Champ Trail -
September 8, 2015
At the Stafford Motor Speedway last Friday night taking down weekly feature
wins were Woody Pitkat in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late
Model feature, Daniel Wesson in the SK Light feature, David Arute in the
Ltd. Late Model feature, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the DARE Stock feature, and
Mikey Flynn in the Legend Cars feature.
Pitkat led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of
the 2015 season and the very first win for his car owners, the Skowyra
family. Ted Christopher finished second, with Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink,
and Matt Galko rounding out the top-5.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Stafford Speedway on Friday
night. Chris Pasteryak took the lead from Woody Pitkat on a restart with 20
laps, of the 80 lap feature, to go and then held Pitkat off to the checkered
flag to pick up his 5th VMRS feature win of the 2015 season.
Mike Willis, Jr. finished third with Ted Christopher and Norm Wrenn
rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth included Dave Etheridge,
Keith Rocco, Dylan Kopec, Dan Meservy, Jr and Matt Swanson. There were 32
cars on hand.
Dylan Kopec brought the field to green leading the first 9-laps when
Rowan Pennink displaced Kopec and led the field until lap-11. Todd Szegedy
held the top spot for one circuit before Pitkat took the lead and became the
class of the field. The race stayed green until lap-58 when the first of a
series of caution flags and a red flag were needed for spins and crashes.
Todd Szegedy, while running second and after a restart, spun collecting four
other cars that would change the scenario for others when the race went back
Pitkat led the field to a short-lived green flag with Pasteryak, Norman
Wrenn, Kopec, and David Schneider following. Following another yellow flag
on lap-60, Pasteryak sprinted by Pitkat on the re-start when the race leader
did not come up to speed. Pitkat then put on a tremendous drive to catch
Pasteryak but fell short at the finish by 0.118 seconds.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour returned to action at the
Langley Speedway in Virginia on Saturday night. George Brunnhoelzl III, the
four-time tour champion from Long Island won the Coors Light Pole Award and
cruised to the win in the Bayport Credit Union 150 presented by Budweiser.
Brunnhoelzl's No. 28 Composite Tech/Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer/Oval Speed
Chevrolet finished .387 seconds ahead of Kyle Ebersole, who edged Andy Seuss
for the runnner-up spot.
It was Brunnhoelzl's 24th career win and second at Langley. He also had a
pair of seconds and a third in the last six tour races at the .396-mile
oval. Brunnhoelzl led 141 laps and pulled away from Seuss on a Lap 148
restart. Burt Myers finished fourth and his brother Jason Myers, the
championship points leader entering the night, was fifth. Jason Myers now
leads Seuss and Burt Myers by just one point apiece, and Ebersole by five.
Brunnhoelzl, in search of a fifth title, is just nine points out of the
Jeremy Gerstner was sixth, followed by Bobby Measmer Jr., Frank Fleming,
Joe Ryan Osborne and David Calabrese. There were 14 cars on hand.
The Bayport Credit Union 150 presented by Budweiser will air on NBCSN on
Friday, Sept. 11 at 2:30 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour has
three races remaining and will next visit South Boston (Virginia) Speedway
on Saturday, Sept. 19.
In regular weekly action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Keith
Rocco celebrated the fact that his wife Cassie is expecting their second
child by ending a long dry spell in the SK Modified ranks at the shoreline
oval. Rocco had been winless in the SK Modifieds at the bowl since July 4.
After starting seventh and taking the lead on lap 13 of the SK Modified 35
lapper Rocco cruised to his fifth victory of the year in the division. His
track win total is now 118 wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a
career overall total of 208 wins which also include victories at Thompson
and Stafford Speedways. Following Rocco was Ted Christopher, Paul Kusheba
IV, Joe Gada and Zach Sylvester.
Timmy Jordan took the lead early and held the lead through the first
caution of the event which came out on the first lap. Only 3 laps later
Jordan was stripped of the lead as Paul Kusheba IV took the lead away. With
23 laps remaining in the event Keith Rocco took the lead away from Kusheba
IV and was able to keep that lead through the rest of the race. There were 2
more yellow flags that were thrown in the event.
Other Saturday night winners at the Speedbowl were Jason Palmer in the
late Models over Keith Rocco, Ed Gertsch in the Limited Sportsman, Jordan
Hadley in the Mini Stocks and Dana Dimatto in the Legends.
The Riverhead Raceway ran twin 30's for the NASCAR Modifieds on Saturday
night. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead took a big step towards his third career
Riverhead Raceway NASCAR Modified championship Saturday night when he swept
the Miller Lite night Twin 30 feature events for his 7th and 8th victories
of the season. The second race was shortened to 16-laps when a massive multi
car pile-up entering turn three ensued, the wreck was the worst of it's kind
in recent memory doing serious damage to several race cars. For the most
part all drivers were able to walk away from the carnage.
When the first race concluded Tom Rogers Jr. was first under the checker
flag in the Jessup Landscaping Chevy with Ryan Preece of Berlin, Ct.
settling for runner-up money in the TS Haulers Chevy. Rookie driver Kyle
Soper of Manorville kept himself in the mix for the win and was third over
the line in the Jack Anthony Pools entry. Ron Silk was fourth with Dave
Sapienza of Riverhead completing the top five.
When the field lined up for the second Twin 30 Ryan Preece was well aware
if he were to have a chance at passing Tom Rogers Jr. it would have to be on
the initial drop of the green and that is exactly what he did but again Tom
Rogers was equal to the task. Ryan did all he could to gain a run on Tommy
to the outside and in the process might have used up his right rear tire as
he got loose as the race wore on. Sensing the current WMT championship
leader was fighting his car Kyle Soper on lap 15 was able to work his way
under Preece for second just one lap before the "big one" unfolded.
As the field entered the third turn contact was made by two cars with the
result finding no less than 7 cars getting caught up by the exit gate.
Involved were Vinny Biondolillo, Ron Silk, John Fortin Sr., Kyle Ellwood,
Rob McCormick, John Fortin Jr. and Ken Darch. Fortin Jr. was transported to
the hospital with an injured left wrist/arm but was released to seek further
care from an Orthopedic specialist on Tuesday, all other drivers were okay.
Ken Darch received the most damage to his car when his body was torn from
the car, the "brain" bar part of NASCAR'S rigid safety requirements as well
as Darch's helmet had tire marks on them indicating how lucky the veteran
driver was to walk away. With just six cars left on the track NASCAR
officials threw the checker flag with Tom Rogers Jr. earning his 39th career
NASCAR Modified win. Kyle Soper was second to Rogers in the second race
while Ryan Preece crossed the line third. Howie Brode of East Islip and Dave
Sapienza completed the top five.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks ended the week on a positive note. The International Speedway
Corporation went up 0.23 to 32.20 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.03 to
2.35. On the down side was Speedway Motorsports which dropped 0.80 to 18.74.
NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.24 to 24.95 while NASCAR fuel supplier
Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.85 to 47.71 and NASCAR tire supplier
Goodyear dropped 0.30 to 29.22. The car manufacturers had an off week.
Toyota dropped 4.27 to 116.50 while Ford dropped 0.18 to 13.56 and General
Motors dropped 0.12 to 28.88. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot
droped 5.10 to 114.42 and Lowes dropped 0.65 to 67.80. With the exception of
Aarons Rentals which went up 0.14 to 38.02 the big team sponsor stocks were
in the toilet. McDonalds dropped 1.40 to 94.85 while Fedex dropped 3.99 to
148.61, Coca-Cola dropped 0.21 to 157.35 and Target Department Stores
dropped 1.61 to 76.42.
On the tube this coming week:
Thursday, September 10
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Richmond practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NXS Richmond final practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
8:30 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43, NBCSN
Friday, September 11
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS2
6:00 AM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBCSN
6:30 AM, NASCAR America: The States of NASCAR, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America: Scan ALl 43, NBCSN
7:30 AM, NASCAR America: Scan ALl 43, NBCSN
8:00 AM, NASCAR America: Scan ALl 43, NBCSN
8:30 AM, NASCAR America: Scan ALl 43, NBCSN
10:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Richmond practice, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NSCS Richmond final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NXS Richmond qualifying, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NSCS Richmond qualifying, NBCSN
7:00 PM, Countdown to Green, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NXS Richmond race, NBCSN
Saturday, September 12
3:30 PM, NSCS Richmond qualifying re-air, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS2
5:00 PM, NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN
7:00 PM, Countdown to Green, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NSCS Richmond race, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, 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