The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - October 17, 2016


  The headline attraction in New England last weekend was the 55th Annual World Series at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway. Eighteen different divisions were in competition over a three day span.
  The action began on Friday, October 13 with three feature events and the crowning of the first champion of the weekend named in Thompson’s late model division. Matt Lowinski-Loh capped off his season with a statement win in the 25-lap late model feature. Ray Parent’s conservative strategy prevailed as he secured a ninth place finish and wrapped up the division championship. The longest event of the first night of World Series weekend was the 60-lap feature of the Granite State Pro Stock series, a new addition to the Friday night lineup of the annual event. Derek Ramstrom held off Derek Griffith for the feature win in a dominating performance. Numerous wrecks shadowed the event which seemed to take forever to complete. Closing out the night were the Lite Modifieds in a 20-lap feature that saw a competitive field of drivers each looking for one more win on the 2017 season. Third generation driver, Bryan Narducci, who started up front and finished up front in dominating fashion led every lap of the event on route to a victory.
  Day two for the World Series of Speedway Racing was long and busy once the rain stopped. It proved to be a busy one as a slew of new champions were named in both touring and track divisions as the biggest weekend in New England racing continued. Six of the eight different races were held over the course of the afternoon, each resulting in a champion being named for their specific series or division as a packed crowd turned out to enjoy and afternoon of non-stop on track action at the Big-T.Eight. Fog caused the speedway to curb activities until Sunday. The Valenti Modified Racing series, the Northeastern Midget Association, the American Canadian Tour, the Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series, the New England Pro 4 Modifieds, Street Stocks and the North East Mini Stock Tour were scheduled over the course of the afternoon and evening. In addition there was qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour and Sunoco SK type Modifieds. Thirty five Whelen Modifieds and 26 Sunoco SK type Modifieds were on hand.
  The American Canadian Tour served as the night’s main event crowning a champion with a two-man battle established coming into the evening’s season finale race. The tour’s 75-lap feature began with a tribute to series founder Tom Curley in a touching pre-race ceremony featuring a playing of “Donny Boy” on bagpipes. Curley passed away at the age of 73 earlier this year and before the green flag flew ACT drivers presented a series of four-wide tribute laps in honor of the man who helped establish their series back in 1986. Eddie MacDonald and Woody Pitkat battled it out for a win in the final ACT race of the 2017 campaign. Despite a strong run in the second half of the event, Pitkat was unable to make a move on MacDonald who had a strong car from start to finish and survived numerous restarts on route to his first win at Thompson and his second of the season in the ACT division.
  The Valenti Modified series crowned its own champion before the day even started with points leader Anthony Nocella already earning enough points to clinch the title coming into the final event of the season for the popular local division. Nocella became the eighth different champion in the history of the Valenti Modified series and not only clinched the title, but also won the race after several contenders were sidelined from a series of on-track incidents during the 50-lap event.
  Other Saturday winners at Thompson were Todd Bertrand in the NEMA Midgets, Dave Trudeau in the Mini Stocks, David Berghman in the Pro Fours and Nick Maniatis in the Northeast Mini Stocks.
  In Whelen Modified Tour qualifying on Saturday, Chase Dowling scored his first career pole award on Saturday. Driving the 15-40 Connection modified for Rob Fuller, Dowling posted a fast lap of 18.991 seconds (118.477 mph) around the 0.625-mile oval. Dowling was the only driver to break the 18-second bracket in qualifying and will make his 41st career start on Sunday from the top spot.
  Whelen Modified Tour points leader Doug Coby was second fastest. Coby ran a fast lap of 19.035 seconds (118.203 mph) behind the wheel of his No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet. Ryan Preece, who already has two victories at Thompson this season, was third in the qualifying. Rob Summers and Craig Lutz rounded out the top five.
  Dale Wobrink started off the Sunday activity as she presented the 2017 Sonny Richards award post-posthumously to Ted Christopher. Shawn Waddell accepted the award for Christopher. Christphers last win at Thompson was his 99th Sunoco Modified victory at the Thompson Speedway on September 10th.
  First up were the Sunoco SK type Modifieds. Ryan Preece and early leader John Studley made contact on lap 13. Keith Rocco was waiting in the wings and took advantage of the situation as he jumped into the lead. Rocco held the lead until lap 28 when Chase Dowling got underneath and rode him up allowing Todd Owen to take the lead. Owen ended up taking the win with Dowling, second and Rocco, Thompson Motorsports Park Sunoco Modified championship. Rocco is looking to make it three titles following this coming weekend at Waterford.
  Rocco had a few choice words for Dowling after the event. “There’s a reason I’ve got more championships than that kid does wins,” Rocco said of Chase Dowling.
  Timmy Solomito ended the season the same way he started, with a win. Solomito won the season opener for the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Along the way he scored a win at the Langley Speedway plus two at his home track, Riverhead Raceway. He capped off his season with a win at Thompson’s World Series. His crew rolled out a back-up car after a mis-cue in Saturday practice.
  Doug Coby led the early going before pitting following a caution on lap 80. He needed to finish eighth or better to sew up the championship. Coby led laps 1-82, Craig Lutz led laps 83-107, Ron Silk led laps 108-144, Justin Bonsignore led lap145 and Ron Silk led laps 146-153 before being moved by Timmy Solomito who led laps 154-155.
  By virtue of his fifth place finish Doug Coby wrapped up the 2017 series championship by six points over Solomito. Justin Bonsignore finished up the year in third spot with Rowan Pennink and Eric Goodale rounding out the top five.
  For the first time in series history the owner’s title went to a team that wasn’t hosting the championship driver at the end of the year. Ed Partridge and TS Motorsports was presented with the owner’s trophy thanks to the efforts of Ryan Preece, who forwent a full season of driving for the driver’s title to focus on advancing his career in select NASCAR Xfinity Series events over the course of the season. Preece said he was proud to help bring Partridge a title and end the season on a high note.
  Other Sunday winners at Thompson were Jeff VanPelt in the Limited Sportsman, Ryan Bigelow in the NEMA Lites, Dave Shulluck in the ISMA Supers and Allen Coates in the Street Stocks.

  A big at-a-boy to Thirty Two Signs and all the hundreds of fans who have purchased items and donated are proud to announce that next week at the Waterford Speedbowl Thirty Two Signs will be presenting a check in the amount of THIRTY THOUSAND EIGHTY FIVE DOLLARS to the Christopher Family. Special thanks to all those who have made this happen!!

  On a sad note, Gene White, 90, passed away at his home in Stonington, CT on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, leaving his wife, Nancy, of 53 years. Gene was a World War ll veteran serving in the Marines. He was an avid race car driver winning many trophy's in modified, stocks and sprints. White was a five time winner at the Riverside Park Speedway. He also raced at the Thompson Speedway and at the Stafford Motor Speedway.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks had positive results. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.85 to 21.84 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.10 to 2.20 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.85 to39.30. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 0.46 to 55.83 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.24 to 33.01 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.13 to 18.39. Two of the three car manufacturers ended the week on a positive note. General Motors went up 0.96 to 45.88 and Toyota went up 1,53 to 123.38 while Ford dropped 0.25 to 12.05. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 1.33 to 164.47 while Lowes went up 0.48 to 82.33. In big team sponsors stocks, McDonalds went up 5.77 to 165.37, Coca-Cola went up 7.19 to 225.30, Target went up 3.74 to 60.85 and Fedex went up 1.52 to 222.22 while Aarons Rentals dropped 2.29 to 42.10.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, October 19

5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, Fox Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Thompson, CT NBC Sports Net

  Friday, October 20
3:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
12:30 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kansas practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas practice, NBC Sports App
4:30 PM, NXS Kansas final practice, NBC Sports App
6:00 PM, MENCS Kansas qualifying, NBCSN

  Saturday, October 21
11:00 AM, MENCS Kansas practice, NBC Sports App
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:30 PM, MENCS Kansas final practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBC
3:00 PM, NXS Kansas race, NBC

  Sunday, October 22
11:30 AM, Classic NASCAR: 1993 Daytona 500, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:00 PM, MENCS Kansas race, NBCSN
6:30 PM, MENCS Post Race show, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

   That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
E-mail: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
 

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: October 17, 2017

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