Champ Trail -
July 12, 2016
Ted Christopher left little doubt that he is the undisputed King of the SK
Modifieds at the Stafford Motor Speedway after he won the 3rd Annual NAPA
Auto Parts SK 5k, which paid the winner $5,000 out of a purse of over
$27,000. With the Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Sales Gambler’s Challenge
bonus of $5,600 and a total heat race bonus of $2,000 from Wheelers Auto of
Hamden, the total posted awards were over $33,000. The Gambler’s Challenge
was voted on by the fans on how it would be paid out and the top-3 choices
were put into a hat in victory lane with Doug Dunleavy pulling a chip with
the winning formula on it. Dunleavy pulled the winner takes all chip, giving
Christopher a final payday of $11,175.
Christopher, the nine time track champion, took the lead in the 100 lap
event from Eric Berndt on lap 66 and went on to record his 125th overall win
at the Connecticut oval. His SK Modified total victories number 103.
In other feature action, Michael Wray won the Late Model feature, Joey
Ferrigno won the SK Light feature, Duane Provost won the Limited Late Model
feature, and Trace Beyer was the winner of the DARE Stock feature for the
second week in a row.
In the SK Modified 100 Rowan Pennink finished a strong second with
Berndt, third. Ron Williams and Mike Christopher, Jr. rounded out the top-5.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series also raced on Friday night with an
event at Claremont, NH. Woody Pitkat, a regular in the series, found himself
between a rock and a hard place as he had a commitment to race at Stafford
in their SK 5K event. Pitkat procured Todd Szegedy to take his place in the
Claremont event and Szegedy produced! Szegedy took the lead from Todd
Patnoad on lap 15. Dave Schneider, Jon McKennedy, Todd Patnode, and Mike
Willis Jr rounded out the top five. Pitkat finished sixth at Stafford.
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl went silent on Saturday night because
of a huge fireworks display sponsored by Foxwoods Casino in the New London
While the sky was being lit up in New London the racing action shifted to
the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway which hosted its “For The Fans” night
with several racing series taking to the track throughout the evening to
provide for a great show, despite a little bit of input from Mother Nature.
The event saw several on-site promotions for fans to enjoy as well as a
special barbecue and celebration for the women of racing as well to
compliment the theme of the day. Despite a late shower that pushed the final
event back by two hours and forced the rescheduling of the night's Sunoco
Modified event, the evening proved to be a fun one for all who attended and
saw a few familiar names reach victory lane for the first time this season.
The second triple crown event for the Limited Sportsman series was the
main feature for the night, closing the evening after the two-hour rain
delay halted action on the track. When drivers finally got onto the track
however, the action was worth the wait with a popular name returning to
After two dominant seasons, series regular Corey Hutchings has had a tough
go in 2016, but his luck finally turned around after the man known to many
as “The Entertainer” made a strong push during the second half of the 20-lap
main feature to return to victory lane, overcoming some tough competition
from other regulars Al Stone, Scott Sundeen, Ryan Waterman and Jesse
Details on when the rescheduled Sunoco Modified race will be held are not
available at the time. Next up for Thompson Speedway is the “For The Drivers
Night” event on July 27th, a night that will see many of the traditional
series take to the track in Thompson as well as the 3rd annual Sunoco
Modified 20/20 Sprint event.
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island John Baker won his first career
NASCAR Modified feature in the first Twin 30 feature while championship
leader Shawn Solomito won the nightcap. Ageless "Dynamite" Dan Turbush at
65-years young won the Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series Riverhead
Nationals 55-lapper earning $2,000 for his 80th career win at Riverhead.
In Modified competition below the Mason-Dixon line Danny Bohn rolled up
at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday aiming to leave with the $9,000 Fans’
Challenge prize money. That didn’t pan out for the former champ, so he
grabbed the checkered instead. The heat was on from the beginning as a
first-lap caution flag led to the first of many double-file restarts.
Brandon Ward took to the outside and tried to muscle ahead of Bohn. Ward
couldn’t make the pass stick – at first. On the third restart, some mind
games between Bohn and Ward allowed Ward to rocket into the lead. As they
moved into turn one, Bohn gave a stiff shot to the bumper of Ward to send
him spinning out of the lead he held so briefly. Evidently officials felt it
was a "racing deal" as Bohn went on to grab the checkered with Burt Myers
finishing second and Tim Brown taking third.
Lee Jeffreys ended up pulling off what Bohn had initially aimed at.
Jeffreys elected to start in the rear and then finished fourth to earn the
$9,000 Fans’ Challenge prize pool.
It'll be out in August, and available through Coastal 181, Ron Bouchard,
The Kid from Fitchburg by Bones Bourcier. Lots of nice flashbacks! Bones has
collected some wonderful chapter-length memories from more than two dozen
folks who saw Ron Bouchard from their own individual angles, including
drivers like Bugs Stevens, George Summers, Geoff Bodine, Ed Flemke Jr.,
Ricky Rudd, car owners Bob Johnson and Bob Judkins, mechanical wizards David
Ifft, Vic Kangas, Dave Rossbach, and Steve Bird, promoters Jack Arute Jr.,
Dick Williams, and Russ Conway, announcers Mike Joy and Rich Bonneau, as
well as an assortment of friends and, of course, family members.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway
stocks finished the week on a positive note. The International Speedway
Corporation went up 0.53 to 34.75 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.30 to
18.19 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.04 to 2.10. NASCAR fuel supplier
Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.72 to 38.38 while NASCAR tire supplier
Goodyear went up 0.63 to 26.53 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.15 to
4.68. The car manufacturers also had a good week. Toyota went up 2.43 to
102.07 while General Motors went up 0.77 to 29.66 and Ford went up 0.37 to
13.09. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 4.72 to 134.34 and
Lowes went up 2.74 to 82.34. The big teams sponsor's stocks also had a good
week. McDonalds went up 0.91 to 121.31, Coca-Cola went up 0.49 to 145.31,
Target department stores went up 1.26 to 71.81, Aarons Rentals went up 0.92
to 23.30 and Fedex went up 2.88 to 156.22.
On the tube
Friday, July 15
11:30 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Loudon practice, NBC Sports Net
1:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Loudon practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Loudon final practice, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NSCS Loudon qualifying, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
Saturday, July 16
10:00 AM, NSCS Loudon practice, CNBC
11:15 AM, NXS Loudon qualifying, NBCSN
12:30 PM, NSCS Loudon final practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Loudon race, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NXS Post Show, NBCSN
Sunday, July 17
10:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports1
12:00 PM, NASCAR AMerica Sunday, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NSCS Loudon race, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NSCS Post Show, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
Monday, July 18
3:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane re-air, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR 120: Loudon, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, 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.
Smith / Champ Trail