The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - May 17, 2016

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series converged on the New London - Waterford Speedbowl last Saturday night for the New England Cycle Center 161 with 29 Modifieds. The event meant the 600th consecutive start for veteran Jamie Tomaino. Tomaino was given a standing ovation prior to the start.
  With forecasts of heavy rain on the way the Speedbowl management reset the racing schedule twice and their efforts paid off as they got the event in before a fairly decent crowd.
  Ron Silk, the 2011 Whelen Modified Tour champion, ended a 42-race winless streak with his first victory since August 2012. Silk started fifth and took the lead on lap 145 from Max Zachem. Zachem went on to record his best ever Tour finish, in second spot. Jimmy Blewett finished third and was followed by Jeff Goodale and Rob Summers. Brendon Bock, Matt Swanson, Doug Coby, Donny Lia and Jamie Tomaino rounded out the top ten.
  There were ten cautions that consumed 63 laps of the event. During the start of the race Nick Salva got loose and went high into turn 1 and rolling through the turn and down the track Melissa Fifield hit Salva. Andrew Krause, Wade Cole, and Walter Sutcliffe Jr. were also involved in the wreck in turn two. The wreck caused a red flag to come out and stopped the race for 12 minutes.
  The next caution came only 4 laps after the restart when Bobby Santos and Tom Abele Jr., went into the wall between turns one and two.
  The third caution of the event came out when Ted Christopher spun into the infield on lap 19. At the same time Christopher was spinning Rowan Pennink hit the wall between turns one and two, he was able to return to the race many laps down. On lap 39 Timmy Solomito spun 360 degrees exiting turn 4 after contact with Doug Coby and was able to keep the car moving, however the caution flag flew for the fourth time in the race.
  The 5th caution of the race came out on lap 73 when the Dowling machine had a right front tire go down and he hit the wall on the front straight away. The 6th caution came out only 13 laps later when Craig Lutz had a right front tire go down. The 7th caution came out when Dave Sapienza got into the wall in turn 3 after getting hit by Solomito. On the restart the 8th caution comes out for Doug Coby who spun into the turn 2 wall.
  The 9th caution flew when Solomito lost a tire and pushed Pitkat up and Pitkat hit the wall in turn 2, Pitkat wouldn’t be able to return to the race. The 10th caution came out on lap 150 when Solomito got spun and hit the wall in turn 4.
  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action on June 3 at Stafford Motor Speedway with the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.
  In other action at the shoreline oval, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature was suspended with 18 laps remaining in the scheduled 35-lap event because of rain. Diego Monahan was leading the event, with Ted Christopher in second, when the rains came and brought the event to a halt. The event will be resumed this coming Saturday May 21st.. The 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature also fell victim to rain. Ray Christian III scored his first career Late Model victory. Jordan Hadley led every circuit to win the 25-lap Mini Stock feature. Young Jacob Perry continues impress as he scored a tenth in the Minis.
  The American-Canadian (ACT) tour will join the speedbowl regulars this week with a 100 lap feature.

  The Bowman- Gray stadium in Winston-Salem, NC featured Kevin Powell Motorsports 100 for the NASCAR Modifieds. Taking the win was Chris Fleming with Burt Myers, second.

  The Stafford Motor Speedway is 0 for 2 as the Friday night Series of racing fell victim to rain. The rescheduled date for the XtraMart Xtra D Late Model 50 is tentatively set for Friday May 27th which also is Military Appreciation Night. Stafford will try again this coming Friday as they will be hosting the Valenti Modified Racing Series along with 5 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Divisions. Spectator gates open at 4:15pm and racing begins at 6:15 with qualifying heats for the VMRS cars. Tickets for next Friday night’s VMRS 80 are available and on sale now. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. For the 26th consecutive season the month of May is Youth Organization Month at Stafford Speedway. All children 14 and under are admitted FREE when wearing a youth organization team shirt or uniform and accompanied by a paying adult.

  After a one week delay the recently revamped Riverhead Raceway on eastern Long Island opened for the season. In the modified feature Shawn Solomito in the #15 Wayne Anderson IMG_1432 (2)modified passed last years champion #0 Tom Rogers Jr. for the win and never looked back.
  Many upgrades by new owners Eddie and Connie Partridge greeted fans including clean new bathrooms, better concessions, new pace cars and trucks, the band in turn 3 who sang a great Star Spangled Banner and the new lighting system.

  One of the biggest events of the season will be coming to the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH this coming Saturday night May 21st. It will be the Winchester 200 featuring the Modified Touring Series. The race will be 200 green flag laps and the winner will go home with $15,000 and the trophy will be a 3855 Winchester rifle. Some of the modified teams came to practice their cars this past Wednesday at Monadnock in preparation for the event.
  Many drivers have entered, such as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regulars, Donny Lia, Eric Goodale, Ron Silk, Todd Szegedy, and Rowan Pennink along with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Preece. Chris Pasteryak the winner in the season opener of the Valenti Modified Racing Series at the quarter mile oval has entered in the event along with Valenti Modified Racing Series drivers Kirk Alexander, Les Hinckley, and Todd Patnode.
  The Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions will be a part of the program as the Sportsman Modifieds, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, Young Guns, and Lightning Stocks will race.

  On a sad note, the great Dutch Hoag, five-time winner of the National Open (which became the Race of Champions) at Pennsylvania's Langhorne Speedway and a Modified legend in his own time, passed away at the age of 89. Many drivers feared Langhorne, but tough old Dutch won on both its dirt and asphalt surfaces.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks were in the negative from the previous week. The International Speedway Corporation took the big hit as they dropped 0.75 to 32.36. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.47 to 17.26 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.07 to 2.21. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.07 to 34.31 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.54 to 27.65 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.09 to 3.44. The car manufacturers also took it on the chin. Toyota dropped 2.14 to 99.79 while General Motors dropped 0.42 to 30.52 and Ford dropped 0.22 to 13.22. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 2.53 to 133.13 and Lowes dropped 0.53 to 75.01. The big teams sponsors stocks took a real big hit. Dropping like a stone was Coca-Cola which plunged 16.98 to 148.74. Target Department Stores dropped 4.95 to 73.88, McDonalds dropped 1.72 to 128.83, Fedex dropped 3.29 to 157.76 and Aarons Rentals dropped 1.44 to 24.10.

  Coming up this weekend is a high-octane, 3-part series that chronicles the gritty, true story of NASCAR. CMT cable TV network will present the series in three two hour segments. The third and final segment airs this coming Sunday, May 22, at 9:00pm.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, May 19

4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Charlotte final practice, Fox Sports 1
6:00 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1

  Friday, May 20
11:00 AM, NCWTS Charlotte practice re-air, FS1
12:30 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Showdown practice, FS1
3:00 PM, NSCS All-Star practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
5:30 PM, NCWTS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Showdown race, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Charlotte race, FS1

  Saturday, May 21
2:00 AM, NASCAR The List - Greatest Finishes, NBC Sports Net
2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Memorable Moments, NBCSN
5:30 AM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
6:30 AM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
7:00 AM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
11:00 AM, NSCS Showdown race re-air, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Special - Building 43, NBC
7:00 PM, NSCS All-Star qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, Undercover Boss - NASCAR, CNBC
8:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
9:00 PM, NSCS All-Star race, FS1

  Sunday, May 22
1:00 AM, Undercover Boss- NASCAR, CNBC
2:00 AM, NASCAR The List - Texas Motor Speedway, NBCSN
2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Best Daytona Moments, NBCSN
9:00 AM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
9:30 AM, NSCS All-Star race re-air, FS1

   That’s 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: May 17, 2016

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