The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


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 event.

  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 Monadnock Speedway.

  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 standings.

  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 lap-22.

  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 Jersey.

  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 Journal).

  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

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.

SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: July 1, 2014

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