Champ Trail -
May 2, 2016
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to action for round #3 at the
Stafford (Connecticut) Motor Speedway. With 27 cars on hand, Doug Coby took
the Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday for the NAPA Spring Sizzler. Coby
turned a fast lap of 17.896 seconds (100.581 mph), breaking the track record
at the half-mile oval, one that was previously held by Ryan Preece. The pole
was the 20th career for the Milford, Conn. native and also his ninth at
Stafford. Todd Szegedy qualified second while Eric Goodale posted the third
fastest time. Rounding out the top five was Ryan Preece and Justin
There were 32 SK Modifieds on hand. Hat winners were Rowan Pennink, Bo
Gunning, Chase Dowling and Keith Rocco. Feature events for its SK Light,
Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions as well as the Mr. Rooter Truck
Series were run as part of the Saturday NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®
Weekend festivities. Cory DiMatteo took the checkered flag in the 20-lap SK
Light feature, Bryan Narducci was the winner of the 20-lap Limited Late
Model feature, Trace Beyer won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Andy
Lindeman won the 35-lap Mr. Rooter Truck Series feature.
In Sunday's SK Modified 40 lapper Chase Dowling saved the best for last
as he took the lead from Keith Rocco in the closing moments and sprinted
home to victory. Ronnie Willims finished second and was followed by Rocco,
Ted Christopher and Tom Abele. Matt Galko, Michael Christopher, Tony
Membrino, Michael Gervais and DJ Burnham, rounded out the top ten. Josh Wood
was the Late Model winner.
Ryan Preece scored a well deserved win in the Whelen Modified Tour Series
Spring Sizzler at Stafford. He took the lead from race leader Doug Coby with
13 laps to go and drove away with his first career Spring Sizzler victory
behind the wheel of his No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet. Preece led 55 laps. Doug
Coby, who set the track record en route to his sixth straight Coors Light
Pole at the track Saturday, led a race-high 142. But a late caution helped
set up Preece's pass for the lead. While Coby snagged the lead back on the
Lap 192 restart, Preece quickly powered back to the front.
Chase Dowling finished third.. Eric Goodale led three laps and finished
fourth, and Ted Christopher was fifth. Sixth thru tenth were Rowan Pennink,
Craig Lutz, Ron Silk, Justin Bonsignore and David Sapienza. There were nine
caution periods for 46 laps.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series takes a week off before heading to
Langley, Va on May 13. The tour does not return to New England until June 14
for a Wednesday night event at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway.
While the Stafford Motor Speedway begins its regular Friday night season
this week the action will also heat up on eastern Long Island at the
Riverhead Raceway. When the opening night 40-lap NASCAR Modified feature
hits the Riverhead Raceway quarter mile Saturday night three championship
contenders from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be on hand challenging
the talented drivers of the weekly Whelen All American Series. Justin
Bonsignore of Holtsville, Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct. and Max Zachem of
Preston, Ct have all confirmed with track management they'll be at Riverhead
Joining the 8 for 1 card at Riverhead Raceway are the Late Models, Eagle
Auto Mall Modified Crates, Figure Eights, Blunderbusts, Super Pro Trucks,
INEX Legend Race Cars plus a 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby.
The New London -Waterford Speedbowl has issued the following news release
concerning their impending 2017 racing schedule:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Blast Off Weekend scheduled for May 6th
and 7th has been postponed. Although much progress has been done to open for
our Blast Off Event the recent findings of additional work needed on the
grandstands and the unforeseen weather conditions of most recent, has forced
The New London Waterford Speedbowl to postpone the 2017 Blast-Off event.
All efforts are being made to reschedule the event in its entirety as
Management reaches out to those touring divisions originally scheduled to
attend to possibly find a suitable weekend to run the Blast Off event.
Changes and updates to the 2017 schedule will be announced on the NLWS
website & facebook page in the near future.
We apologize for the unforeseen delay and thank all who have been patient
while we push to begin our 2017 year.
Down in the south land, Burt Myers finished where he started Saturday
night at Bowman Gray Stadium, winning the Hayes Jeweler 200 more than a week
after qualifying on the pole. Myers, who is the defending Modified Division
points champion, won the season’s longest race after it was postponed April
22 because of rain. Myers held on despite a last-lap charge from 10-time
points champion Tim Brown, who tapped Myers’ car coming around the final
turn but didn’t have enough speed to execute the pass.
Tim Brown and Myers fought for the lead until lap 139, when Brown decided
to hit pit road to make some in-race adjustments. Brown’s pit stop, which
was a byproduct of his car being too loose, forced him to restart in 11th
place and gave Myers a lead he would not relinquish. Brown worked his way
through traffic over the final 57 laps, but was never able to get any closer
than Myers’ back bumper.
For Myers, it was the eighth time he has won the Hayes Jewelers 200,
which tied a Bowman Gray record held by Junior Miller. Myers finished fourth
in the season-opening 200-lap race a year ago, after winning the race for
the seventh time in 2015.
NBC and NASCAR have announced the remainder of the 2017 broadcast
schedule, which will capture the championship races for the NASCAR K&N Pro
Series East and West, as well as the newly unified NASCAR Whelen Modified
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour broadcast schedule starts with the New
Hampshire Motor Speedway race weekend: the Whelen All-Star Shootout on
Friday, July 14, and the Nor’easter 100 on Saturday, July 15. The races will
air on Thursday, July 20 at 4:30 and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.
NBCSN will air the final eight races of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
championship season, culminating in the World Series of Asphalt Racing at
Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, Oct. 15. That
season finale will air on Thursday, Oct. 19.
On the speedway stock market scene this week Sunoco Logistics and Energy
Transfer merged giving Energy Transfer stockholders a two for one split. Two
of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Spwwdway Motorsports
dropped 1.47 to 18.05 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped
0.85 to 37.10. Dover Entertainment remained stagnant at 2.05. NASCAR cup
sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 0.01 to 45.38, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco
(Energy Transfer) went up 0.81 to 35.93 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
went up 0.88 to 36.23. The auto manufacturers were all positive for the
week. Toyota went up 4.04 to 108.14 while General Motors went up 0.89 to
34.64 and Ford went up 0.13 to 11.47. In the home improvement sector, Home
Depot went up 6.10 to 156.10 and Lowes went up 1.41 to 84.88. The big team
sponsors stocks were all positive. McDonalds went up 6.52 to 139.93,
Coca-Cola went up 6.96 to 211.86, Target went up 1.07 to 55.85, Aarons
Rentals went up 5.23 to 35.94 and Fedex went up 4.48 to 189.70.
On the tube this week
Wednesday, May 3
6:30 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Richmond race re-air, Fox Sports 1
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
Thursday, May 4
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
Friday, May 5
11:30 AM, NXS Talladega practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
1:30 PM, NXS Talladega final practice, FS1
2:30 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Talladega practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
4:30 PM, MENCS Talladega final practice, FS1
5:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
9:00 PM, MENCS Talladega practice re-air, FS1
10:00 PM, MENCS Talladega final practice re-air, FS1
Saturday, May 6
5:30 AM, MENCS Talladega final practice re-air, FS1
6:30 AM, MENCS Talladega practice re-air, FS1
7:30 AM, MENCS Talladega final practice re-air, FS1
10:30 AM, NXS Talladega qualifying, FS1
12:30 PM, NXS Pre Race Show, FOX
1:00 PM, NXS Talladega race, FOX
3:30 PM, NXS Post Race Show, FOX
4:00 PM, MENCS Talladega qualifying, FOX
Sunday, May 7
2:00 AM, NXS Talladega race re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, MENCS Talladega qualifying re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 PM, MENCS Pre Race Show, FOX
2:00 PM, MENCS Talladega race, FOX
9:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
Monday, May 8
3:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
6:00 AM, MENCS Talladega race re-air, 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