Champ Trail -
November 7, 2017
The Concord Speedway in North Carolina hosted the annual North-South
Shootout last weekend. The event featured Tour Modifieds, SK Modifieds, and
the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models. Ten SK type Mods, 12 Pass
Late Models and 27 Tour type modifieds were on hand.
The action began on Friday night with the Ted Christopher Memorial
Shootouts for both classes of Modifieds, honoring the memory and legacy of
Fresh off his win in the Tri-Track event at Seekonk, Matt Hirschman drew
the pole position for the 13-car, 13-lap shootout, and led every lap to
collect the $3,000, winner-take-all paycheck. Ryan Preece, who won the SK
Modified Ted Christopher Dash for Cash, finished second. Gary Putnam
finished third in the Modified event with Bryan Dauzat and Anthony Nocella
rounding out the top five.
Following Preece in the SK type event was Chase Dowling, Todd Owen, Josh
Wood and David Arute.
Matt Hirschman completed a $13,000 weekend at Concord Speedway (N.C.),
winning the 125-lap Tour Modified feature at the North South Shootout.
Hirschman took the lead from Ryan Preece with 12 laps to go in the
$10,000-to-win feature, scoring his sixth victory in the event. Bobby
Measmer, Jr. finished third and was followed by Burt Myers and Jeff Fultz.
Rounding out the top ten was Kyle Ebersole, Jon McKennedy, Anthony Nocella,
Chuck Hossfeld and Jason Myers.
Todd Owen won the 50-Lap SK Modified Feature, David Arute finished second
with Chase Dowling, third. Josh Wood and Ryan Preece rounded out the top
Matt Craig all but locked up his second straight Pro All Stars Series
(PASS) South Super Late Model championship by claiming his sixth win of the
season. Other winners at the Shootout were J. Sanders in the Mini Stock
Feature, Justin Carroll in Limited Late Models and Jeremy Haudricort in the
Saturday, November 4 was a huge day for the North East Motor Sports
Museum. Beginning at noon, the Museum honored two of New England’s finest
racers, Bugs Stevens and George Summers. The Legends Day event at the Museum
included an entertaining roundtable with the honoree superstars that
included audience participation. There was free food and a cash beer and
wine bar. Ceiling banners featuring both drivers were unveiled at the event
as well as a surprise ceiling banner featuring a third honoree, Ron
Bouchard’s banner was hung next to those of Summers and Stevens.
Get well wishes to former New England Late Model driver Ricky Shawn who
was injured in a plane crash in North Carolina. Shawn was a passenger in a
plane piloted by George Howard Chartress III, 62, a Florida man who was was
killed after his plane crashed outside of Whiteville Tuesday morning.
FAA officials said a Beechcraft BE-35 crashed in a wooded area short of
runway 24 at the Columbus County Municipal Airport. Highway Patrol officials
said the pilot, took off from Lake City, Florida, at 7:40 a.m. and was
headed to Rhode Island. Chartress was approaching the Columbus County
Municipal Airport to refuel when the plane lost power about 400 yards south
of the runway and crashed.
Shawn, 58, of Rhode Island, was a passenger in the plane and suffered
minor injuries. Shawn ownes and operates a towing service, Bradford Motors,
in Bradford, RI.
A tip of the hat goes to Cassie Rocco and Maina Rufrano. As part of their
Racing for the Cure campaign leading up to the NAPA Fall Final on Sept. 30,
Cassie Rocco and Maina Rufrano took to the wheel of DARE Stock cars supplied
by Rent A Racecar for the NAPA Fall Final feature event and in the process
raised $5,903 for cancer research in the process. Rocco is the wife of
3-time Stafford SK Modified® champion Keith Rocco and Rufrano is the wife of
Rocco’s car owner John Rufrano and mother to SK Light driver Marcello
Rocco and Rufrano set up an online donation page through the American
Cancer Society where donations could be made to support Rocco or Rufrano in
their fundraising efforts leading up to the race. Rocco’s race was cut short
due to a fuel leak and she finished 21st in the feature event while Rufrano
came home with a 16th place finish. While Rocco might have lost the battle
on the track, she raised $2,985 to Rufrano’s $2,918 to win the duel of
raising the most money.
“Together we raised just shy of $6,000,” said Rocco. “Our goal was to
raise $5,000 so we exceeded our goal and expectation but I feel like we
could do better for sure. Maina won the race on the track but I won the race
of raising money, so I’m all right with her beating me on the track. She’s a
little braver than I am so I think she would always beat me on the track.
Once I got over my fear and anxiety of being out on the track, I was having
a blast. I was literally just starting to really have fun and the car
stopped. I only got like 5 laps and I was hoping for more. Now I know what
to expect and I think it’ll be much better.”
With the success of their fundraising efforts this season, Rocco and
Rufrano in conjunction with Stafford Speedway, are excited about organizing
a ladies race for 2018 to help raise money for cancer research.
Race of Champions, Lake Erie Speedway and the Erie Sports Commission
management announced that the 2018 Race of Champions Weekend will take place
in North East, Pennsylvania as the organizations reached a three-year
agreement to keep the event in the Erie Region. The announcement comes
following a successful 2017 Race of Champions Weekend, which was held at
Lake Erie Speedway for the first time in September.
The 2018 event will take place Thursday, September 27 through Saturday,
September 29. The culmination of the traditional weekend will see the Race
of Champions Asphalt Modified Series compete for 250 laps in the 68th Annual
Race of Champions. Matt Hirschman was this years winner.
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway
stocks were down for the week. Dover Entertainment went up 0.15 to 2.10
while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.04 to 19.47 and the International
Speedway Corporation dropped 0.20 to 38.50. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster
Beverage went up 0.92 to 57.67 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) went up 0.50 to 17.51 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
2.23 to 29.45. Two of the three car manufacturers were up for the week.
Toyota went up 1.39 to 125.62 and Ford went up 0.30 to 12.36 while General
Motors dropped 2.30 to 42.34. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot
dropped 2.95 to 164.39 and Lowes dropped 2.69 to 77.92. The big teams
sponsors stocks were all over the lot. McDonalds went up 3.26 to 168.65 and
Coca-Cola went up 1.62 to 224.19 while Fedex dropped 6.23 to 224.24, Aarons
Rentals dropped 2.71 to 36.43 and Target Department Stores dropped 0.90 to
On the tube this week:
Friday, November 10
2:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, Fox Sports 1
11:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Seroes Phoenix final practice, Fox
12:45 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Phoenix practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Phoenix practice, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NXS Phoenix final practice, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NCWTS Phoenix qualifying, FS1
6:30 PM, MENCS Phoenix qualifying, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Phoenix race, FS1
Saturday, November 11
8:30 AM, MENCS Phoenix practice re-air, NBCSN
9:00 AM, NCWTS Phoenix race re-air, FS1
10:00AM, MENCS Phoenix qualifying re-air, NBCSN
11:30 AM, MENCS Phoenix practice, NBCSN
12:30 PM, NXS Phoenix qualifying, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:00 PM, MENCS Phoenix final practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBC
3:30 PM, NXS Phoenix race, NBC
Sunday, November 12
6:00 AM, MENCS Phoenix final practice re-air, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBC
2:30 PM, MENCS Phoenix race, NBC
3:00 PM, American Pickers - NASCAR Challenge, HISTORY
6:00 PM, MENCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
Monday, November 13
12:00 PM, NASCAR Scan All, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Phoenix race re-air, 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.
Smith / Champ Trail