The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - June 28, 2016

  Modified car owner Mario Fiore passed away last Thursday, June 23, after a hard fought four year battle with cancer. Fiore, who owned and prepared a NASCAR Modified for many years and has over 200 wins to his credit, was 65. Among his many drivers were Gary Coultiri, Reggie Ruggiero, Greg Sacks, Jimmy Blewett, Rick Fuller, Tom Cravenho and Jerry Marquis. Fiore was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2012. Fiore retired as a car owner early in 2001 after a win at South Boston Va. His only Whelen Modified Tour Championship came in 2000 with Jerry Marquis.
  Fiore was a long time car owner and was well known throughout New England with his #44 car. Fiore won track championships at tracks throughout New England. The Fiore no. 44 had a long run of success with Reggie Ruggiero. Together, Fiore and Ruggiero won track championships at Riverside Park in 1979, 1984, and 1988; Monadnock Speedway in 1979 and 1988; and Stafford Motor Speedway in 1983. They also won often at Thompson Speedway. Fiore was the winning owner in the 1987 Race of Champions at Pocono International Raceway, a two-time winner at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway, and a repeat champion of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.
  Besides his father, Mario A, Mario is survived by his brother Louis and sister Cindy of Springfield; his longtime friends Margaret and John Rosati, many relatives and special friends. Visiting hours were held on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 from 4-7pm at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home on 220 North Main Street in East Longmeadow. The funeral took place on Wednesday, June 29th beginning at 8:45am at the funeral home, with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10am in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Springfield, followed by burial in St. Michael’s Cemetery, also in Springfield. Donations may be made in Mario’s memory to D’Amour Center for Cancer Care, 3350 Main St, Springfield MA 01107.

  In weekly Friday night racing at Stafford, the Arute family honored the memory of long time Modified car owner Mario Fiore by extending the SK Modified® feature distance from its customary 40-laps to 44-laps this past Friday night. The SK Modified® feature also paid out an additional $44 per finishing position in his memory.
  Ted Christopher served up a one-two punch as he won both the SK Modified 44 lapper and the Valenti Modified Racing Series 80 lapper. Other winners at Stafford included Kevin Gambacorta who recorded his second consecutive Late Model feature win, Joe Graf, Jr. who was a first time career winner in the SK Light feature, Paul Arute took down his third win of the 2016 season with a last lap pass, and Trace Beyer who scored his first win of 2016 in the DARE Stock feature.
  In the special 44-lap SK Modified® feature event in honor of Mario Fiore, Christopher held off Ryan Preece to the checkered flag to pick up his first SK Modified® win since the 2014 season. Rowan Pennink finished third, with Woody Pitkat and Matt Galko rounding out the top-5.
  Christopher and Jon McKennedy served up a see-saw battle on the closing stages of the VMRS 80 lapper. With 6 laps to go, McKennedy was right on Christopher’s back bumper. McKennedy hounded Christopher and he took the lead in turn 3 on lap-77. Christopher came right back in turn 1 on lap-78 as they were navigating their way around a lapped car and he retook the lead from McKennedy. McKennedy made a strong move through turns 3+4 on the final lap to get back to Christopher’s bumper, but he couldn’t make a pass as Christopher took the checkered flag for his second win of the night. McKennedy finished second with Dave Etheridge, third. Keith Rocco and Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five.
  Ted Christopher is the Stafford's all-time winningest driver with 123 feature wins.

  NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action shifted to the Riverhead Raceway on eastern Long Island last Saturday night. Timmy Solomito piloted the No. 16 Diversified Metals /R.B. Enterprises Ford to the win in the Riverhead 200. To get to Victory Lane Solomito had to hold off Justin Bonsignore in a green-white-checkered finish that capped a wild night on the historic quarter-mile. It was a Riverhead sweep of the podium, as Bonsignore settled for second and Donny Lia came home third. Jimmy Blewett, who had to drop to the rear on the start for making changes after qualifying, charged his way up to fourth. And Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five. Max Zachem finished sixth, followed by Eric Goodale, Chase Dowling, rookie Matt Swanson and Doug Coby
  Earlier in the day, Coby won his fifth Coors Light Pole Award in six races this season. Coby led a race-high 81 laps but spun after contact with Bonsignore as the two battled with Solomito for the lead on Lap 196. Coby salvaged a 10th-place finish and maintained a 17-point lead over Max Zachem. There were 27 cars on hand.
  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes a two week break before heading north for the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16. It's part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at the "Magic Mile," which includes the non-points All-Star Shootout for the Whelen Modifieds on Friday, July 15.

  Twin 25's for the SK Modifieds were the main attraction at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Joey Gada won the first SK Modified feature of the night and Keith Rocco topped the field in the second for the division. Other winners at the shoreline oval were Ray Christian III who won the Late Model feature, Chris Meyer who was the winner of the Limited Sportsman feature, Wayne Burroughs Jr. who was victorious in the Mini Stock feature along with Dana DiMatteo who topped the field in the Legends feature and Robin Berghman who won the New England Pro Four Modified feature.
  Rocco continues to build on his record setting feature win total. Rocco's win in the SK Modifieds brought his track win total to 125 wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 221 wins which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways.

  The NASCAR Modifieds ran twin 25s at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. Jason Myers led a caution less 25 laps to claim the checkered flag in the opener. Brother Burt Myers finished on his bumper in second with Brandon Ward, third. Randy Butner won the nite cap over Daniel Yates and Junior Miller.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks finished the week on the negative side. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.99 to 32.56 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.34 to 16.90 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.08 to 2.08. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.41 to 4.12 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.41 to 38.97 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.78 to 25.57. Two of the three major car manufacturers were down for the week. Ford dropped 0.74 to 12.52 and General Motors dropped 0.88 to 28.35 while Toyota went up 0.72 to 103.96. In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 1.36 to 77.06 and Home Depot dropped 0.74 to 126.40. In the area of big team sponsor's stocks, McDonalds dropped 2.83 to 119.44, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.98 to 21.73 and Fedex dropped 11.68 to 150.57 while Coca-Cola went up 0.06 to 140.59 and Target Department Stores went up 1.85 to 69.35.

  On the tube this week:

  Tuesday, June 28

2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Rookie Seasons, NBC Sports Net
4:00 AM, NSCS Sonoma race re-air, FOX Sports 1
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR The List - Iconic Cars, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR The List - Best Daytona Moments, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR The List - Greatest Finishes, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR The List - Memorable Moments, NBCSN

  Wednesday, June 29
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 PM, NCWTS Gateway race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
8:30 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
9:30 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
10:30 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN

  Thursday, June 30
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Daytona practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Daytona final practice, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NSCS Daytona final practice, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice re-air, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NXS Daytona final practice re-air, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NSCS Daytona final practice re-air, NBCSN

  Friday, July 1
2:30 AM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
10:00 AM, NXS Daytona final practice re-air, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NSCS Daytona final practice re-air, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice re-air, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NSCS Daytona practice re-air, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NXS Daytona qualifying, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NSCS Daytona qualifying, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Daytona race, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN

  Saturday, July 2
5:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN
7:45 PM, NSCS Daytona race, NBC
11:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN

  Sunday, July 3
1:30 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Greatest Finishes, NBCSN
9:30 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
3:00 PM, NASCAR 120 - Daytona, NBCSN

   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: June 28, 2016

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