The North East Mini Stock Tour along with its supporters Texas Roadhouse, Twisted Tea, and Thirty Racewear made their first visit to the 1.7 mile Road Course newly built at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 14 NEMST Style mini stocks came to compete in the legendary inaugural event.
In open practice Nick Maniatis made it known that he was there to compete for the win improving his lap times consistently throughout the day and still feeling like there was more to be unleashed during the race. Toby Wells struggled severely in Friday’s practice going of the track in each of the 5 times he attempted the facility. Emerson Cayer was also back for his first start in two months and again was a road course rocket as he showed many times before at the NHMS Road Course during NEMST competition.
In qualifying the 63 of Maniatis led the pack with Wells, and Cayer following pace. Maniatis drew a 4 row inversion after securing the top spot moving him back to 7th and giving Jake Rheaume the pole position. Wells was forced to start in 11th according to NEMST previous winner procedures and the field was lined up for the first event of the day.
On the start Cayer made a daring move down the front straight and was on the brakes hard entering the challenging right hand turn 1 causing him to spin all by himself and having the rest of the field dodge him as he backed into the grass and recovered his machine. With all the action of Cayer spinning Maniatis rolled through traffic battling for the top spot entering turn 5 and securing the pass exiting the oval at turn 9. At the end of lap 1 Maniatis held a 20 car length lead over second place and thundered down the front straight.
Wells made big moves from the field making his way to 2nd place on lap time and trying to run down Maniatis. Wells was turning consistent lap times but about a half second a lap slower than the leader. Wells was noted by tour and track officials on lap 2 to be leaking fluid from the left rear of the vehicle. Wells was monitored over the next few laps by officials of the leaking vehicle. Emerson Cayer began to recover from his early spin and move through traffic at an alarming rate.
On lap 7 Wells was shown the black flag to fix the leak before returning the track. Cayer followed and passed Pete Zakarite moving into the 2nd position although the battle was over twenty seconds behind race leader Nick Maniatis. Wells attempted to return to the race but was noted to not have fixed the leak and was denied access to the track with 5 laps remaining.
Maniatis would hold on for his first NEMST win in dominating fashion with 2 time champion Emerson Cayer in 2nd and Joe Baxter moving around Zakarite on the final lap to stand on the podium for the first time in his NEMST career. Maniatis became the 19th different winner in series history. The event was the second race of the 2015 Thirty Racewear Triple Crown which saw Glen Thomas win race #1 at Seekonk Speedway.
Joe Baxter is leading the triple crown series which will conclude at the World Series at Thompson in October. Wells and Zakartie are tied for second just 4 points behind Baxter. The NEMST is back in action Sunday September 20 alongside the PASS tour at the famed PASS 400 weekend in Scarborough, ME at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. For more information please visit our Facebook page or www.northeastministocktour.com
Twisted Tea Pole Starter: Jake Rheaume
Thirty Racewear Hard Charger: Nick Maniatis (6)
Sunoco Race Fuels Winners Circle Challenge: Nick Maniatis
Texas Roadhouse Hard Luck Award: Nick Anderson
RH2way Top Rookie: William Potter (6)