Scott Greenwood's dash for the cash continued in the Loudon Road Race Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past Saturday. The reigning class champion won his third race in four tries in the Middleweight Grand Prix, the premiere class of LRRS.
Known for his quick starts, Greenwood jumped to the hole shot to lead the field into Turn 1 and set the pace from there. He was chased closely by Christian Cronin and Eric Wood, who was riding just his second race on a new Kawasaki ZX6R.
The three broke away from the rest of the field, and Greenwood continued to open up his lead. On Lap 3, Wood went looking for the pass on second-running Cronin, and just as he set up for it, Cronin's motorcycle got loose and he went down in Turn 2.
"I had to do everything I could to avoid running him over," Wood said about Cronin's fall. "He literally fell right in front of my front wheel, and I was trying to set him up for a pass at that exact moment, so I was about a half of an inch off his back tire."
With Cronin out of the race, Wood was able to challenge Greenwood on his own, but never seemed to close on the No. 4 Yamaha R6 and ran into trouble when he caught the back of a large amateur field. He was forced off the course and into Turns 1 and 2 of the NASCAR oval to avoid crashing. That cost him 10 seconds of time and any chance of catching Greenwood.
The large number of entries seemed to start causing some congestion on the track. A couple of local cautions slowed the field around the track before a crash in Turn 12 brought out a red flag with five laps to go.
By rule, a red flag more than halfway through the scheduled number of laps also brings out the checkered flag. That sent Greenwood atop the podium for his second consecutive "Dash for Cash" win. The field agreed that there would have been little challenge to him in the final five laps, and Greenwood admitted that he's been very impressed by his performance to this point.
"There was a lot of chaos out there and multiple incident flags," Greenwood said of the premature ending. "I was prepared to do the full 12 (laps), and felt really good and confident because the bike is working great."
Riding in a field of 31 amateurs, Keith Cotter set the pace up front and pulled away by large margin for the class win.
Before putting up strong performances in the Middleweight Grand Prix, Joel Allen, Kip Peterson, Jason Carter and Riley Rodgers tuned their bikes in the Heavyweight SuperSport race.
All four riders bump up to the Heavyweight division with their 600-CC Middleweight motorcycles, because they find they're still able to compete in the SuperSport.
"What I like about this class is that the guys running the 600 (CC engines) can compete with the guys running the 750s," Allen said of the class. "Whereas, if you run SuperBike as opposed to SuperSport, you have guys with a lot more engine work and modifications."
Allen led the point standings coming into the race, and jumped to the hole shot on his Yamaha R6 in an effort to grow that lead. He was followed closely by Rodgers, who stalked him for much of the race before tucking the front early in the final lap.
Rodgers' crash gave Allen the chance to pull away for an easy win, and left Peterson and Carter to do battle for the second. The two riders are both seasoned veterans in the series, and Peterson knew that Carter would only get by his Suzuki GSXR600, if the door was left open for a clean pass. That opportunity never happened.
"We do a lot of practice together, so we follow each other a lot and know what each other is going to do," Peterson said of racing against Carter. "If he's going to pass me, he's not going to do anything silly."
The result gave Peterson a much-needed second-place finish in a class that he's struggled in by his own standards. Peterson would repeat the feat later in the day, when he held off Carter for third in the Middleweight Grand Prix.
While those battles happened in the Expert Class, a similar battle ensued amongst the amateurs. Orlando Gonzalez grabbed the hole shot in front of Walter French Jr. and spent all eight laps of the race holding off French Jr.'s hot pursuit for the class win.
The Loudon Road Race Series will return to NHMS for Round 5 of the 2014 season on August 16 & 17.