Bleak forecasts and gloomy skies surrounded the days leading up to the return of the North East Mini Stock Tour along with its sponsors Texas Roadhouse and Twisted Tea to the one third mile flat oval in Hermon, ME. The last race at Speedway 95 for the NEMST was held in May of 2009 the first year of the mini stock touring series which has since become one of the most recognized in New England.
That first day saw Justin Trombley take home the feature win, a driver that has had so many laps around the oval he could do it with his eyes closed. Fast forward to 2016. Trombley has decreased the number of tour races he competes in currently and the tour has drawn in the highest caliber of four cylinder competitors the region has to offer. Those competitors include Haywood Herriott and Zach Audet who both won their heat races during Sunday’s event, as well as 2 time champion Emerson Cayer and entering point leader Nick Maniatis.
Maniatis would suffer a huge collision with the wall on lap one of the first heat race losing control of his #63 Nissan Sentra on the entrance of turn three. After the heats another rain delay came and competition was stopped one again. After the track drying process concluded the NEMST feature line up was set with the invert of 6 rows being drawn. This would put Jake Rheaume on the pole for the first time in his 3 year NEMST career.
Rheaume broke out to the early lead once the field took the green flag and lead for the first 8 circuits. Pistol Pete Zaikarite would then shoot to the bottom pinning the 18 behind a lapped car and bringing the 88, 19, and 17 with him. Cayer would move to the lead passing Zaikarite before a challenge from Herriott. Herriott would move to the lead around lap 15 and never look back to his fellow competitors. Cayer held on for 2nd after Audet mounted numerous challenges before falling back out of striking distance.
The win would be the first for the Gorham, NH native Haywood Herriott in only his 7th NEMST start. Cayer, Audet, Rheaume, and Viens would finish the top 5. Herriott would also take over the point lead by 5 points over the aforementioned Maniatis entering our next event at the newly renovated New London Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT on June 4, 2016. For additional NEMST information please visit the official website at www.northeastministocktour.com or give us a like on our Facebook page.