The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

   07/15/14

July 15, 2014

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. last weekend for the Whelen All-Star Shootout on Friday and the Sunoco 100 on Saturday.

  In the Friday All-Star Shootout Ryan Newman took the win over Justin Bonsignore and Mike Stefanik. Ron Silk and Bobby Santos rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Preece, Chuck Hossfeld, Todd Szegedy, Ted Christopher and JR Bertuccio. In a lame brain move, NASCAR pulled the plug on the event after 37 laps when it reached its 30-minute time limit. Silk held the lead over Patrick Emerling and Ryan Preece into the halfway break at Lap 20. A random draw determined a 10-car invert and put Doug Coby and Bonsignore on the front row, with Newman restarting fifth. The race featured six official lead changes and Newman was credited with leading the final 16 laps.

  A nasty crash eliminated Donnie Lia and Patrick Emerling on Lap 27. Emerling and Lia make contact and spun in turn four. A lot of damage was inflicted to both cars.
The Whelen All-Star Shootout will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 20 at 2 p.m. The Sunoco 100 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, July 18 at noon.

  Bobby Santos scored his first win at Loudon as he won the Sunoco 100 in fitting style. In a race that featured multiple lead changes on nearly every lap, 35 official lead changes, the Franklin, Mass., driver made just one pass for the lead and led just one lap Saturday. Santos drove his No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet by Ted Christopher in Turn 4 of the last lap en route to taking the win.

  It was Santosí 13th career win but first in 16 career starts at the 1.058-mile oval. Doug Coby also got by Christopher and finished second by just .065 seconds. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman was fourth and NASCAR Next driver Ryan Preece came home fifth. The top five cars finished within three-tenths of a second of the leader. Justin Bonsignore finished sixth, followed by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Tommy Barrett Jr., NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points leader Andy Seuss, Ron Silk and Chuck Hossfeld.

  Silk, who won the Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying Saturday morning, led a race-high 36 laps. Preece led 30 laps and Christopher 28. The 36 lead changes broke the Whelen Modified Tour all-time race record of 30, also at Loudon on July 7, 2000. The race went into overtime, to a total of 110 laps, with two green-white-checkered finishes following late race cautions. The race had seven caution periods for 30 total laps. During the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, Christopher and Newman swapped the front spot three times within the lap on the restart but a wreck by Donny Lia brought out the caution flag before the white flag was show. On the ensuing restart, Christopher initially got away before Santos and Co. chased him down on the final lap.

  There were seven caution flags for 30 laps. Fifteen of the original 30 starters finished on the lead lap. Among those who ran into misfortune was Rowan Pennink who wrecked on lap 102, ending his day in 17th spot. Donnie Lia wrecked his second car in two days on lap 101 and ended up 18th. Eric Goodale who also wrecked twice on the weekend had his day end on lap 97 in 19th spot. Patrick Emerling was also a crash victim as he completed only 94 laps and ended up in 20th. Todd Szegedy was in contention for the win when his engine expired on lap 89 finishing his day in 22nd spot. Glen Reen finished 23rd after being involved in an accident on lap 88. JR Bertuccio was also an accident victim as he was swept up on lap 81 which placed him in 24th spot. Woody Pitkat and Ken Heagy finished 25th and 26th with blown engines while Ron Yuhas Jr. finished 27th with a blown transmission. Melissa Fifield qualified 11.664 mph off the pole speed After she completed 24 laps it was felt in her best interest that she call it a day, finishing 29th. Finishing dead last was Mike Stefanik who dropped out on lap 22 with mechanical problems.

  Santos has now closed to within two points of Coby for the championship lead with his third win in six races. Christopher is eight points behind Santos and Bonsignore is two points further back. Silk completes the top five, one point of defending tour champion Preece. The Sunoco 100 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, July 18 at noon.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tourís next race, the OíReilly Auto Parts 200, is scheduled for Saturday, July 19 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, New Hampshire.

  In action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night, Ryan Preece, who had made a hasty trip from Loudon, scored his fourth win of the season by the process of elimination and being in the right place at the right time. Preece inherited the lead in the closing laps after Keith Rocco and Ron Williams wrecked as they fought for the lead followed by a wreck between Doug Coby and Dan Avery who also wrecked as they fought for the lead. Ted Christopher finished second with Sean Foster, third. Woody Pitkat, and Tom Bolles rounded out the top five.
Other Friday night winners at Stafford were Adam Gray in the Late Model feature, Jeremy Sorel in the SK Light Modified feature, Albert Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn in the DARE Stock feature, and Brendon Bock in the Legend Cars feature.

  In NASCAR Modified action at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island Kyle Elwood to his second win of the season as he bested a ten car starting field.

  NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl took a week off as the track gave way to Sailfest in New London. Racing action at the shoreline oval resumes this coming Saturday.

  In Modified racing in the Southland, the effects of the full moon were evident at the Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday night. Dean Ward recorded his first modified win in close to two years as the fireworks went off behind him. Burt Myers, who started in 19th place because of the blind draw to determine the starting order, was making a big run to the front, running fifth on lap 95, when Junior Miller came calling. Perhaps it was the full moon ó or, more likely the grudge Burt Myers and Miller have carried over from previous races ó but the two drivers soon tangled. After their initial wreck, the two drivers played a game of catch me if you can all over the infield before Miller ducked into the pits; he didnít return to the race. Myers also went to the pits to get a flat tire fixed and he came back out to finish the race. Jason Myers finished second. A capacity crowd showed its displeasure with Burt Myers as he was greeted with a shower of bottles and cans from the grandstand when he returned to the track from the pit area. Myers ended up 13th .

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Taking the biggest dip was the International Speedway Corporation which dropped 1.08 to 32.95. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.59 to 17.83 while Dover Entertainment went up 0.07 to 2.77. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.05 to 8.55 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.24 to 56.66 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.21 to 27.70. With the exception of Toyota which dropped 3.21 to 118.52 the car manufacturers had a decent week. Ford went up 0.15 to 17.47 and General Motors went up 0.21 to 37 95. In the home improvement sector Home Depot dropped 2.44 to 79.61 and Lowes dropped 1.79 to 47.44. With the exception of Target Department Stores which went up 0.49 to 60.00 the big team sponsor's stocks were down. Dupont dropped 0.91 to 64 .89, Coca-Cola dropped 2.99 to 72.64, Aarons Rentals dropped 3.38 to to 32.12 and FedEx dropped 2.97 to 150.64.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, July 17

5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6:30 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
7:00 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NASCAR's The List - Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Moments, NBCSN

  Friday, July 18
12:00 Noon NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 100 FOX Sports 1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Iowa race re-air, FS1
3:00 PM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR Nationwide Series Chicagoland practice, FS1
6:30 PM, NNS Chicagoland final practice, FS1
8:00 PM, The Mudsummer Classic - The 2013 NASCAR Truck Race at Eldora, FS1
8:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Special, FS2
10:00 PM, NNS Chicagoland practice re-air, FS2
11:00 PM, NNS Chicagoland final practice re-air, FS2

  Saturday, July 19
12:30 AM, NCWTS Iowa race re-air, FS2
3:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland practice re-air, FS1
4:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland final practice re-air, FS1
7:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland practice re-air, FS2
8:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland final practice re-air, FS2
11:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland final practice re-air, FS1
4:00 PM, NNS Chicagoland qualifying, FS2
8:00 PM, NASCAR Countdown, ESPN2
8:30 PM, NNS Chicagoland race, ESPN2
11:00 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR America - Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN

  Sunday, July 20
4:00 AM, NNS Chicagoland race re-air, ESPN2
2:00 PM NASCAR Whelen Modified Shootout Fox Sports 1
4:30 PM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1

   Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-mail: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.


SourcePhil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: July 15, 2014

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