Champ Trail -
September 27, 2016
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series ran the F.W. Webb 100 at New
Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 24. For those who were there for
the weekend there was a special treat as there was an Open House for folks
to view the all new, New England Auto Racing Museum building.
The Modifieds were greeted with rain showers on Friday morning which
cancelled the first practice session for the 26 cars on hand. They were
given a 25 minute window starting at 1:00pm. After 20 minutes of practice
rain fell again on the track forcing a cancellation of practice. The
starting positions would be determined by the rule book which states the
starting order will be determined by the last ten minutes of the first
practice results. Woody Pitkat was the fastest when the rains came. His
speed was 129.459mph. Second fastest was Bobby Santos at 129.459mph.
Rounding out the top five was Rowan Pennink, Doug Coby and Ryan Newman.
Among the slowest was Melissa Fifield at 118.850, 10.609mph slower than
Pitkat. Behind her was Gary Byington at 113.947 and Gary McDonald at
103.593. These three have no business being in the field !
Bonsignore dominated the FW Webb 100, lead 77 laps and holding off the
field in a green-white-checkered finish to score his first win at the "Magic
Mile." Ron Silk finished second, followed by Doug Coby, Sunoco Rookie of the
Year candidate Matt Swanson and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman.
Patrick Emerling, Jimmy Blewett, Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito and Donny
Lia, Jericho rounded out the top ten.
Nineteen of the original 26 starters were on the lead lap. Among those
who had problems and failed to finish was Rowan Pennink who led five laps
and was in contention for the win when engine issues in Ole Blu on Lap 98
ended his day. It also brought out the race's final caution and pushed the
event to 106 laps.
Bobby Santos was the first out after hitting the wall a ton after making
contact with another competitor. Melissa Fifield continued her string of non
competitive driving and called it a day after completing 19 laps. Pole
sitter Woody Pitkat dropped out with suspension problems after making
contact with another competitor. Dave Sapienza was eliminated after he rode
up Jeff Goodale on a restart following a lap 53 caution for debris on the
track. Craig Lutz was eliminated after hitting the backstretch wall on lap
The F.W. Webb 100 will be shown taped-delayed by the NBC Sports Net this
coming Thursday, Sept 29 at 7:00pm. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will
race in the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway
this coming Sunday, Oct. 2, before concluding the season in Thompson's
Sunoco World Series 150 on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Despite coming up short to Matt Bowling in the NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series National Championship series, it was another banner year for Keith
Rocco. The 31-year-old from Wallingford, Connecticut, won 14 races and
collected 30 top fives and 39 top 10s in 45 starts in the Modified divisions
at Connecticutís three tracks: Thompson Motorsports Park, Stafford Motor
Speedway, and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Rocco, the 2010 national champion, finished in the top five in the
national standings for the ninth straight season. He also won his ninth
straight Connecticut championship. Rocco has races remaining at Thompson and
New London-Waterford. While they wonít count toward national or state
standings, those events do go to the trackís respective championships. If
Rocco were to win both, he holds the points lead at each track, it would
give him 13 career NASCAR Division I track titles and move him into a tie
for third all-time.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
had modest gains. Dover Entertainment went up 0.03 to 2.50, Speedway
Motorsports went up 0.51 to 17.86 and the International Speedway Corporation
went up 0.11 to 33.49. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up
1.43 to 37.80 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.12 to 32.30 and
NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.01 to 6.64. The car manufacturers were
all on the positive side. Toyota led the way going up 3.03 to 117.66.
General Motors went up 1.15 to 32.12 and Ford went up 0.06 to 12.17. In the
home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.68 to 127.79 and Lowes went up
1.40 to 72.35. NASCAR team sponsors stocks went somewhat wild. Fedex went up
15.50 to 174.39 and McDonalds went up 6.89 to 112.17 while Coca-Cola went up
4.67 to 148.52 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.74 to 25.66 while Target dropped
0.46 to 68.77.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, September 29
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 PM, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Loudon NH
Friday, September 30
10:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover practice, NBCSN
11:30 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Dover practice, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NXS Dover final practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NSCS Dover qualifying, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NSCS Dover qualifying re-air, NBCSN
Saturday, October 1
12:30 AM, NASCAR The List - Memorable Moments, NBCSN
10:30 AM, NSCS Dover practice, CNBC
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NSCS Dover final practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Countdown, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Dover race, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas qualifying, FOX Sports
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Las Vegas race, FS1
Sunday, October 2
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 PM, NSCS Countdown, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NSCS Dover race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Thatís 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