The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - November 24, 2015

  The 2015 Northeast racing comes to a conclusion this coming weekend, November 27, 28 and 29 with the running of the annual Turkey Derby at the Wall Stadium in New Jersey. The weekend will be highlighted by the running of the Modified tour type Turkey Derby 150 on Saturday.

  All is not well on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series. While those at NASCAR who govern the sport and continually pat themselves on the back the core of the series is being eaten away by a cancer in the form of bad decisions made by officials and expensive mandates by the sanctioning body. Since the season ended at the World Series at Thompson the series has lost three of its top teams. Robert Our, who fielded cars for Tommy Barrett Jr, Keith Rocco and Ted Christopher says he just doesn't enjoy it any more and is in the process of selling all of his racing equipment. Eddie Partridge, who along with his wife Connie recently purchased the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island says he has had enough of the politics and indecision. The final decision will be based on Ryan Preece's situation in 2016. Strike three comes from Long Island Chevy dealer Buzz Chew who fielded the car for Woody Pitkat. Chew echoes Partridge's sentiments concerning officiating. Chew will concentrate his efforts in 2016 on the up-state New York DIRT circuit.
  Rather than pat themselves on the back, higher-ups at the sanctioning body need to talk to competitors in order to get the solution to a problem that could bring the division down. NASCAR and it's touring competitors will gather in Charlotte, NC on December 12 for their awards banquet. That would be an excellent time to discuss the issues at hand.

  The Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees this past Friday night, November 20 at Maneely’s in South Windsor to officially honor Rowan Pennink, Michael Bennett, Stephen Kopcik, Al Saunders, Frank L’Etoile, And Devin O’Connell as the 2015 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions.
  With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Darren Ayotte and Matt Buckler serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 46th annual Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the six track champions, they also recognized the top-15 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and U.S. Legend Cars divisions. Special awards that were presented during the evening’s festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts Rookie of the Year, R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines Rookie of the Year, R.A.D. Automachine DARE Stock Rookie of the Year, and the UNOH Youth Achievement Award.
  The 2015 SK Modified® season saw Rowan Pennink, who traveled each and every week from his home in Pennsylvania, continue a hot streak that began with his victory in the 2014 NAPA SK 5k. Including that SK 5k victory, Pennink scored 5 wins in the final 10 races of the year and he and the #99 Van Wickle NAPA Auto Supply team served notice right out of the gate that they would be contenders in 2015 as they won the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler feature. Pennink went on to score 5 more wins for a total of 6 to go along with 17 top-5 and 19 top-10 finishes this season. Pennink’s average finish for the season was 4.5 and he claimed the track title by a 10 point margin over Ryan Preece.
  The SPAFCO Race Chassis and Parts Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Tyler Hines from the SK Modified® division and Michael Wray from the Late Model division. Taking home R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines Rookie of the Year honors were Daniel Wesson in the SK Light division and David Comeau in the Limited Late Model division, and taking home R.A.D. Automachine Rookie of the Year honors was Zack Robinson in the DARE Stock division. The awards will be worth an $1,100.00 bonus to Hines and Wray from SPAFCO, $1,000 bonuses each to Wesson and Comeau from R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines, and a $500 bonus to Robinson from R.A.D. Automachine. Each Rookie of the Year bonus will be paid out in $100.00 weekly increments to each driver as they attend events during the 2016 season.
  The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Ronnie Williams in the SK Modified® division, Tom Butler in the Late Model division, Nick Salva from the SK Light division, David Comeau from the Limited Late Model division, Doug Marcello Rufrano in the DARE Stock division, and Teddy Hodgdon in the U.S. Legend Cars division. The Most Popular Driver Awards are voted on by the fans who attend Stafford Motor Speedway race events and fill out the ballots found in the track’s weekly PitStopper Magazine.
  The UNOH Youth Achievement award was won by SK Light Modified driver Stephen Kopcik. The UNOH Youth Achievement Award is a program that is open to all drivers at Stafford between the ages of 14-17. The eligible driver who scored the most track points from their best 14 finishes this season won a $500 cash award from UNOH as well as a $500 scholarship award from UNOH.

  The New London-Waterford Speedbowl management is wasting little time as heavy equipment is on site removing the battered Armco barrier. It will be interesting to see what the new retaining wall will be made of.
  The Speedbowl is again sponsoring the 2nd Annual Racers 4 Racers Toy Drive! Let's help those who need it most this holiday season. Monday, November 30th at 7:00 pm is the date and time. Please bring an unwrapped toy to Langley's at Great Neck Country Club 28 Lamphere Rd. Waterford, CT 06385. Come on out for some cheese and crackers, mingle with friends, and help give some less fortunate kids an awesome Christmas!
  Lots of updates going on at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island. New catch fencing is going up as well as structural improvements to outbuildings are in progress.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway stocks showed minimal gains, Dover Entertainment up 0.01 to 2.25 and Speedway Motorsports up 0.01 to 18.36. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.77 to 34.89. For all you NASCAR fans who wonder how Brian France is getting along these days his latest insider transaction of International Speedway Corporation brought his holdings to 17,826, 058 shares worth $62,195,116.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.35 to 3.93. NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 2.36 to 34.25 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.96 to 38.66. The car manufacturers had a good week. Ford went up 0.68 to 14.60, General Motors went up 2.03 to 36.34 and Toyota went up 2.40 to 123.67. The home improvement sector had a banner week. Home Depot went up 10.21 to 130.21 and Lowes went up 5.68 to 75.77. In the area of big team sponsor's stocks Coca-Cola led the way as they went up 11.85 to 188.63. Fedex went up 6.03 to 164.14 and McDonalds went up 3.94 to 113.91. On the negative side was Target Department Stores which dropped 1.06 to 70.83 and Aarons Rentals which dropped 0.27 to 23.70.

  On the tube this coming week:

  Tuesday, November 24

6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:30 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

  Wednesday, November 25
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Best of the Year, FS1

  Thursday, November 26
6:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

  Sunday, November 29
7:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Awards Show from Hollywood, FL, 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: November 24, 2015

©2015 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent