laps later, Martin and Robinson would get by as well. Celentano would battle back to grab 4th on lap 13, and the top five would begin to spread out a bit up front. As Linkiewicz was finally able to move up int the 2nd spot, there didn’t seem to be any hope of catching the leader as Krikorian was out ahead of the pack by 8 seconds, and his lead was continuing to grow.
Just outside the top five, Cody Kelley had charged his way to the 6th spot by lap 11 after being forced to start in the back due to winning the previous two races in the division. He had gotten by Jeff Hoggard to take that spot away, but as the run went on, Hoggard would battle back and got the spot from him 10 laps later after the half way point of the race on lap 21. Behind them, Michael German had been running in the 8th position, but would need to head down pit road on lap 24 which would drop him back and allowed Ian Layne to move up into that spot. Clay Sniderr ran in the 9th spot, and as the race winded down, he would be caught by Matt Rolfe who had dropped back earlier in the race, and the two of them would battle it out to the finish.
Krikorian continued to lead out front, while 20 seconds back behind him, Martin had caught Linkiewicz and the two would look to fight it out for the 2nd spot. Martin would look for a way by, but as the time on the clock began to wind down, Linkiewicz would have the stronger car and was able to keep Martin behind him at the end.
When the clock hit the 40 minute mark, Krikorian would get the white flag on lap 38, and would coast back around to pick up the dominating victory, over 26 seconds out in front of the field. The win for Krikorian would be his 9th career SARA victory, and his 7th on road courses. Linkiewicz held off Martin as the two finished up on the podium, with Celentano and Robinson rounding out the top five.
Cody Kelley would work his way up to the 6th position and would hang on to the points lead by 19 points over Martin in 2nd place heading into next week’s race.