The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - April 26, 2016

  The big event of the weekend was the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at the Stafford Motor Speedway. Originally conceived by Dick Berggren, Bruce Cohen and Lew Boyd as an early season, high paying open competition event in 1972 the event has grown from its original 80 laps to a 200 lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series event sanctioned by NASCAR. One of the originators, Bruce Cohen, feels that the Sizzler has lost its original intent and has become just another Whelen Modified Tour event.
  Thirty two Modifieds were on hand for time trials. Doug Coby continued to be the fastest of the fast as he scored his 6th pole in a row. Second fastest for the outside pole was Jimmy Blewett in the Mystic Missile. Rounding out the top five was Southern Modified Tour contender George Brunnhoelzl III, Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy. Kyle Elwood qualified the Eddie Partridge entry for Ryan Preece who was at the Richmond Xfinity series event. As usual, bringing up the rear was the Tour's favorite turtle, Melisa Fifield who was 2-1/2 seconds off the pole speed. NASCAR announced that all 32 cars on hand would start.
  Doug Coby literally cleaned house last Sunday with his almost total domination of the 200 lap Sizzler. Coby jumped out from his pole starting position and led 193 of the 200 laps for his third Sizzler win. While Coby "Sizzled" the balance of the field "Fizzled"
  Doug Coby didnít win the season-opener a couple of weeks ago, but he made everyone aware Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway heís still the driver to beat to win the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. While Justin Bonsignore, Jamie Tomaino and Ted Christopher were each credited with laps led, Coby left little doubt through the afternoon he had the winning car.
  Todd Szegedy ended up in second with Rowan Pennink third. Timmy Solomito backed up his season-opening win with a fourth-place finish and Bonsignore was fifth. Rounding out the top ten were Shawn Solomito, Bobby Santos, Chase Dowling, Brendon Bock and Max Zachem.
  The race was slowed five times for caution with the only multi-car incident occurring on Lap 106 after Bonsignore and Ryan Preece got together following a restart. Thirteen of the 32 starters finished on the lead lap. As usual Melissa Fifield lost her first lap at lap 10 and finally parked it after completing 122 laps after experiencing brake problems???
  In other racing at Stafford Rowan Pennink staged a spirited battle with Woody Pitkat to win the SK Modified season opener. Jeremy Sorel finished third with Glen Reen and Ted Christopher rounding out the top five. A healthy field of 30 cars took the green. Michael Bennett was the Late Model winner.
  Stafford begins their regular Friday night season on May 6.

  In the latest news to come from the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island new track owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz will enjoy the fruits of their off season efforts on Saturday May 7th when they present Grand Opening Night at the historic quarter mile oval. To celebrate the occasion a spectacular Fireworks show will join the NASCAR Whelen All- American Series stock cars with feature racing starting at 6:30 pm.
When race teams and spectators arrive at the facility they will be greeted by virtually a new race track with every building undergoing a total makeover from head to toe. An all new Beer Garden on the third turn midway will be the place to be prior to feature event racing as live music will be presented weekly two hours before the official start of the program.
  Once the racing begins on Grand Opening Night the mighty NASCAR Modifieds will highlight the 7 division card with a 40-lap feature event. The Late Model class has also undergone a makeover for 2016 and will compete in a 25-lap main event with 20-lap features set for the all new Riverhead Modified Crates, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks and Legend Race Cars. The famed Figure Eight division will compete in a 15-lap feature.
  Once the racing has been completed the improved lighting system will be doused and the night sky will light-up with another spectacular Fireworks show for everyone to enjoy as well celebrate the rebirth of the 66-year old Riverhead Raceway.

  NASCAR and NBC Sports Group have announced a telecast lineup of 12 races on NBC Sports Net for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours.
The 2016 telecast schedule features races from five of the sportís most iconic short tracks and five companion events at NASCAR national series facilities. Included in the slate are the season finale championship events for both the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
Race Date
Telecast Date
Wed., June 15
Whelen Modified Tour
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Wed., June 22
6 p.m.
Fri., July 15
Whelen Modified Tour (All-Star)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Thu., July 21
7 p.m.
Sat., July 16
Whelen Modified Tour
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Thu., July 21
6 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 6
Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Bowman Gray Stadium
Fri., Aug. 26
11 a.m.
Wed., Aug. 10
Whelen Modified Tour
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Fri., Aug. 26
8 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 17
Whelen Mod-Whelen So. Mod
Bristol Motor Speedway
Fri., Aug. 26
9 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 27
Whelen Modified Tour
Riverhead Raceway
Thu., Sept. 1
7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 17
Whelen Southern Modified Tour
South Boston Speedway
Fri., Sept. 23
2 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 24
Whelen Modified Tour
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Thu., Sept. 29
7 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 2
Whelen Modified Tour
Stafford Motor Speedway
Thu., Oct. 6
12:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 6
Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Charlotte Motor Speedway (.25-mile)
Fri., Oct. 14
3:30 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 16
Whelen Modified Tour
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Fri., Oct. 21
1 p.m.

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl begins its second year of the new beginning a week from this coming Saturday on May 7 with BlastOff 2016.
  The Coastline Fire Protection Super X cars will be making their 2016 debut May 7 as part of the Blastoff. Also competing opening day will be the SK Modifieds, the SK Lights, the Late Models, the Mini Stocks, the Joie of Seating Legends cars, the X-Cars, the Microblue Bandoleros and the New England Truck Series.
  On a sad note former NASCAR Champion Bill Wimble has passed away. His first race win was in 1955, and his first point championship came 3 years later. He won the first NASCAR National Sportsman Championship and the first NASCAR New York State Championship in 1960 and ran at Fonda Speedway for 10 years, from 1958 through 1967, winning the track championship in 5 of those years. On a circuit of Utica-Rome, Albany-Saratoga and Fonda in 1967, he won the point championship at all three tracks. He won 10 Most Popular Driver awards in the Northeast through the 1960's, was the first driver chosen for Kodak's "All Time Great Award" in 1972 and was the second driver chosen for the Race of Champions Hall of Fame in 1979. He was inducted into the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame in 1988, the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame in 1990 and the DIRT Hall of Fame in 1992. Finally, he was inducted into the Living Legends of Auto Racing in 1993, The Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in 2001 and the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame in 2002.
  Not only are his on track accomplishments and accolades almost overwhelming, he was also awarded the Carnegie Bronze Medal in 1963 for aiding in the rescue of Marvin Panch from a fiery wreck at Daytona, the John Naughton Memorial Sportsmanship Award in 1963 and the Buddy Schuman Award by Champion Spark Plug in 1964.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks were down. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.34 to 34.06 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.10 to 18.10 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.02 to 2.37.NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) jumped up 3.41 to 36.29 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.38 to 32.28 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.15 to 3.74. The auto manufacturers also had a positive week. Ford went up 0.67 to 13.61, General Motors went up 1.62 to 32.18 and Toyota went up 3.77 to 107.45. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.65 to 135.66 while Lowes dropped 1.26 to 76.05. With the exception of Fedex which went up 0.42 to 166.32 most of the big team sponsors stocks were down for the week including McDonalds which dropped 2.28 to 125.50, Coca-Cola which dropped 0.66 to 160.92, Target which dropped 0.27 to 82.33 and Aarons Rentals which dropped 0.53 to 26.56.

  Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) (TRK) on April 19, 2016 declared a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share of common stock. The quarterly dividend will be payable on June 6, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 16, 2016.

On the tube this week:

Thursday, April 28

5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net

Friday, April 29
11:00 AM, The 10 Talladega Moments, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Talladega practice, FS1
1:30 PM, NXS Talladega final practice, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Talladega practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
4:30 PM, NSCS Talladega final practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1

Saturday, April 30
7:30 AM, NXS Talladega final practice re-air, FS1
8:30 AM, NSCS Talladega practice re-air, FS1
9:30 AM, NSCS Talladega final practice re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NXS Talladega qualifying, FS1
2:30 PM, NXS pre-race, FOX
3:00 PM, NXS Talladega race, FOX

Sunday, May 1
12:00 AM, NXS Talladega race re-air, FS1
8:00 AM, The 10 Talladega Moments, FS1
8:30 AM, NSCS Talladega qualifying re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:30 PM, NSCS Pre-Race Show, FOX
1:00 PM, NSCS Talladega race, FOX

   Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: April 26, 2016

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