The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

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 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: May 19, 2015

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