The Chrome Horn News


The WMT Charter Cable, Internet, and Telephone 150
at Thompson Speedway

by Dave Meredith

   Donny Lia, driving the Mystic Missile of Bob Garbarino, won his third race of season. The Charter Cable 150 was rain-shortened by 50 laps. Lia takes over the WMT point lead with the win. The whole Mystic Missile team is clicking at the right time. Lia was asked if he thinks he will win the WMT championship? “If we keep running like this we surely could win the championship.”

    Richard Savary set fast time to win the Bud Pole Award

    Savary’s quick time was 18.656 seconds. Eddie Flemke of Southington, CT, was second in the #10 with a time of 18.709. Donny Lia of Jericho, NY, in the #4 was third, crossing the stripe in 18.755 seconds. Bobby Santos and Ted Christopher had exact times with 18.757 seconds. Christopher got the nod for fourth based on owner points. Santos is from Franklin, MA, and Christopher is from Plainville, CT. Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, was sixth with a time of 18.759 seconds, while James Civali of Meriden, CT, was seventh, tripping the timer at 18.768. Civali won the season opener at Thompson in the prestigious “Icebreaker.”
    Tony Hirschman of Northampton, PA, had a time of 18.775 seconds, good for eighth. Zach Sylvester in the #77 was 9th and Ryan Preece of Kensington, CT, rounded out the top ten with a time of 18.836 seconds.
Rounding out qualifying were:
11) #00 Rick Fuller, Auburn MA; 12) #0 Danny Sammons, Trenton, NJ; 13) #16 Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 14) #09 Bobby Grigas III, Marshfield, MA; 15) #12 Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 16) #66 John Blewett III, Howell, NJ; 17) #11 Anthony Sesley, Matawan, NJ; 18) # 75 Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 19) #90 Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, CT; 20) #6 Ron Yuhas, Groton, CT; 21) #58 Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, NY; 22) #13 Rick Fuller, Auburn, MA; 23) #59 Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 24) #94 Eric Beers, Northampton, PA; 25) #46 Dick Houlihan, Bridgewater, MA; 26) #06 Billy Pauch, Frenchtown, NJ; 27) #2 Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, CT; 28) #64 Eric Berndt, Rocky Hill, CT, 29) #8 Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, NY; and 30) #93 Rowan Pennick, Huntingdon, PA.
    Provisionals were awarded to: #99 Jamie Tomaino, Howell, NJ; #79 Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; #05 John Hartman, Calverton, NY; #33 Wade Cole, Riverton, CT; and #9 Jake Marosz, Middletown, CT.
The top ten redrew for starting position:
#40 Ryan Preece, #28 James Civali, #10 Eddie Flemke, #4 Donny Lia, #48 Tony Hirschman, #19 Ronnie Silk, #21 Richard Savary, #3 Bobby Santos III, #77 Zach Sylvester. Going Home: Jonathon Mc Kennedy, Charlie Pasteryak, and Ken Bouchard.
    Jimmy Blewett of Howell, New Jersey, is the point leader heading into the event, with James Civali of Meriden, CT, second. Civali is also the current rookie of the year. Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, is third in points, with Donny Lia of Jericho, NY, fourth, and Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT, a past WMT champion, fifth.
    Zach Sylvester of Lebanon, CT, was sixth, Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, CT, seventh, Mike Stefanik eighth, Ronnie Silk Norwalk, CT, ninth, and Jamie Tomaino of Howell, NJ, tenth.

Practice Problems
    Jonathon McKennedy, of Chelmsford, MA, in the #73, suffered right front damage in practice. The team tried to fix the car, but were unable to, so they loaded up the car. Woody Pitkat in his initial event for the #79 Hillbilly Racing Team had a few problems -- the engine went sour and they had to swap engines. Then he hit wall in the practice session and needed to make repairs. Pitkat used an owner’s provisional to make the show.
    Rick Fuller in the #13 broke the frame in practice, however he made the show qualifying 13th. The #6 of Ron Yuhas was sitting in the pits, but I spoke with him while waiting for the race to begin. Yuhas had to go the rear of the field on the start as this was impound race. Ted Christopher had a flat tire on the warm-up lap and pitted -- under the WMT rules of impound, he also had to go to the rear of the field for the start.

The Race Is On
    Civali made easy work of Ryan Preece as he takes the lead on lap one. The first caution flies on lap 9 as Jerry Marquis slows on the track. On the lap 12 restart, Flemke takes the lead from Civali. Eddie Flemke has been guiding the modified career of Civali, and he showed the youngster what it’s like to race him, though it appears Civali has the faster car. Lap 15, Lia moves to 3rd. Lap 23 Flemke, Civali, and Lia are nose-to-tail. Lap 27 Civali takes the lead at the line and stretches it out. Lia moves to second. Lap 34, Lia takes the lead from Civali. The #77 of Zach Sylvester pitted.
    Lap 39, under caution again for the #66 of Blewett spinning in turn two. Back to green on Lap 44, but it is short-lived as Pauch has a broken suspension on the following lap to bring out caution for the third time.
    Richard Savary pits for service on lap 47. The restart has Lia leading Flemke, Civali, and Hirschman. Preece bring caution #4 after tangling with Blewett and Stefanik. Civali pitted on lap 55 along with Sesely, Yuhas, Stefanik and Matt Hirschman.
    Restart lap 57 and it’s Lia still in the lead, with Flemke, Santos, Christopher, Hirschman, Silk, Szegedy, Dupuis, and Sammons trailing. On lap 63 Christopher is on the move to the front. Lightning in the sky may be a precursor as to what is coming soon.
    With weather threatening the cautions seemed to be prolonged. Just too many cautions for the track complete the show. On lap 70, Lia still leads with Christopher in 2nd, Bobby Santos III, and Hirschman the leaders. Joe Hartman in the #05 spins on lap 75 to bring out the yellow again, and Flemke heads to the pits for tires.
    Restart on lap 80, however Renee Dupuis takes a very hard hit into the turn four wall on the next lap. She appears to be OK. One has to wonder if all of these cautions tonight are caused by the long layoffs between races. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much racing since early in the race when the challenges were numerous.
    Light rain begins and the track is getting wet by lap 87. The cars are under caution and running pace laps to try to keep the track dry. By lap 97 the rain is about stopped and it seems like the track is drying. However, on lap 100, the race is red-flagged at 9:53 p.m. At 10:15 the race was called under red with Lia winning his third race of the season and second in row.
    If the weather had cooperated we would have seen a great finish to this race. I still give credit to the track crew and Thompson Speedway for getting the show in. At lap 100 NASCAR stopped counting laps in hopes getting to a racing finish.

Donny Lia in Victory Lane:

    “We’ll take a win any way we can. I can’t say enough about everybody -- the crew, the whole team. They give me a great car every race. That helps us win these races. We had a great car on the long run and the #10 and #28 were really battling hard. I kind of settled in, rode along and thought maybe they would get together, which they did in turn 2. I was able to get Eddie Flemke on the bottom going into three. I ran the #28 down; he was getting a little bit free. I think he pulled over and let me go by probably as strategy. I know they pitted and here we are, Victory Lane.”

Ted Christopher after the race:

    “It was obvious the fastest car didn’t win tonight,” Christopher said. “I'm just disgusted. I don't [care that I finished]. I had just passed 30-something cars, one more wouldn't have been a problem.” (Hartford Courant)

Bobby Santos III:
    “Third place finish -- not bad! In the Cape Cod Copper #3 The team worked real hard. I wouldn’t be here if weren’t for them. Can’t complain about a third place finish. If we could have finished I may have been able to catch the leaders. On the restart we were good in the bottom, but after couple laps we get a little tight. We were better on longer runs.” Will you be running any other tour races this season? “Yes, we’re running Loudon next weekend.” Santos has full schedule between the WMT, USAC, and running 20 races for Bill Davis races in the ARCA series and NASCAR Busch Series.

    I spoke with Tony Hirschman before the race to inquire about his plans for the future and the upcoming Twin State Speedway flash race. As he had indicated earlier this season he was going to miss a few races. Twin States, Wall and Riverhead were the ones he and the #48 team decided pass on.
    Glenn Tyler, while still not completely thrilled with the format after the changes, said at least NASCAR listened to what the drivers wanted. While the format is not perfect, the qualifying and the heat races lining up by qualifying finish order should be fair for all the competitors. Two heat races of 25 laps with possible 20 car in each could be a problem. “I’m not a fan of this format, but it’s what we have right now,” he stated.

Caution Flags: Laps 9-12; 40-44; 45-49; 51-57; 75-79; 81-100. 6 for 46 laps.

Lap Leaders: James Civali 1-12, Eddie Flemke 13-21, James Civali 22, Eddie Flemke 23-26, James Civali 27-33, Donny Lia 34-100.

Next up for the Whelen Modified Tour is the New Hampshire International Speedway. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Qualifying for the New England 100 is Thursday, June 28th. Race: June 30th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour New England 100 (100 Laps, 105.8 Miles) 1:10 PM.


Source:  Dave Meredith/Independent Writer
Posted:  June 25, 2007

©2007 GeeLaw Motorsports/