Champ Trail -
May 31, 2016
Woody Pitkat started the Memorial Day weekend at the Stafford Motor Speedway
with a bang as he won both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events,
Daniel Wesson came out the winner of the SK Light feature event after a
3-wide photo finish, Paul Arute won for the second consecutive week in the
Limited Late Model feature, Johnny Walker won the DARE Stock feature, and
Noah Korner was the Legend Cars feature winner.
In the closing laps of the 40 lap SK Modified feature Keith Rocco was
working the outside lane and on lap-39 he was able to pull even with Pitkat
as they took the white flag. Rocco made one final effort on the final lap,
but he wasn’t able to make the pass stick in the outside groove as Pitkat
picked up his first win of the 2016 season. Ron Williams finished third,
with Mike Christopher, Jr. and Danny Cates rounding out the top-5. Ted
Christopher finished sixth and was followed by Tom Bolles, Frank Ruocco,
Jeff Baral and Rowan Pennink.
In Saturday night action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Tyler
Chadwick ended a dry spell that dated back to August 8, 2015 as led every
lap of the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature for
his first victory of the year.
Joe Arena won the 35-lap North East Street Stock Tour feature. Bruce
Thomas Jr. won the 30-lap Late Model feature. In the 25-lap Mini Stock
feature it was Chris Ivory winning. Dana DiMatteo won the 25-lap Legends
Chadwick led every lap on the way to victory in the SK Modified feature.
Dylan Izzo, coming off his first career victory, was second. Joey Gada was
third. A caution flew on the final lap to set up a green-white-checkered
showdown, but Izzo couldn’t find the way around Chadwick over the final two
Ted Christopher finished fourth with Dennis Perry rounding out the top
five. Sixth thru tenth were Ryan Morgan, Rob Janovic Jr., Keith Rocco, Tim
Jordan and Tom Abele Jr.
Thomas scored his 59th career Late Model victory at the track in
dominating fashion, leading every lap. Jason Palmer was second and Keith
Twin 25's were run at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.
Taking the victory in the first 25-lapper for the Brad’s Golf Cars Modified
Series was Tim Brown. One of the strengths of Tim Brown’s team has been
their 2016 qualifying performance, and Brown was able to continue his
dominance in time trials. He started on the pole after turning the fastest
lap. Burt Myers used the chrome horn numerous times to no avail. Myers
finished right on his bumper in second, with Brandon Ward, third.
The “Madhouse Scramble” draw put Jason Myers on the pole for the start of
the second race. The younger of the Myers brothers dominated Victory Lane
last season, and a little luck from the draw helped him get in position to
take the win on Saturday.
Starting on the pole for the second race, he led every lap to take the
Bobby Measmer, Jr. grabbed the lead from Ryan Preece with less than five
laps to go and held on to claim his first career Southern Modified Racing
Series (SMRS) Presented By PASS win in the Charles Kepley Memorial 125
Friday night at Concord Speedway in North Carolina. As Preece and Myers
battled for second, the two made contact in turn three allowing Measmer to
pull away and go on to a popular win at his home track. Burt Myers just beat
out Preece at the line for second, while John Smith and Jason Myers rounded
out the top five.
The stars and cars of the Valenti Modified Series ran their first ever
event at Groveton, NH's Speedway 51 on Saturday night Jon McKennedy played
his usual waiting game making tire maintenance a top priority, battled
through a failed power steering pump on lap-30, then took the lead from race
leader Russ Hersey on lap-79, to go on and win the 100-lap event.
Seventeen cars took the green flag from Chief Starter Tim Bennett with
Mike Willis Jr leading the opening lap with reigning series champion Woody
Pitkat taking the lead on lap-2 and holding it until the 23rd circuit when a
hard charging Hersey drew the interest of fans. Hersey looked to be checking
out as he opened a sizeable lead over second place driver McKennedy and the
rest of the field. A lap-43 caution flag brought Hersey back to the rest of
the field with McKennedy, cruising in second place saving his tires and arm
strength for the late stages of the event. McKennedy led laps 44- through
Todd Patnode made his presence known as he took the lead on lap-48 and
held it until lap 53. Hersey suddenly blasted into the lead on lap 54 and
appeared to be the car to beat as he again took off on the field but
McKennedy reached Hersey and went by leading lap-80 through 100.
Patnode, still getting accustomed to the Troyer chassis he purchased off
season, was solid and finished second followed by Mike Holdridge who made it
up to third, slipped back to sixth and at the checkered flag got the podium
finish. Pitkat and Rob Richardi Jr, rounded out the top five.
Riverhead Raceway on Long Island ran a 40 lap Modified feature with Shawn
Solomito taking the win over Ron Silk.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks
had a positive ending. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.60 to 17.64, the
International Speedway Corporation went up 0.52 to 33.10 and Dover
Entertainment went up 0.02 to 2.25. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up
0.62 to 27.79 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.09 to 3.68 while
NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.84 to 35.69. With
the exception of Toyota which dropped 0.02 to 100.59 the auto manufacturers
had a good week. General Motors went up 0.82 to 31.39 and Ford went up 0.26
to 13.45. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 2.09 to 133.94
and Lowes went up 0.53 to 80.35. As a whole the big team sponsors stocks
were on the rise with the exception of Coca-Cola which dropped 1.74 to
126.96. McDonalds went up 0.69 to 123.25, Target Department Stores went up
0.24 to 68.90, Aarons Rentals went up 1.35 to 25.02 and Fedex went up 2.84
On the tube this week:
Thursday, June 2
2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Rookies, NBC Sports Net
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
Friday, June 3
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono practice, FS1
3:00 PM, NXS Pocono practice, FS1
4:00 PM, NSCS Pocono qualifying, FS1
Saturday, June 4
9:00 AM, NXS Pocono qualifying, FS1
10:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub Weekend Edition, FS1
11:00 AM, NSCS Pocono final practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NXS Pre Race Show, FOX
1:00 PM, NXS Pocono race, FOX
3:30 PM, NXS Post Race, FOX
Sunday, June 5
8:30 AM, NXS Pocono race re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Pocono race, 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