The Chrome Horn News


Richie Grodski

    First off I would like to thank everyone who has joined our family here. Linda and Norm Case of Precision Automotive Inc. and Hampton Jitney, aka Ted Baxter, deserve a big mention, as they will be sponsoring The Chrome Horn website this year. Great people here, please give them some of your business. In the matter of roughly 4 weeks now, these people have thrown full support into this website and the forum membership grows greatly every day. I have received many emails offering help and ideas, but instead of just suggestions and thoughts, they are offering their help to The Chrome Horn. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I absolutely love the idea of members helping to run a website, like family. I never could have imagined things would have turned out this way, being I only thought of bringing this Modified news out from within to it's own spot last November. You are all an amazing group of fans!!!!
    Well our first taste of the racing season is over. The Modifieds and the SK Modifieds ran in the annual
'World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing' at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. This has always been a great 8 nights of Modified racing with a nice mix of drivers and teams. This year was no different. Ted Christopher, once again, did double duty driving a Super Late Model and a Tour Type Modified. Jimmy Blewett, Earl Paules, Eric Beers, Chuck Hossfeld and Zach Sylvester were just a few who made the trip. Long Islanders included Donny Lia, Justin Bonsignore, Kevin Goodale, Eric Goodale, Dave Sapienza, John White and Mike Curtis. Joe Brady and Ed Partridge also had cars at New Smyrna. All in all, Eric Beers bested the Tour Type modifieds and Jimmy Blewett smoked the SK Type racing.
    The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts their season April 15th at Thompson International Speedway. This year, as of now, has a 16 race schedule with an open date at the end of the year. Some new race qualifying will also be taking place at such places as Wall Township Speedway and Riverhead Raceway. This new format will prove to be very interesting. Seems they will have 2 full feature length heats then a feature race. Fans will get a 3 feature day of racing and teams will pretty much have to run 2 features. Also added are 2 additions to the scheduled races. Twin State, Claremont, NH, a
1/3 mile semi-banked asphalt oval and Mansfield Motorsports Park, Mansfield, OH, a 1/2 mile track. This is going to add some traveling to the Tour Teams but it is great the Tour is expanding their areas of racing. I guess we will see how this all pans out.
    I am going out on a limb and give my 2007
ratings for the Top 5 of 2006 and maybe a few other notes. Todd Szegedy had a pretty good year on the Tour. Having 2 wins, 4 top 5's and 9 top 10's, Todd finished 5th in 2006. I think Todd and the #2 team will move up to 3rd with an extra win added to make 3 wins for 2007. The 4th 2006 pointman was Tony Hirschman, besting Szegedy by only 5 points. I can't say enough about Tony and his team. He has been my longest favorite driver and actually I can't remember never following him. Tony also had a very good year but I am not sure about 2007. With son Matt now driving also, this may affect Tony's team if they opt to run for 2007. I will put Tony in a 6th place if he runs the full schedule but also expect Matt to be more competitive which makes it all good. The 2006 3rd place finisher, Ted Christopher, by only 1 point, had a very up and down year. TC could have taken the championship but a few stumbling blocks offset his season, which most of you all know of already. TC for 2007 will be a bit more consistent but I don't think he will win the championship. Mark Martin Syndrome?!?! I give him a 4th place for 2007. Coming home 2nd was Eddie Flemke Jr. Eddie had a strong year and didn't get much mention at most races but consistency gave him a high year end finish. I think the #10 team will get 2nd again this year, breathing down the leaders back. And lastly, our WMT champion, Mike Stefanik. What a year, again. If Mike stays with only driving on the Tour, I pick him to take it again in 2007. In my opinion, Mike is the most matured and knowledgeable driver on the tour. With only 1 win, but, 10 top 5's and 14 top 10's, in 16 races, shows Mike's great consistency. Rounding out the Top 5 for 2007, I would take Eric Beers for 5th. Eric runs real strong and I think he will have an awesome year with a few wins to boot. The rest of the Top 10 will be a toss up. Many capable teams and drivers will be very competitive this year. Jerry Marquis, James Civali, Zach Sylvester, Donny Lia, Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, John and Jimmy Blewett, all have a shot at the Top 10 and capable of taking down a win at any time, provided they run the full season and who runs for who.
    Well that's it for this week. We have another month and a half till Thompson and I can't wait for it. Imagine running 36 or so races like NEXTEL CUP? At least we would be through 2 races already! 16 races a year does seem to be a nice sweet spot for the Whelen Modified Tour. It will be upon us sooner than we think. I want to wish all the teams and drivers good luck for 2007 and have a safe season.

Richie Grodski


Source: Richie Grodski/
Posted:  March 6, 2007

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