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August 28, 2013

Aither surges late to win in Davis Memorial

LEE, N.H. — The main event at Lee USA Speedway last Friday night was the annual Lance Davis Memorial, a 50-lap Late Model Sportsman race held in honor of the popular driver whose sudden passing shocked and saddened the Lee USA community in the summer of 2003.

The Davis family was on hand to present the top 10 finishers with trophies commemorating the event, and it was once again Grant Aither taking home the biggest one after a convincing victory in the extra-distance affair for the Prime Storage and Warehouse-sponsored LMS division.

Rookie Niko Maniatis jumped out to the lead and pulling away to a comfortable lead aboard the Rick Solt entry.

Fan favorite Michele Fushpanski was among the frontrunners in the early going, but a tangle while running third sent her hard into the turn four wall and brought out a red flag 14 laps into the race. Fushpanski was a bit shaken, but she walked away after a quick check by the track safety crew. Her car sustained heavy front-end damage in the incident.

After restarting third, Aither got to Maniatis’ back bumper in short order and went to work, finally making the pass on lap 35 to take over the top spot.

Maniatis picked up the bonus money from David’s Race Cars and Components for his runner-up slot, with Jimmy Russell placing third. Fourth went to first-time LMS competitor Joey Doiron, followed by veteran Boe Green, Bobby Melvin, Ryan Green, Patrick Stewart, Geoff Rollins, and Ray Dinsmore.

The Benson Lumber and Hardware Small Block Supermodifieds saw another new face in the winner’s circle at night’s end, when Mike Spurling made it eight different winners for the 2013 season when he beat all the top guns to capture that long-awaited first career checkered flag.

The David’s Race Cars and Components Hobby Stocks also ended their night with a first-time winner as second-year racer Kyle Sawyer took the 25-lap feature event.

The 2012 Rookie of the Year, Tyler Mitchell, grabbed his second win of the season in the American Used Auto Parts Ironman feature event.

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