A wicked spill on Lap 3 cost Shane Narbonne an opportunity to defend his Loudon Classic title from 2011. But the native of Tyngsboro, Mass., made sure he wouldn't make that mistake again, cruising to his third-career Middleweight Grand Prix championship in the 90th annual Loudon Classic.
"It feels good, especially with this being the 90th," said Narbonne, who also won the title in 2009. "It was a battle for a while there and then I kind of pulled ahead for a while. It got close at the end, but I was comfortable.
"This race is always a challenge with some of the best riders we have going at it."
A pair of Granite Staters also finished on the podium, as Scott Greenwood (Dunbarton) placed second and Christian Cronin (Loudon) finished third.
"Shane just had a great run there and pulled away from the pack," said Greenwood, a 2003 and 2010 winner of the Classic. "I thought I might be able to make a run at him in the final laps, but I couldn't catch him."
The day began with the very first Laconia Motorcycle Week Community Appreciation Charity Ride. Laconia Harley-Davidson and New Hampshire Motor Speedway teamed up to make the 90th anniversary of Laconia Motorcycle Week even more historic through an effort to raise over $76,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of New Hampshire and set a new Guinness World Records title for "the most money raised for a charity in 24 hours by a motorcycle parade." The current record is $76,036.
While totals for the number of riders and money raised won't be available until Sunday morning, the parade was deemed a success.
"This is going to be a successful day no matter what the numbers are," said Cheryl LaPrade, director of the NH Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. "With all the riders we have here, joining together for such a great cause, you can't help but have a smile on your face. This is so great."
Other day two winners include Robert Balla and Nick Bailey (Vintage Sidecar), Dan Frisbie (Formula 50 Lights), Rick Kaeser (Amateur Formula 50 Lights), Narbonne (HW SuperSport, Unlimited Grand Prix), Justin Pallein (Amateur HW SuperSport, Amateur MW Grand Prix), Kevin Petterson (Amateur Unlimited Grand Prix), Eric Wood (HW SuperBike), Christopher Mackin (Amateur HW SuperBike), Trevor Arvidson (Ultralight SuperBike), Cadman Fenton (Novice Formula 2, Novice Rookie 2), Scott Settino (Novice Formula 4), Rick Doucette (LW Grand Prix), Rick Kaeser (Amateur LW Grand Prix), Eugene Berrio Jr. (P-89 Lights), John Linn (Amateur P-89 Lights), Fred McCullough (Novice Rookie 1),
Shawn Buffington took the win in the Moat Mountain Road Course Series Legends race. Buffington edged Tom Gray and Alex Vorrilas.
Day three of racing begins on Sunday at 12:35 p.m., following the sixth annual Legislator's Parade Lap at 12:20 p.m.
The 90th annual Loudon Classic motorcycle weekend runs through Sunday. Tickets are available at the main gate. For more information on this or any of the other major events at the Magic Mile call (603) 783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com.
Great seats are still available for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 300 on Sunday, July 14. To purchase tickets please call the NHMS ticket hotline at (603)783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com.
90th Loudon Classic Provisional Finishing Order
(Finish. Start, No., Name, City, State, Laps Completed)
1. 64, Shane Narbonne, Tyngsboro, Mass.
2. 4, Scott Greenwood, Dunbarton, N.H.
3. 58, Christian Cronin, Loudon, N.H.
4. 5, Eric Wood, Ashburnham, Mass.
5. 8X, Steven Giacomaro, Calverton, N.Y.
6. 33, Cory Hildebrand, Milford, N.H.
7. 32, Alexander Guilbeault, Litchfield, N.H.
8. 48, Riley Rodgers, Hollis, N.H.
9. 909, Houk Nichols, Woodbury, Conn.
10. 35, Joel Allen, Barrington, N.H.