The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - October 20, 2015


  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour closed out their season this past weekend at the Thompson Motorsports Park Thompson Speedway. Thirty four cars were on hand. Doug Coby took home the Coors Light Pole Award. A lap of 18.566 seconds (121.189 mph) secured Coby his 10th career pole. Timmy Solomito qualified second and Ted Christopher was third. In addition, taking the pole Saturday at Thompson earned Coby a $12,500 award bonus to be split with his crew chief Phil Moran thanks to Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy Truck and Trailers.
  Just as the Modifieds began their pace laps a snow squall descended upon the speedway. The threat of snow did not hinder Doug Cobyís efforts. Coby clearly dominated the event as he scored his seventh win of the season and with it, the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship. Coby took the lead on the back chute on lap one and held it until pitting on lap 90. Patrick Emerling and then Justin Bonsignore swapped the lead until Coby took control for good with five laps to go. Following Coby and Bonsignore at the finish was Timmy Solomito and Todd Szegedy. If there was an award for determination it should go to Woody Pitkat who finished fifth. Pitkat was a front runner at the start but by lap 15 his day took a downward spiral. After losing power he was rear ended by Eric Goodale. In the process he lost two laps. After his crew made repairs and a couple of Lucky Dogs, Pitkat found himself inside of the top ten by the half way mark. His Hammer Down style of racing got him back to finishing fifth when the checkered flag waved. Sixth through tenth were Patrick Emerling, Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher, Chase Dowling and Donny Lia.

  Fall came on strong at Thompson as fans and competitors were greeted with blustery 45 degree weather. First up was the Limited Sportsman division which saw Corey Hutchins take the win while Scott Sundeen beat out Larry Barnett for the division championship.
  In the Sunoco Modified (SK type) 30 lapper Ryan Preece recovered from an early race falter to take the lead and eventual win from Woody Pitkat with two laps remaining. Pitkat lost the battle but it was Pitkat garnering the championship, his second of the weekend. Kerry Malone finished third with Ted Christopher and Ryan Morgan turning in a strong run to round out the top five.
  The Valenti Modified Racing Series was at the World Series at Thompson with 29 cars strong. Qualifying heats were run on Friday night with Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat and Eric Berndt scoring wins. The Valenti Modified Racing Series crowned its champion as well in Woody Pitkat who started on the pole for the 50-lap feature and ran in the top three for the duration of the event to clinch the title. Pitkat only needed a top three finish to best Chris Pasteryak for the championship and after starting on the pole Pitkatís victory was seldom in doubt. Pasteryak gave it his best shot, finally cracking the top five after a lap 35 caution, but Pitkat held on strong and finished second in the event to Keith Rocco to claim his first Valenti Modified Racing Series title. The championship is also a first for car owner Peter Kulessa. Roccoís victory brought his career total to 210 wins. Dave Ethridge finished third with Jon McKennedy, fourth. Chris Pasteryak rounded out the top five.

  The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park crowned itís first of fourteen champions that would be named over weekend as the track kicked off the biggest racing weekend in New England on Friday, October 16th, the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, presented by XtraMart. Fridayís racing action featured the first feature event of the weekend, the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model season.
Brian Tagg recovered from early race set backs, working his way to fourth, one position behind Keith Rocco, which would have secured him the championship. With less than two laps to go Rocco made a big move to pass Jeff Smith for second, putting himself two spots ahead of Tagg and in position to win the Late Model championship without winning a single event on the year. With the biggest move of the night, Tagg, who would not be defeated, passed Smith on the final lap to claim third place and win the championship by a single point, while Larry Gelinas went on the win the race. The event also marked the final race for Danielson, CT native, Glenn Boss, who finished fifth.
  The second night of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing weekend saw eight champions crowned over the span of nine feature events throughout the evening with the centerpiece of the nightís racing action being the long awaited return of the American Canadian Late Model Tour (ACT) for the first time since 1992.
  The 100-lap feature saw some of the best Late Model drivers in both the United States and over the border in Canada take to the track as the series crowned itís latest champion, Wayne Helliwell, Jr., and saw the possible end of a storied career for one of the series most successful stars. While Helliwell took home the big trophy at the end of the night the race itself saw a victory for Brian Hoar who scored his 42nd career victory in the series and capped off the night with a major announcement. "Iím just really excited," said Hoar who expanded on his record setting series-high win total. "Itís been a really emotional road for me the past couple of weeks because I made the decision to hang the helmet up for a while. This is it for a little while."
  Other Saturday winners at Thompson were NEMA Midgets, Randy Cabral, Mini Stocks, Louis Belisle, North East Street Stocks, Ed Puleo, New England Trucks, Bert Oullette, New England Pro Four Modifieds, Dave Richardi and Lite Modifieds, Tony Membrino.
  Sunday winners, in addition to the Whelen Modifieds and the Sunoco Modifieds were Corey Hutchings in the Limited Sportsman, Dave Shullick in the Super Modifieds and Scott Bigelow in the NEMA Lites.

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 featureís" 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 down. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.54 to 18.97 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.32 to 35.82 and Dover Entertainment dropped 0.04 to 2.21. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.18 to 4.29 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.51 to 46.85 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.80 to 32.68. The car manufacturers were all positive for the week. Ford went up 0.51 to 15.28, General Motors went up 0.20 to 33.15 and Toyota went up 1.36 to 123.96. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 1.41 to 122.74 while Lowes dropped 0.55 to 72.78. With the exception of McDonalds, which went up 2.06 to 104.82, the big team sponsors stocks, were down for the week. Coca-Cola dropped 2.31 to 212.00, Target dropped 3.83 to 75.05, Aaronís Rentals dropped 1.85 to 38.48 and Fedex dropped 3.15 to 152.48.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Friday, October 23

4:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub re-air, FOX Sports 2
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Talladega practice, FOX Sports 1
2:00 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Talladega practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NCWTS Talladega final practice, FS1
4:30 PM, NSCS Talladega final practice, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America: Scan All 43 Special 2015, NBCSN

  Saturday, October 24
10:30 AM, NCWTS Talladega qualifying, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS Talladega race, FOX
4:00 PM, NSCS Talladega qualifying, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NSCS Talladega qualifying re-air, NBCSN

  Sunday, October 25
2:00 Am, 1979 Daytona 500, FS1
10:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
2:00 PM, Countdown to Green, NBCSN
2:30 PM NSCS Race: CampingWord.com 500
6:00 PM, NSCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
10:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
11:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap re-air, NBCSN

  Monday, October 26
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
2:00 PM, NSCS Talladega 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.
E-mail: smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.
 

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: October 20, 2015

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