The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith


December 2, 2014

  The Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey closed out the 2014 racing season in the northeast with their annual Turkey Derby. Included in the many divisions in competition were Tour Type Modifieds and Wall SK type Modifieds. The Wall SK types qualified on Friday under blustery but sunny skies. There were 32 SK types on hand for qualifying runs. During the Friday morning's drivers meeting it was said that there would not be a consolation race for the Wall/SK Modified division. There were 24 cars that made the field from time trials plus a Promoter's Choice provisional and a Fan's Choice provisional.

  Setting fast time was New York invader Matt Hirschman who toured the high banked oval that was fashioned after the now gone Rhode Island Lonsdale Arena in 12.199 seconds. Second fastest was Eric Mauriello who turned a 12.21. Third was Jimmy Blewett with a 12.229. Rounding out the top five were Steven Reed and Shannon Mongeau. Among those who missed the cut were Danny Cates, 26th fastest, Dennis Perry, 27th fastest, former NASCAR Cup star Jeremy Mayfield, 28th fastest, Max Zachem, 30th fastest and Mike Benevides, 31st fastest. Dennis Perry was awarded the promoter's choice spot and Jeremy Mayfield received the fan's choice provisional.

  A brisk 30degree temp & light snow didn't stop race fans from attending Turkey Derby 41 as the Jersey shore speed plant was packed to the rafters. Thirty nine Tour Type Modifieds were on hand for qualifying. Setting fast time for the pole in the Turkey Derby was Dave Sapienza who toured the Jersey oval in 11.937 seconds. Second fastest for the outside pole was Eric Mauriello at 11.951 seconds. Third was Danny Bohn who was followed by Jimmy Blewett and Matt Hirschman.

  Eric Mauriello won his first Turkey Derby 150 over Les Hinckley, Jimmy Blewett, Anthony Sesely, and Shaun Carrig. Mauriello, who is a Wall regular, took the lead with 50 laps to go and never looked back at the action behind him. From the drop of the green, Sapienza led the first 98 laps before heading to pit road under caution and surrendering the lead to Mauriello. Mauriello would end up being passed by Bowman Gray Stadium champion Danny Bohn, but he took the lead back a few laps later and was able to stay in the lead to the finish. New Englander and Valenti Modified Racing regular Les Hinckley ended up second with Jimmy Blewett, third. Anthony Sesely and Doug Coby rounded out the top five.

  Jimmy Blewett won the SK 100 over Jonathan Mandato in what turned out to be a slam-bang event. Shannon Mongeau finished third with Matt Hirschman, fourth. Michael Gervais rounded out the top five. Dennis Perry was headed for a possible top five when a fire erupted with seven laps remaining cutting his day short.

  Big news comes from the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in Connecticut and the American Canadian Tour (ACT), based in Waterbury, VT who have agreed that the 2015 ACT Championship Late Model stock car season will crown the ACT Champion at the famed Thompson World Series event on Saturday, October 17, 2015. ACT will join over 15 other divisions at TSMP in a year-end celebration for both fendered and open wheeled race cars.

  The Thompson track also announced a few changes to their racing rules for 2015 most notably awarding points for heat finishing positions.
Among the highlights for the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds:

  These rules may only be amended by the Race Director or an authorized officer of TSMP.

  Competitors are solely and directly responsible for the safely of their race cars and racing equipment and are obligated to perform their duties (whether as a car owner driver or crew members) in a manner designed to minimize to the degree possible the risk of injury to themselves and others.

  SA2005 rated helmets are mandatory for all motor vehicle events. Full-face helmets are mandatory.

  Seat belts must be a minimum five-point, two (2) inch wide system with a metal-to-metal central quick release latch. All five (5) points must be securely mounted by manufacturer’s specifications and must be approved by Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Officials. Belts must be no older than three (3) years and be SFI certified. Belts with visible wear and/or tears will not be permitted.

  A head and neck restraint system (i.e. HANS, Hutchens, or similar) is required.

  Sunoco windshield decals are mandatory for all Sunoco Modified teams.

  Drivers will earn points based on finishing position in both the heat and feature races. The number of points earned for each finishing position is listed below.

  Heat Races
 Position Points
 1 - 5 points
 2 - 4 points
 3 - 3 points
 4 - 2 points
 5 - 1 point

  Racing jack stands with flat bottoms are mandatory.

  All teams must have a spotter, monitoring the race control frequency (464.5000), in the spotter’s stand during all qualifying and feature races. Any team without a spotter must notify a TSMP Official before the driver’s meeting.

  On all starts and restarts, the leader shall have lane choice.

  The following rule has been deleted. Passing to the right before the start/finish line will be permitted. Any driver advancing positions to the left will be penalized two (2) positions per one (1) position gained. In other words, when the green flag drops just go!

  A three inch (3”) spot mirror is permitted.

  A 12-volt Gel or Glass Mat type battery with a minimum weight of 17 lbs. is mandatory in 2015.

  It looks like the "Battle at the Beach at the Daytona International Speedway is a dead issue and is now history. In a NASCAR Statement from George Silbermann, NASCAR Vice President, Regional and Touring Series, Regarding UNOH Battle At The Beach, “The UNOH Battle at the Beach provided NASCAR’s stars of tomorrow an excellent opportunity to participate at The World Center of Racing, but it isn’t feasible to continue the event given the progress with the DAYTONA Rising project. Fortunately, nearby New Smyrna Speedway is excited to bring the K&N Pro Series East back for the season opener again this year in addition to its week-long slate of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action; NASCAR fans will still have plenty of opportunities to see exciting short-track action in the Daytona area again this February.”

  Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gary DeSarro who became Grandparents last week. The late Fred DeSarro would have been a proud Great Grandfather as Linda DeSarro-Palardy is a proud Great Grandmother. Just think, Fred DeSarro Sr would have been pouring down the Scope to celebrate being a Great-Great Grandfather.

  On a sad note, Don Flynn a noted Modified driver and car owner passed away last weekend. Flynn's signature No. 25's were always in contention for Best Appearing. Flynn owned Standard Auto Body and Bradley Air Parking. He was a former amateur boxer who had a tussle with Leo Cleary in the first turn at Stafford with both of them out of their cars and slugging it out on the track surface.

  Flynn passed away Thursday Morning, November 27th, after an extended series of illnesses. Funeral Services were held on Tuesday, December 2, from The Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road, West Suffield. Following a Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church, burial followed in St. Joseph Cemetery, Poquonock, CT.

  For those of you who are fortunate to get your hands on an early copy of the new book from Coastal181, "A History of Auto Racing in New England" you will find its hard to put it down once you begin to read. The book includes more than 300 written and illustrated pages including chapters dedicated to the histories of The Midgets, The Modifieds, The Super Modifieds, Stafford's Dirt Nascar Years, Auto Racing in Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine plus the Rockingham NH Board Track, A tribute to Bob Bahare, Road Racing and Drag Racing plus a Memorial to the New England Drivers who died at the track.

  Available just in time for Christmas the book is priced at $34.95 + $6.00 S&H from or send check or money order to Coastal 181, 29 Water St., Newburyport, MA 01950 or call toll free 877-907-8181.. Included in the pages are tons of pictures, many of these never have been printed. Get your copy now!

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were down for the week. Dover Entertainment went up 0.21 to 2.57 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.04 to 19.71 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.58 to 31.28. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.16 to 5.12 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.93 to 27,41 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.89 to 65.17. The car manufacturers were all green for the week. Leading the way was Toyota which went up 1.84 to 123.13. General Motors went up 1.30 to 33.43 and Ford went up 0.32 to 15.73. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.12 to 99.40 and Lowes went up 0.57 to 63.83. With the exception of Dupont which dropped 0.75 to 71.40, the big team sponsor's stock fared pretty well. Coca-Cola went up 2.07 to 94.56, Target Department Stores went up 2.49 to 74.00, Aarons Rentals went up 0.23 to 28.38 and FedEx went up 3.72 to 178.18.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, December 3

1:00 AM, American Pickers - NASCAR Challenge, HISTORY Channel
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX SPorts 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net

  Thursday, December 4
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Friday, December 5
2:00 AM, NASCAR America: The List - Rookie Seasons, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet, FS1

  Saturday, December 6
12:30 AM, NASCAR America: The List - Famous Families, NBCSN
3:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Awards Banquet re-air, 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: December 2, 2014

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