Champ Trail -
November 1, 2016
It took an extra week because of adverse weather but the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out their 2016 racing season with
14-feature racing card on Saturday as part of the Bemers Big Show that began
the previous weekend. Saturday’s events were leftover from a rained out
session on Oct. 22 at the track.
The day was highlighted with championships being awarded in four of the
track’s regular weekly divisions. Champions crowned in the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series weekly divisions were Keith Rocco (Late Model), Tony
Membrino Jr. (SK Light Modified), Al Stone III (Limited Sportsman) and Wayne
Burroughs Jr. (Mini Stock).
Rocco got his seventh division win of the season. Rocco's win in the Late
Model division at the shoreline oval brought his track win total to 135
wins, 80 of those in an SK Modified. The win also took Rocco over the top to
a career overall total of 234 wins which also include victories at Thompson
and 43 at Stafford Speedway.
Jason Palmer was second and Ray Christian III was third. Christian went
to the lead on the first lap just before the first caution flew after one
lap was completed. On the ensuing restart Rocco moved to second place behind
Christian. The caution flew with 28 laps remaining and on the next restart
it was Rocco using the outside lane to go by Christian and take over the
lead. The caution flew with 13 laps remaining with Rocco leading Christian
in second and Palmer in third.
On the next restart it was Palmer getting by Christian for second. With
three laps left the caution flew once again. On the restart it was Palmer
staying to Rocco’s outside. Palmer led by inches as the two took the white
flag, but the caution came back out for the spinning car of Glen Thomas. On
the first attempt at a green-white-checkered it was Rocco moving back to the
lead, but once again after the white flag the caution flew again for a
spinning car. On the final attempt to finish it was Rocco holding off the
charges of Palmer to score the victory.
Internet news site RaceDayCt broke the news on Sunday that Speedbowl
owner Bruce Bemer and general manager Shawn Monahan made the worst kept
secret in local racing of late, official. Monahan will resign as the track’s
general manager following this coming Saturday’s Smacktoberfest event at the
Monahan helped oversee and organize numerous major physical improvements
of the property during the offseason following the 2015 racing season,
including the installation of new catchfence surrounding the track. Bemer
said Sunday the search for a new general manager has begun, though he does
not have a timetable for naming Monahan’s replacement.
Thanks to the efforts of Bruce Bemer and Shawn Monahan the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl has evolved into being a first class facility.
In other racing over the weekend, Matt Hirschman, who won the Tri-Track
Modified event at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl added a win in the 66th
annual Race of Champions at the Oswego Speedway in upstate New York. It was
the fourth time in the last five years in which the Northampton,
Pennsylvania driver hoisted the ROC Al Gerber Memorial Trophy. Patrick
Emerling finished second and was followed by Mike Leaty, Andy Jankowiak and
Daren Scherer. Chris Pasteryak was the only New England competitor in the
field. He started ninth and finished eighth in the 250 lap event.
At the Seekonk Speedway, Derek Griffith made his return to the track they
call the Cement Palace for the first time since mid-July when he fell short
of a $10,000 prize at the Pro Stock Nationals. This time around the prize
was six-grand and the honor of winning Seekonk’s renowned 150-lap D Anthony
Venditti Memorial Fall Classic.
On tap this weekend is the 14th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North
South Shootout in Memory of Charles Kepley at the Concord Speedway in North
Carolina this coming weekend, November 3-5, 2016. The Tour-Type Modifieds
and Pro All Star Series (PASS) Super Late Models will be the headline
features, each racing for 125 laps. The John Blewett III North South
Shootout in Memory of Charles Kepley is headlined by 125-lap, $10,000-to-win
features for the Tour-Type Modifieds and PASS Super Late Models. The SK-Type
Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Vintage Racers, Street Stock and Mini Stocks
will all be in racing throughout the weekend. In the northeast the Don
Hoenig Flea Market goes for Saturday and Sunday at the Thompson Motorsports
On the speedway stock market scene this week, all three speedway stocks
ended the week on the positive side. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.79
to18.64, the International Speedway corporation went up 0.35 to 32.65 and
Dover Entertainment went up 0.01 to 2.36. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
dropped 3.31 to 28.29 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer)
dropped 2.00 to 35.01 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.24 to 6.31.
The car manufacturers were also down for the week. General Motors dropped
0.82 to 31.32, Toyota dropped 0.46 to 114.81 and Ford dropped 0.30 to 11.92.
In the home improvement sector Lowes dropped 3.62 to 67.03 and Home Depot
dropped 3.02 to 123.58. The big team sponsor's stocks were all over the lot.
McDonalds dropped 1.83 to 112.10 and Aarons Rentals dropped 7.90 to 24.33
while Coca-Cola went up 1.93 to 145.09, Target went up 0.60 to 68.83 and
Fedex went up 4.05 to 174.25.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, November 3
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
Friday, November 4
12:30 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Texas practice, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Texas practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, NXS Texas final practice, NBC Sports App
6:30 PM, NSCS Texas qualifying, NBC Sports App
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Texas race, FS1
10:30 PM, NSCS Texas qualifying tape delay, NBCSN
Saturday, November 5
12:00 AM, NXS Texas final practice re-air, NBCSN
6:30 AM, NCWTS Texas race re-air, FS1
3:30 PM, NXS Texas race, NBC
Sunday, November 6
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBC
1:30 PM, NSCS Countdown, NBC
2:00 PM, NSCS Texas race, NBC
6:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, 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