Champ Trail -
September 29, 2015
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to Loudon, New Hampshire
last weekend. Doug Coby earned a season sweep of Coors Light Pole Awards at
New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he took the top qualifying honors for the
F.W. Webb 100. Coby posted a fast lap of 29.130 seconds (130.752 mph) to
notch his eighth career pole overall and third at the 1.058-mile oval. It
was his fourth Coors Light Pole of the 2015 season, which includes the
Whelen Modified Tourís first trip to NHMS in July. Bobby Santos qualified
outside pole with a quick circuit of 29.249 (130.220) while Woody Pitkat was
third-fastest at 29.256 (130.189).
Doug Coby bumped Ryan Preece out of the race lead in Turn 1 after taking
the white flag and drove away from New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday
evening with the F.W. Webb 100 trophy. The result was a big boost to the
title defense hopes of the driver from Milford, Connecticut, who is back in
the game with two races remaining on the schedule. Twenty-five points behind
Preece entering the event, Coby moved to within 11 of new championship
leader Woody Pitkat at 529-518 while Preece slipped to second at 521.
Coby was in control for the majority of the event, but Preece moved to
the lead on the Lap 100 restart after the eighth of nine cautions in the
event. It marked the 15th career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Coby, and
third at the ďMagic Mile.Ē It was also his tour-leading fifth of the season.
Patrick Emerling ended up second for his best finish in 67 career starts.
Bobby Santos was scored in third followed by Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk.
Rounding out the top ten were Donny Lia, Jeff Goodale, Chase Dowling, Dave
Sapienza and Pitkat.
Loudon Notes: There were 34 Modifieds on hand. During practice
Ryan Preece was the fastest as he toured the one mile oval in 28.89 seconds
(131.838mph). Melissa Fifield was the slowest with a time of 31.815 sec.
Among the missing was Keith Rocco who chose, with car owner Robert Our's
blessing, to race at the New London Waterford Speedbowl where he is in
contention for the SK Modified Championship, which he ended up winning.
Ground was broken on the speedway property for the North East Motor
Sports Museum on Friday to protect and preserve the stories and artifacts of
the regionís racing and riding past. Among those taking part were Dick
Berggren, Ronnie Bouchard, Ricky Craven, Joey Logano, Andy Cusack, Bentley
Warren, Ken Smith, Skip Matczak, Dave Frahm, Frank Manafort, Bill Manafort,
and Paula Bouchard (in memory of her father, Ed Flemke) assisted in the
groundbreaking, which took place on speedway property near the south
Also taking part were Marcus Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Speedway
Motorsports, Inc., Bruton Smith, Executive Chairman of SMI, and New
Hampshire Motor Speedway VP/GM Jerry Gappens.
Seventeen of the original 34 starters were running at the finish. There
were actually ten cautions for 29 laps including the race ending
confrontation between Coby and Preece. The first caution came on lap 3 when
Anthony Nocella spun in turn 2. He was able to restart and drive away. The
second caution flew on Lap 10 for Rowan Pennink who also spun in turn two
and pulled away. Turn two continued to be the hot spot as Dave Salzarulo
spun in front of the field on lap 35 for the third caution. The fourth
caution came on lap 42 when Nocella spun with a flat tire in turn 2. The
competition caution on lap 50 was the fifth of the day.
Max Zachem's day came to an end on lap 85 when he spun into the wall,
bringing out the sixth caution. The seventh caution occurred on lap 88 when
Troy Talman wrecked hard on the back stretch. The tenth and final caution
came on lap 96 when James Civali got in the grass going into turn three and
triggered a massive wreck which collected the cars of Matt Swanson, Eric
Goodale, Timmy Solomito, Ryan Newman, Ron Silk, Woody Pitkat and Jeff
Goodale. The track went to red in order to clean the track of debris. On the
final restart Coby hit the left rear of Preece, spinning him in turn two.
When Preece spun he was hit by Pitkat. Ted Christopher was attempting to
squeak through in the incident when he was hit by the Preece machine after
collision with Pitkat. Todd Szegedy then ran over the right wheels of
Christopher and ended up on his side on the outside wall. As Coby exited
turn four the checker and the yellow were displayed
The FW Webb 100 mile Whelen Modified Tour Series event is scheduled to be
televised this coming Thurs, Oct 1 at 7:00pm on the NBC Sports Net. The
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action this coming Sunday, Oct.
4 at the Stafford Motor Speedway for the NAPA Fall Final 150.
The Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that Bob Summers of Hoosier
Tire East will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 42nd Annual NAPA Auto Parts
Fall Final. Summers will send the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the green
flag for the 150 lap race with the most famous words in motorsports.
Summers, now a Hoosier Tire distributor, began his 60-year career in the
tire business in 1955 working for the Firestone tire company in
Indianapolis. During his time with Firestone Summers worked with some of the
legends of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway such as Mario Andretti, the
Unsers, and A.J. Foyt as well as a host of Grand National, Sprint Cup as it
is currently known, drivers. Summers left Firestone in 1981 and a phone call
from Bob Newton shortly thereafter got Summers into the business as a
Hoosier distributor. Summers passion for short track racing is still going
strong 34 years later operating Hoosier Tire East out of Manchester, CT.
Currently Hoosier Tire East services local tracks Stafford, Thompson, and
Waterford as well as the Whelen Modified Tour, and the Super Modifieds at
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out its Saturday night season
with Champion's Night. Keith Rocco won the battle and the war as he recorded
a victory in the SK Modifieds and locked up the Track Championship in the
division at the shoreline oval. Rocco brought his track win total to 119
wins. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 209
wins which also include victories at Thompson and Stafford Speedways. Ted
Christopher ended up second with Joe Gada, third. Diego Monahan and Zach
Sylvester rounded out the top five.
Other winners at the Speedbowl were Bruce Thomas Jr. in the Late Models,
Al Stone III in the Limited Sportsman, Roger Turbush in the New England
Trucks, Josh Galvin in the SK Lights, Sean Caron in the Mini-Stocks and Dana
Dimatteo in the Legends.
On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks
had negative results for the week. Taking the biggest dip was the
International Speedway Corporation which dropped 1.10 to 31.23. Speedway
Motorsports dropped 0.63 to 17.65 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.06 to
2.29. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.96 to 42.95
while NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.18 to 4.30 and NASCAR tire
supplier Goodyear dropped 0.73 to 29.73. The auto makers were also negative
for the week. General Motors dropped 1.10 to 29.41 while Ford dropped 0.75
to 13.53 and Toyota dropped 0.31 to 118.51. In the home improvement sector,
Home Depot went up 1.62 to 116.74 and Lowes went up 0.50 to 68.69. In the
area of big team sponsor's stock Coca-Cola took a huge jump as they went up
22.78 to 189.13. McDonalds went up 0.54 to 97.59 and Target went up 2.43 to
79.05 while Aarons Rentals dropped 1.35 to 37.43 and Fedex dropped 0.85 to
On the tube this coming week:
Thursday October 1
2:30 pm NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series FW Webb 100 Loudon, NH
Friday, October 2
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Dover practice, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Dover practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NSCS Dover qualifying, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43, NBCSN
Saturday, October 3
11:00 AM, NSCS Dover practice, CNBC
12:30 PM, NXS Dover qualifying, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NSCS Dover final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NXS Dover race, NBCSN
10:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Las Vegas race, FOX Sports 1
Sunday, October 4
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NSCS Dover race, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap re-air, NBCSN
Monday, October 5
12:30 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
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
2:30 PM, NSCS Dover race re-air, NBCSN
Thatís 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