The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


July 22, 2014

  At the Stafford Speedway in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Girls Night Out / Mid-Season Stretch program Taking down feature victories were on the night were Ronnie Williams in the SK Modified® feature, Jay Stuart in the Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the RH2Way Going the Extra Mile SK Light Modified feature, Jesse Hinze in the Limited Late Model feature, and Trace Beyer in the DARE Stock feature.

  In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco put on one of the best displays of side by side racing until it all came to an end on the closing laps with Rocco in the fence and Preece being sent to the rear for rough riding. Preece and Rocco were side by side with 10 laps to go and Williams had closed to within a car length of the two race leaders. Rocco fell back into line behind Preece on lap-32 as the top-3 cars were now single file. Rocco made a power move to the inside of Preece on lap-34 getting into turn 3 to move back to the race lead while Williams continued to run in third behind Preece.

  The great racing came to an end with 37 laps complete as Preece made contact with Rocco coming out of turn 2 and Rocco spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out. Preece was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for the contact with Rocco. Williams inherited the lead with Scott Foster to his outside for the restart. Sean Foster took the lead at the line but Williams was on his inside and he took the lead by a nose as they took the white flag. Williams beat Foster back to the checkered flag by a nose to take down his first career SK Modified® victory. Ted Christopher made a move around Mike Gervais as the field was coming to the white flag to take third with Doug Coby rounding out the top-5.

  The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its second of three visits during the 2014 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 4th Annual Lincoln Tech 80. Taking the checkered flag was Keith Rocco, who joined Tommy Barrett, Jr. as the only VMRS drivers to win more than one race at Stafford. The event drew 25 cars.

  At the drop of the green flag, Rowan Pennink took the lead from the outside pole with Keith Rocco, Todd Szegedy, and Ted Christopher all getting by polesitter Jeff Rocco. Rocco made a move to the inside of Pennink in turns 3+4 to take over the race lead on lap-5. Woody Pitkat was now applying pressure to Jeff Rocco’s bumper in a fight for fifth place. Pitkat was able to make the pass on lap-8. On lap-12, Richard Savary, the only driver with multiple VMRS feature wins in 2014, dropped off the pace and looked like he was going to limp his way back to the pits, but just as he got lapped, his car came back under power and he rejoined the race a lap down. The caution came out one lap later for Carl Medieros, Jr., who spun in turn 4. The caution allowed Savary to get back on the lead lap with a free pass. Rocco took the lead back under green with Christopher moving into second. Tommy Barrett, Jr. moved up to third, with Pennink sliding back to fourth just in front of Pitkat, who continued to round out the top-5. The top-5 cars settled into a groove and began to click laps off the scoreboard as the leaders held station as Rocco and Christopher had pulled away from Barrett and Pennink, who had a bit of a margin back to Pitkat in fifth. The top-5 runners remained the same when the caution flew with 51-laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by Dan Meservey, Jr.

  The restart saw fast and furious action at the front of the pack as Barrett went from third to the lead. Christopher was side by side with Rocco for second, but he quickly took the position and he then made a move to the inside of Barrett on lap-51 to move into the race lead. The caution came back out with 52 laps complete for a spin by Tom Abele, Jr. in turn 4.Mayhem broke out on the restart as Savary had a flat right front tire, Mike Willis spun into the front stretch wall, and Tom Abele, Jr. spun through the front stretch infield grass. Barrett took the lead on the restart with Christopher holding second. Carey got around Rocco to take over third with Chris Pasteryak breaking into the top-5 for the first time of the race. The caution came back out with 55 laps complete for debris on the track. Back under green, Barrett and Christopher raced side by side for the lead and as they ran through turn 2, Christopher’s car took an abrupt turn to the right and into the wall to bring the caution right back out. Barrett and Pitkat were now side by side for the lead back under green. Pitkat looked like he had a run coming off turn 2 on the outside of Barrett, but Barrett came back strong in turns 3+4 and held the lead by a nose at the line. Rocco got around Pitkat on lap-58 to move into second while Justin Bonsignore was now fourth and Pasteryak was fifth. The caution came back out with 59 laps complete as Norm Wrenn spun in turn 1, Medieros came to a stop in turn 1, and Savary had a flat tire and was showering sparks as he made his way back to pit road.

  Barrett took the lead on the restart, but it was a short lived lead as Rocco made a power move to the inside of Barrett as the cars hit turn 3 and he moved back into the lead. Bonsignore moved up to third behind Barrett while Pitkat was fourth and Todd Szegedy made his first appearance of the race in the top-5 as he took fifth from Pasteryak. Rocco had to navigate several lapped cars in the closing laps, but Barrett wasn’t able to get close enough as Rocco joined Barrett as the only multiple VMRS feature winners at Stafford. Bonsignore finished third, with Pitkat and Szegedy rounding out the top-5.

  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.

  When Justin Bonsignore left the Monadnock Speedway NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event to head south on I-91 for Long Island his head was spinning and for good reason. He had just run 200 laps, non-stop without a caution on a quarter mile high banked speedway.

 Bonsignore, who earlier in the evening had the fastest time in qualifying, put on a brilliant display of his driving ability as he battled with Ryan Preece the entire distance for 45 minutes and 14 seconds. Bonsignore led the first lap before giving way to Preece who led from Lap 2 through lap 174. Preece slipped a bit on lap 174 and that's all it took as Bonsignore took the lead back for the final 25 laps. Preece hung on for second with Eric Goodale, third. There were only six cars on the lead lap at the finish. Tommy Barrett finished fourth and was followed by Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman. Rounding out the top ten were Patrick Emmerling, Ted Christopher, Ron Silk and Ron Yuhas.

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races next in the Call Before You Dig 8-1-1 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, Aug. 8. There were 23 cars on hand. Among the missing was Rowan Pennink.

  In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl it was Whelen Engineering Night on Saturday, featuring a six division racing program. Whelen sponsors NASCAR’s weekly racing series at tracks across the country.

  Picking up wins in Whelen All-American Series action included Kyle James who dominated the SK Modified® feature, Keith Rocco won for the seventh time of the year in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Models and Josh Galvin picked up his eighth Street Stock victory. Other NASCAR wins went to Ken Cassidy Jr. who returned to the winner’s circle in the Mini Stocks and Paul French checkered the SK Light Modified race. Mike Christopher Jr. won another INEX Legend Cars race rounding out the night’s victors.

  James turned in a flawless performance to romp to victory in the 35-lap SK Modified® feature, his second of the season. The win was by nearly a five second margin, almost half the track, ahead of the competition. James took the lead on the outside of Jeff Gallup following the only caution flag of the race, which came on lap-8. Rob Janovic Jr.,Tyler Chadwick and Ed Puleo rounded out the top five.

  In Modified racing in the Southland, it was once again Saturday night at the fights at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC. It was a rain-shortened version, but Saturday night’s racing at Bowman Gray Stadium turned out to be another in a series of unrestrained crash fests. This time it involved Modified Division front-runners Tim Brown and Burt Myers. Their run-in came just before rain ended the show with 22 laps on the board in the first of two scheduled 25-lap Modified races. Past the halfway point, the race, and the night’s session, was declared complete.

  Lee Jeffreys was declared the winner of the Modified race, despite a protest from Danny Bohn who said he was leading when the final caution was displayed. Results are unofficial, and Gray Garrison, the promoter of Bowman Gray racing, said the finish will be reviewed by NASCAR this week. (07/21/14 UPDATE - Danny Bohn declared the winner)

  As for Brown and Myers, who have won 15 Bowman Gray championships between them, neither came out a winner. The confrontation between them was triggered in the 21st lap, when leader Brown went spinning after being tagged from behind by the second-running Myers. Myers took the lead momentarily. Brown left the track, re-entered and blocked Myers’ path as other cars slipped past. Myers and Brown then went at it, slamming into each other’s car repeatedly.

  Tom Rogers Jr was the Modified winner at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.

  Congratulations to third generation racer Jacob Perry on his impressive win in the Crown Trophy Bandolero Series event which was run at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway this past Saturday. Jacob is the son of Dennis Perry and grandson of Roger Perry.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. On the positive side was Dover Entertainment which went up 0.03 to 2.80. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.12 to 17.71 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.47 to 32.48. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.65 to 7.90 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.23 to 56.79 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.19 to 27.89. Two of the three car manufacturers had positive endings. Toyota went up 0.38 to 118.90 and Ford went up 0.25 to 17.72 while General Motors dropped 0.54 to 37.41. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.47 to 80.08 and Lowes went up 0.37 to 47.81. In the area of big team sponsorship, Dupont went up 0.66 to 65.55, Target went up 0.01 to 60.01 and FedEx went up 2.23 to 152.87 while Coca-Cola dropped 0.10 to 72.54 and Aarons Rentals dropped 2.64 to 29.58.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, July 23

10:00 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora practice, FOX Sports 1
11:00 AM, NASCAR Live, FS1
11:30 AM, NCWTS Eldora final practice, FS1
3:30 PM, Empty Cup - Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network
5:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying, FS1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Live, FS1
7:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying races, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
9:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora race, FS1

  Thursday, July 24
12:00 AM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying re-air, FOX Sports 2
1:30 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS2
4:00 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS2
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2

  Friday, July 25
8:30 AM, NASCAR Nationwide Seried Indianapolis practice, FS1
10:00 AM, NASCAR Live, FS1
10:30 AM, 8:30 AM, NNS Indianapolis final practice, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Indianapolis practice, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR's The List - Greatest Finishes, NBCSN
4:30 PM, 100,000 Cameras - NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub Special, FS1
11:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2

  Saturday, July 26
3:00 AM, NSCS Indianapolis practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NNS Indianapolis practice re-air, FS1
9:00 AM, NSCS Indianapolis final practice, FS1
12:00 PM, NNS Indianapolis qualifying, FS1
2:00 PM, NSCS Indianapolis qualifying, ESPN2
4:00 PM, NNS Countdown, ESPN
4:30 PM, NNS Indianapolis race, ESPN

  Sunday, July 27
7:00 AM, NSCS Indianapolis practice re-air, FS2
11:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:00 PM, NSCS Countdown, ESPN
1:00 PM, NSCS Indianapolis race, ESPN
5:30 PM, NASCAR's The List - Legendary Drivers, NBCSN
9:30 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 22, 2014

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