The Sportsman Street Stocks rolled into the New Hampshire Motor Speedway tonight with a championship on the line. The 12 race season was coming to an end and when the cars were backed off the haulers, two of those cars were still mathematically in the championship hunt. Matt Rolfe entered the race with the points lead, but with any bad luck, that could open the door for Brian Tedeschi to snag the title, as the two have been running up front all season long.
When the 10-minute open qualifying session got underway, Ty Majeski quickly shot to the top of the charts and would keep the fast time of 35.601 seconds, earning him the pole over 2nd place starter Matt Rolfe. But when the field gridded for the feature event, Majeski would take up the rear of the field, moving Kevin Myers to the front row, and he would lead the field to the green flag.
Myers would take the top spot early, while Rolfe followed in behind him and would peak his nose down low a number of times. NHMS has been known to be a hard track to pass at and that would be true tonight. Rolfe drove under Myers multiple times in the early laps but just couldn’t pull off the pass, but as the two raced for the lead, Adam Jordan was waiting behind them while Bill Martin was making his move towards the front. When Rolfe couldn’t make the pass, Martin dove under both drivers and got by Rolfe and set to the low side of Myers for the lead and was able to take the spot on lap 12. Martin began to pull away as Rolfe again would battle Myers now for the 2nd spot and he would finally make the pass on lap 14 and looked to chase back down the leader.
With the top two pulling away, Myers’ car was starting to fade a little as he would have a hard time holding off the rest of the field behind him. With the early battle for the lead was going on, the rest of the field was able to hold pace with the leaders and were close behind as they all battled it out. Kenny Smith was able to get by Myers for the 3rd spot, while Stan Bragg got by a few laps later for 4th, and Brian Tedeschi and Dale Owen were both following closely behind as the action continued on. Majeski had started at the back of the field and showed lots of patience in the early laps while slowly picking off cars as the race went on and he would move up to the 7th spot. Back up front, Rolfe had chased down Martin from over a full second back, and had closed up to his rear bumper before the races only caution of the night would fly on lap 34.
Everyone would take the chance to head down pit road to take on tires, but the strategies were much different. Martin and Rolfe both looked to take four tires, while Majeski, Myers, and Tedeschi all appeared to take just two. This would set up the final run to the finish, and would see different strategies play out to see who could end up with the win. Majeski would take off on the restart, with Martin and Rolfe right behind him in 3rd and 5th. As Majeski began to pull away up front, the field behind him were battling it out. Tedeschi would make contact with the wall out of turn two, slowing up Myers as well, and both Martin and Rolfe slipped by. Rolfe then set to the outside of Martin in turn 3, and had moved up from 5th to 2nd in one lap and looked to chase down the leader.
But out front, Majeski’s car would be just too fast, even on two new tires, and he pulled out to over 2 seconds and brought the field around for the checkered flag, picking up his 3rd Street Stock victory of the season. Rolfe ran near the front all race long and would end up finishing 2nd, with Martin ending up on the podium taking the 3rd spot. Smith would make a last lap pass on Tedeschi for the 4th spot, and Tedeschi was able to hang onto 5th after contact with the wall and another car out of turn 4.
Matt Rolfe entered the night, only needing to finish in the 13th spot to take home the championship. But instead of taking it easy, he would battle for the lead for much of the race, and drove his car to a 2nd place finish, clinching the SARA Sportsman Street Stock Series championship. The title is Rolfe’s 3rd SARA championship, following his Pro Late Model and Legends titles from last season. Rolfe’s championship season consisted of 10 top 10’s, 7 top 5’s, just 3 laps led, and 1 pole. This would be the 2nd consecutive SS champion, that did not win a race during his title season, proving that consistency can still win championships.
- Ty Majeski
- Matt Rolfe
- Bill Martin
- Kenny Smith
- Brian Tedeschi
- TJ Graves
- Kevin Myers
- Dale Owen
- Stan Bragg
- Adam Jordan
- Joseph Yakes
- Ken Belanger
- Michael Yakes
- Brandon Wilkinson
- Shane Williamson
- Jeff Hoggard
Tonight’s race marks the end of the Summer Season for the Street Stocks, but a new season will be starting up in a few weeks where the action will pick right back up.
For full results, and the final championship points standings, click HERE.