June 3, 2014
The Valenti Modified Racing Series, 34 cars strong, paid a visit
to the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park last Thursday night. Tommy Barrett
used an exciting last lap bonsai move under Todd Szegedy to take the win in
the Valenti Modified Racing Series 75-lap feature. Winners in NASCAR Whelen
All American Series action included a sweep by Ryan Preece in the Sunoco
Modified division, Glenn Boss in the Late Models, Shawn Monahan in the Xtra
Mart Limited Sportsman division, and Chad Baxter in the Monster Mini Stocks.
Scott Quinn checkered the Vintage Outlaw feature event.
Barrett, who is getting a reputation as a villain, played his predictable
game as he faded from his outside pole starting spot leaving Todd Szegedy
and Ted Christopher to slug it out and wear out their tires. Szegedy and
Christopher ran nose to tail and at one point had a half lap lead on the
field. By lap 55, Keith Rocco was within a car length of Christopher.
A caution flew at lap 66 after Eric Goodale hit the turn one wall set the
stage for the fireworks to come. Szegedy held off Christopher on the restart
as Rocco moved into second place and relegated Christopher back to the
fourth spot. Barrett, with an unbelievable burst of power, came out of
nowhere to move into the third position. On lap 68 Barrett appeared to have
been shot out of a cannon as he blew Rocco away and set his sight on the
leader. Shortly after being passed it appeared that Rocco checked up a bit
and was tagged by Christopher, sending him into the backstretch wall
On the restart, Szegedy drove out front once again with Barrett on his
bumper. Rowan Pennink passed Christopher for third. Szegedy began to pull
away but Barrett glued himself to Szegedy’s rear bumper. Shortly after
Szegedy was given the white flag Barrett, in a last ditch bonsai move, dove
low and hard into turn one. In the flash of an eye Barrett rode Szegedy high
and came close to being planted in the concrete wall. Barrett went on to
take the win. Szegedy recovered to finish sixth. Rowan Pennink ended up
second with Christopher, third. Richard Savary and Dave Etheridge rounded
out the top five.
Barrett is bringing life and excitement back into Modified racing similar
to the way Geoff Bodine did it in the mid and late 70's. Barrett's style of
racing brings fans to the races. Some come to see him win and some come to
see him get wrecked. Hopefully no one will get hurt in the interim.
The Sunoco Modified division kicked off their night with the remaining 17
laps of a feature held over from May 15 with Ryan Preece in victory lane.
Preece held off Keith Rocco on a late-race restart for the win. Danny Cates,
Todd Ceravolo and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five.
In the regularly scheduled 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature, Preece once again
proved to be the man to beat as he held off Pitkat on a late-race restart
for his second straight win. Rocco finished third and was followed by Cates
and Kerry Malone.
Thompson's next event will be on Wednesday, July 30. The bill of fare
includes Sunoco Modifieds (2-20 lap races; 1-10 lap sprint). Late Models, 20
Laps, Xtramart Ltd.Sportsman, 20 Laps and Mini Stocks 15 Laps.
The Stafford Motor Speedway fell victim to violent thunder storms for the
fourth week in a row. The Whelen Modified Tour Series, rained out twice,
will try again at Stafford this week.
In a prepared statement the Waterford Speedbowl management announced the
creation of a new position, penalties following Saturday, May 24th’s racing
program, and the departure of one member of their staff. As a result of post
race inspections following the May 24th race program, SK Modified® division
competitors Craig Lutz and Keith Rocco were each fined $500.00 for failure
to abide by rule 2.11.5 D of the Speedbowl rulebook. The rule requires the
use of wheel tethers on the front wheels of SK Modified® cars. Also
announced was the departure of long time SK Modified® division tech
inspector Everett Marvin who failed to conduct a pre-race inspection of the
cars that had had major work done following destructive wrecks at the
shoreline oval. To give Rocco and Lutz the benefit of the doubt, chances are
they honestly forgot to re-install the wheel tethers.
As a result, a new position of Race Vehicle Safety Coordinator has been
created. The sole responsibility of the newly created position will be
overseeing that all cars participating in the Speedbowl’s track race
divisions are compliant with track mandated safety regulations.
Lutz and Rocco paid their fines and got somewhat of a redemption as they
finished one-two in Saturday night's SK Modified feature. Lutz, who travels
from Long Island every week, spent the opening half of the race trying to
find a way around Diego Monahan. Lutz fell to third place for a lap when Ted
Christopher inched ahead of him, however slight contact between Monahan and
Christopher on lap-16 sent Monahan spinning out of turn two, drawing the
yellow flag. Christopher was placed to the rear of the field during the
caution period, handing the lead to Lutz.
The toughest part of the race for Lutz was holding back Keith Rocco the
rest of the way. Lutz held on during an initial assault by Rocco, then got a
brief breather before Rocco raced to his outside over the final four laps.
The two raced inches apart and even shared some contact during the final
laps. Lutz put forth a determined effort to keep Rocco’s final charge at
bay, able to pull ahead out of the final corner to claim the checkered flag.
Rocco was forced to settle for second and Tyler Chadwick ran among the front
runners all race to finish third. Rob Janovic Jr and Shawn Thibeault rounded
out the top five. Christopher recovered from his penalty to finish sixth.
Other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins went to Ken Cassidy Jr. who
was back in the winner’s circle during an extra-distance Mini Stock feature
and Jason Palmer recorded his first Valenti Auto Mall Late Model win of the
season. The Northeast Mini Stock Tour race was won by Toby Wells and Robin
Berghman picked up the victory in the visiting New England Pro Four Modified
race. Jordan Hadley won the X-Car feature.
In Modified racing in the Southland, two nights of racing at the Bowman
Gray Stadium in North Carolina were on tap. Jason Myers won a race without
leading a green-flag lap. Myers took the lead after front runners Lee
Jeffreys and Tommy Neal wrecked. During the clean up the rains came and
Myers was declared the winner when the race was called. Burt Myers was the
winner on Saturday night after he dumped Junior Miller on the final lap.
Miller became incensed and chased Myers with his car before being subdued by
police. The win stood. Myers sent Junior Miller spinning in the final turn
of the final lap of a wreck-filled 100-lap Modified race and went on to
notch his 60th career victory at Bowman Gray. Myers, Bowman Gray’s defending
champion and current points leader, completed a worst-to-first recovery. He
started from the rear of the 23-car field as result of a draw.
Miller, Bowman Gray’s all-time leader in feature-race victories, had
ended a five-year winless drought just a week earlier. He was a turn away
from winning again when he got a shot from behind from Myers and went
spinning. Myers gathered his partially-sideways car and made it to the
checkered flag. Lee Jeffreys wound up second and Kyle Ebersole third. An
enraged Miller sped after Myers and rammed his car into Myers’ car.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks had positive results for the week. Dover Motorsports went up 0.41 to
2.68 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.01 to 18.45 while the International
Speedway Corporation dropped 0.13 to 31.09. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went
up 0.31 to 9.55, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.49
to 56.32 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.73 to 26.37. The car
builders were all positive for the week. Leading the pack was Toyota which
went up 3.47 to 113.11. Ford went up 0.42 to 16.44 and General Motors went
up 0.95 to 34.58. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.05 to
80.23 and Lowes went up 0.02 to 47.08. The big team sponsor stocks were
mostly positive except for Aarons Rentals which went down 0.09 to 32.84 and
Coca-Cola dropped 1.20 to 75.26. Dupont went up 1.21 to 69.31, Target went
up 1.07 to 56.16 and FedEx went up 2.66 to 144.16.
Dover Motorsports Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to sell
its Nashville Superspeedway facility to NeXovation Inc. Under the terms of
the agreement, Dover Motorsports and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nashville
Speedway U.S.A. Inc., will sell the Nashville Superspeedway facility along
with some related equipment and assets for $27 million in cash and the
assumption by NeXovation of obligations of Dover Motorsports under certain
Variable Rate Tax Exempt Infrastructure Revenue Bonds.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, June 4
2:00 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBC Sports Net
2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
11:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Dover race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
Thursday, June 5
2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
1:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
9:00 PM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
Friday, June 6
12:00 AM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
8:00 AM, Cool Tools - NASCAR, DIY
10:00 AM, The 600 - History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Pocono practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NSCS Pocono qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCIENCE
7:00 PM, 100,000 Cameras - NASCAR All-Star Race
7:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
9:00 PM, NCWTS Texas race, FS1
Saturday, June 7
2:30 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
3:00 AM, NSCS Pocono practice re-air, FS1
4:00 AM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
4:30 AM, NSCS Pocono qualifying re-air, FS1
9:00 AM, NSCS Pocono practice re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
11:30 AM, NSCS Pocono final practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Live, FS1
5:00 PM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
Sunday, June 8
3:00 AM, NCWTS Texas race re-air, FS1
5:00 AM, NSCS Pocono practice re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
11:00 AM, NASCAR Race Day, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Pocono race, TNT
7:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
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.
Smith / Champ Trail