Champ Trail -
August 9, 2016
The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park was quiet this past week as final
preparations are being made for this weeks Budweiser ‘King of Beers’ 150
which will take place this coming Wednesday, August 10, and will feature the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NEMA, and Thompson’s four NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series divisions. The speedway will pay tribute to the late
Ronnie Bouchard and the late Mario Fiore. The night will also see the debut
of the all new book by Bones Bouncier on the life and exploits of the late
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night in front of a packed
house, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was on hand with 25 cars for a 150
lapper. Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore were in the right place at the
right time as leaders Doug Coby and Bobby Santos ran out of gas on the
closing laps. Coby, who led twice, first from the start to lap 12, then from
lap 16 to lap 143, saw his vision of victory disappear when his car
sputtered on lap 144 and totally quit one lap later. Santos suffered the
same fate on lap 151, after slowing on lap 150. Justin Bonsignore led laps
150 and 151 before being overtaken by Blewett. Coby ended up 20th and
Santos, 17th. Brendon Bock, Chase Dowling and Eric Goodale rounded out the
top five. Sixth thru tenth were Ron Silk, Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito, Woody
Pitkat and Craig Lutz.
If the fields of Modifieds continue to dwindle Melissa Fifield, who
finished 22nd may finally break the top twenty. She completed 121 laps
before being black flagged for going too slow. At that point she had been
lapped 19 times!
Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the
night were Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late
Model feature, Marcello Rufrano was a first time winner in his very first
career SK Light start, Justin Bren won the Limited Late Model feature, and
Ryan Fearn scored the DARE Stock feature win.
In the SK Modified feature, Pennink led Michael Gervais to the checkered
flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2016 season. Keith Rocco finished
third with Danny Cates and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl their annual Wings & Wheels program on
Saturday night. Jon McKennedy held off Richard Savary to win the 100-lap
Valenti Modified Racing feature in the main event. Tyler Chadwick topped the
field in the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Cory DiMatteo was the winner of the
SK Light Modified feature. John Zych Jr. won the 25-lap NEMA Midget feature.
PJ Stergois was the winner in the NEMA Lite feature. Geoffrey Sutton won the
25-lap ATQMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature. Mike McVetta won the 50-lap ISMA
In the VMRS 100, McKennedy, who started sixth in the 29-car field,
rallied after being involved in a lap 32 crash that collected nearly half of
the field. Ted Christopher spun as he exited turn two and ultimately
collected 17 cars. Savary went to the lead by Woody Pitkat on lap 70 restart
with McKennedy following him to second. Three laps later McKennedy went to
the outside to take over the lead for good. Savary hung on to finish second
with Woody Pitkat, third. Rounding out the top five was Mike Willis Jr and
Dave Etheridge. Chris Pasteryak, Donnie Lashua, Geoff Gernhard, Brandon
Dion, and Keith Rocco, rounded out the top ten.
In the 35 lap SK Modified feature, Chadwick picked up his second victory
of the season. Ted Christopher finished second and Diego Monahan was third.
Bo Gunning took the field to the green from the pole with Chadwick to his
outside and the pair put on a show over the opening segment of the race. On
lap 6, Chadwick edged Gunning out for the lead at the line, but the pair
remained side-by-side in the lead battle.
With 20 laps left Gunning was able to get Chadwick to tuck in behind in
second. A lap later slight contact between the two sent Gunning sliding
sideways in turn two to bring out a caution and put Chadwick in the lead. On
the ensuing restart it was Joey Gada getting by Adam Gada for second place
with Christopher following to third place and Monahan to fourth. Caution
flew again with 12 laps remaining and on the restart it was Christopher
moving to second place past Joey Gada, with Monahan moving to third. But
Chadwick was up to the task of keeping Christopher at bay over the final 10
laps. Christopher took one bumping shot at Chadwick on the final lap, but
Chadwick held his line. Rounding out the top five was Joey Gada and Dennis
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Defending NASCAR Modified
champion Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead and his team plotted out strategy
Saturday afternoon in the pit area of Riverhead Raceway and when the night's
40-lap feature event was over that game plan worked to perfection as Rogers
won his first feature event of 2016 after starting last. It was only the 5th
start of the season for Rogers who is on the road to recovery after some
early season health concerns. Said Rogers, "we decided this afternoon
(Saturday) instead of using up our tires in the heat race that I'd take the
green and pull into the infield. We knew that would start us last but with a
13-car field we felt we could march towards the front"
In action at the Bowman-Gray Stadium in North Carolina Tim Brown and Burt
Myers finished one-two in a rain shortened 100 lapper on Friday night. The
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour visited Bowman-Gray on Saturday night
and ran the Strutmasters.com 199. Burt and Jason Myers finished one-two with
Andy Seuss, third.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway
stocks ended the wek on the positive side. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.22
to 17.89 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.03 to 2.13 while the
International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.11 to 33.66. NASCAR fuel
supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 2.78 to 42.28 and NASCAR cup
sponsor Sprint went up 0.03 to 6.17 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
dropped 0.44 to 28.23. Two of the three car manufacturers were down. Ford
dropped 0.47 to 12.19 and General Motors dropped 0.74 to 30.80 while Toyota
went up 0.36 to 115.96. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped
1.43 to 136.91 and Lowes dropped 0.56 to 81.72. In the area of big team
sponsorship, Coca-Cola dropped 0.06 to 142.35 and Target dropped 0.39 while
McDonalds went up 1.56 to 119.21, Aarons Rentals went up 1.71 to 24.66 and
Fedex went up 1.01 to 162.91.
On the tube this week:
Friday, August 12
6:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Mid-Ohio qualifying, USA Network
Saturday, August 13
3:00 PM, NXS Countdown, USA
3:30 PM, NXS Mid-Ohio race, USA
8:00 PM, Undercover Boss - NASCAR, CNBC
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