The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

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 was disqualified.
  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 to fifth.
  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 top-5.
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 on.

  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 pass.
  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, HISTORY
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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: August 15, 2017

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