Champ Trail -
August 25, 2015
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was in Bristol, TN last week for the
Bush Beans 150. The event, a combination North-South divisions race drew 41
cars. On a night that saw rain pause, and ultimately shorten the Bush’s
Beans 150, Ryan Preece grabbed the lead on Lap 75 just before the midway
break and held the position during a subsequent caution on Lap 96. As rain
and severe thunderstorms loomed during track clean-up, NASCAR officials
threw the yellow-checkered flag on Lap 103, sending Preece’s No. 6 TS
Haulers/East West Marine Chevrolet to Victory Lane.
The Bush’s Beans 150 originally went green as scheduled just after 6
p.m., but a Lap 2 accident that took out three potential checkered flag
contenders in Justin Bonsignore, Doug Coby and Todd Szegedy proved to be the
first hurdle of the evening. While under caution for clean-up, rain arrived,
which forced the resumption of the Bush’s Beans 150 to after the conclusion
of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. The Whelen Modifieds
re-started five hours later just after 11 p.m.
The lap 2 crash was a devastating one for Coby and Szegedy who were in
the thick of the point battle. In a recorded interview, Coby stated that his
car got away from him, causing the accident. Coby's crew and Szegedy's crew
were unable to make repairs as the ended up finishing 34th and 35th
respectively. Justin Bonsignore's mount was also damaged extensively as he
ended up dead last in 36th spot.
Coors Light Pole Award winner Woody Pitkat finished second after leading
the majority of the first half of the race and Donny Lia joined him on the
podium in third. Ryan Newman and Bobby Santos brought home the top five.
Andy Seuss, Jeff Goodale, Chase Dowling, Timmy Solomito and Patrick Emerling
completed the top 10. Seuss was the highest-finishing Whelen Southern
Modified Tour entry, and received credit for a victory for that tour.
There were seven cautions for 45 laps. As previously mentioned the first
yellow flew on lap two when Coby lost it and collected Szegedy, Bonsignore,
Gary Putnam and Jason Myers. A long red flag period ensued to past 11pm
because of an interruption of a scheduled truck race and more rain. The
second caution waved on lap 29 for Bob Measmer who bounced off the wall. The
third caution flew on lap 36 when Gary Putnam and JR Bertuccio tangled in
turn one. Kyle Ebersole brought out the fourth caution on lap46 when he spun
between turns three and four. The fifth caution flew on lap 69 when Shawn
Solomito and David Calabrese spun between turns one and two. The half way
competition caution flew on lap 78. The seventh and final caution flew on
lap 96 when Kyle Ebersole blew his engine. While the field was under caution
the decision was made to stop the event because of impending rain.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway last Friday night rain prevailed. The
fireworks that were supposed to accompany the on track action will be
postponed to Sept. 18th, the Final Friday Night Shoot-Out.
In NASCAR Modified action at the Long Island east end oval John Fortin
scored his third win of the season over Tom Rogers Jr and Ryan Preece.
Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC word
comes that northern fans can enjoy the antics at the Mad House on a weekly
basis next year as Racefan.TV has indicated that races will be televised
live on the web site.
Jason Myers won his seventh Modified race of the year as racing concluded
for another year as the stadium will now be converted to hosting football
games. Tim Brown, who will be out of a job when Michael Waltrip Racing shuts
down at the conclusion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, captured his 10th
Bowman Gray Racing Modified Division points title in an illustrious career.
He did so by holding off rivals and brothers Jason and Burt Myers. Brown
finished with 808 points, 24 ahead of Jason Myers. Burt Myers started the
night second, 19 points behind Brown. But Burt Myers had to leave the race
with seven laps left and finished 14th. That gave Burt Myers third, 55
points behind Brown after double points in the 150-lap finale.
Jason Myers, who has never won a points championship, also had a
tremendous year. In addition to his seven wins, had 10 poles, 13 top-five
finishes and 21 top-10 finishes. Brown had four wins, 17 top-5s and 23
Burt Myers, who has won six points titles, spoke with a sour grapes
attitude after how the year finished. His car sputtered with seven laps, and
he said it was a fuel pickup problem. He came back at lap 149, but it was
too late. Myers blamed the handicapped system in the draws, the inverts and
it being more about entertainment than racing and said he cherish
championships at other places more than he did at Bowman Gray.
Lee Jeffreys finished second with Dean Ward, third. Jonathan Brown and Tim
Brown rounded out the top five.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, NH. Les Hinckley took the 100 lap win over Todd Patnode, Russ
Hersey, Woody Pitkat and Todd Szegedy. Sixth through tenth were Chris
Pasteryak, Dave Schneider, Matt Mead, Rowan Pennink and Carl Medeiros.
Hinckley, who last won a series race in July of 2012, started on the pole
and led the first 9-laps before Stafford Springs, CT, driver Woody Pitkat
slipped by to take over top spot. Pitkat would hold the lead until lap 51
when Hinckley took it back and was never headed.
There were 26 race teams on hand for the 11th race of the season. All 26
drivers started the race. The event ran non-stop with the exception of a
minor spin on lap 46.
In regular weekly action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Ted
Christopher continued his hot streak as he took the 35 lap SK Modified win
over Keith Rocco and Joe Gada. Rocco, who recently fell behind in his quest
for the NASCAR Weekly National driver championship, has been slightly off
his game in recent weeks. Rocco won th 30 lap Late Model event. Rocco's win
in the Late Model division at the shoreline oval brought his track win total
to 117 wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total
of 205 wins which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways.
Al Stone was the Limited Sportsman winner, Josh Galvin was the SK Light
winner and Wayne Burroughs was the Mini Stock winner.
Congratulations and Happy Birthday to George Summers who completed 80
laps last week. Summers is one of the all-time greats in New England Auto
The New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2015 has been
announced. Sam Posey, one of America’s top road racers, and Greg Sacks, the
winner of the 1985 Daytona Firecracker 400, are part of the class that will
be honored at the NEAR Hall of Fame 18th induction banquet Sunday, Nov. 8 at
Maneeley’s in South Windsor, CT. The class also includes owner/driver Joey
Laquerre, car owner the late Paul Dunigan and drivers the late Jim McCallum
and Stan Greger, a quartet that collectively has 27 track championships. The
multi-faceted Lew Boyd, presently a book seller and publisher, and Lee USA
Speedway promoter Red MacDonald will also be inducted.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports took the biggest hit as they
dropped 1.79 to 18.43. The International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.53
to 31.76 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.01 to 2.29.NASCAR cup sponsor
Sprint went up 0.53 to 4.71 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) dropped 2.80 to 47.20 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
3.03 to 29.28. The car manufacturers were also down for the week. Toyota
took the big hit as they dropped 9.14 to 119.05. General Motors dropped 1.89
to 29.60 and Ford dropped 0.92 to 13.86. In the home improvement sector,
Home Depot dropped 3.59 to 116.16 while Lowes dropped 1.00 to 71.11. The big
team sponsors stocks were also down except Aarons Rentals which went up 0.40
to 37.82. McDonalds dropped 2.14 to 97.13, Coca-Cola dropped 8.80 to 154.15,
Target dropped 0.95 to 78.40 and Fedex dropped 8.78 to 156.03.
On the tube this coming week:
Thursday, August 27
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports1
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
Friday, August 28
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Road America practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NXS Road America final practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
Saturday, August 29
9:00 AM, Empty Cup: Quest for the 1992 NASCAR Championship, FS1
9:30 AM, NCWTS Canada practice, FS1
10:30 AM, Being: Stewart-Haas Racing, FS1
11:30 Am, NCSTW Canada final practice, FS1
12:30 PM, NXS Road America qualifying, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Road America race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NCWTS Canada qualifying, FS2
Sunday, August 30
3:00 AM, NCWTS Canada final practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NCWTS Canada qualifying re-air, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
1:30 PM, NCWTS Canada race, FS1
11:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Monday, August 31
6:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lap re-air, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lap re-air, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lap re-air, 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.
Smith / Champ Trail