July 1, 2014
Stafford Speedway played host to two of its own last Friday night
as Jackie Arute and Mike Joy co announced the racing program at the Arute
family owned track. Taking down feature wins on the night were Ted
Christopher in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, J.J. Hill in the 30-lap Late
Model feature, Jeremy Sorel was a first time career winner in the 25-lap
Xtra Mart Xtra D SK Light feature, Duane Provost won for the second time
this season in the 25-lap Xtra Mart Xtra D Limited Late Model feature, Bill
McNeil was a first time career winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and
Ron Midford, Jr. became a two-time winner of the Champions For Charities
Wild Thing Kart feature event. The SK Lights and Ltd. Late Models each split
a $500 bonus from Xtra Mart Convenience Stores among the top-5 finishers.
In the SK Modified feature Christopher slugged it out with Ryan Preece to
score his 101st SK Modified win and his 122nd overall at the track he calls
home. Michael Gervais finished third, with Eric Berndt and Matt Dowling
rounding out the top-5.
Stafford Motor Speedway officials have announced that the purse for their
inaugural NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K event on July 4 is growing. The feature
event will have a purse of over $27,000, with a winner’s share of $5,000.
The Stafford management announced it will also pay out up to $2,000 in purse
money for qualifying heat events that will set the field for the SK Modified
feature that evening.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH
on Friday night. A somewhat light field of 18 cars were on hand for the
The funeral for VMRS competitor Jim Boniface was held earlier in the day.
Boniface lost a battle with cancer. As a tribute on his last ride the hearse
that carried him and the car that he drove made a last lap tour of the
Back at Lee, Richard Savory scored a hard fought win over Justin
Bonsignore and Steve Masse. Dwight Jarvis, Rowan Pennink and Chris Pasteryak
rounded out the top six. Savory started 11th and had the lead by lap 72.
The final event of the three race Tri-Track series will be a 100 lapper
at Seekonk on Wednesday, July 23. This race will pay $10,000 to win and will
be supplemented by a $10,000 point fund. Jon McKennedy currently leads the
point standings in the three race series. Rowan Pennink, Richard Savory, Max
Zachem and Matt Hirschman are within seven points of McKennedy.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the Riverhead Raceway on
Long Island drawing 30 cars. Local favorite Eric Goodale edged his way past
Ted Christopher shortly after a Lap 170 restart and led the final 25 laps en
route to the victory in the slam-bang event that produced 11 caution periods
for a total of 90 laps. Goodale's average speed for 200 laps was 39.938 mph.
Matt Hirschman, Ryan Preece and Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five.
Thirteen of the original 30 starters finished on the lead lap. Among the
casualties was Justin Bonsignore who lost the points lead after he was
collected in a Lap 102 spin by Glen Reen and suffered right front suspension
damage. Bonsignore finished 16th. Doug Coby who survived the carnage and
finished sixth took the points lead by seven over Bobby Santos who finished
10th after starting 23rd. Bonsignore slipped to third place in the point
Following Coby at the finish was Ron Silk, Tom Rogers and Shawn Solomito.
Others were not as fortunate. Jim Zacharias wrecked out of the event and
Wade Cole was way off as he finished 46 laps in arrears. Dave Brigati had
electrical problems, finishing 19th and Woody Pitkat licked his wounds after
finishing 20th. Don Lia parked the Mystic Missile after 143 laps due to a
wreck. Rowan Pennink retired after numerous scrapes. He completed 130 laps.
Ron Yuhas jr dropped out after an accident on lap 127. Also out via the
accident route was Tommy Barrett Jr and Todd Szegedy.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes a weekend off before heading to the
New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The tour's top drivers will race Friday, July
11 in the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout; the championship season will
resume Saturday, July 12 with the New Hampshire 100.
In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl
Seven racing events were run on Saturday night. Picking up NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series wins included Keith Rocco in the SK Modifieds®, Vin
Esposito in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models and Corey Barry in the SK
Light Modifieds. Ryan Waterman scored an exciting victory in the Street
Stock race and Garrett Denton checkered the Mini Stocks. Mike Christopher
Jr. won another INEX Legend Cars feature and Corey Coates won the visiting
New England Truck Series race.
Rocco checkered his sixth SK Modified® race of the year in 12 events for
the division after an impressive crossover move landed him the lead in the
second half of the race. The 35-lap SK Modified feature was led to the green
flag by first year competitor Paul Kusheba. Rob Janovic Jr. got the jump on
the opening circuit over Kusheba, leading until the first caution flag of
the race on lap-4. Kyle James was contending for a spot among the top three
when he spun in turn four racing underneath Tim Jordan.
Janovic got a good restart over Kusheba when racing resumed. Jordan
followed into second position but the big mover was Rocco. He used a three
wide move to take fourth position in turns three and four on lap-7 just
ahead of a big incident between turns one and two behind him. Several cars
came together in a wreck, which turned out to be scary for Shawn Monahan.
After contact with Brent Sweet, his car erupted in flames in turn two,
staying engulfed until he was able to stop the car in turn three, drawing
the red flag. The safety crew extinguished the fire and Monahan fortunately
escaped the incident unscathed. Jordan got the best of Janovic on the
ensuing restart, riding the outside lane into the lead on lap-8. Rocco got
past Kusheba into third and stayed on the attack, going around Janovic’s
outside into second on lap-10. Jordan and Rocco pulled ahead to a big lead
as Janovic, Tyler Chadwick and Kusheba raced in a pack jockeying for third
position. Chadwick was able to work over Janovic and move to third, just
ahead of a spin by Zach Aszklar out of turn two to draw a caution flag on
Jordan got a great restart but Rocco sailed in to his outside in turn one
to make a run. Jordan was up to the task, holding back the charge through
turn three but Rocco’s crossover move changed the game. He went from the
high to low lane in turn four to get a run on Jordan down the front chute to
turn one. He completed the move out of turn two and was scored as the new
leader on lap-24. Rocco had to beat Jordan on three remaining restarts,
including some determined efforts by Jordan to try and recapture the top
spot. Rocco got away each time to nail down the victory. Jordan took home a
fine second place effort and Chadwick was back on the podium, finishing
third. Janovic was fourth and Joe Gada finished fifth.
In Modified racing in the Southland, Tim Brown and Mike Bohn shared twin
25 lap victories at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. In the
first 25 lapper, Jason Myers, who registered a career-best four wins in a
season last year, was going for four wins in a month Saturday night before
things ran amuck. Brown got a jump at the start and slipped past Myers into
the lead. Myers gave Brown a shot from behind, sending Brown sideways. Brown
recovered, clipped Myers and regained the lead from Myers who hit the wall.
Bohn joined younger brother Danny Bohn as a Modified winner at Bowman Gray
and, as did his brother, won in his rookie year. Bohn is a native of New
Home Depot, which has been a primary NASCAR sponsor since 1999 on the #20
car, will leave the sport after its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing ends this
season, said sources familiar with Home Depot's plans. (Sports Business
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
had positive results for the week. Leading the way was the International
Speedway Corporation which went up 1.25 to 33.41. Speedway Motorsports went
up 0.14 to 18.34 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.06 to 2.80. NASCAR cup
sponsor Sprint went up 0.10 to 8.51 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco
(Energy Transfer) went up 0.81 to 57.61 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
went up 0.04 to 27.75. The auto manufacturers also had a positive week.
General Motors went up 0.40 to 36.62 while Ford went up 0.61 to 17.28 and
Toyota went up 0.62 to 118.84. In the home improvement sector Lowes led the
way as they went up 1.40 to 47.42 while Home Depot went up 0.96 to 81.13.
Big team sponsors Dupont, Coca-Cola and Target didn't do so good. Dupont
dropped 2.99 to 65.44, Coca-Cola dropped 0.44 to 74.56 and Target dropped
0.17 to 58.12. On the positive side, Aaron's Rentals went up 0.55 to 35.61
and FedEx went up 3.39 to 151.41.
On the tube this week:
Wednesday, July 2
2:00 AM, NASCAR Now, ESPN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
Thursday, July 3
1:00 PM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR Nationwide Series Daytona practice, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
5:30 PM, NNS Daytona practice, FS1
6:30 PM, NSCS Daytona practice, FS1
7:30 PM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
8:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
Friday, July 4
2:30 AM, How It's Made - NASCAR Car Bodies, SCI
10:30 AM, NSCS Daytona final practice, FS1
12:00 PM, NNS Daytona final practice, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
3:00 PM, NNS Daytona qualifying, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR Live, FS1
5:00 PM, NSCS Daytona qualifying, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Countdown, ESPN2
7:30 PM, NNS Daytona race, ESPN2
Saturday, July 5
3:00 AM, NSCS Daytona qualifying re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NNS Daytona qualifying re-air, FS1
7:30 PM, NSCS Daytona race, TNT
11:30 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