The North East Mini Stock Tour has raced at the New London Waterford Speedbowl during every season since 2011 and most of the time the familiar to Waterford race fans #53 has graced the field of touring mini stocks. While often setting fast practice times the Nissan 240sx never had luck in the feature event. Last year at Seekonk Speedway Thomas broke through for his first ever NEMST win holding off Toby Wells and claiming the bounty put up by NEMST officials.
This time around as the NEMST rolled into town 19 tour style minis joined in on the action. Through the first practice sessions Thomas once again was the fast car along with 2 time NEMST champion Emerson Cayer and current points leader Haywood Herriott. Matt Sonnhalter and teammate Brandon Gray showed up late to the action with Sonnhalter laying down some very quick hot laps in a brief practice session.
Herriott would win the first heat with Mike Viens passing Thomas in the late laps of heat 2 to take the win. Thomas would fall to 3rd in the heat before the finish. Thomas also failed to report to the NEMST inspection area following his podium performance and would be sent to the rear of the starting order for the 50 lap feature event.
After a 2 row invert was drawn Matt Sonnhalter and Nick Anderson would inherit the front row. Sonnhalter got the jump on the start but Anderson battled back on the outside and took over the lead on lap 3. At lap 6 the first caution slowed the field and the lineup was reset to the previous lap. On lap 11 another caution flew for the blown motor of Mike Viens which sent him into the turn 1 retaining wall and collecting the 22 of Shaun Waites.
Sonnhalter would stay in command as lots of moves were made throughout the pack with Thomas moving up from his last place starting spot as well as Cayer and Herriott driving up into the top 5. At lap 39 the final caution flew as Glen Thomas now had the second spot and would start to the outside of Sonnhalter with only 11 circuits remaining.
Sonnhalter broke out to the lead and Thomas fell in behind him stalking every move. The VW of Sonnhalter began to push with about 5 laps left and Thomas waited for his moment to battle for the top spot. Tucking to the inside on lap 46 exiting turn 4 Thomas gained the line needed to overtake the top spot and battled with Sonnhalter on the outside until 2 laps remained. Cayer was closing quickly in the 3rd position but would run out of time as Thomas would win with Sonnhalter, Cayer, Herriott, and Zaikarite would finish the top 5 spots.
The next event for the North East Mini Stock Tour is coming up on June 18 at Oxford Plains Speedway for the 4th annual Homecoming event featuring a $750 to win 50 lap feature and the first leg of the Temp Setters Mechanic Contractors Triple Crown Series featuring a $1000 bonus payout, For more NEMST information please visit www.northeastministocktour.com