The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


June 10, 2014

  The Stafford Motor Speedway finally emerged from the bad weather cycle it had been stuck in for four weeks. In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action Doug Coby took the victory in the TSI Harley Davidson 125 Friday night. The race was postponed twice by rain and then Coby had to outlast Justin Bonsignore and Bobby Santos in a green-white-checkered finish that pushed the race to 130 laps.

  Pole sitter Bobby Santos led the opening laps until giving way to Doug Coby during lap six. Coby led from lap seven until a restart on lap 127 when Santos just nipped Coby for the lead. Not to be denied Coby rallied to retake the lead one lap later and proceeded to romp to the win. Justin Bonsignore got by Santos on the final lap to finish second as Santos settled for third. Rowan Pennink and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five. Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Patrick Emerling, Ted Christopher, Ryan Preece and Glen Reen.

  There were 13 cars on the lead lap at the finish. Among those who failed to finish were Tommy Barrett, Jr. and Jamie Tomaino who wrecked on lap 112, Ken Heagy who lost his steering on lap 101 and Keith Rocco who retired with a blown engine on lap 81.

  The Stafford event went 104 laps before the first caution was displayed when Don Lia and Ken Heagy made contact and spun just past turn one. Heagy ultimately retired. Lia's crew made repairs and he ended up finishing 15th, one lap down at the finish. The second caution occurred on lap 112 Barrett spun in turn three and Tomaino hit him. Tomaino pulls away but Barrett was dumping water big time across the track. On lap 114 the race went to red for the clean-up. The caution flew again on lap 121 for Matt Hirschman who spun in turn four. Hirschman restarted and finished 14th, one lap down.

  With the win, Coby took over the points lead from Bonsignore, 132-128. Pitkat is third in points at 123. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action Saturday, June 21 with the Mr. Rooter 161 at Connecticut's Waterford Speedbowl.

  Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Ryan Preece for the third consecutive race in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the SK Light Modified feature, Justin Bren picked up his first career victory in the Limited Late Model feature, Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo was a first time winner in the Legend Cars feature.

  In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event that was resumed from lap-9 from May 23rd, Joey Cipriano resumed the race lead with Eric Berndt all over his back bumper. Behind Berndt, Todd Owen was fending off challenges from both Ryan Preece and Woody Pitkat. Preece went around Owen on lap-11 to move into third and he then took to the outside groove on lap-14 to make a pass on Cipriano to move into second.

  Owen fell back to fourth, just in front of Tony Membrino, Jr., and Keith Rocco. Berndt moved to the lead on lap-15 and then Preece went y Berndt on lap-16. Berndt came back to t e inside of Preece on lap-18, but Preece was able to keep Berndt behind him for the time being. The caution came out with 18 laps complete for Doug Coby, who came to a rest in a shower of sparks in turn 3.

  Preece took the lead on the restart while Cipriano briefly challenged Berndt for second before settling back into third. Rocco was fourth with Pitkat running in fifth. With 10 laps to go, Preece and Berndt were pulling away from the duo of Cipriano and Rocco, who in turn both had a comfortable margin back to the two cars of Pitkat and Sean Foster.

  Preece led Berndt to the checkered flag to pick up his third consecutive victory to begin the 2014 season. Cipriano finished third, with Rocco and Pitkat rounding out the top-5.

  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco added his point lead and his win total with another SK Modified® victory while Jason Palmer won his second straight Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race. Ryan Waterman was top banana following an action packed Street Stock race and Dave Trudeau picked up his first Speedbowl Mini Stock checkered flag in several seasons. Plainfield’s Corey Barry won his second consecutive SK Light Modified race after the division was idle for two weeks and in INEX racing, Mike Christopher Jr. won for the third time in the Legend Cars division’s Saturday series. Before the night’s races, a track walk benefiting Lupus Foundation of America’s Connecticut Chapter netted nearly $6,000 for the charity

  The SK Modified feature was led to the green flag by Diego Monahan, who led the opening laps while being challenged by Kyle James. James quickly moved into second position and used a valiant effort to Monahan’s outside to finally overtake him on lap-8. Rocco came through the top ten cars in early race traffic before going up top to attack the top four cars racing single file ahead. On lap-10, he was outside Craig Lutz for third and a lap later, used the same move on Monahan to power into second. James was out front by several car lengths and Rocco began to run him down when caution waved on lap-13 for a spinning Ted Christopher in turn two.

  James hung tough following the restart, looking good as he held back Rocco’s outside charge through a lap-18 caution flag for a spin by Rob Janovic Jr. Rocco timed the ensuing restart perfectly to gain the edge over James, pulling ahead for good on lap-19. Rocco was perfect on two additional restarts to get away from James the rest of the way to close out the win. James ran strong to finish second and Lutz followed up his victory a week previous with another podium run, finishing third. Tyler Chadwick was up front all race and finished fourth and Shawn Thibeault was fifth.

  For the record, Rocco is the overall feature winner in the Northeast with 12 victories to his credit including four in the SK Modifieds and five in the Late Models at Waterford.

  The Valenti Modified Racing Series visited the Seekonk Speedway on Saturday night with 30 cars strong. Steve Masse won his first Series race of the season. Masse took the lead from Anthony Nocella on lap 9 and was never headed. Justin Bonsignore finished second for the third time in the last four races, while Norm Wrenn finished third for for his best finish since April 2012 at Monadnock (second). Max Zachem remained consistent with his fourth top 10. David Schneider was fifth for his best career finish. Sixth through tenth were Todd Szegedy, Chris Pasteryak, Geoff Gernhard, Mike Willis Jr and Jonny Kay.

  At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Timmy Solomito swept the Richie Evans Hall of Fame Twin 50's.

  In Modified racing in the Southland, twin Modified features were run at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. Jason Myers won the first of two 25-lap Modified races at the place they call "The Mad House" on Saturday night, and Junior Miller, still licking his wounds after being spun out of the lead a week previous, scored a win in the second race. Myers led pole to pole in the first race for the featured Modified Division and registered his second victory of the season. Tim Brown finished second and Lee Jeffreys was third. A draw for starting positions in the second 25 lapper put Miller on the pole for the start of the second race. He held off Robert Jeffreys to rack up another victory. Tony Black finished third. Burt Myers kept his lead in the season standings, finishing fourth and eighth in the Modified races.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were up for the week despite the fact that race attendance is on the decline. The International Speedway Corporation, which is in the process of removing backstretch grandstands, went up 0.66 to 31.75. Speedway Motorsports which has already removed seats from the backstretch at Charlotte and plans on removing fourth turn seats at Loudon went up 0.22 to 18.67. Dover Entertainment which showed a lot of empty seats at the recent cup race at Dover Int was down 0.07 to 2.61. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.77 to 8.78 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.51 to 56.83 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.86 to 27.23. The car builders were on a roll. Toyota went up 2.04 to 115.15 while General Motors went up 1.97 to 36.55 and Ford went up 0.64 to 17.08. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 0.69 to 47.77 and Home Depot went up 0.41 to 80.64. With the exception of FedEx which dropped 1.47 to 142.69 the big team sponsors had a good week. Dupont went up 2.36 to 69.67, Coca-Cola went up 1.07 to 76.33, Target Department Stores went up 0.92 to 57.68 and Aarons Rentals went up 1.91 to 34.25.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, June 11

2:30 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN2
8:00 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBC Sports Network
8:30 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
10:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
11:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Texas race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

Thursday, June 12
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
7:30 PM, 1 on 1: Jimmie Johnson, FS2
7:30 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Longest Race, FS2
10:00 PM, Kurt Busch 36, NBCSN

Friday, June 13
1:00 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
1:30 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Michigan practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Nationwide Series Michigan practice, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR Live, FS1
2:00 PM, NNS Michigan final practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NSCS Michigan qualifying, FS1
4:00 PM, NCWTS Gateway final practice, FS1
7:00 PM, NCWTS Gateway practice, FS1
9:00 PM, 100,000 Cameras - NSCS All-Star Race, FS1

Saturday, June 14
2:30 AM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
3:00 AM, NSCS Michigan practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS Michigan qualifying re-air, FS1
8:00 AM, NSCS Michigan qualifying re-air, FS2
9:30 AM, NSCS Michigan practice, FS2
10:30 AM, 100,000 Cameras - NSCS All-Star Race, FS2
10:30 AM, NNS Michigan qualifying, ESPN2
12:30 PM, NSCS Michigan final practice, FS2
1:30 PM, NNS Coutndown, ESPN
2:00 PM, NNS Michigan race, ESPN
5:00 PM, NCWTS Gateway qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Michigan final practice re-air, FS1
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Gateway race, FS1
11:00 PM, Kurt Busch 36, NBCSN

Sunday, June 15
6:00 AM, NNS Michigan race re-air, ESPN2
9:00 AM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
9:30 AM, NSCS Michigan practice re-air, FS2
11:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Countdown to Green, TNT
1:00 PM, NSCS Michigan race, TNT
5:30 PM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR's The List, NBCSN
6:30 PM, Kurt Busch 36, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
10:30 PM, Kurt Busch 36, NBCSN

   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: June 10, 2014

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