The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - September 20, 2016

  Keith Rocco went into last weekend needing to score wins at Stafford on Friday night and at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night in order to hopefully come out on top of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings. The final day for points to count toward NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championships was Sunday, Sept. 18. No matter what happened, Rocco was guaranteed to finish in the top five in the national standings for the ninth straight season. Rocco recorded a fifth at Stafford and a win at Waterford. Matt Bowling, who races at the South Boston Speedway in Virginia, has led the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings the entire year. Bowling did not win last weekend but had enough of a cushion to sew up the national title.

  In regular Friday night NASCAR racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway the final Friday night event before the season ending NAPA Fall Final next weekend on October 1-2 was staged. It was a banner night for Glen Reen as he scored his first career victories in both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events. Rowan Pennink finished the SK Modified® feature in 8th place which was good enough to make him the SK Modified® champion for the second consecutive season. Other feature winners were Daniel Wesson in the SK Light feature, Justin Bren in the Limited Late Model feature, Brandon Michael in the DARE Stock feature, and Noah Korner in the Legend Cars feature.
  A restart following a lap 21 caution saw the inside line get bogged down with allowed Glen Reen to move into the lead with Jeff Baral in second and Woody Pitkat in third. Ron Williams, who had been leading, faded to fourth with Eric Berndt in fifth behind him. Keith Rocco and Rowan Pennink were side by side for sixth place.
  With 10 laps to go, Reen was in command with Baral in second. Pitkat and Williams were side by side for third with Berndt, Rocco, Ted Christopher, and Pennink lined up behind them. Reen was starting to pull away from the train being led by Baral that consisted of Baral, Pitkat, Berndt, Rocco, Williams, Christopher, and Pennink with 5 laps to go. Reen, who started 22nd, led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first SK Modified® win of the 2016 season and his second win of the night to go along with his Late Model feature win. Baral finished second with Pitkat, Berndt, and Rocco rounding out the top-5.
  Stafford wraps up the season this coming weekend with the NAPA Fall Final. The Whelen Modified Tour portion will be recorded by NBC Sports Net for a taped delayed showing on Thurs, Oct 6 at 12:30pm.

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl wrapped up its Saturday night series weekly racing. Keith Rocco recorded his seventh SK Modified victory of the season. On the final Saturday night weekly show of the 2016 season it was the track’s all-time winningest driver, Keith Rocco, shining over the field to win the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. bringing his track win total to 134 wins, 80 of those in an SK Modified. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 233 wins which also include victories at Thompson and 43 at Stafford Speedway.
  In other events Saturday, Jason Palmer won the Late Model feature, Corey Barry won the SK Light Modified feature, Monte Gibbs was victorious in the Limited Sportsman feature, Pete Zaikarite won the Mini Stock feature, Dillon Spain scored victory in the Legends feature and Ted Christopher won the Pro Four Modified feature.
  Following a restart with 31 laps left to run, Rocco got under Todd Owen for the lead off of turn four.Two laps later Diego Monahan moved to second place. With 21 laps left the caution flew again when Bo Gunning, deep in the field, sent Adam Gada into the turn two wall. After a long green flag run the race was slowed again when Monahan spun from second place and collected Ted Christopher in turn two.
  Under caution Owen gave up second place to go to the pits, moving Matt Galko behind Rocco and Ronnie Williams to third. Williams got by Galko for second on a restart with five laps remaining, but the caution flew again with two laps left when Gunning sent Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. spinning deep in the field in turn four. Gunning was parked from the field at that point for over aggressive driving.
  On the final restart Rocco was able to check out easily and it was Galko getting by Williams for second. Joey Gada and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five.
  The Speedbowl wraps up the season on Saturday, Oct 22 and Sunday Oct 23 with BEMERS BIG SHOW BATTLE ON THE SOUND which include the Tri-Track Modified Series, NEMA, NEMA LITE,PRO-4 and all the regular weekly divisions of racing.

  The Valenti Modified Racing Series traveled to the Beech Ridge Speedway in Maine for twin 50's that were run as part of the Beech Ridge Fall Final. For the second time this season, at speedways in the State of Maine, Anthony Nocella, of Woburn, Massachusetts, and Jon McKennedy, of E. Chelmsford, Massachusetts, each captured VMRS 50-lap feature races.
  In the first 50-lap go, Nocella started 12th in a 19 car field, and smoothly worked his way to the front besting early race leader Richard Savary and Todd Annarummo at the checkered flag. Woody Pitkat and Jon McKennedy, rounded out the top five. The win was Nocella’s fourth of the season and his sixth VMRS win.
  In the second 50-lap race, McKennedy rolled off in the seventh starting spot quickly making his way to the point with Nocella in hot pursuit from his 11th starting position. Annarummo moved into third where he would finish. McKennedy would nail down his seventh win of the year and 22nd career series victory. Les Hinckley and Donnie Lashua finished fourth and fifth.
  Both races were caution flag free and run off in 13-minutes. The next event for the VMRS will be at the Lee USA Speedway on October 8 & 9.
In a somewhat related matter it has been announced that series sponsor, The Valenti Auto Group of Mystic, CT has purchased McGill Chevrolet located in Pawcatuck (Stonington) CT.

  In NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action at the South Boston Speedway in Virginia, James Civali passed Danny Bohn on Lap 107 and remained out front the rest of the way to score his first tour win since 2010 and second at South Boston Speedway in the South Boston 150. Civali held off Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Bonsignore over the final 20 laps of the race to win the first caution-free southern tour race since 2006. Bonsignore scored his best finish to date coming home second with George Brunnhoelzl third, Bohn fourth and points leader Burt Myers completing the top five.
  The South Boston 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 24 for the Caraway 150 at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina.

  In action at the Riverhead Raceway Shawn Solomito and Kyle Soper were the winners of the twin 30 lap Modified features run at the east end Long Island oval. Track owners Eddie and Connie Partridge announced that Solomito and his car owner Wayne Anderson were the NASCAR Modified Track Champions for 2016.

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series will run in the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 24. For those who will be at NHIS for the weekend there is a special treat as there will be an Open House for folks to view the all new, New England Auto Racing Museum building on Sept 24 from 9am-4pm.

  With all the poor reviews that NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series events are getting local New England standout Late Model driver Jeff Rocco stated a good point that maybe NASCAR should consider. "Put them back on bias ply tire at tracks a mile and down, mandatory 4 inch ride height and mandatory front spring rate of 900IB or more". Let the guys get back up on the wheel. When NASCAR went to radial tires the top divisions events became boring. Maybe that's one of the reasons that less than half the seats are filled at many events

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had positive endings. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.49 to 33.38 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.47 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.09 to 17.35. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 2.16 to 32.42 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 2.77 to 36.37. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint recorded a no-change at 6.65. Two of the three auto manufacturers were down for the week. Ford dropped 0.27 to 12.11 and Toyota dropped 4.03 to 114.63 while General Motors went up 0.49 to 30.97. In the home improvement sector Home Depot dropped 1.63 to 126.11 and Lowes dropped 0.82 to 70.95. In big team sponsor's stocks Coca-Cola dropped 5.36 to 143.85 and Fedex dropped 1.96 to 158.89 while McDonalds went up 0.70 to 115.28, Target went up 0.23 to 69.23 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.19 to 24.92.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, September 22
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net

  Friday, September 23
11:30 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire practice, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series New Hampshire practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NCWTS New Hampshire final practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NSCS New Hampshire qualifying, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Kentucky final practice, NBCSN

  Saturday, September 24
9:00 AM, NSCS New Hampshire practice, NBCSN
10:00 AM, NCWTS New Hampshire qualifying, FS1
11:30 AM, NSCS New Hampshire final practice, NBCSN
12:30 PM, NCWTS Setup, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS New Hampshire race, FS1
4:30 PM, NXS Kentucky qualifying, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Countdown, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NXS Kentucky race, NBCSN

  Sunday, September 25
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NSCS New Hampshire race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN

  Monday, September 26
1:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR 120: NSCS New Hampshire race re-air, NBCSN
6:00 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: September 20, 2016

©2016 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent