PODIUM FINISH: Week Ending July 8

Monday, July 9, 2012

Each Monday we take a look back at the top performances from around the region during the week that was.

Not surprisingly given a long holiday week of racing, there were no shortages of candidates, and the local scene wasn't the only place to find the best of the best this week as one driver went across the pond in search of a win. It may have made it a little harder to sift through – and made it a bit harder to get yourself through to The Podium – but for fans and the diehard followers of the local scene, it made it a lot of fun to watch.

Without further ado, let's look at who made The Podium:

1. Ben Kennedy, Daytona Beach, Fla.

The great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., headed overseas during the Fourth of July week and ended up with a history making performance. Kennedy won the Michelin 100 in Tour, France, on Saturday for his first career NASCAR-sanctioned win.


The event was the first-ever oval event held in the NASCAR Euro-Racecar series. Kennedy, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East regular and teammate to point leader Chase Elliott, led the second-half of the event on the .400-mile circuit.

2. Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn.

Szegedy took the lead with seven laps remaining at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday to win the Firecracker 100 for his first career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory. It came in just the second VMRS start of the season for the 2002 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.

3. Wayne Helliwell Jr., Dover, N.H.

Just days after NASCAR released its Hunter Index for July, Helliwell won the 30-lap Late Model feature at Canaan Fair Speedway Saturday night for his seventh victory of the season on the .333-mile track. Helliwell was ranked fifth in this month's Hunter Index, a career-best.

Honorable Mention

Scott Dragon of Milton, Vt., won his first career PASS North Series event, dominating the SouthernMaineMotors.com 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday night... Ben Ashline of Pittston, Maine, won the 40-lap Late Model feature at Oxford Plains Speedway on Saturday night – scoring the victory in his first start at the track since winning the ACT Late Model Tour event there in May. The win came in a TD Bank Oxford 250 tuneup for the No. 15 team... Donnie Wentworth, last year's Oxford Plains Winner's Circle Challenge victor, picked up his first win of the season at Oxford in the Late Model feature on Thursday... Jay Laquerre of East Montpelier, Vt., won the 50-lap Late Model feature at Thunder Road on Thursday night to become the first repeat winner of the season in the weekly wars... NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., and Woody Pitkat of Stafford, Conn., each picked up a 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified victory at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday... Rookie Corey Bubar of Windham, Maine, earned his first career Whelen All-American Series victory in the Miller Lite 50 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway last Tuesday... Bobby Pelland III of Cranston, R.I., won his third 30-lap Late Model feature of the season Saturday at Seekonk Speedway.

– TB