Champ Trail -
May 16, 2016
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed to the Langley Speedway in
Hampton, Virginia last Saturday for round four of the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour season. Ryan Preece would not make it two straight as he vacated the
seat of his No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet to get married to his longtime
girlfriend. Needing a replacement driver, car owner Ed Partridge tabbed
two-time Langley winner and four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
champion George Brunnhoelzl III.
Twenty five cars were on hand for the 150 lap event, City of Hampton
"150". Doug Coby took the pole, the 21st of his career. Second fastest was
Eric Goodale. Timmy Solomito, Rob Summers and Rowan Pennick completed the
Doug Coby started on the pole and for 99 laps had total control of the
event. With Timmy Solomito hot on his tail, Coby set the pace of every lap
with the exception of lap 55 when Solomito inched by. A competition caution
shuffled the field as Rob Summers took the lead on the restart on lap 100.
Coby retook the lead on lap 107 with Solomito close on his tail. Solomito
tried all the tricks but to no avail. On lap143 Solomito went low between
turns three and four. Coby attempted to block as Solomito hit and spun him.
A caution was thrown but NASCAR took no action. Solomito then survived a
restart with two laps to go and survived overtime to clinch the win. Coby
was able to restart and ended up 15th at the checker. Max Zachem was sitting
in the cat bird’s seat when Solomito executed the bump and run. On the
ensuing restart Zachem got “freight trained” on the outside and ended up
fourth. Eric Goodale finished in second, his best result of the season. Kyle
Bonsignore finished third and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top-five.
Rob Summers, Rowan Pennink, Danny Bohn, Kyle Ebersole and Matt Swanson
completed the top 10.
The tour does not return to New England until June 14 for a Wednesday
night event at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway.
The Stafford Motor Speedway beat the big noreaster that was heading to
New England. Late Models had top billing with the Call Before You Dig 811
50-lap extra distance feature event. Michael Bennett was the big winner,
leading all 50 laps to take home the $1,811 winner’s check. Other feature
winners were Ted Christopher, who outdueled Keith Rocco with a last lap pass
in the SK Modified® feature, Cory DiMatteo won the SK Light feature for the
second race in a row, Cliff Saunders outlasted his twin brother Al to take
the checkers in the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson came out
on top of a hard fought duel between himself and Johnny Walker to win the
DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event. Christopher took the lead
following a restart on lap 9. Rocco was in the mix by lap 26. Rocco was
starting to work Christopher over for the lead as he was looking high and
low for a way to make a pass for the lead on lap-26. Rocco nearly had a pass
made on lap-30 but Christopher was able to shut the door on the move. Ron
Williams was still in third with Tom Abele and Cam McDermott making up the
top-5. Rocco was still looking high and low for a way around Christopher but
he was still behind with 5 laps to go.
Rocco was finally able to make a move and he took the lead with a move in
turn 3 on lap-37. Christopher wasn’t going away quietly as he was all over
Rocco’s bumper. The cars took the white flag locked together. Rocco led down
the backstretch and into turn 3. Christopher made a power move in turn 3 to
get alongside Rocco and he took the lead by a nose coming off turn 4 and he
led Rocco to the line to take the win. Williams settled for third with Abele
and McDermott rounding out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Chase
Dowling, Mike Christopher, Jr., Matt Galko, Michael Gervais, Jr and Rowan
Ted Christopher, at 58 years of age is the Staffords all-time winningest
driver with 126 feature wins. His overall career total is 369 wins.
There was no racing at the Riverhead Raceway on eastern Long Island last
weekend. Faced with a ominous forecast calling for perhaps two and a half
inches of rain coupled with temperatures not getting above the mid fifties,
Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz called off
Saturday nights NASCAR Whelen All American Series program.
The call was made Friday morning in an effort to allow loyal competitors
and fans ample time to make other plans for Mother's Day eve, a point that
was appreciated by many teams judging by their posts on various social media
Riverhead Raceway will try again this Saturday night May 20th as the
Granite State Pro Stock Series treks southbound to Long Island for a 100-lap
event. Joining the GSPSS on the NASCAR Whelen All American Series program
are the NASCAR Modifieds, Figure Eights, a 30-lapper for the Blunderbusts,
Super Pro Trucks, INEX Legend Race Cars, Mini Stocks and a Truck Enduro.
Down in the south land, Tim Brown increased his Bowman Gray
Stadium-record win total to 81 with a victory in the first 25-lap Modified
Division race, with Bobby Measmer Jr. taking second and Burt Myers taking
fifth. Brown drew a “14” after the victory, forcing him to start the second
25-lap Modified race in that spot, and he was part of a first-lap wreck.
Jonathan Brown, who finished 13th in the first race, won from the outside
pole by beating pole-sitter Brody Jones, Randy Butner and Myers to the line.
On the speedway stock market scene this week all three speedway stocks
were down. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.85 to 35.75
while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.47 to 17.04 and Dover Entertainment
dropped 0.07 to 2.03. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 0.17 to
47.62, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer)went up 0.31 to 23.02
and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went down 1.01 to 34.33. The auto
manufacturers were down for the week. General Motors dropped 0.16 to 33.61
while Ford dropped 0.22 to 10.92 and Toyota dropped 3.50 to 106.41. In the
home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 1.22 to 84.72 and Home Depot went up
1.15 to 156.88. The big team sponsor’s stocks were mostly negative except
for McDonalds which went up 1.37 to 145.33. Coca-Cola dropped 5.81 to
199.93, Target dropped 1.52 to 55.80, Aarons Rentals dropped 1.43 to 34.96
and Fedex dropped 0.76 to 191.66.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, May 18
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, Fox Sports 1
Friday, May 19
3:30 AM, One Hot Night: the NASCAR 1992 All-Star Race, FS1
4:30 AM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
5:00 AM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
1:00 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Charlotte All-Star practice, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
3:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte All-Star practice, FS1
3:30 PM, One Hot Night: the NASCAR 1992 All-Star Race, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Charlotte qualifying, FS1
6:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte All-Star qualifying, FS1
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Charlotte race, FS1
Saturday, May 20
12:30 PM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
4:30 PM, MENCS Charlotte All-Star qualifying, FS1
6:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte Open / All-Star qualifier race, FS1
8:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte All-Star race, FS1
Sunday, May 21
12:00 PM, MENCS Charlotte All-Star 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