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
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
Thursday, May 19
4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Charlotte final practice, Fox
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.
Smith / Champ Trail