May 13, 2014
The Big Event in New England last weekend was the first annual
Bull Ring Bash at the Lee Speedway in Lee, NH. This event, promoted by Dick
Williams and his "Racing Guys" drew a huge field of 34 Modifieds, the
largest drawing of asphalt Modifieds to date in 2014. Four qualifying heats
were run with Tommy Barrett Jr, Todd Annarummo, Matt Swanson and Matt Galko
taking the wins, Matt Hirschman won the 14 car consi with Dennis Perry a
very competitive second. Johnny Kay was the Dash for Cash winner for
Jeff Rocco jumped out to an early lead at the drop of the green. The
first caution flew on lap 30 for Josh Cantara who spun. The second caution
was for Jim Storace who spun on lap 47. When the green came out on lap 46
Annarummo shot into the lead with Rowan Pennink hot on his heels. Rocco
faded to third. Following the top three at the half way mark was Todd
Ceravolo, Galko and Barrett.
By the time the field had clicked off 60 laps Annarummo and Pennink had
opened up a sizable lead. On lap 62 Pennink took charge as he moved into the
lead. Rocco, who had been running third apparently had used up his tires and
began to fade. By lap 71 he was tenth. Tommy Barrett Jr had slipped out of
the top ten by the 3/4 mark brought out the third caution of the day on lap
75. Among those who pitted for fresh tires were Barrett, Pennink, Annarummo,
Ryan Preece, Max Zachem, Rocco, Ceravolo, Perry and Jim Dolan. Pennink was
the first car out of the pits as Steve Masse assumed the lead.
When the green waved Masse jumped out as Pennink moved inside the top 15.
Jim Storace brought out caution Number 4 on lap 79 as he spun on the
backstretch. On the restart, Richard Savory and Justin Bonsignore moved in
behind Masse and Todd Szegedy. Jim Dolan and Storace spun, bringing out
caution No. 5 as the field attempted to restart. As the field finally
restarted Masse continued to lead as Savory moved into second. On lap 81
Dolan spun again, bringing out caution No. 6. Dolan's car lost a lot of
water and oil and had to be towed off the track. Masse maintained the lead
on yet another restart. With 11 laps remaining, Matt Hirschman has come out
of nowhere as he moved into the third spot. On lap 90 he passed Savory who
spun, bringing out caution no. 7 and set his sights on Masse. Hirschman shot
into the lead on the restart. Jim Storace spun for the third time bringing
out the eighth yellow. Masse was given back the lead for the restart. When
the green dropped, Pennink and Barrett tangled bringing out yellow no.9.
On the restart Hirschman made it official as he took the lead over Masse.
Two laps later Chris Pasteryak gets loose and spins just after turn one,
bringing out caution no.10. Hirschman maintained his lead on the restart.
With five laps to go Johnny Kay - "Dash for Cash" winner hit the front
stretch wall a ton, bringing out caution no. 11. Hirschman continued to lead
Masse as the field restarted. With four laps to go, Preece, driving the
famous Ole Blu, turned up the wick. As Hirschman took the checkered flag for
the win action behind him boiled over. Preece made a move to pass for
second. Preece and Masse were side by side racing hard for checkers when
they both got out of shape. Masse spun around and Annarummo went sideways
over him. Dennis Perry was also in the tangle. Preece ended up second with
Rowan Pennink ended up fourth with Max Zachem, fifth. Sixth through tenth
were Jon McKennedy, Todd Ceravolo, Richard Savory, Justin Bonsignore and
The Stafford Speedway fell victim to a rainy forecast last Friday night.
There will now be three extra distance feature events with extra cash up for
grabs this coming Friday night. The Late Models will run their 60-lap
feature event with $1,475 available to the winner, the DARE Stocks will race
their 20-lap Xtra D feature with an additional $50 available to each of the
top-5 finishers, and the SK Lights will run a 22-lap feature with an extra
$450 from RH2way Radios to be split among the top-3 finishers.
The Waterford Speedbowl beat an early evening shower to get their
Saturday night racing program in the record books. Kyle James, after some
early season bad luck, recorded his first victory of the year in SK
Modifiedģ ranks. Keith Rocco continues his domination of the Late Model
ranks as he won his fifth straight Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature.
Rocco is now five for five in the Late Models on the season. Ken Cassidy Jr.
continued his mastery of the Mini Stock division. Paul French won his first
SK Light Modified race on the year and Paul Bigelow came away with the
victory in the NEMA Lite feature. Josh Galvin won the nightís Street Stock
race, his second in a row.
In the closing laps of the SK Modified feature James had two heavy
hitters behind him for the run to the checker. Ted Christopher lined up to
his outside and Keith Rocco behind him in third. Christopher got a good
restart to stay with James for a lap, but James pulled ahead into the lead
with nine laps to go. From there, James slowly distanced himself as the race
ran uninterrupted through the checkered flag. Rocco was able to grab second
at the finish and Rob Janovic Jr. got by Christopher in the closing laps to
take third. Christopher settled for fourth with Craig Lutz, fifth.
The Valenti Modifieds take a three week vacation before heading to the
Thompson Speedway on Thursday night, May 29. Thompson comes alive this
coming Thursday night with itís four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
divisions and the Lite Modifieds for Food Bank Night, benefiting ACCESS
Agency and TEEG.
The Late Model Division will take center stage as they participate in
their segment race. Labeled the "20/20 Sprint," TSMPís top-tier fendered
division will be showcased in three races, determining one overall winner.
The first two races, which will be championship points events Ė will be 20
laps in distance, and the final sprint will be just 10 laps. A separate
point system, crediting drivers with points based upon finishing position,
will be used to determine the overall winner. At the end of the total
50-laps, the driver with the lowest number of points will take home the
$1,200.00 winnerís purse. The total purse boasts over $7,000 not including
The Sunoco Modified Division will participate in a 30-lap main event.
Keith Rocco will look to pick up where he left off with his win at the
Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire. Runner up, Woody Pitkat, and
defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, and member of the NASCAR
Next group, Ryan Preece, also promise to be contenders.
The XtraMart Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock, and Lite Modified Divisions
will also be on hand.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) will be partnering with local
food banks, ACCESS Agency and TEEG, for Food Bank Night at the Thursday
night event. The track will offer $2 discount off of any regular grandstand
tickets for the event to anyone who brings a can of non-perishable food for
TSMP will also be accepting donations at the event that will enter fans
into basket giveaways, with products and gift cards provided by local
businesses. All donations will go directly to ACCESS Agency food serving
The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island was also threatened by rain but they
endured and got their racing program in. A less than favorable weather
forecast produced two 1-hour rain delays but in the end the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series program was for the most part completed. Former three
time NASCAR Modified champion John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville made a
triumphant return to victory lane as he swept the headlining Twin 30 NASCAR
In Modified racing in the southland, Bowman Gray fell victim to rain.
In some sad news, Danny Field, a long time racer from Deep River, Ct. who
excelled in the Mini Stock ranks at the Waterford Speedbowl and at the
Thompson Speedway passed away after battling cancer since last fall. A
pipefitter by trade at the Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton Ct, Field was a
true backyard racer who built and maintained his own cars, racing out of his
During his racing career he won Mini Stock division championships at
Waterford in 2005, 2006 and 2009 as well as Mini Stock Championships at
Thompson in 2008 and 2011 along with the 2012 Northeast Mini Stock tour.
An emotional Saturday night opening ceremony at the Waterford Speedbowl
began the nightís program following a brief rain delay earlier in the
evening. The track honored the memory of multiple time track champion with
much of his family and closest supporters in attendance. Fieldís younger
brother Eddie paced the Mini Stocks with an honorary pole-position behind
the wheel of his brotherís #18 machine, pulling off the track before the
start of the race.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
ended the week on the negative side. The International Speedway Corporation
dropped 0.49 to 30.80, Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.41 to 17.83 and Dover
Entertainment dropped 0.03 to 2.25. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.11
to 8.81 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.12 to
56.12 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.38 to 23.91. The
domestic car builders were down for the week as the Japanese car builders
continued to rake in the money. General Motors dropped 0.74 to 34.23 and
Ford dropped 0.13 to 15.77 while Toyota went up 4.94 to 108.87. In the home
improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 1.69 to 77.71 and Lowes dropped 1.27
to 45.71. In big team sponsorship, Dupont went up 1.93 to 67.78, Aarons
Rentals went up 1.78 to 32.17 and FedEx went up 0.57 to 137.52 while
Coca-Cola dropped 5.50 to 77.49 and Target dropped 2.88 to 59.13.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, May 14
2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
3:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kansas race re-air, Fox Sports 1
7:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas race re-air, Fox Sports 2
12:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
Thursday, May 15
2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
3:30 PM, 1 on 1: Jimmie Johnson, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Kansas race re-air, FS2
Friday, May 16
2:00 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
11:00 AM, NCWTS Charlotte final practice, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte final Showdown practice, FS1
1:45 PM, NSCS Charlotte, final All-Star practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Live, FS1
4:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte All-Star qualifying, FS1
5:30 PM, NCWTS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, Sprint Showdown, FS1
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Charlotte race, FS1
Saturday, May 17
3:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte All-Star qualifying re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS Charlotte, final All-Star practice, FS1
8:30 AM, NCWTS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
11:00 AM, Sprint Showdown re-air, FS2
1:00 PM, Sprint Showdown re-air, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
8:30 PM, NSCS Charlotte All-Star race, FS1
Sunday, May 18
3:30 AM, NSCS Charlotte All-Star race re-air, FS1
1:30 PM, NNS Countdown, ESPN
2:00 PM, NNS Iowa race, ESPN
4:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte All-Star race re-air, FS2
Thatís 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.
Smith / Champ Trail