The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - October 13, 2015

  The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour closed out their season this past Thursday night at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. George Brunnhoelzl III, who previously triumphed on the Charlotte quarter-mile oval in 2012, led all but one of the 160 laps. Northern invader Ryan Preece followed Brunnhoelzl across the finish line in second with Danny Bohn third, Jason Myers fourth and Burt Myers fifth. Andy Seuss finished sixth and was followed by Jeremy Gerstner, John Smith, Bobby Measmer Jr. and Dalton Baldwin. With a sixth-place finish in Thursday’s season finale Southern Slam 150, Seuss edged race winner George Brunnhoelzl III by three points in the season standings to secure his second-consecutive Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship. The race can be seen on NBC Sports Net on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. ET.

  The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire last week for twin 50 lap events. Woody Pitkat and Les Hinckley scored victories. Hinckley, who also placed third in the first event was declared the overall winner. Pitkat, who finished fourth in the second event, emerged as the point leader going into the series finale which will be held at Thompson on Saturday night.

  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series wraps it up this weekend as the tour is the headline division of the Annual World Series at the Thompson Motorsports Park Thompson Speedway. It will be a 150 lap knock down, drag out battle between Doug Coby and Ryan Preece who are dead even in the points. Woody Pitkat is also in the mix as he is only four points out of the lead.

  Thompson's NWAAS Sunoco Modified division could also go three ways leading into it's championship race on October 18. Woody Pitkat will look to keep his lead and earn his first title in the division. Former champions, Keith Rocco and Ryan Preece are both still in contention however.
This nationally-recognized event will feature 15 different divisions of racing this year, and will crown 14 champions.

  Greg Narducci, a well respected Whelen Modified Tour former owner and mechanic made an interesting observation, "Thanks NASCAR for saving the owners so much money with your new rules of only letting us bring one set of used tires to the track each race. He stated $4000.00 + in used tires are being thrown out at Thompson. All of these have 20 laps or less on them. Can't even give them away! Keep making rules like this, you'll have no cars soon!!!"

  The Syracuse dirt mile, a horse-racing track that first opened for business in 1826 (horsepower joined the hayburners in 1903), will be bulldozed into oblivion after this past weekend’s racing to make way for a renovation of the Fairgrounds that will see the old place become more like a year-round theme park.

  Once one of about a dozen mile-oval speedways that made up a circuit where Indianapolis-car drivers raced for the national championship, Syracuse was among the last remaining. Only the track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and two in Illinois, Springfield and Du Quoin, remain of those legendary bull rings that included Langhorne in Pennsylvania, Sacramento and Del Mar in California, Phoenix and, of course, Syracuse.

  Glenn Donnelly created Super DIRT Week in the early 1970s, Buzzie Reutimann won the first two Schaefer 200s (which carried a $100,000 first prize. The first couple of years, that big race was won by guys from out of state: Dick Tobias from Pennsylvania, Gary Balough from Florida — Buzzie, of course — and then a guy named Jack Johnson out of Schenectady, N.Y., finally became the first native New Yorker to win it and he did that in 1979. The track, called the Moody Mile, has been a place of passion and commitment, as well as blood and guts. And now it’s over. It will be the last time Super DIRT Week is held at the fairgrounds, which will undergo a renovation after the event that will involve removing the grandstands and the historic track that has been home to 44 Super DIRT Weeks, extending back to 1972.Canadian Stewart Friesen, who has won four of the last six events held there won the Grand Finale. Ken Tremont was second. Friesen’s share of the purse was $50,000.

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl will host the Tri Track Open Modified Series Season Finale on Sunday, October 25. This event will also hold a completely different format than any of the other four races this season. There will be no short distance heat races followed up by consolation races and a B-main feature. Instead, this event will be started with two 35 lap "qualifying feature’s" that will determine who will advance into the big show.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were up. The International Speedway Corporation went up 4.03 to 36.14 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.71 to 18.43 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.02 to 2.25. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.22 to 4.47 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 3.50 to 46.34. The auto manufacturers had a fairly good week. Ford went up 0.98 to 14.97, General Motors went up 1.22 to 32.95 and Toyota went up 1.85 to 122.60. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 3.52 to 121.33 and Lowes went up 3.10 to 73.33. With the exception of Target Department Stores, which dropped 0.65 to 78.88, the big team sponsor’s stocks had a very productive week. McDonalds went up 2.97 to 102.76, Coca-Cola went up 19.16 to 214.31, Aarons Rentals went up 3.71 to 40.33 and Fedex jumped 9.81 to 155.33.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Friday, October 16

2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kansas practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas practice, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NXS Kansas final practice, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NSCS Kansas qualifying, NBCSN
7:30 PM, Being Stewart Haas Racing, FOX Sports 1

  Saturday, October 17
11:30 AM, NSCS Kansas practice, CNBC
12:30 PM, NXS Kansas qualifying, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NSCS Kansas final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, Countdown to Green, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Kansas race, NBCSN

  Sunday, October 18
11:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
1:30 PM, Countdown to Green, NBC
2:15 PM, NSCS Kansas race, NBC
6:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
11:30 PM, 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: October 13, 2015

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