Champ Trail -
May 19, 2015
The big event in New England last week was the opening round of the
Tri-Track Modified Series at the Lee USA Speedway. Titled The Bullring Bash,
the event was hosted and promoted by The Racing Guys and the "Long Island
Mod Maniac" Jim Schaefer. The group put a lot of hard work and time into
making this big money event a reality for the Mighty Modifieds. Summer like
temps in the 80s greeted fans and competitors.
Chris Pasteryak got by race leader Steve Masse when he got loose on the
backstretch with ten laps remaining. Finishing up with a green-white-checker
finish, Pasteryak scored an impressive win over Todd Annarummo, Woody
Pitkat, Andy Seuss and Anthony Nocella.
Pitkat took the lead at the start in the event that had only two
cautions. Pitkat led through lap 24 when Steve Masse powered by to the top
spot. Masse set a torrid pace and appeared headed for victory when his tires
wore out ten laps from the finish. Pasteryak, who had started fifth, jumped
at the opportunity when Masse had problems. In the final ten laps Masse
faded and ended up 14th at the finish. Sixth through tenth were Richard
Savory, Norm Wrenn, Todd Szegedy, Todd Patnode and Ryan Preece.
The first caution flag of the event flew on lap 18, when multiple cars
spun in a cloud of smoke at the end of the front stretch. Cars involved
included Richard Savary and Matt Hirschman, the defending race winner. The
tangle eventually forced the defending race winner to the pit area for the
remainder of the event.
Event organizer Jim Schaefer that Chris Pasteryak's payout totaled $5540,
Steve Masse $4400, Todd Annarummo $3000, Woody Pitkat $2960, Todd Patnode
$2200 and Andy Seuss $2000.
The Tri Track Open Modified Series will return to action at the Monadnock
Speedway in Winchester, NH on June 13.
Tommy Barrett Jr., a driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, has been
placed on indefinite probation with conditions for violations of the 2015
NASCAR Rule Book. Barrett Jr. was found to have violated Sections 12-1
(actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4.9A (behavioral penalty).
It also appears that Barrett, who was arrested for driving under the
influence of alcohol or drugs on April 17 in Willimantic, CT will also be
ineligible to compete in the Valenti Modified Racing Series. The Valenti
series recently added a rule stating that one must have a valid drivers
license in order to drive in any events. In most cases a driver's license is
suspended pending the outcome of court action.
The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted the DARE Stock Xtra Mart Xtra D 50
program on Friday, May 15th on what was also Whelen Event Night with three
Ingersoll Rand contingency bonuses going to the winners of the SK Modified®,
Late Model, and SK Light features. Xtra Mart Convenience Stores put up a
$250 bonus that was split evenly among the top-5 finishers in the extra
distance DARE Stock feature event. Dan Dembek was the big winner, taking his
second feature win of the 2015 season in the 20-lap DARE Stock feature.
Ronnie Williams became the first repeat winner in the SK Modified® ranks,
out dueling Eric Berndt and Ryan Preece in the process. Adam Gray picked up
his first win of the season after three second place finishes, Tony
Membrino, Jr. won his second consecutive feature in the SK Lights, Cliff
Saunders got his second win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature,
and Dana DiMatteo won his third consecutive Legend Cars feature.
In the SK Modified event, Williams, who originally started 10th, and Eric
Berndt ran side by side until Williams got clear to the lead on lap-39.
Williams led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his second win
of the 2015 season and become the first repeat SK Modified® feature winner.
Berndt finished second, with Ryan Preece, Keith Rocco, and Dan Avery
rounding out the top-5.
Keith Rocco will have to wait another week for immortality at the New
London-Waterford Speedbowl. Rocco tied the all-time feature win record set
by Phil Rondeau when he won the Late Model feature at the shoreline oval on
Saturday night, May 2. Stiff competition and a garage accident were
determining factors. The SK Modified feature was highlighted by a 14 lap
battle between Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco. Christopher took the lead at
lap 21, passing Ed Puleo coming off of turn 4 as Rocco made his move through
turns 1 and 2 and latched himself to the bumper of Christopher for 5 laps.
Christopher was not to be denied as he pulled away and left the rest of the
field in the dust. It was Christopher's first win in the division since
2004. Following Christopher to the checkers was Keith Rocco, Nick Ladyga,
Diego Monahan, and Paul Kusheba IV.
Rocco finished second to Jason Palmer in the Late Models. Earlier in the
day Rocco sustained facial injuries when hit in the jaw with a tire iron in
a garage accident. Other Saturday night winners at the shoreline oval were
Wayne Burroughs in the Mini Stocks, Dana DiMatteo in the Legends and Chris
Meyer in the Limited Sportsman.
The Speedbowl has now completed three weeks of competition by the new
management of owner Bruce Bemer and General Manager Shawn Monahan. Nothing
but good vibes have been emitted from the track that less than a year ago
was on the brink of extinction. Continued good luck to the new management!
The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island beat the rain on Saturday night. Tom
Rogers took the NASCAR Modified win over Ryan Preece and Howie Brode.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC
Jason Myers won the first of two 25-lap Modified races while Burt Myers
struggled with brake failure and it was a big night for David Calabrese, a
Modified tour driver from New Jersey who now builds racecars in Mooresville,
NC. Calabrese won the second 25-lap race, registering his first Bowman Gray
victory. Burt Myers, who had won the first two Modified races of the season,
had brake problems and finished 15th and 13th.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
ended the week on the plus side. Leading the way was Speedway Motorsports
which went up 0.77 to 22.42. The International Speedway Corporation went up
0.57 to 37.43 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.03 to 2.41. NASCAR tire
provider Goodyear went up 0.92 to 30.85 while NASCAR fuel provider Sunoco
(Energy Transfer) went up 0.72 to 57.42 and NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went
up 0.05 to 4.82. The big three auto makers took it on the chin. Toyota
dropped 2.75 to 139.37, General Motors dropped 0.41 to 34.91 and Ford
dropped 0.19 to 15.48. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up
0.88 to 113.35 and Lowes dropped 0.17 to 73.09. In big team sponsorship,
McDonalds dropped 0.19 to 98.04, Coca-Cola dropped 0.68 to 112.52 and Target
Department Stores dropped 2.21 to 78.53 while Aarons Rentals went up 0.36 to
35.51 and Fedex went up 1.79 to 175.14.
On the tube this coming week:
Thursday, May 21
1:00 PM, NASCAR Masters of the Clock: The Legend of Martinsville, FS2
2:00 PM, The 10 Greatest Charlotte Moments, FS2
2:30 PM, NSCS Charlotte practice, FS1
4:00 PM, NXS Charlotte practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Live, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
5:30 PM, NXS Charlotte final practice, FS1
7:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
8:30 PM, The 10 Greatest Charlotte Moments, FS1
9:30 PM, Uncompromising: Kevin Harvick, FS1
10:00 PM, The 600: History of NASCAR's Toughest Race, FS1
Friday, May 22
3:00 AM, NXS Charlotte final practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NSCS Charlotte qualifying re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NXS Charlotte final practice re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, NSCS Charlotte qualifying re-air, FS1
3:30 PM, NASCAR America Motorsports Special, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
8:00 PM, The 10 Greatest Charlotte Moments, FS2
Saturday, May 23
10:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte practice, FS1
11:00 AM, NXS Charlotte qualifying, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte final practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NXS RaceDay, FOX
2:30 PM, NXS Charlotte race, FOX
Sunday, May 24
10:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte practice re-air, FS1
11:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte final practice re-air, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
5:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FOX
6:00 PM, NSCS Charlotte race, FOX
Monday, May 25
12:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
10:00 AM, NSCS Charlotte race re-air, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and
R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.
Phil Smith has been a
columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
Smith / Champ Trail