Champ Trail -
June 23, 2015
The word from former Modified car owner Mario Fiore is that Tommy Barrett
probably won't race again this year. Fiore further stated that Barrett will
race in 2016 as he has MGM sponsorship to bring to a team. He also hinted a
possible return to racing when he stated "If no takers I know someone who
can run a modified team as good as any out there".
Barrett, of Millis, Mass., was arrested and charged with driving under
the influence of alcohol or drugs after a traffic stop at 1:48 a.m. on April
17 in Willimantic. He was also cited at the time for driving unreasonably
fast and failing to signal a turn.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Rowan Pennink took his
fourth win of the year in the SK Modified® feature, Michael Scozelli was a
first time winner in the Late Model feature, Nick Salva scored his second
win of the year in the SK Light feature, Glenn Bartkowski was a first time
winner in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn won for the second
consecutive week in the DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell was a winner
for the third consecutive week in the Legend Cars feature.
In a green-white-checkered finish, Pennink took the lead at the green
with Justin Bonsignore immediately attaching himself to Pennink’s bumper.
Bonsignore tried to make a move but Pennink was too strong to be overtaken
and he nailed down his fourth win of the 2015 season. Ryan Preece finished
third, with Sean Foster and Ted Christopher rounding out the top-5. Among
the missing was Woody Pitkat who was serving a one week suspension because
of a confrontation his car owner had with the crew of Ryan Preece on June
The SK Modified® top-5 finishers each received a $300 bonus from Xtra
Mart, which meant the feature winner took home over $2,000 in purse and
contingency bonuses while the 2nd through 5th place finishers went home with
$700 or more.
The Valenti Modified Series ran twin 50's at the Lee Speedway in New
Hampshire last Friday. Chris Pasteryak coupled a third in the first 50 and a
win in the second fifty to become the overall winner. Each feature awarded
points towards the series championship standings, but the overall finish of
the event was determined by each driver’s combined finish. After finishing
third in the first 50-lap feature, the field would be inverted for race
number-two and Pasteryak found himself starting from the 18th position. He
quickly charged towards the front before diving to the inside of Mike
Willis, Jr. on lap 43 to take over the top spot. From there, he pulled away
from the field to record the win.
Steve Masse, who substituted for Rowan Pennink in the Gary Casella-owned
No. 25 machine, made his way to the front from the fourth starting position
and held off a hard-charging Jon McKennedy to claim the victory in race
number-one. Getting through traffic and making his way towards the front
from the 20th starting position would be a challenge for Masse during the
early stages of the second race. He would eventually begin his charge during
the middle stages of the race, but came up short by just two positions. The
Bellingham, Massachusetts driver would finish fourth in the second race and
record an overall total of five (1+4), which would be good for second
Jon McKennedy looked to be the guy to beat, but like Masse he struggled
making his way through the field early on in the second 50-lap feature. The
former VMRS champion would be able to make his way to the seventh spot when
the checkered flag waved. His finishes of second and seventh would earn him
a total of nine and the final podium finishing spot.
Woody Pitkat, on a one race suspension from Stafford, recorded a pair of
sixth-place finishes and finished fourth and Richard Savary (8+5=13) rounded
out the top-five.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series returns to action this coming Friday
night at the Stafford Motor Speedway (CT).
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl fell victim to rain on Saturday night.
The bowl has made a remarkable turn around since being purchased by Bruce
Bemer. The doom and gloom that had followed the track for many years is gone
and has been replaced with a positive attitude from competitors and fans
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday night many NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour teams were on hand to hone their skills for this coming
week's Hoosier 200. Among those on hand were Modified Tour champion crew
chief Phil Moran and Doug Coby, 2015 NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler winner
Woody Pitkat and his Buzz Chew Chevrolet #88 team along with Justin
Bonsignore #51 and Eric Goodale #58 who were also getting ready for the
Hoosier Tire 200 on June 27th. Needless to see a great night of racing was
lost because of heavy rain that prevailed.
As previously stated, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series comes to
Riverhead this coming Saturday for the Hoosier Tire 200. After five events
Ryan Preece leads Woody Pitkat by a mere five points. Preece has two wins
and Pitkat, one. Doug Coby, with two wins, sits in third, one point behind
Coby. Rounding out the top five are Bobby Santos and Todd Szegedy. Sixth
thru tenth are Timmy Solomito, Ted Christopher, Patrick Emerling, Rowan
Pennink and Eric Goodale.
This event will be showed taped delayed on Thursday, July 2 at 6:00pm.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC
Jason Myers cruised to victory in the first of two 25-lap Modified Division
races, and his brother Burt was right behind him.
In the second Modified race, John Smith broke through for his first
victory of the season after three top-three finishes previously. Again, it
was a wire-to-wire winner with Smith starting on the pole thanks to the
Following the Myers brothers in the first event were Tim Brown, Chris
Fleming and Ronnie Clifton. Bo Bo Brown finished second in the nightcap.
Jason and Burt Myers finished eighth and ninth respectively.
On a sad note, Jimmy Jorgensen, a member of the New England Auto Racers
Hall of Fame and one of the premier owner/mechanics in Northeastern auto
racing history, passed away Thursday, June 18.
From Riverside Park, where his “Flying Zero” won three championships
between 1958 and 1962, to the 1969 Indianapolis 500, where he experienced
the heartbreak of being first alternate, the 2012 Hall of Fame inductee left
a lasting legacy on New England racing. He was successful with the URC
Sprint Cars between the Modifieds and the Indy Cars.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks had positive results for the week. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.58
to 23.43 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.01 to 2.31 while the
International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.06 to 37.15. NASCAR cup sponsor
Sprint went up 0.05 to 4.68 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) went up 0.16 to 55.14 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
0.28 to 31.21. The auto builders had a somewhat off week except for General
Motors which went up 0.40 to 36.11. Ford dropped 0.12 to 15.11 and Toyota
dropped 1.47 to 134.02. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 0.96
to 69.99 and Home Depot went up 0.83 to 112.43. In big team sponsorship,
McDonalds went up 1.02 to 96.08, Coca-Cola jumped 14.21 to 137.21, Target
jumped 3.58 to 83.35 after announcing that CVS would be taking over their
drug business in the department stores, Aarons Rentals jumped 0.84 to 35.31
and Fedex dropped 7.69 to 175.94.
On the tube this coming week:
Friday, June 26
12:00 AM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBC Sports Net
12:30 AM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sonoma practice, FOX Sports 2
6:30 PM, NSCS Sonoma final practice, FS2
Saturday, June 27
2:00 PM, NSCS Sonoma qualifying, FOX Sports 1
Sunday, June 28
2:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, Sonoma, FS1
3:00 PM, NSCS Sonoma 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