The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - June 27, 2016

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made it’s first of two stops at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night. Timmy Solomito returned to his home track and picked up his third win of the season. He held off David Sapienza on an overtime finish to take the Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200. Solomito was also the Coors Light Pole Award winner. He led three times for a race-high 151 laps, including the final 102 as a caution on Lap 196 pushed the race to 208 laps.
  Doug Coby finished third while four-time Riverhead winners Ryan Preece and Justin Bonsignore crossed the line fourth and fifth, respectively. Eric Goodale finished sixth with Rowan Pennink the last car on the lead lap in seventh. Tom Rogers Jr., Dillon Steuer and Max Zachem completed the top 10.
  At the drop of the green Solomito vaulted to the early race lead with Ronnie Williams in tow. Williams in the Gershow Recycling Chevy would run second for the first eight circuits of the contest as he was passed on lap 9 by Ryan Preece who quickly turned his attention to race leader Solomito. On lap 31 entering the first turn Preece would seize the moment as he was able to take the lead from Solomito while the duo were in the process of lapping Ted Christopher. Later in the race Christopher would get his lap back during a caution flag period.
Solomito would roar back to the race lead on a 63rd lap double file restart as he rolled his car perfectly to the outside of Preece to move back out front. Some 21 laps later the roles would be reversed with Preece riding the outside lane on Solomito to reclaim the race lead during a 81st lap restart. The high speed game of chess between two of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's young & talented drivers had the large crowd roaring with approval. The final pass for the lead would occur just past the halfway point of the race on a 105th lap restart where once again Solomito rolled the outside groove to take the lead from Preece. Shortly thereafter Ryan's car would start to go away on him as he soon found himself fending off the likes of Justin Bonsignore, Doug Coby and Dave Sapienza for second.
  In the second half of the race an extended green flag run would come into play allowing Timmy Solomito to check out on the remainder of the field. Justin Bonsignore made his way by Preece for second on lap 151 bringing Doug Coby to third with him. Bonsignore & Coby renewed their Riverhead rivalry and started trading paint as well the second position. Their intense battle led to Dave Sapienza in making his way to second on lap 173. By the time Dave got to second race leader Solomito was long gone and the only way Sapienza was going to catch the leader would be with a late race caution flag. Low and behold a Craig Lutz spin with barely five laps left in the race gave Sapienza his chance at a first career WMT win.
  With the Riverhead 200 now in overtime, a green, white, checker finish awaited the contenders. When the green flag waved to start the 206th lap Solomito got the measure of Sapienza, who later admitted his was late shifting his car on that final restart. When the race concluded on lap 208 "The Natural" Timmy Solomito who won his first career NASCAR Modified race at Riverhead on June 27th, 2009 was once again a victor at the track he grew up at.
  There were 7 caution Flags for 56 laps. Next up on the schedule is the Whelen Modified Tour All-Star Shootout on July 14 followed by the Nor’easter 100 the next day, both at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

  The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted the ISMA SuperModifieds in addition to their regular racing divisions. Ben Seitz led the 60-lap ISMA SuperModified feature from start to finish to score a dominating win; Ted Christopher outlasted Chase Dowling and Keith Rocco in a barnburner over the final 5 laps for his second SK Modified® win of the season; Glen Reen scored his first win of the year in the Late Model feature; Cory DiMatteo won for the third time in the SK Light feature; Al Saunders scored his first Ltd. Late Model feature win; and Johnny Walker was the DARE Stock feature winner for the second consecutive week.
  Ted Christopher, who started 12th, took the lead from Tom Abele on lap-21 with a pass in turn 4 as Todd Owen hit the wall in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 21 laps complete. On the restart, Christopher took the lead back under green with Abele, Mike Christopher, Jr., Cam McDermott, and Chase Dowling lined up behind him. Steven Kopcik spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 24 laps complete. Rowan Pennink was sent to the rear of the field for overaggressive driving under the caution.
  Christopher took the lead back under green with Christopher, Jr. making a strong move in turn 3 to overtake Abele for second. Abele came right back on the next lap to move back into second while Dowling was able to move into third and Keith Rocco took fourth as Christopher, Jr. fell back to fifth. Ed Spiers spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 28 laps complete.
  Christopher took the lead on the restart with Dowling and Rocco in chase but he lost the lead to Dowling on lap-33. Christopher came back in turn 3 on lap-34 and gave Dowling a shot to the bumper, but that actually slowed Christopher and allowed Rocco to move into second. Christopher got back around Rocco on lap-36 and he took the lead from Dowling at the line on lap-37. Dowling got to the inside of Christopher in turn 3 on lap-38 to move back into the lead and Christopher made the very same move on lap-39 and he had the lead coming to the white flag. Rocco pulled alongside Dowling on the final lap in a duel for second and that allowed Christopher to maintain his gap to the two cars and he took his second win of the 2017 season. Dowling nipped Rocco at the line for second with Abele and Christopher, Jr. rounding out the top-5. This race was one of the most exciting and competitive ever run at Stafford since the track was paved in 1967!
  Ted Christopher is the Stafford’s all-time winningest driver with 127 feature wins, 105 coming in an SK Modified. His career total shows an over-all win total of 370.

  The New London Waterford Speedbowl opened for the 2017 Season on Saturday night with BowlStrong Blastoff. Divisions will included SK Modified, SK Lite, Late Model, NLWS Trucks, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock and Legends as well as a special feature Valenti Modified Racing Series 100 Lap race. Keith Rocco, the speedbowl’s top winner scored a one-two punch as he won the Late Model and SK Modified features. In the SK Modified feature, Kyle James started on the front row and led the early going with Diego Monahan nipping at his heels. James held the lead until there were 2 laps to go when Rocco made the decisive move for the lead and eventual win. James ended up 2nd with Rob Janovic Jr taking home 3rd.
  Keith Rocco keeps rolling along at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl as he continues to build on his record setting feature win total. Rocco recorded one win in the Late Model division and one in the SK Modifieds at the shoreline oval bringing his track win total to 137 wins, 81 of those in an SK Modified. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 237 wins which also include victories at Thompson and 43 at Stafford Speedway.
  Race fans would be hard pressed to find a more competitive short track race than what the competitors of the Valenti Modified Racing Series delivered at the New London - Waterford Speedbowl. The 100 lapper saw 5 different leaders and close side by side racing. Anthony Nocella, from Woburn, Mass., started 18th in the Valenti Modified Racing Series event, Nocella took the lead on a restart on lap 71 and held on for the win.
  Nocella, who won the Valenti series opener at Stafford on May 19 and also last week's race in Groveton, N.H., won his third event of the season. Les Hinckley of Windsor Locks was second and Jeffrey Gallup of Feeding Hills, Mass., was third. Several cars led the 100-lap feature, including Keith Rocco, Hinckley and Gallup. With 29 laps to go, however, Nocella, without having to expend as much energy early, got the lead from Gallup on a restart while Hinckley pitted and went to the back of the field.
  Nocella had a significant lead negated when the race was yellow-flagged again with 11 laps remaining, but he held on to the front for one final restart.
  Brett Gonyaw of Vernon won the first race on opening day at the Speedbowl, taking the 25-lap SK Light Modified race which featured five cautions. Duane Noll of Monroe, the defending points champion, won the trucks division. Joey Ternullo of Middletown took the 25-lap Legends race and Al Stone III of Durham earned the first Speedbowl victory of the season in the Limited Sportsman race.
There were 108 cars signed into the pits and the grandstand was 90 to 95 percent occupied.

  Down in the south land at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC, Burt Myers won the early evening 50-lap Modified. Myers, who won his 72nd career race at the track, picked 12th in the Madhouse Scramble after the win, which inverted the field for the nitecap. It gave him his fourth win of the year after defeating his brother, Jason. James Civali was third and Chris Fleming was fourth. In the second event, a 25 lapper, Brody Jones was able to squeak by for his first win of his Modified career. Jones beat Bobby Measmer Jr. in the 25-lap Modified race and became the 134th winner of a Modified race at Bowman Gray Stadium, joining his father, Steve, who won on June 29, 1991.

  On the speedway stock market scene, two of the three speedway stocks finished in the green. Spedway Motorsports went up 0.43 to 18.93 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 1.15 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.25 to 2.10. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 1.68 to 51.99 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.11 to 19.35 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.14 to 33.65. The domestic car manufacturers were down while Toyota went up 0.38 to 105.26. Ford dropped 0.17 to 11.04 and General Motors dropped 0.10 to 34.20. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 5.39 to 151.31 and Lowes dropped 3.74 to 76.06. In big team sponsor’s stocks McDonalds went up 2.65 to 154.64, Coca-Cola went up 1.58 to 235.66 and Fedex went up 4.81 to 215.30 while Target Department Stores dropped 1.85 to 50.75 and Aarons Rentals dropped 0.91 to 38.50.
On the speedway stock market scene last week

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, June 28

6:30 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Iowa race re-air, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBC Sports Net
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

  Thursday, June 29
2:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Daytona practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Daytona practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Daytona final practice, NBCSN
5:00 PM, MENCS Daytona final practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NASCAR Throwback, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NASCAR The Decades - 1, NBCSN

  Friday, June 30
12:00 AM, NASCAR Throwback, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR The Decades - The 1970s, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NXS Daytona qualifying, NBCSN
4:00 PM, MENCS Daytona qualifying, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Daytona race, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NXS Post Show, NBCSN

  Saturday, July 1
12:30 AM, NASCAR Scan All Special, NBCSN
2:00 AM, NASCAR The Decades - The 1970s, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN
6:30 PM, Classic NASCAR - 1997 Daytona 500, FS2
7:00 PM, MENCS Daytona race, NBC
11:00 PM, MENCS Post Show, NBCSN

  Sunday, July 2
12:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
4:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR 120 - Daytona, NBCSN

  Monday, July 3
2:00 PM, NASCAR 120 - Daytona, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: June 27, 2017

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