The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - May 24, 2016


  The Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway began their summer series of Wednesday night NASCAR racing this past Wednesday night in somewhat chilly conditions. Once the sun went down the temps dipped into the low 50's but the action on the track was blazing hot.
  The Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Series took center stage for their 40 lap, double distance event, the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Circuit One Events. The Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Series took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, May 18th for their marathon event, the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Circuit One Events. Josh Wood took the checkered flag on his 22nd birthday. Wood took the lead fifteen laps into the forty-lap feature and never looked back but had to survive a series of cautions late in the race and a hard charging crew of experienced series veterans to claim his second straight win of the 2016 season. Ryan Waterman held on to finish second after making an overly aggressive move when he won his heat race. Corey Hitchings finished third and Scott Sundeen, fourth. Ed Pulio rounded out the top five.
  In the Sunoco Modifieds (SK type), Keith Rocco literally cleaned house as he made it two in a row at Thompson as he also won the Sunoco Modified event at the IceBreaker. Rocco took the lead in turn two if lap 10 after running wheel to wheel with Rowan Pennink who led the early going. Ryan Preece rallied from an early race problem to finish second but his efforts fell short as his power plant was no match for Rocco's which was Petit powered. Woody Pitkat finished third with Pennink, fourth. Ronnie Williams continues to impress as he rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Adam Norton, Jason Sundeen, Stephen Kopcik, John Studley and Joey Parker.
  Rocco now has 217 career wins which also include victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl and at Stafford.
  Next up for Thompson Speedway is Whelen Military Night on June 1st, following Memorial Day weekend. The night will feature the 3rd Annual Late Model 20/20 Sprint as well as features for the Sunoco Modified, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks.

  Good weather greeted fans and competitors at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Stafford had been rained out two weeks prior. Stafford's regular weekly divisions were joined by the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
  Rowan Pennink scored a one-two punch as he won both the Stafford SK 40 lap Modified race and the 80 lap Valenti Modified event.
  According to web site Chrome Horn, the VMRS race began with pole sitter Rowan Pennink leading the field for the first 4 laps. On lap 5, Woody Pitkat charged under Pennink for the top position and charged forward to lead the field. Pitkat dominated the race at his home track race until lap 60 when Pennink tried the outside and then shot under Pitkat for the lead. Pennink went forward to take home his first 2016 VMRS race. The VMRS race began with pole sitter Rowan Pennink leading the field for the first 4 laps. On lap 5, Woody Pitkat charged under Pennink for the top position and charged forward to lead the field. Pitkat held on to finish second with Anthony Nocella, third. Donnie Lashua and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five.
  In the SK 40 lapper, Eric Berndt led the first half of the event. Shortly after half way, Rowan Pennink went under Berndt for the lead. With ten laps to go Ryan Preece was under Pennink challenging for the lead. Two laps later Preece had the lead with Pennink right on his rear bumper. Preece's lead lasted only two laps though before Pennink came back to take the top position and win. Preece had to settle for second followed by Eric Berndt, Ted Christopher and Ronnie Williams for the top five.

  Despite the fact that two big rain storms were headed to southeastern Connecticut the New London-Waterford Speedbowl persevered and got in a full program of auto racing on Saturday night that saw three first-time winners in victory lane.
  Joey Polewarczyk Jr. was dominant in driving to victory in the 100-lap American Canadian Tour feature while Diego Monahan won the first 35-SK Modified feature of the evening, which was the conclusion of an event that was suspended after 17 laps because of rain on May 14.
  In regular weekly action at the shoreline oval Dylan Izzo picked up his first career win in the second 35-lap SK Modified feature. Cory DiMatteo was a first-time winner in the 25-lap SK Light Modified field. Monte Gibbs joined the first timers with victories in the 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature and Sean Caron got the win in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
  In the left over SK Modified feature from May, 18, Diego Monahan restarted from the top spot with Ted Christopher on his outside. Monahan was able to hold off the advances of Christopher on three restarts over the first four laps. On lap 13 Christopher spun coming off of turn four. The race restarted with Dennis Perry riding to the outside of Monahan, but there was no lane for him to find a way past the leader. Perry, rather than take a chance of getting walled, held on for second place. Paul Kusheba IV of finished third. Todd Owen and Rob Janovic Jr rounded out the top five
  In the second SK Modified feature, Izzo started second and took the lead from Ryan Morgan on the first lap. From there he had little trouble creeping away from the field after numerous restarts. But with five laps remaining the caution flew which put Christopher restarting beside him. Izzo got the jump on Christopher on the restart and was able to hold him off for the win. Christopher held on for second and Bo Gunning was third. Ryan Morgan and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five.
  A surprise mid week shake-up took place at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as race director Eric Webster resigned after only two events.

  Riverhead Raceway on Long Island cancelled their Saturday night racing program shortly after noon on Friday because of an impending rainy forecast for Saturday night.

  The Bowman- Gray stadium in Winston-Salem, NC fell victim to rain.

  One of the biggest events of the season came to the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH this past Saturday night May 21st. It was be the Winchester 200 featuring the Modified Touring Series, not affiliated with NASCAR. The race was 200 green flag laps and the winner, Ryan Preece went home with $15,000 and the trophy that was a 3855 Winchester rifle. Preece started on the pole of the 22 car field and led the first 26 laps of the event before being passed by Les Hinkley for the lead. Preece took it back on lap 40. Matt Hirschman, who started fifth, came alive on lap 48 as he slipped under Preece for the lead.
  At the 50 lap mark Hirschman continued to lead over Preece, Eric Goodale, Chris Pasteryak and Rowan Pennink. By lap 69 Jon McKennedy was making his presence known as he slipped by Pennink and Pasteryak for the fourth spot. Preece pitted under caution on lap 72. On the restart McKennedy moved into second spot. Following a caution on lap 76 Preece had worked his way into the top ten. By lap 95 Preece had closed in Hirschman's bumper. On lap 99 he regained the lead. At the half way mark it was Preece over Hirschman, Pennink, Todd Patnode, Scott McMichael and Pasteryak.
  Pennink pitted on lap 122 for service. by lap 125 he was in the top six. Preece pitted again on lap 158, giving the lead to McKennedy. Pennink's and Hinckley's night came to an end on lap 158 when Hinckley spun and collected Pennink. Pennink suffered severe right front suspension damage. When the field went back to green McKennedy led over Pasteryak, Hirschman, Holdridge, Goodale and Preece.
  On a mission, Preece turned up the wick as he charged to the front. By lap 162 Preece moved into fourth and Goodale fell to fifth. On lap 167 Preece moved into second and lap 170 took the lead.
  At the finish it was Preece over Goodale, Hirschman, McKennedy and Pasteryak. Sixth thru 10th were Mike Holdridge, Andy Jankowiak, Todd Patnode, Scott MacMichael and Eric LeClair.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.22 to 32.58 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.02 to 2.23 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.22 to 17.04. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 2.22 to 36.52 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.15 to 3.59 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.48 to 22.17. Two of the three auto manufacturers had a positive week. Toyota went up 1.82 to 100.61 and General Motors went up 0.05 to 30.57 while Ford dropped 0.03 to 13.19. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 1.28 to 131.85 while Lowes went up 4.81 to 79.82. In the area of big team sponsor's stocks Fedex, after three straight weeks of losses gained 3.87 to close at 161.63. For the second straight week Coca-Cola dropped like a stone as they went down 20.04 to 128.70. McDonalds dropped 6.27 to 122.56 while Target dropped 5.22 to 68.66. Aarons Rentals was also down as they dropped 0.43 to 23.67.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, May 25

2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Memorable Moments, NBC Sports Net
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

  Thursday, May 26
8:30 AM, How It's Made - Impact Wrenches, Marble Sinks, Plantain Chips, NASCAR Cars, SCI
2:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charlotte practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Charlotte practice, FS1
3:30 PM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies; Hurley Sticks; Tube Power Amplifiers; Thermal Coffee Pot, SCI
4:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
5:30 PM, NXS Charlotte final practice, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
9:30 PM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
10:00 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1

  Friday, May 27
4:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte practice re-air, FS1
5:30 AM, NXS Charlotte practice re-air, FS1
6:30 AM, NXS Charlotte final practice re-air, FS1
8:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte qualifying re-air, FS1
9:30 AM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR America - Motorsports Special, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Saturday, May 28
9:00 AM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
10:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte practice, FS1
11:00 AM, NXS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte final practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay - XFINITY, FS1
2:30 PM, NXS Charlotte race, FS1
5:00 PM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1

  Sunday, May 29
1:30 AM, NXS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
4:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte practice re-air, FS1
5:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte final practice re-air, FS1
6:00 AM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
1:00 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
5:30 PM, NSCS Pre Show, FOX
6:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte race, FOX

   Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
E-mail: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.

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

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: May 24, 2016

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