The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - July 21, 2015

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series visited the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH for a twin bill which was run in conjunction with the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series races that were also run.
  The All-Star Shootout, run on Friday, consisted of a 20-car field that primarily featured champions and race winners from NASCAR’s Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours who were pre-qualified for the special event. Not even the late-race invert of the leaders could derail Woody Pitkat’s plans to return to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Pitkat, in the Long Island based Buzz Chew #88, took the lead for the sixth and final time in the last of the All-Star Shootout and held off Ryan Preece and Donny Lia in a sprint to the finish in Friday’s 35-lap non-points event.
  Leading at the Lap 20 break, an invert of the top six in the running order sent Pitkat from the first to the third rows to restart with 15 to go. He quickly moved his way back into contention and to the lead with three to go. As the three-way battle developed, Preece held the point position at the white flag, but Pitkat came out on top. Preece crossed the finish line second and Lia held on for third. Justin Bonsignore followed in fourth with Bobby Santos fifth. Ted Christopher, Eric Goodale, Ron Silk, Ryan Newman and Andy Seuss brought home the top 10.
  The All-Star Shootout will be shown taped delayed on NBC Sports Net this coming Thursday, July 23 at 4:30 p.m.

  There was joy in Mystic Connecticut last weekend as Todd Szegedy put the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile in victory lane at the conclusion of Saturday's Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by Donate Life New England at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Mystic Missile is no stranger to victory lane in Loudon as Szegedy gave Garbarino his seventh win at the New Hampshire oval and first since 2009. After much resistance Garbarino went with a NASCAR Spec engine.
  Starting fifth, Szegedy battled up front all day while leading 22 laps. He was able to fend off runner-up Donny Lia and third-place Bobby Santos after a late-race caution set up the final dash as he beat Lia to the line by .041 seconds. Patrick Emerling and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. Ryan Preece finished sixth ahead of Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Keith Rocco and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Chase Dowling.
  Preece, who entered the event tied with Doug Coby atop the championship points standings, now leads Pitkat by four points and Szegedy by 19. Coby had a rough day to say the least. After he won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day and led 12 laps in the first half of the race, he was caught up in a multi-car incident following the second-half restart on Lap 55 and wound up finishing 30th. He dropped to fourth in points, 25 behind Preece.
  Twenty three of the 34 starters, 19 on the lead lap, were running at the finish. There were five cautions including the mid-race full field caution. The first caution came on lap 12 when Andy Seuss spun in turn four. Seuss ws able to restart. From there to the half way mark the field stayed under green. Shortly following the half way restart a mass front stretch tangle ensued when Don Lia ran into Doug Coby which in turn sent him out of control across the track into Woody Pitkat who in turn was hit by his brother in law, Bobby Santos. Ted Christopher and Jeff Goodale were also collected in the melee. Pitkat and Santos were able to drive away. Goodale, Christopher and Coby were towed off, done for the day. The fourth caution was displayed when Gary Putnam got loose and collected Andy Seuss and Shawn Solomito.Seuss escaped but Putnam and Solomito were done for the day. The fifth and final caution came on lap94 when Troy Talman hit Rowan Pennink while trying to pass in turn three. Collected in the process was Seuss and Anthony Nocella. All four cars were eliminated.
  The Andy Blacksmith 100 presented by Donate Life New England will be shown taped delayed on the NBC Sports Net this coming Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m. ET.
  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action Saturday, July 25, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH.

  At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night it was the Girls Night Out / Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk program with all 6 divisions in action plus a track walk that raised money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Taking down feature victories were on the night were Ryan Preece in the SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett in the Late Model feature, Stephen Kopcik in the SK Light feature, Al Saunders in the Ltd. Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano in the DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo in the Legend Cars feature.
  In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Preece went around early leader Joey Cipriano to take over the lead on lap-15. With eight laps to go Rowan Pennink made his move to take over second but Preece had nearly the full length of the straightaway for good cushion over Pennink. In taking the checkered flag Preece made it two in a row at Stafford. Pennink settled for second with Cipriano, Ronnie Williams, and Eric Berndt rounding out the top-5.

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl returned to action after a week off. Veteran drivers Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco, who competed earlier in the day at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, hustled back in time to take part in the weekly Saturday night card at the Connecticut shoreline oval and both came away with victories. Christopher captured the 35-lap SK Modified feature while Rocco visited Victory Lane after winning the 30-lap Late Model feature. Rocco continues to set records as he now has 114 combined wins at the Speedbowl and an overall total of 202 wins at Connecticut tracks.
  The other Speedbowl feature winners were Brandon Plemons (25-lap Limited Sportsman), Keith Cassidy Jr. (25-lap Mini Stock) and Dana Dimatteo (Legends Cars).
  In the SK Modified feature, Christopher started 11th and worked his way to the front, finishing ahead of Rob Janovic Jr. (second) and Diego Monahan (third). Joe Gada and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five. Rocco also worked his way to the front of the Late Model feature after starting seventh. He took the checkered flag ahead of runnerup Christopher Garside and Jason Palmer, who placed third.

  Tom Rogers Jr. scored his fourth Modified win at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. Riverhead paid the price for a high car count at Loudon as only 12 cars were on hand.
  Area Auto Racing News reported last week that Riverhead Raceway owners Barbara and Jim Cromarty have entered into a purchase agreement to sell the last remaining speedway on Long Island to Eddie and Connie Partridge. The Cromarty's have owned the Riverhead Long Island oval since 1984.

  Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC Burt Myers ended a two-month dry spell shortly before thunder storms opened up on the Winston-Salem area. Jason Myers finished second in the 25 lapper with Robert Jeffreys, third. New York invader Andy Jankowiak finished fourth with Junior Miller, fifth.

  The Thompson Motorsports Park returns to oval track racing nnext Wednesday night, July 29 with the Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint which will kick off with two 20-lap point races, with the second being inverted based upon finishing position in the first race. The final race will be a 10-lap sprint, and the best combined finish will determine the overall winner. A new twist this year will be a bounty for the leader following the second segment. If the driver opts to start last in the final segment, and still emerges the overall winner, they will receive a cash prize! This will also feature the return of their annual Whelen Night and TSMP will honor first responders.

  On a sad note, Michael Jaworecki‎ sends word that Long Island Modified competitor Chris Young passed away this past weekend.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks had positive results. Speedway Motorsports was up 0.76 to 23.16 and the International Speedway Corporation was up 0.25 to 35.75 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.03 to 2.24. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.06 to 3.84, Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.04 to 52.68 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 1.49 to 30.48. Two of the three car manufacturers were up. Toyota went up 3.84 to 135.36 and Ford went up 0.21 to 14.69 while General Motors dropped 0.75 to 30.65. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.38 to 114.47 while Lowes dropped 0.32 to 67.53. Fedex led the way for the sponsors stocks as they went up 1.77 to 170.23. Target went up 0.78 to 84.69 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.48 to 36.99 while McDonalds dropped 0.15 to 97.50 and Coca-Cola dropped 2.21 to 162.20.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Wednesday, July 22

2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
2:00 AM, Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame...NASCAR Fans for Hating Jeff Gordon, ESPN Classic
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
10:00 AM, NASCAR: Fans Speak, FOX Sports 1
10:30 AM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying, FS2
6:00 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
7:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying, FS2
8:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora qualifying, FS2
8:30 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
9:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora race, FS1

  Thursday, July 23
3:30 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS1
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43, NBCSN
4:30 PM NASCAR Whelen Modified All Star from Loudon, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:00 PM NASCAR Whelen Modified 100 Loudon NBCSN
7:00 PM NASCAR K&N Pro East Loudon NBCSN
10:00 PM, Undercover Boss: NASCAR, Opra Winfrey Network
11:00 PM, Undercover Boss: NASCAR, OWN

  Friday, July 24
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
12:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Indianapolis practice, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Indianapolis practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Indianapolis final practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NSCS Indianapolis final practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America Live, NBCSN

  Saturday, July 25
11:30 AM, NXS Indianapolis qualifying, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America Live, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NSCS Indianapolis qualifying, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBC
3:30 PM, NXS Indianapolis race, NBC

  Sunday, July 26
12:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay: Indianapolis, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NSCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NSCS Indianapolis race, NBCSN
7:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN

   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: July 21, 2015

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