Champ Trail -
September 6, 2016
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the Oswego Speedway on
Saturday night. Doug Coby literally cleaned house. Coby had never taken a
lap around Oswego Speedway before Saturday. He hadn't even seen it in person
before he arrived at the historic upstate New York track in the morning. It
didn't take the three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion long,
though, to find the fast way around in his No. 2 Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano
Construction Chevrolet. Coby led twice for a race-high 121 laps en route to
capturing the Toyota Mod Classic 140.
Saturday's win was the fourth of the season for the Milford, Connecticut,
driver, and his first since July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coby
extended his championship points lead to 20 over Justin Bonsignore, who
finished third, with four races remaining. Timmy Solomito finished second.
After Bonsignore, Rob Summers and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five.
Chuck Hossfeld, filling in for Jimmy Blewett in the No. 4, finished sixth.
Rowan Pennink was seventh, followed by Chase Dowling, Ron Silk and Craig
Coby qualified second behind Coors Light Pole Award winner Bobby Santos,
and led the first 61 laps on the .625-mile oval. After pitting and coming
out 11th, he quickly worked his way back up through the field and took the
lead from Rowan Pennink on Lap 91. Coby beat Solomito to the checkered by
.812 seconds. With his 21st career win, Coby moved into sole possession of
seventh place on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour all-time wins list. He is
seven behind Mike Ewanitsko.
Coby pretty much had it his way from the drop of the green. The point
standings show Coby leading with 513 with a 20 point edge over Justin
Bonsignore. Timmy Solomito sits third with Donny Lia and Eric Goodale
rounding out the top five.
A light field of 21 cars were on hand. The smartest decision of the race
had to be that made by Melissa Fifield who chose to stay home and avoid the
continued embarrassment of being told to park it for going too slow!
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track this coming
Saturday, Sept. 10, for the AnytimeRealty.com 150 at Seekonk Speedway in
The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its third and final visit of the
2016 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 7th Annual VMRS 80. Taking
the checkered flag was Jon McKennedy after a dramatic unfolding of events
over the final laps of the race. Both Woody Pitkat and McKennedy had the
wick turned up to full as they were running their fastest laps of the race
in the closing laps. McKennedy was slowly reeling Pitkat in and with 2 laps
to go, the margin was .399 seconds after Pitkat was nearly a full second
The race complexion changed drastically with 78 laps complete. Ted
Christopher and Richard Savary got together with Savary bouncing off the
wall while in turn 1, Pitkat was going by the lapped car of Colbey Fournier
when they made contact as the caution was coming out for Savary in turn 4.
Pitkat had a flat right front tire and he had to come to pit road for a new
tire, which put McKennedy and Pennink on the front row for the green white
checkered restart. McKennedy took the lead with Pennink and Gallup behind
him. The caution came out again for a multicar spin in turn 4 involving
several cars to set up another green white checkered restart.
McKennedy took the lead with Pennink sticking right with him. Jeff Gallup
was third with Dave Etheridge in fourth. Pennink couldn’t get close enough
to McKennedy as McKennedy took down his first VMRS win at Stafford. Gallup
finished third with Etheridge and Dylan Kopec rounding out the top-5.
In regular Friday night NASCAR racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway
taking feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature, Josh Wood
in the Late Model feature, David Arute in the SK Light feature, Cliff
Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, and Tyler Trott in the DARE
For Rocco the win was three-fold. It was his fourth anniversary married
to Cassie Ceravolo, it stretched his win streak at Stafford to 12 years
running and it was his 43rd overall victory at the track. It was no easy
task as he diced it out with Ted Christopher for the victory. Steven Kopcik
finished third with Dan Avery fourth and Rowan Pennink fifth.
Congratulations to David Arute in garnering his first SK Lite win. Arute
is the son of Stafford CEO Mark Arute and the grandson of the late Jack
The action shifted to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday
night. Ronnie Williams picked up his first career SK Modified feature
victory Other winners were Tony Membrino Jr. who won the SK Light Modified
feature; Keith Rocco who won the Late Model feature; Al Stone III who won
the Limited Sportsman feature and Jacob Perry won the Mini Stock feature.
Williams made the pass for the lead out of turn four coming to the
checkered flag. Ted Christopher finished second. Matt Galko finished third
with Tom Abele Jr. and Diego Monahan rounding out the top five.Rocco got his
fourth consecutive victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature. It was the
seventh victory overall. The 14-year old rookie Jacob Perry got his second
consecutive victory and third win overall in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
Keith Rocco who recorded one win in the Late Model division at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl and one in the SK Modifieds at the Stafford Motor
Speedway brought his Waterford track win total to 133 wins. The wins also
took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 232 wins which also
include victories at Thompson and 43 at Stafford Speedway.
This coming Wednesday night will be the final weekly event at the
Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway. All regular weekly divisions will be in
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
were down. Taking the biggest hit was the International Speedway Corporation
which dropped 0.89 to 32.72. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.16 to 17.89 and
Dover Entertainment dropped 0.07 to 2.43. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco
(Energy Transfer) went up 1.15 to 41.06 while Nascar tire supplier Goodyear
went up 0.72 to 29.73 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.28 to 6.42.
The car manufacturers had a banner week. Toyota led the way as they went up
3.46 to 122.08. General Motors went up 0.63 to 32.16 and Ford went up 0.12
to 12.50. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.79 to 135.15
and Lowes went up 0.06 to 76.96. The big team's sponsors stocks were all
positive. Coca-Cola led the way as they went up 2.39 to 153.83. McDonalds
went up 1.39 to 115.83, Fedex went up 0.54 to 165.49, Target went up 0.46 to
70.81 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.05 to 24.78.
On the tube this week:
Friday, September 9
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
8:00 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Richmond final practice, NBCSN
10:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond practice, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NSCS Richmond final practice, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR Southern Speed: Legends of Darlington, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Richmond qualifying, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NSCS Richmond qualifying, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NXS Countdown, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Richmond race, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN
10:30 PM, NASCAR The Season, NBCSN
Saturday, September 10
2:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Best Daytona Moments, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NASCR RaceDay, FOX Sports 2
5:00 PM, NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NSCS Countdown, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NSCS Richmond race, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Sunday, September 11
12:30 AM, NASCAR The Season, NBCSN
1:30 AM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Monday, September 12
12:00 PM, NASCAR 120: NSCS Richmond race re-air, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, 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