Champ Trail -
August 15, 2016
The Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway played host to the Whelen Modified
Tour Series along with their weekly venue last Wednesday night. Ryan Preece
will never be accused of being a stroaker or one who just rides along to
collect points. Just the opposite, as he is one of the hardest chargers in
the division. Preece was in top form last Wednesday as he left little doubt
after a commanding win in the Bud 150.
In the early going Preece took the lead from pole sitter Rowan Pennink in
turn two on lap six. Preece led Pennink until a lap 74 caution when Pennink
pitted for tires. Craig Lutz inherited the runner up spot but it was short
lived. Justin Bonsignore was on the move and by lap 82 had displaced Lutz
and Preece who was backing up as his tires gave up. Timmy Solomito took the
lead from Bonsignore on lap 87 as Preece continued to fade at an alarming
pace. On lap 114 Preece mysteriously spun in turn two, bringing out a
caution, which allowed him to pit for three new tires. Preece said he felt a
“nudge” before he spun and NASCAR didn’t disagree. Restarting in 14th
position when the green dropped on lap 119 Preece made a determined march to
the front. He was up to seventh on lap 123, 5th on lap 124, 4th on lap 125,
3rd on lap 126 as Doug Coby took the lead and second on lap 127. By lap 130
Preece had glued himself to Coby’s bumper. Coby blocked for two laps but
couldn’t hold Preece off. Preece took the lead in turn one on lap 133. From
then on, except for some last lap drama it was all Preece. As Preece and
Coby took the white flag Coby’s right front tire blew out from apparent
contact and he gave the wall going into turn one a wallop.
With the checker and caution flying Preece took the checker. Ted
Christopher crossed the line on Preece’s tail. NASCAR reverted back to the
last completed green flag lap and awarded Doug Coby the second spot and
pushing Christopher back to third. Timmy Solomito and Bobby Santos rounded
out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Andrew Krause, Rowan Pennink, Eric
Goodale, Jon McKennedy and Woody Pitkat. Christopher was extremely upset
with NASCAR’s decision as he voiced his opinion with numerous expletives.
As an added note Eddie Partridge hinted that Ryan Preece may be heading
to ”The Madhouse” following this weeks Bristol Mod Tour event.
The Sunoco Modifieds took to the track prior to the running of the tour
event. Keith Rocco took the lead on lap 22 in turn one from Steve Masse. It
was Rocco’s 242nd career win but it didn’t come easy. Masse led the early
going after pole sitter Jason Sundeen spun out on lap one. Woody Pitkat was
a mid-race leader before he spun with Ted Christopher and Troy Talman.
Following a lap 17 restart with Rocco on the point, Masse ran him up in turn
one to take the lead. Rocco dogged him until lap 22 when he retook the lead
for good. Following Rocco at the finish was Masse and Christopher. Woody
Pitkat and Todd Owen rounded out the top five.
Other Wednesday night winners were Randy Cabral in the NEMA Midgets,
Brent Gleason in the Limited Sportsman and Wayne Burroughs, Jr in the
Mini-Stocks. Woody Pitkat was awarded the Late Model win fter Rick Gentes
Oval track racing action returns to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on
Sunday, September 10 with the Sunoco 20/20 “For the Fans” event. The evening
of racing will be the final opportunity for local racing division
competitors to gain points, wins, or momentum as the season draws closer to
the October World Series of Weekend where local champions and the Whelen
Modified Tour champion will be crowned.
The Thompson Whelen Modified Tour Bud 150 will be shown by NBC Sports Net
on Thursday, August 17 at 7:oopm.
The Stafford Speedway continued their Friday night series of NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Wild Thing Karts Senior
Outlaws joining Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions as
part of Call Before You Dig 811 Night. Before the racing hit the track,
Stafford Speedway honored the five winners of the CBYD 811 Challenge with
each driver winning an $811 bonus from CBYD. The five winners were Chase
Dowling, Michael Bennett, Bryan Narducci, Robert Bloxsom, III, and George
Bessette, Jr. Taking down feature wins on the night were Ted Christopher in
the SK Modified® feature, Glen Reen in the Late Model feature, Marcello
Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Bryan Narducci in the Limited Late Model
feature, Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature, and Christopher Buffone in
the special Wild Thing Karts Senior Outlaws feature.
In the 40 lap SK Modified feature, Ted Christopher took the lead after a
lap 9 restart with Rowan Pennink hot on his tail. Christopher was able to
get clear on lap-15 and Todd Owen was now on the outside of Pennink in a
challenge for second. Pennink won that battle and Owen was now side by side
with Christopher, Jr. for third with Matt Galko and Chase Dowling side by
side for fifth. At the halfway point, Ted Christopher still had Pennink
glued to his back bumper with Christopher, Jr., Owen, and Dowling lined up
in third to fifth. Tommy Membrino came to a stop on the backstretch to bring
the caution out with 25 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead back under green and he held the lead until
lap-28 when Pennink went to the front. Christopher took the lead back on
lap-31 while behind them, Christopher, Jr. was holding off strong challenges
from Owen and Williams. Owen and Williams touched tires and got into the
turn 4 wall to bring the caution out with 31 laps complete.
Back under green Christopher and Pennink were swapping the lead again
with Christopher taking the lead on the restart, but Pennink went to the
front on lap-33. Pennink held the lead for 2 laps before Christopher went
back to the front on lap-36. With the lead swapping back and forth, Dowling
was now up to third with Christopher, Jr. in fourth and Tyler Hines was up
Christopher was able to hold off Pennink to the checkered flag to pick up
his fourth win of the 2017 season. Pennink got loose in the last corner and
nearly lost second to Dowling, but he was abel to beat Dowling to the line
by inches. Christopher, Jr. finished fourth with Hines rounding out the
Ted Christopher is the Staffords all-time winningest driver with 129 feature
wins including 107 in the SK modifieds. Overall his career total is 371
victories. Now 59, Christopher shows no sign of slowing down.
At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT driver Rob Janovic
Jr grabbed his first win of the 2017 season in the 35-lap SK Modified
portion of Wings and Wheels. Janovic Jr started outside pole and had to
fight a ill handling car as well as fend off a hard charging Kyle James to
take down his first dual checkered flags of the year. “The car wasn’t good
at all tonight, I had to make sure I hit all of my marks. The last lap we
got together it was more of me backing into him than him tapping me,”
explained Janovic after the event. Rounding out the top five were Kyle
James, Keith Rocco, Todd Owen and Matthew Galko.
In the 25-lap SK Lite Modified event it was Dana DiMatteo taking the win.
For the Farmington, CT driver, it was his third win of the season. The NEMA
Midgets were up next for their 25-lap event. It was Lakeville, MA Avery
Stoehr putting the Bertrand Motorsports #39 machine into victory lane.
Taking to the speedway next was the Valenti Modified Racing Series for their
scheduled 100-lap event. Plainville, CT Ted Christopher dominated the event.
Christopher shot out to the lead as the green waved. For Christopher, he had
to withstand nine restarts and had to use tire management as the race was
also red flagged as a crew member of the Steve Masse Team was clipped by
another car during a pitstop. At the end, it was TC pulling ahead from the
field to post the win. Rounding out the top five were Kyle James, Sammy
Rameau, Donnie Lashua and Chris Pasteryak.
The NEMA Lites 25-lap feature was over quickly as they ran from the green
to checker. Pole sitter Megan Cugini shot out of a canon and grabbed the
lead. Cugini lead for 24-laps and left the door open on the inside for Dylan
Duhaime. It was the only lap Duhaime led and it took him the checkered flag.
The ATQ Midgets ran a carbon copy of the NEMA Lite feature with the same
outcome. The 25-lap feature went green to checker. Matt Janish grabbed the
lead as the green waved and pulled away from the field. With three laps to
go Ryan Tidman caught Janish with two laps to go and powered around Janish
and took down his fifth win of the season.
The ISMA Modifieds started the day running two sets of group qualifying
events to set up the heat lineups for the scheduled 75-lap feature. 14-cars
took time and it was Michael Muldoon taking the top spot. After a three-car
mishap that started the event, the red flag waved to put a halt on the
event. The race continued only to have another red flag to wave. The #61
Mike Ordway smacked the back-stretch wall. When the race was getting ready
to continue it was announced the feature would be shortened to 50-laps.
Timmy Jedrzejek and Trent Stephens battled for the lead as the race was
winding down. The caution flew on lap-39 as the sky opened and the race was
red/checkered and the win went to Jimmy Jedrzejek.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, Dave Brigati
of Calverton pulled triple duty once again during the Donaldson's VW-Subaru
night NASCAR Whelen All American series program and in the process drove to
his 10th career NASCAR Modified victory in their 40-lap main event. Prior to
his win Brigati placed 5th in the 30-lap Super Pro Truck event and runner-up
in the 25-lap Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate race with a large crowd looking
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on
Saturday night, Danny Bohn and Tim Brown won the two 50-lap Modified races
Saturday. Only a 150-lap finale remains on the 2017 schedule, Brown was
fourth in the points standings before pairing a sixth-place showing with his
84th career win.
Brown passed pole-sitter Jonathan Brown on the sixth lap of a relatively
clean second race and used a solid night to jump to second in the standings.
Burt Myers has a 79-point lead heading into the finale.
Making only his seventh and eighth Modified starts of the season at
Bowman Gray, Bohn picked up his second consecutive victory four days after a
carburetor inspection at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord
upheld his Aug. 5 win in a 100-lap race. Bohn qualified 13th on Saturday for
the first 50-lap race, which featured several big wrecks. Jason Myers and
Tim Brown were the only two cars not slowed up by a fourth-turn pileup on
the opening lap, and only three cars weren’t affected by a similar pileup on
the third lap.
On lap 12, Myers and Brown were still in front when they wrecked,
allowing Jonathan Brown and Bohn to move to the front. Jonathan Brown
frequently held the lead over the next 25 laps, but Bohn nudged him up the
track as they moved between the first two turns on lap 39 and slid
underneath to put himself in a favorable position to complete the crossover
Bohn, who followed his victory Saturday by finishing third, behind the
two Browns, plans to race this coming weekend at Wall Stadium in New Jersey.
Among those at the Madhouse was Timmy Solomito who recorded a 19th and a
15th. Ryan Preece will try his luck this week in the season finale.
On a sad note, Ed Bolles passed away on Saturday August 5, 2017. NASCAR was
his true passion and the #76 racing team was everything to him over the past
40 years. Ed's sons competed in the Sportsman and Modified Divisions and the
Busch North Tour. His son Brian was his first driver and then his younger
son Tom took over the wheel, currently in the SK Division at Stafford Motor
Speedway. Ed was 86.
Also passing this past week was NEAR Hall of Fame member George Lombardo.
Lombardo raced from the late 1940s through the mid 1960s. During that span,
he took down over 125 wins, at Riverside Park, Waterford Speedbowl, West
Haven Speedway, and Plainville Stadium. At Plainville, he won a pair of
track championships, in 1962 and ’63.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
had negative results for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.99 to
20.91, the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.90 to 34.85 and
Dover Entertainment dropped 0.05 to 2.00.NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage
went up 1.11 to 53.82 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.93 to
30.27 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.66 to
19.51. The auto manufacturers were down for the week. Ford dropped 0.18 to
10.77 and General Motors dropped 0.34 to 34.93 while Toyota dropped 1.52 to
112.12. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 2.13 to 154.88
while Lowes dropped 1.11 to 77.26. In the area of big team sponsor’s stocks,
McDonalds went up 3.48 to 157.30 while Coca-Cola dropped 29.99 to 208.81,
Target dropped 1.93 to 55.65, Aarons Rentals dropped 1.19 to 45.19 and Fedex
dropped 4.45 to 204.87.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, August 16
9:00 AM, - American Restoration - NASCAR History 300: Dales of Thunder,
9:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Bristol practice, Fox Sports 1
10:00 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1997 Daytona 500, FS1
10:30 AM, Classic NASCAR - 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
11:00 AM, Mega RV Countdown - Epic NASCAR RVs, TRAVEL
11:00 AM, NCWTS Bristol final practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NCWTS Bristol qualifying, Fox Sports 2
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Bristol race, FS1
Thursday, August 17
8:00 AM, NCWTS Bristol race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Thompson CT, NBCSN
Friday, August 18
12:30 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bristol final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Bristol qualifying, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:30 PM, MENCS Bristol qualifying, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Bristol race, NBCSN
Saturday, August 19
11:00 AM, Tanked - NASCAR and Baseball Champions Tanks!, ANIMAL
5:30 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
7:00 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBC
7:30 PM, MENCS Bristol race, NBC
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