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   CHAMP TRAIL: 02/20/18 by Phil Smith
Modified racing at New Smyrna began on Monday, Feb 12. Thirty one Modifieds, the best field of cars since 1993 were on hand. Ryan Preece led the charge as the opening night 50 lapper took the green. Preece appeared to be headed to victory when a broken suspension part in the cars rear end on lap 43 forced him to pit and ultimately drop out. Jon McKennedy, driving the Tommy Baldwin No.7 was running second and assumed the lead and went on to lead the remaining seven laps and scored the win. Kyle Ebersole finished second with Chuck Hossfeld, third. Matt Hirschman and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five. Among those who failed to finish in addition to Preece was Timmy Solomito who retired when his car developed a smoking rear end....Full Story
   LOOKING BACK A BIT: 02/16/18 with Phil Smith
Sixty years ago in 1958 Paul Goldsmith went pole to pole to win what was to be the last event run at Daytona on the 4.1 mile beach-road course. Goldsmith led all 39 laps and collected $4550 for his efforts. Curtis Turner finished second in the 49-car field. Jack Smith, Joe Weatherly and Gwyn Staley rounded out the top five.
Fifty five years ago in 1963, two hundred-mile qualifying races were held on Thursday to set the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. Junior Johnson in the Ray Fox Chevrolet won the first qualifier over Paul Goldsmith, AJ Foyt, Larry Frank and Dan Gurney. Northern hot shoe Red Foote started 21st and finished 16th. USAC driver Johnny Rutherford passed Rex White with five....Full Story
   WORDS THAT CUT by Rev. Don Rivers
The next passage we take a look at may take us a few weeks to get our heads around. Many times in life words have several meanings. Sometimes we think we know what something means only to find out something was lost in the translation. Words can cut to our heart. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Have you ever lost your temper? Threatened to do something to someone? Gone so far as to say you would take them out? We all lose it and overreact at times. What does it mean when we say things to others? Are words really that important? Out on the track things happen and when they happen to us we react. We usually do not wait to figure out what really happened before we respond. Racers, in the heat of the moment....Full Story
   THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK RELEASES DETAILS FOR THE 2018 ICEBREAKER
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) revealed details about The Icebreaker, which will feature eleven divisions in the 44th running of this great tradition. “For the past 43 years, the Icebreaker has marked the beginning of the stock car racing season in New England. This year’s rendition has even more excitement with the addition of the Valenti Modified Racing Series, giving race fans an additional 50 laps of wheel-to-wheel excitement. We look forward to welcoming our loyal fans and racers back to Thompson to begin our 78th season.” explained Josh Vanada, General Manager of TSMP. The 2018 season of racing kicks off Friday, April 6, with a Test & Tune day. On April 7-8, the New England stock car racing....Full Story
   CHAMP TRAIL: 02/13/18 by Phil Smith
Central Florida came alive with the sound of racing engines this past weekend as the green flag flew for Modified racing at the Bronson Speedway on Saturday night. Ryan Preece started his speedweek with a bang as the throttle stuck on his TS Haulers mount causing hard contact with the wall and a trip out of the track. Preece was not hurt but his mount suffered a bent frame. Twelve cars were on hand. Matt Hirschman more than made up for last years tangle with Ryan Preece as he scored a convincing win in the 50 lap Modified Speedweek opener. Hirschman took the lead from Craig Lutz with ten to go. Lutz finished second with Patrick Emerling, third. Ronnie Williams and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five. The Daytona International Speedway hosted ARCA....Full Story
   RAY EVERHAM TO SERVE AS NAPA SPRING SIZZLER GRAND MARSHAL
2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and vintage racing enthusiast Ray Evernham will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2018 NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, scheduled for April 28th and 29th. Known as one of the all-time greatest crew chiefs in NASCAR history, Evernham will be in attendance the entire race weekend and three of his vintage Modifieds will participate in Saturday’s Vintage All-Star event. “When we heard Stafford was hosting a vintage event Spring Sizzler® weekend, we circled the date on our calendar,” explained Evernham. “My passion for modifieds runs back to my racing days at Wall Stadium competing against some of the all-time greats. The Spring Sizzler has always been a marquee event for Modified racing and it just made sense to bring out some....”....Full Story
   LOOKING BACK A BIT: 02/09/18 with Phil Smith
Sixty years ago in 1958 it was the final event to be run on the old beach-road course in Daytona Beach. Bill France Sr. had a vision for a vast super speedway and it would become a reality one-year later when the 2-1/2 mile high banked Daytona International Speedway would be completed and run its first event. On the beach it was Paul Goldsmith taking the poll position for the 49 car-starting field. Goldsmith toured the 4.1 mile circuit at 140.570 mph. Jim Thompson was second fastest with Cotton Owens, Eddie Pagen and Lee Petty making up the top five.
Fifty five years ago in 1963, Marvin Panch, the driver of the famous Wood Brothers No.21 was testing a prototype Maserati when he lost control and flipped. The car caught fire....Full Story
   CHAMP TRAIL: 02/06/18 by Phil Smith
The countdown to speedweeks in Florida continues. Central Florida comes alive with the sound of racing engines this coming weekend as the green flag drops for Modified racing at the Bronson Speedway. Bronson Speedway owner Ann Young announced recently that "Racin" Bobby Mason and his Ace's Landscaping will be returning as a sponsor for the February 10th Kick Off To Speedweeks Tour Type Modified 50. Action also heats up at the Daytona International Speedway with the Daytona Clash, Daytona 500 qualifying and the ARCA 200. Modified racing at New Smyrna begins on Monday, Feb 12. Headlining the newest crop of pre-entries is three-time defending Tour-type Modified champion, Ryan Preece. The Berlin, CT driver will be back in Florida looking for a....Full Story
   PLAYING BY THE RULES by Rev. Don Rivers
I wonder if we are aware that we are increasingly looking for an advantage. Looking at the world around us we see a world who is focused on being first, to the point of rudeness. Why is it that we think we deserve to be first, or in some way treated differently than others? Our passage today reminds us that the rules written long ago still apply. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At the track every team is looking for the things that will make their car go the fastest. They are searching for that one thing that gives them an advantage over the rest. That in itself isn't wrong, it is when that desire leads us across the line into the gray area, that questionable area of the rules. I have heard it said “it’s not what the rules say, it’s what they don’t say.”....Full Story
   MAYHEW TOOLS EXTENDS PARTNERSHIP WITH NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR DRIVER DOUG COBY
Mayhew Steel Products, Inc. (Mayhew Tools), has announced an extension of their partnership with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Doug Coby. The No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet, driven by Coby, most recently completed a championship run on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2017, with partnership support from Mayhew. “They have been a pleasure to work with since day one,” driver Doug Coby said of Mayhew Tools. “Their company attitude really fits well with our team and a lot of people they bring to the races have become like team members for us." Although this isn’t Coby’s first opportunity to work with a sponsor in racing, he has definitely enjoyed visiting some events with Mayhew employees and just simply....Full Story
 

In Loving Memory Of Howie

   HOWARD "HOWIE" ARTHUR HODGE prepared by Polly Reid
Saturday afternoon on January 28, 2017, Howard ‘Howie’ Arthur Hodge passed away at the St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. Surrounded by family at the time of his passing, Howard was 77 years old.
Born on August 31, 1939 at the Hartford Hospital, Howard was the second of three children to Dorothy (Hoadley) and Leon Hodge.
His first few years were spent in Glastonbury, CT before the Hodge family moved to East Hartford where Howard went to school graduating from the East Hartford High School in 1957.
Growing up, Howard had a paper route for ‘quite a few years’. The pile of papers would be left on the front lawn and Howard would be responsible for folding them, putting them in the big cloth bag then ride around the neighborhood delivering the Hartford Times. His sister Lois fondly remembers his bicycle that ‘he fixed up until it was like a motorcycle’ complete with a windshield, skirts....Full Story
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
by Rev. Don Rivers
 

  RECENT STORIES                               NEWS & PHOTO ARCHIVE                             RECENT PHOTOS

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Champ Trail: 01/30/18
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Champ Trail: 01/23/18
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Bonsignore Sets Sights On First Championship
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