Champ Trail -
May 26, 2015
Keith Rocco achieved immortality at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on
Saturday night as he became the shoreline oval's all time feature winner.
Rocco scored a one-two punch as he won the Late Model and SK Modified
feature events which gave him an overall feature win total of 108, besting a
total of 106 wins by Late Model competitor Phil Rondeau who is now retired
as a driver. Rocco, who is 30, has at least 20 good years of racing ahead of
him and could very well set a record that will never be broken.
Other winners were Ryan Waterman in the Limited Sportsman, Corey Barry in
the SK Lites and Wayne Burroughs Jr in the Mini-Stocks.
In the SK Modified event Rocco took the lead shortly after the half way
mark and was never pressured after that. Diego Monahan finished second with
Joe Gada, third. Rounding out the top five was Tyler Chadwick and Ted
The stars and cars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series head for the
New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the Mr. Rooter 161. Woody Pitkat, who won
the Spring Sizzler at Stafford leads Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway
IceBreaker winner Doug Coby by three points. Four points behind Coby is Ryan
Preece. Todd Szegedy and Eric Goodale round out the top five after two
events. Sixth through tenth are Donny Lia, Bobby Santos, Patrick Emerling,
Rowan Pennink and Timmy Solomito.
The Stafford Motor Speedway hosted the Valenti Modified Racing Series
this past Friday night in addition to their regular racing program. Doing
double duty were Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat, Rowan Pennink,
and Keith Rocco.
In the Valenti Modified Racing Series 80 lapper Woody Pitkat took the win
over Keith Rocco, Todd Szegedy, Ted Christopher and Todd Patnode. Pitkat
took the lead at the 50 lap mark with Ryan Preece in second. Rocco was side
by side with Szegedy for third with Kirk Alexander right behind them. A
multicar incident in turn 2 brought the caution out with 51 laps complete.
Rocco, who led the early going, went back to the lead on the restart with
Pitkat second, Todd Szegedy third, Preece fourth, and Todd Patnode fifth.
Pitkat was applying pressure to Rocco’s back bumper but was unable to make a
pass. Rocco and Pitkat were beginning to pull away from Szegedy in third in
a 2-car fight for the lead. Pitkat was able to make a pass for the lead on
lap-68 and with 10 laps to go, Rocco was looking high and low to get back
around Pitkat. The caution came back out with 74 laps complete as Norm Wrenn
took a hard hit into the wall coming out of turn 4.
The order for the restart was Pitkat and Rocco on the front row, Szegedy
and Christopher in the second row, and Preece and Patnode in the third row.
Pitkat took the lead on the restart with Rocco slotting into second behind
him. Szegedy got by Christopher for third and Patnode was fifth. Pitkat was
able to hold Rocco off to the checkered flag to pick up his first Valenti
Modified Racing Series feature victory.
Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the
40-lap SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett scored his third win of the
season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno won for the second
time in 2015 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Duane Provost won the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Frank L’Etoile won the 15-lap DARE Stock
feature, and Devin O’Connell was the winner of the 20-lap Legend Cars
The Riverhead Raceway on Long Island saw Ryan Preece take the Modified
win over John Fortin and Kyle Soper.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Tim
Brown won the first of two 25-lap races for the Modified Division and
matched Junior Miller’s all-time mark of 73 wins. Brown beat out John Smith
and Chris Fleming in the first of two twin 25 lap events. In the night cap,
Dean Ward took the win over Burt Myers and Randy Butner.
In other Modified racing in the south, Burt Myers out ran his brother
Jason in Concord, NC KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Main on Friday night. The
1/2-mile tri-oval at the Concord Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
came alive again for the first time since late 2012 to a packed house and a
full pit area.
In a somewhat related manner it was announced the North-South Shootout
would return to Concord in the fall.
Three former champions, a legendary hard-living driver and a successful
track executive have been selected for the Class of 2016 into the NASCAR
Hall of Fame. The men will be inducted on Jan. 22 in the NASCAR facility in
uptown Charlotte, N.C.
The late Sprint Cup champion Bobby Isaac made the HOF on his fifth try.
Two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte made it on his second and six-time
Modified Series champion Jerry Cook made it on his sixth. The late Curtis
Turner, one of stock car racing’s most endearing personalities, made it on
his seventh. And in something of a surprise, Bruton Smith of Speedway
Motorsports Inc. made the Hall on his third try.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.17 to 22.25
and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.10 to 2.31 while the International
Speedway Corporation went up 0.04 to 37.47. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint
dropped 0.13 to 4.69 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer)
went up 0.60 to 58.02 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.89 to
31,74. With the exception of General Motors which went up 0.79 to 35.70, the
car builders were down for the week as Ford dropped 0.21 to 15.27 and Toyota
dropped 1.15 to 138.22. In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 3.55
to 69.54 and Home Depot dropped1.19 to 112.16. All big team sponsor's stocks
did well. McDonalds went up 0.95 to 98.99, Coca-Cola went up 0.48 to 113.00,
Target went up 3.46 to 79.29, Aaron's Rentals went up 0.39 to 35.90 and
Fedex went up 0.04 to 175.18.
On the tube this coming week:
Thursday, May 28
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
7:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
7:00 PM, How It's Made - Liquor Jugs, Deli Meats, NASCAR Engines, SCI FI
11:30 PM, NASCAR America: States of NASCAR #5, NBCSN
Friday, May 29
12:00 AM, NASCAR America: States of NASCAR #6, NBCSN
12:30 AM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43 - 2015, Episode 2, NBCSN
1:00 AM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43 - 2015, Episode 1, NBCSN
1:30 AM, NASCAR America: Dale Earnhardt Sr. Moments, NBCSN
2:00 AM, How It's Made - Liquor Jugs, Deli Meats, NASCAR Engines, SCI
10:00 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Dover practice, FS1
11:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NCWTS Dover qualifying, FS1
2:00 PM, NXS Dover final practice, FS1
3:30 PM, NSCS Dover qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SetUp, FS1
5:30 PM, NCWTS Dover race, FS1
Saturday, May 30
4:00 AM, NCWTS Dover race re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, NSCS Dover practice, FS1
11:00 AM, NXS Dover qualifying, FS1
12:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Dover final practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NXS RaceDay, FOX
2:30 PM, NXS Dover race, FOX
Sunday, May 31
10:30 AM, NSCS Dover practice re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NSCS Dover race, FS1
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