Champ Trail -
May 9, 2016
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.
In some good news, Connecticut’s Max Zachem had a landmark week as
announced a new partnership with New Southern New England real estate
Company Anytime Realty last Friday afternoon and on Saturday night scored
his first ever Modified victory.
Beginning with the next NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Virginia’s
Langley Speedway, Anytime Realty will serve as the primary sponsor of
Zachem’s No. 20 for the remainder of the season.
After three races in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, Zachem
currently sits seventh in the championship standings, just 21 points adrift
from leader Rowan Pennink. Zachem started the season with two straight
top-five finishes before wrecking out of the Spring Sizzler at Stafford.
Zachem, who hails from Preston, CT, ventured to the Riverhead Raceway on the
east end of Long Island where he drove the Ken Vogel Sr. owned Modified to
his first ever Modified win.
Third generation driver Eddie Brunnhoelzl III and former three time
Riverhead champion John Fortin brought the 19 car field to the green flag
with the duo running one-two over the first six circuits of the race. On the
start of the 7th lap which came in the form of a double file restart the
leading tandem made contact shuffling Fortin back into the field while
Brunnhoelzl lost the lead of the race to Tom Rogers Jr. who roared his way
out front from third when the contact ensued. One lap later defending NASCAR
Modified champion Shawn Solomito raced his way by Brunnhoelzl for second
Justin Bonsignore in the M3 Technology Chevy would cross the line second
while Vinny Biondolillo was third in the Sequel Group Chevy after running at
the front of the field for the duration of the hotly contested race. John
Fortin Sr. and Ken Darch completed the top five.
The Stafford Motor Speedway was slated to begin its regular Friday night
season this past Friday but weather prevailed forcing officials to pull the
plug on Thursday. Stafford will try again this coming Friday.
Down in the south land, Burt Myers made it two in a row in NASCAR
Modified action at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. Myers
qualified second, but instead of taking the draw, he accepted the Fans’
Challenge and elected to go to the back of the field and start 16th in the
100-lap Modified event. He took advantage of a caution with 18 laps left to
hold off Danny Bohn and win for the 70th time in his career.
Because he elected to take the challenge, he won an extra $3,000 to give him
a purse of $4,700.
Bohn, who finished third in the season opener, took the lead on the third
of five cautions with 31 laps left. Bohn led the next 13 laps. Jason Myers,
Burt Myers’ brother, spun out on lap 82 to bring out the final caution. Burt
Myers took the lead on the double-file restart.
In some sad news, American-Canadian Tour President Tom Curley passed away
on Friday, May 5, 2017 after a long battle with chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease. Curley oversaw multiple changes with the
American-Canadian Tour throughout its tenure, the biggest coming in 1995
when the famed Pro Stock Tour folded and the Late Model program taking
center stage. From there, Curley engineered the famed “Spec Motor” program
and began to put together a universal rules packages, focusing on controlled
costs and level playing fields, for Late Model racing that is still used
throughout New England today.
Curley was named North American Promoter of the Year by Racing Promotion
Monthly in 2004, the nation’s top stock car auto racing promotion award, and
was the Northeast Promoter of the Year three times. He was named Trackside
Magazine Promoter of the Year in 1992 and Lowes Motor Speedway National
Short Track Promoter of the Year in 2003.
He was inducted in the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2009 and
honored by the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 with to the David Haskins
Memorial Award. He was 73.
On the speedway stock market scene this week two of the three speedway
stocks were down for the week. Dover entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.10
while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.54 to 17.51 and the International
Speedway Corporation went down 0.50 to 36.60. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster
Beverage went up 2.07 to 47.45, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) dropped 3.22 to 22.71 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
0.89 to 35.34. With the exception of Toyota, which went up 1.77 to 1.77 the
car, builders were down for the week. Ford dropped 0.33 to 11.14 and General
Motors dropped 0.87 to 33.77. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up
1.12 to 86.00 while Home Depot dropped 0.37 to 155.73. The big teams sponsor
stocks were somewhat volatile. Coca-Cola dropped 6.12 to 205.74 while
McDonalds went up 4.03 to 143.96. Target went up 1.47 to 57.32, Aarons
Rentals went up 0.45 to 36.39 and Fedex went up 2.72 to 192.42.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, May 11
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, Fox Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR K&N Pro Series South Boston VA NBC Sports Net
Friday, May 12
11:30 AM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kansas practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
1:30 PM, MENCS Kansas final practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kansas qualifying, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
6:30 PM, MENCS Kansas qualifying, FS1
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Kansas race, FS1
11:00 PM, NCWTS Post Race Show, FS1
Saturday, May 13
7:00 AM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
7:30 PM, MENCS Kansas race, FS1
11:00 PM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
Sunday, May 14
Monday, May 15
6:30 AM, MENCS Kansas race re-air, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7:00 PM, One Hot Night: the NASCAR 1992 All-Star Race, 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