The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


April 15, 2014

  The main event in New England last weekend was the running of the re-scheduled Blast Off at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday and Sunday. Literally tons of cars from New England and Long Island were at the Connecticut shoreline oval last weekend. In total, 13 race divisions saw action on the three-eighths mile oval, with seven feature races run Saturday evening.

  Keith Rocco hit a home run as he went three for three on Sunday as he won the SK Modified 64 lap Blast Off, the Late Model feature and the 100 lap Valenti Modified Racing Series 100. Rocco, clearly the class of the field in all three divisions, took the lead in the 64 lap SK Modified feature on lap 10. He started on the pole in the 100 lap VMRS event and led every lap.

  Following Rocco in the SK 64 lapper was Craig Lutz, Kyle James, Ted Christopher and Shawn Thibeault. Chris Pasteryak finished second to Rocco in the Valenti Mods, Todd Szegedy finished third with Jeff Rocco, fourth and Max Zachem, fifth. Sixth through tenth were Mike Holdridge, Eric Goodale, Anthony Nocella, Todd Annarummo and Mike Willis, Jr. In the Late Model feature Bruce Thomas finished second with Jason Palmer, third. Glenn Boss and Vince Esposito rounded out the top five. Sixth through twelfth were Jeff Smith, Anthony Ryan, Nick Sowa, Joe Gada, Mike Sweeney, Rich Duranti and Ryan Morgan.

  Qualifying for Sunday’s six big events took place Saturday afternoon. Leading the way were the Rocco brothers, as Jeff and Keith each picked up heat race wins in the Valenti Modified Racing series. Ted Christopher won the Series’ third heat race while Justin Bonsignore won the 15-lap consolation race. Jeff Rocco followed up his strong Valenti Modified run by earning pole position honors for Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® division’s 64-lap race which commemorates the track’s number of years in operation. He won his qualifying race in that division as well, joining Christopher and Todd Ceravolo as winners in the three qualifiers.

  In features run on Saturday night at Waterford, Rick Williams scored a first-ever victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modified race. Dylan Izzo continued his domination of the INEX Legend Cars division winning for the second straight week while Zach Thomas and Jon Porter won for consecutive weeks in the X-Car and Super X-Cars, respectively. In touring series races, P.J. Stergios of Candia, NH won the NEMA Lite feature and Chris Turbush of Riverhead, NY won the New England Truck Series race. Oakdale’s Derek Debbis checkered the INEX Bandolero feature for the youth racing class.

  There were 33 Valenti Modified Racing Series Modifieds on hand. The SK Modified car count totaled 25. The next event for the Valenti Modified Racing Series is a 100 lapper at the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH.

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was off this past weekend as competitors make preparations for the upcoming Spring Sizzler at the Stafford Motor Speedway on April 27. While most of the Modified teams enjoyed the weekend off their southern counter parts were racing at the Langley Speedway in Virginia.

  George Brunnhoelzl III led the final 67 laps of the 150 lap event after passing points leader Andy Seuss, and survived a green-white-checkered finish for his first win of the season. Twice in the first three races, Brunnhoelzl finished second to Seuss. It also extended Brunnhoelzl's tour record for career wins to 21. Seuss came home second and David Calabrese was third. Luke Fleming and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five. Seuss took the lead on Lap 62 from Ryan Preece, who won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day. Burt Myers was sixth, followed by rookies Bobby Measmer Jr. and Joe Ryan Osborne, Jason Myers and Gary Putnam. There were 17 cars on hand. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will be back in action this coming Saturday, April 19 with the Bunny Hop 150 at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks had negative results. The International Speedway Corporation took the biggest dip as they dropped 1.04 to 32.00. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.19 to 17.92 and Dover Entertainment dropped dropped 0.11 to 2.29. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 1.01 to 8.25 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.34 to 25.21 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.55 to 55.00. The car builders were all negative for the week. Toyota took the big dip as they dropped 6.54 to 104.89 while General Motors dropped 2.89 to 31.93 and Ford dropped 0.51 to 15.63. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 3.02 to 75.70 and Lowes dropped 2.12 to 46.31. In the area of sponsors stocks, Coca-Cola went up 1.91 to 81.06 while Dupont dropped 1.26 to 66.09, Target dropped 2.23 to 58.90, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.54 to 30.23 and FedEx dropped 3.13 to 131.23.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, April 16

2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
3:00 AM, NSCS Darlington race, re-air, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

Thursday, April 17
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

Friday, April 18
2:00 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
NASCAR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Truck Series are off this weekend to observe Easter.

   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:

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

SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: April 15, 2014

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