Forty five years ago in 1970, the Supers and the Modifieds ran
together at the Thompson World Series. Howard Brown in a Super took the win.
Fred DeSarro in the Sonny Koszela No.15 finished second.
Thirty years ago in 1985, one of the
saddest, darkest days of modified racing occurred a Martinsville when
champion and most popular driver Richie Evans lost his life in a practice
crash. For whatever reason, the orange No.61 hit the wall in turn three and
from then on, modified racing, as we knew it would never be the same. In
addition to being a fierce competitor, Evans had the best interest of the
division at heart and was consulted by promoters and the sanctioning body on
a regular basis. Evans had over 500 wins to his credit along with nine
national championships. With heavy hearts, the show at Martinsville went on
because he would have wanted it to. John Bryant took the win over Bugsy
Stevens, Tom Baldwin, George Kent, Doug Hevron, Brian Ross, Tony Hirschman
and Jamie Tomaino. It was also during this particular week that NASCAR split
with Tom Curley and his NASCAR-North late model touring series. This series
would turn into being the ACT tour and NASCAR would form the Busch North
Twenty five years ago in 1990, the
Modifieds converged on Martinsville for the season ending event. Tony
Hirschman took the lead from Reggie Ruggiero on lap 128 of the 200-lap event
and went on to record his first win at Martinsville in ten years of trying.
Reggie Ruggiero finished second and was followed by George Kent, Tom
Baldwin, Jamie Tomaino, George Brunnhoelzl, Mike Ewanitsko and Steve Park.
Twenty years ago in 1995, one of the
best shows ever was a rain out, make up at Thompson that featured the Busch
North Series and the Featherlite Modified Tour plus the SK Modifieds. It was
the best of both worlds and the grandstand was packed to see the best racing
that the northeast had to offer. Steve Park took the lead in the mod 150 on
lap130 from Wayne Anderson and went on to record the win. Anderson finished
second and was followed by Ed Flemke Jr, Ricky Fuller and Bruce Del. Tony
Hirschman finished a distant seventh but still managed to win the
championship by 3 points over Park. Mike Stefanik took the lead from Martin
Truex on lap 130 and took the win in the Busch North 150.Andy Santerre
finished second. Bo Gunning started 33rd in the 40 car SK modified field and
took the lead with 16 laps to go in the 50 lap feature and recorded an
impressive win over Todd Ceravolo, Ted Christopher and Bob Potter. In
Winston Cup action at Phoenix, Ricky Rudd took the win.
Fifteen years ago in 2000, Chemung
Speedrome in New York and Lee Raceway in New Hampshire were the hot spots.
Chemung announced that they would be NASCAR sanctioned in 2001. J.R.Kent
took the win over Chris Ross and Pete Britain. At Lee, Rob Summers in the
Bear Motorsports entry started third in the 100 lap feature and took the
lead on lap six. From there on he was long gone. Dave Berghman finished
second and was followed by Carl Pasteryak, Charlie Pasteryak, Ted
Christopher and Tucker Reynolds. Dale Jarret was the Winston Cup winner at
Rockingham. Jeff Green was the BGN winner.
Ten years ago in 2005 The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour series was at the Thompson Speedway last weekend for
the previously postponed World Series. They were joined by the Busch North
Series. The big news on Saturday morning was that it wasn’t raining.
Temperatures were in the low 30’s but it didn’t seem to hold anyone back as
40 Whelen Modifieds, 40 Sunoco SK type Modifieds and 35 Busch North cars
helped jam the already bulging pit area.
In what was to be a long day of qualifying turned into another day of
waiting and frustration as rain and snow hit the speedway in mid afternoon.
At least the qualifying was completed for the Modifieds, Busch North and
Sunoco Mods. Jerry Marquis in the Mystic Missile of Bob Garbarino captured
his first Busch Pole of the year. Second generation driver Matt Hirschman
was second fastest. Rounding out the top five were Don Lia, Zach Sylvester
and Doug Coby. The top eight redrew for starting spots. Tony Hirschman drew
the pole with his son, Matt, drawing the outside pole. Marquis drew eighth.
Sean Caisse captured the Busch North pole. Sunoco Modified heats were won by
Jeff Malave and Kerry Malone.
All the rain and snow disappeared during the Saturday overnight. Sunday
was absolutely beautiful with temperatures in the high 60’s. Ted Christopher
was looking to wrap up his first Whelen Modified Tour Championship; Tony
Hirschman was looking to wrap up his fifth championship. Christopher would
have to wait another year while Hirschman celebrated. Christopher’s efforts
came to an end on lap 10 when he took a hard shot into the wall between
turns one and two after going up and over Donnie Lia. Hirschman ran near the
front for most of the 125 laps and in the end finished a conservative 12th.
Jerry Marquis was the eventual winner with Chuck Hossfeld, second. Doug Coby
finished third with Mike Christopher and Charlie Pasteryak rounding out the
It was a brutal weekend on racecars. Mike Christopher wrecked the Hills
Enterprises No.79 big time in practice. David Hills’ crew did yeoman’s duty
and the end result was a fourth. Chuck Hossfeld wrecked the No.50 wrecked in
qualifying. Crew Chief Phil Moran and his crew did their work and Hossfeld
rewarded their efforts with a runner-up finish. The 90, 12 and 3 were
cradled off of the track. The 75 (Carl Pasteryak), 59 (Matt Hirschman), 13
(Ted Christopher), 10 (Ed Flemke Jr.) and 99 (Jamie Tomaino) all received
major damage although the 99 and 10 teams did amazing jobs getting their
cars back on the track. Kenny Barry was under the 12 of Jimmy Blewett in the
second turn when he (21) wiggled and hit the 12 sending him into the wall.
Donnie Lia had a fast car and hit the 79 in the rear and spun him out. That
is when the Lia was held in the pits. Mike Christopher drove like a man
possessed and came on hard to finish a fine 4th.
In Busch North Series competition, Eddie MacDonald ended his two-year
drought to score the victory in the 100-lapper for the NASCAR Elite
division. MacDonald led early and was never far from the lead. He took over
the top spot from Mike Stefanik on a late race restart to claim the victory.
By virtue of his eighth place finish Andy Santerre claimed an unprecedented
fourth consecutive Busch North Series championship.
In Supermodified action, Chris Perley of Rowley, MA took home top honors
in the 50-lapper during the World Series activities. Perley won the battle
but not the war as Pat Abold came home second in the feature to claim the
2005 International Supermodified Association championship. Perley jumped out
to the early lead and would not be headed. Abold took chase in second
followed by Russ Wood, Mark Sammut, and Randy Ritskes inside the top-five.
In NEMA action Nokie Fornoro of Reeders, PA looked strong as he powered
away to an impressive win in the 25-lap main event for the Midgets. Fornoro
used the green-to-checker run to make his way to the head of the pack over
Joey Payne, Randy Cabral, Ben Seitz and Adam Cantor.
Jeff Malave of S. Windsor, CT capped off his championship run with his
fourth victory of the season. Malave took the lead from his front row
starting spot and would never be headed as he bested a 40-car field. With
Malave on the point, the best battle on the field was for second between
Ceravolo and Silk. The battling allowed Keith Rocco to join the fray as
well. Silk motored into second as Ceravolo began to fade. At the checkers it
was Malave over Silk, Rocco, Chuck Docherty and Tommy Cravenho
Rick Gentes was the first to grace victory lane on the long-awaited
running of the World Series on Sunday. Gentes of Woonsocket, RI took the
lead from the drop of the green flag and went on to lead every lap of the
caution-free 25-lap event. The two point contenders, Charles Bailey, III and
Woody Pitkat ran nose to tail behind the leader. The two put on a heated
battle for the remainder of the event. Pitkat muscled his way by Bailey in
the closing laps taking Marc Palmisano along for the ride. Bailey came home
in the fourth position to earn the 2005 Late Model championship. Jeff
Hartwell rounded out the top-five.
In Pro Stock action, Freddy Astle took down his third victory of the
2005. Astle scored the popular win over a field of competitors from a number
of New England tracks. For the locals, there was a lot riding on the outcome
of the main event on Sunday as four drivers were in contention for the
divisional title. Zuidema held a slim lead over Norm Wrenn, Jeff Connors and
Joe Lemay. Astle was able to hold off Wrenn and Zuidema for the win with
Seekonk ace Ray Parent and Lemay completing the top five. By keeping Wrenn
is his sites, Zuidema was able to grab the crown by a mere eight points.
Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT put an exclamation point on his fine season
at Thompson with his sixth Limited Sportsman win of 2005. The newly crowned
champion led every lap en route to the victory. Keith DeSanctis, Kevin
Riley, Danny Cates and Larry Barnett rounded out the top-five.
Shelly Perry of Ashaway, RI rallied late in the Mini Stock 20-lapper to
take her second triumph of the 2005 season. Perry came out on top of a
heated five-car battle that also included championship chaser Scott
Michalski, his brother Steve and Brian Vincent. The Michalski brothers
pressured but had to settle for second and third over Brian Towle. On the
final lap Ron Rixham’s car went up in smoke but the veteran was able to
coast past the finish line to finish in the fifth position to secure the
In the T.I.S. Modified division, Kurt Vigeant of Oxford, MA claimed his
first victory of the season. Shane Michalski and Chad Gaudiosi earned podium
finishes over Leo Oliveira and Richie Ferreira. Roger Larson, Jr. came home
a disappointing seventh but could still celebrate as he won the inaugural
championship for the division.
Jim Dolan, Chris Wenzel, Andy Seuss and Peter Daniels were the top four
finishers in the True Value Modified Racing Series at Lee Raceway on Sunday
afternoon in the Storace Construction 100, the final race of 2005. It was
the best finish of the season for both Dolan and Wenzel. Dale Evonsion and
Jimmy Kuhn were battling for the lead when contact was made and both were
sent to the rear as a result. Kirk Alexander won his 2nd consecutive
championship beating out Peter Daniels for the title. Bob Polverari made his
final appearance and finished ninth. Polverari stated that he would retire
following this years edition of the North – Shootout.
The Arute family that operates the Stafford Motorspeedway announced that
Stafford would become the first weekly short track to install the SAFER
barrier wall protection. Steel and foam construction will reduce the impact
of crashes better than concrete. The speedway was looking to cover a 140
foot stretch of wall in turn 1 with the barrier. It's an area where a pit
entrance creates a stretch with a longer run than normal up to the wall and
has long been pointed to by drivers as needing some sort of redesign.
Upstate New York driver Tony Jankowiac lost his life there and Canadian
Denis Giroux suffered long term injuries after hitting the wall in that
area. The Safer Barrier project had been in the works at Stafford since
February and hopefully when the 2006 season begins it will become a reality.
Carl Edwards’ victory in the Nextel Cup Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at
Atlanta helped him make up some ground in the chase for the championship,
moving him from fifth place into a tie for fourth with Ryan Newman. Both
trail leader Tony Stewart by 107 points with three races left. Edwards, who
barely held off veteran Jimmie Johnson for his first Cup victory on the
Georgia track in March, had a dominating car through the second half of
Sunday's 325-lap race. Edwards lost a lead of more than 6 seconds when the
last of nine caution flags was waved for debris on lap 283. But he was able
to regain control and pulled away for his third victory of the season,
beating four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon by 2.713 seconds, half the front
straight-away on the 1.5-mile oval. The Busch Series had a weekend off.
Five years ago in 2010, The NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Series headed for the Thompson Speedway for the World
Series of Speedway Racing. Fifteen different divisions of race cars and race
trucks were in competition in qualifying races and feature events. The
weekend began on a wet note as speedway officials were forced to cancel
Fridays practice and qualifying because of wet conditions.
Under dry but blustery skies Bobby Santos took a big step toward earning
his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title as he captured the Coors Light
Pole Award in qualifying Saturday for the season finale Sunoco World Series
of Speedway Racing. Santos, driving the Garbarino Mystic Missile, turned a
fast lap of 18.709 seconds (120.263 mph) in Saturday’s qualifying session to
earn his fourth pole of the season. There were 37 Modifieds on hand for the
season ending event that carried a posted purse of $85,567. Ted Christopher
was second fastest with a lap of 18.846 (119.389). Eric Berndt was third at
18.885 (119.142). Mike Stefanik and Rowan Pennink rounded out the top five.
Santos won the redraw for the pole starting position. Berndt drew the
outside pole with Christopher drawing third and Stefanik, fourth. Among the
surprise entries was recently crowned NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
Champion Burt Myers who qualified 14th.
Doug Coby almost stole the show but in the end Ted Christopher won the
battle and Bobby Santos III won the war. Santos, who spent most of the day
dealing with a mis-handling car, came home sixth to put the finishing
touches on his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. while Ted
Christopher continued his mastery of Thompson International Speedway.
Christopher became the first driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn
three straight victories in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, the
traditional season-ending event For Santos, the Whelen Modified Tour title
came in his first full-time season competing in the division. He gave car
owner Bob Garbarino his third championship in four years. Garbarino, an
owner in the division since 1961, did not win a championship until driver
Donny Lia won it in 2007 and 2009.
Santos entered the event with a 37-point lead over Stefanik, and was able
to keep the nine-time NASCAR champion in his sights throughout the race.
Stefanik finished fourth behind Christopher, Ryan Preece and Doug Coby.
Santos finished 27 points ahead of Stefanik in the final standings, and 78
ahead of Christopher. Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five in
points. Silk was also fifth in Sunday’s race and led an event-high 45 laps.
Eric Beers finished seventh in Sunday's race, followed by Eric Goodale,
Rowan Pennink and James Civali. Burt Myers, who wrapped up the NASCAR Whelen
Southern Modified championship Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway,
Outside pole sitter Eric Berndt took the lead at the drop of the green as
the Santos mount appeared to have a problem. Berndt, who had a real stout
engine took on the role of the rabbit. The first of seven cautions flew on
lap 8 when Wade Cole spun into the wall in turn three. The race was red
flagged as officials attempted to determine if someone was leaking oil. On
the restart, Santos faded to third while Ted Christopher moved in on
Berndt's tail. The second caution flew onlap 31 when Renee Dupuis, Gary
McDonald and Cole spun between turns three and four. The field restarted on
lap34 with Christopher taking the lead in turn two. Christopher led laps
35-37 when Berndt took it back in turn3 on lap 37. Berndt held the lead for
a lap before getting loose in turn two on lap 38 when he again gave way to
Christopher. While Berndt was trying to regain control Mike Stefanik moved
into the second spot. The third caution flew on lap 46 when Glen Tyler spun
in turn three. During the caution period Stefanik, Ron Silk, Santos and Todd
Szegedy pitted for tires and adjustments.
The green flew on lap 51 with Christopher leading Berndt and Rowan
Pennink. Berndt retook the lead on lap 53. The fourth caution flew on lap 60
when Jimmy Blewett found himself planted in the wall between turns one and
two. Christopher took the lead on the restart with Pennink, Eddie Flemke and
Doug Coby in tow. By lap 71 Ron Silk had moved into second and was taking
aim on Christopher's lead. At the half way mark Christopher continued to
lead and was followed by Silk, Stefanik, Pennink, Coby and Ryan Preece. With
fresher tires, Silk took the lead in turn three on lap 76. The fifth caution
flew on lap 81 when James Civali spun on the front chute. During the caution
Christopher along with Preece and Pennink pitted for tires. When the green
was displayed on lap 86, Silk continued to lead and was followed by Stefanik
and Coby. Coby, who came out of no where appeared to be shot out of a cannon
as he took the lead on lap 121 from Silk. By lap 125 Coby had a three second
lead but by then Christopher had fought his way to the fron and was closing
in for the kill. Coby led until lap 146 when Christopher passed him for the
lead and eventual win in turn 4. Two late cautions for spins by Todd Szegedy
and Gary McDonald did not effect the outcome of the race.
In other Sunday action at Thompson, Chris Perley of Rowley, MA, was super
as he took home the victory in the International Supermodified Association
(ISMA) feature event. Russ Wood of Pelham, NH, was crowned the 2010 ISMA
champion. In Northeastern Midget Association action, Randy Cabral of
Plymouth, MA won the war winning the feature event but it was Russ Stoehr of
Bridgewater, MA winning the 2010 championship. In Thompson regular divisions
it was Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, taking down the victory in the Sunoco
Modifieds, Rick Fuller of Auburn, MA, in the Super Late Models and Tommy
O’Sullivan Late Models.
Modified Racing Series point leader Jon McKennedy, captured the 100-lap
Twin State Fall Challenge feature race at the Twin State Speedway in
Claremont, NH. The win was McKennedy’s fourth of the season, his eleventh
career victory, and his second win at the New Hampshire speedway. McKennedy
widened his point lead by 61 points over Dwight Jarvis. McKennedy was
followed by Steve Masse, Matt Hirschman, Les Hinckley III, and Joey Jarvis.
Sixth through tenth were, Ken Barry, Chris Pasteryak, Jacob Dore, Eddy
Spiers, and Dwight Jarvis.
The sixth season of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour concluded
with an inaugural visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the running of
the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on Thursday, Oct. 16. The race was contested on
the quarter-mile track located along the front stretch of the 1.5-mile
speedway located in Concord, N.C. Burt Myers led all but one lap in winning
the UNOH Southern Slam 150 and, in the process, bypassed three title
contenders to claim the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship.
Myers entered the final race fourth in points and trailing first-place James
Civali by 41.
Civali, however, was involved in several racing incidents and finished
16th. One of the wrecks also included second-place Andy Seuss, who wound up
18th. Earlier in the day, Seuss had won the Coors Light Pole Award. With
less than 20 to go, third-place L.W. Miller got caught up in a fracas with
Civali while running in third. He was able to make it back to finish sixth.
That left the door wide open for Myers, who took home the championship by 31
points over Miller (1,609-1,578). Civali finished with 1,575, followed by
Seuss with 1,566 and John Smith with 1,555. Earlier in the year, Myers also
won his fourth track title in the Modified Division at Bowman-Gray Stadium
in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series North
Myers qualified seventh but drew the pole when the 10 fastest qualifiers
redrew for starting position. The only lap he didn't lead was 137 when Tim
Brown nosed ahead on the restart, but Myers quickly moved back into the
lead. Brown finished second in the race, while Zach Brewer posted his best
finish of the season in third. John Smith was fourth and Daniel Hemric
Jamie McMurray's career came full circle at Charlotte Motor Speedway on
Saturday night, where he returned to Victory Lane eight years after grabbing
his first win with the team that gave him a second chance. McMurray passed
Kyle Busch on a restart with 21 laps to go and cruised to the Sprint Cup win
in his Chevrolet. In the Nationwide Series 300, Brad Keselowski led three
times for 46 laps and despite battling Martin Truex, Jr. tooth and nail
through the final quarter of the race, led the final 35 laps for his first
victory on a 1.5-mile race track and the 11th triumph of his career before
one of the smallest Charlotte Motor Speedway Nationwide Series crowds in
The New England Auto Racer’s Hall of Fame announced their “Class of
2011.” Drivers Punky Caron, Dan Meservey, Russ Nutting and Jerry Dolliver,
car owners Rich & Ray Garuti, Stanley “Skip” Matczak, Vic Kangas, and
Speedway Scene publisher Val Lesieur would be inducted at the 14th annual
induction ceremony slated to take place on January 30th at the LaRenaissance
Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT
The Mohegan Sun Casino announced that they would not return as the
primary sponsor of former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Matt Kobyluck
for the 2011 racing season. Gambling revenues had been way off this past
year. Mohegan Sun as well as Foxwoods had trimmed their work force in recent
It looked like the late Richie Evans and his many fans would have to wait
another year as NASCAR announced the second class of inductees into the
NASCAR Hall of Fame. That class consists of: David Pearson, Bobby Allison,
Lee Petty, Ned Jarrett and Bud Moore. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel,
consisting of members of the Nominating Committee along with 31 others
representing all facets of the NASCAR industry, met in a closed session in
Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2011. The announcement
was made in the Great Hall inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced it
will race with E15 fuel in its three national touring series in 2011. Sunoco
Green E15 is a 15 percent ethanol blend using American-made ethanol from
corn grown by American farmers. NASCAR has tested the new blend excessively
and claims race engines make more horsepower. The marine industry has seen
the opposite effects of alcohol blended gas. When stored for any period of
time alcohol blended gas dissolves deposits in older tanks and fuel lines
plus the blended fuel attracts moisture when stored any length of time.
Last year, 2014, This week was an
important one for race fans, competitors, track operators and sanctioning
bodies. First and foremost the race fans and competitors of the Waterford
Speedbowl were watching and waiting to see the results of the foreclosure
auction scheduled for high noon on Saturday, Oct 18. The 26.7 acre Speedbowl
property had an appraised value of $2.8 million, buildings and land
included, according to the Waterford assessor’s office. Waterford Town tax
collector Mark Burnham said property owner Terry Eames is current on his
property taxes, which total roughly $56,000 a year.
Bruce Beamer, a petroleum company owner from Glastonbury, Ct was the high
bidder. The 60 year old gentleman bid $1.75 Million and once all the papers
are signed will be the new owner of the property.
Court records listed nine creditors in the current foreclosure suit
against Eames, which was filed by Rocco Arbitell and Peter Borrelli in 2008.
In April, Eames estimated his debt to creditors at $1.9 million.
Much to the relief of many who felt the Speedbowl would be devoured by a
wrecking ball Beamer stated the racetrack would continue to operate more
than likely with the current management in place.
The new owner of the Speedbowl would not be allowed to expand the
facility or add any new uses to the property according to Mark Wujtewicz,
planner in the Waterford Department of Planning and Development.
Arbetell was spectating with his wife at the Thompson Speedway last
Sunday. He said that he is relieved that it's over, at least for himself and
Borelli. They will get their money, the other parties in the foreclosure
will not. He, along with his almost partner feel that the new owner should
clean house at the shoreline oval and put a new management team in place.
NASCAR had been getting some bad press as has the Valenti Modified
Series. NASCAR had been accused of running the Whelen Modified Tour Series
into the ground with its high fees and competition cost to members. Car
counts at recent events had been sub-par. At the recent Fall Final at
Stafford Speedway promoter Mark Arute told Area Auto Racing News that there
would be a Spring Sizzler and Fall Final at the track but made no mention of
the June or August Modified tour events that have been annually run at the
track. In all fairness, Stafford had not released their 2015 schedule and
Arute's non-mention of the events could just have been an oversight.
Evidently somebody at NASCAR got off their butt and made phone calls to
entice car owners to bring their cars to Thompson for the World Series as
there were 36 on hand including a large contingent of Riverhead competitors.
Despite the bad press generated by Tommy Barrett cheerleaders over his
recent DQ at Lee, Barrett, who said he was all done with the Valenti
Modifieds, was part of the 32 VMRS cars on hand at the World Series. Steve
Masse started on the pole and led every lap of the 75-lap Valenti Modified
Racing Series feature. Woody Pitkat finished second with Keith Rocco, third.
Richard Savary, Rowan Pennink, and Ted Christopher rounded out the top six.
Barrett finished out of the top ten.
Rain, on and off made for a long day on Saturday at the World Series.
Following practice for all divisions rain postponed Whelen Modified Tour
Series qualifying procedures initially for two hours, but it got underway
just after 5 p.m. with eleven cars taking time. A heavy rain cell delayed
the conclusion until 7:30 p.m. when the rest of the field was able to
complete qualifying laps. Woody Pitkat put down a lap of 119.579 mph for the
pole, which was his second this season and second at Thompson Speedway
Motorsports Park. Ryan Preece was second fastest with Tommy Barrett, Jr.,
third. Rounding out the top five qualifiers were Doug Coby and Donny Lia.
In addition to Modified tour qualifying and the Valenti Modified Racing
Series there were five other divisions racing to just about midnight at the
track. Taking wins were Nick Anderson in the Monster Mini Stocks, Wayne
Coury in the Outlaw Sportsman, Toby Wells in the Northeast Mini Stocks, Phil
Lausier in the Pro Four Modifieds and George Rego in the Outlaw Street
The sun poked out on Sunday and the remaining features of World Series
weekend at Thompson ran uninterrupted. The Whelen Mod Tour championship was
Doug Coby's to lose. He came close as Ted Christopher hounded him most of
the way just waiting for a mis-cue or a mechanical problem. All the drama
ended on lap 139 as Christopher suffered severe front end damage after a
tangle with Troy Talman and Tommy Barrett Jr. Christopher drove away from
the wreck only to park his car behind pit road. Following a restart on lap
143 Coby's luck ran out one lap later as his car suffered a flat right front
tire. To add salt to the wound Coby was penalized by NASCAR for bringing out
the caution, thus taking away any chance of a top finish. Coby was kept calm
by crew chief Phil Moran who reminded him that no matter what, the
championship was his.
Ryan Preece who had a so-so season was on cruise control as he won the
150 lapper going away. The event which carried a purse of $85,336 and paid
$6,000 to win saw Woody Pitkat jump out from his pole starting position at
the drop of the green. Pitkat led until lap 8 when Preece passed him in turn
three. Pitkat's day came to an end on lap16 when he ran over the wheel of
the lapped car of Gary MacDonald. Preece led until he pitted during a
caution period on lap 71 for fresh tires. Tommy Barrett led the restart on
lap 75 with Preece in the sixth position. Barrett slowed on lap 76 allowing
Rowan Pennink to take the lead. Running on a rail, Preece wasted little time
as he re-took the lead on lap 78 in turn four and never looked back. Pennink
faded to third in the closing laps as Don Lia powered the Mystic Missile
home in the runner-up finishing position. Ron Silk finished fourth with
Justin Bonsignore, fifth. Sixth through tenth were Matt Hirschman, Spencer
Davis, Eric Goodale, Max Zachem and Timmy Solomito. Coby ended up 17th and
Christopher, 20th. At the conclusion of the event Preece announced that he
was leaving his Flamingo Motorsports ride and would be taking over the seat
in the Eddie Partridge entry.
In a good news announcement the Thompson Motorsports Park management
announced the track would host four Whelen Modified Tour Series events in
2015, up one from 2014.
In other Sunday action at Thompson, Woody Pitkat started third and
avoided a multi-car wreck at the start to grab the lead on the restart
before driving on to the win in the Sunoco Modified 30-lap feature event.
Over aggressive driving spelled disaster for several cars at the start of
the Sunoco Modified feature. Four cars were taken off the front stretch on a
hook after two cars made contact and sent one into the inside retaining
wall. Ten cars were collected in the mayhem. Max Zachem and Woody Pitkat
went side-by-side into turn one for the restart, but it was Pitkat with the
advantage coming out of turn two. Cam McDermott settled into third with
pressure from Keith Rocco. Pitkat commanded the first half of the race even
as he maneuvered through lapped traffic. Rowan Pennink’s day, however,
wasn’t going as well as he got black flagged from track officials at lap 16.
McDermott remained a solid contender in second, running a mere five car
lengths behind Pitkat. Zachem and Rocco rounded out the top four. The long
green flag run only helped Pitkat, who drove on to the checkered flag
unchallenged after McDermott got hung up by a lapped car in the closing laps
of the race. Todd Ceravolo, rounded out the top five. Ryan Preece, who drove
through the race opening wreck, finished sixth and wrapped up the Sunoco
Modified Track championship.
Charlie Rose was the Late Model winner, Derek Ramstrom, the Granite State
Pro Stock winner, Randy Cabral the NEMA Midget winner, Chris Perley, the
ISMA Supermodified winner, Chris Turbush, the New England Truck Series
winner and Corey Hutchings, the Limited Sportsman winner.
Matt Kenseth gave Brad Keselowski the final push he needed to win the NASCAR
Sprint Cup GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, guaranteeing Keselowski a
spot in the third round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The NASCAR
Nationwide Series enjoyed a week off.
That’s about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, 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.
Looking Back Archive
Smith / Looking Back A Bit