November 20, 2015
Last year, 2014, The Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey closed
out the 2014 racing season in the northeast with their annual Turkey Derby.
Included in the many divisions in competition were Tour Type Modifieds and
Wall SK type Modifieds. The Wall SK types qualified on Friday under blustery
but sunny skies. There were 32 SK types on hand for qualifying runs. During
the Friday morning's drivers meeting it was said that there would not be a
consolation race for the Wall/SK Modified division. There were 24 cars that
made the field from time trials plus a Promoter's Choice provisional and a
Fan's Choice provisional.
Setting fast time was New York invader Matt Hirschman who toured the high
banked oval that was fashioned after the now gone Rhode Island Lonsdale
Arena in 12.199 seconds. Second fastest was Eric Mauriello who turned a
12.21. Third was Jimmy Blewett with a 12.229. Rounding out the top five were
Steven Reed and Shannon Mongeau. Among those who missed the cut were Danny
Cates, 26th fastest, Dennis Perry, 27th fastest, former NASCAR Cup star
Jeremy Mayfield, 28th fastest, Max Zachem, 30th fastest and Mike Benevides,
31st fastest. Dennis Perry was awarded the promoter's choice spot and Jeremy
Mayfield received the fan's choice provisional.
A brisk 30degree temp & lite snow didn't stop race fans from attending
Turkey Derby 41as the Jersey shore speed plant was packed to the rafters.
Thirty nine Tour Type Modifieds were on hand for qualifying. Setting fast
time for the pole in the Turkey Derby was Dave Sapienza who toured the
Jersey oval in 11.937 seconds. Second fastest for the outside pole was Eric
Mauriello at 11.951 seconds.Third was Danny Bohn who was followed by Jimmy
Blewett and Matt Hirschman.
Eric Mauriello won his first Turkey Derby 150 over Les Hinckley, Jimmy
Blewett, Anthony Sesely, and Shaun Carrig. Mauriello, who is a Wall regular,
took the lead with 50 laps to go and never looked back at the action behind
him. From the drop of the green, Sapienza led the first 98 laps before
heading to pit road under caution and surrendering the lead to Mauriello.
Mauriello would end up being passed by Bowman Gray Stadium champion Danny
Bohn, but he took the lead back a few laps later and was able to stay in the
lead to the finish. New Englander and Valenti Modified Racing regular Les
Hinckley ended up second with Jimmy Blewett, third. Anthony Sesley and Doug
Coby rounded out the top five.
Jimmy Blewett won the SK 100 over Jonathan Mandato in what turned out to
be a slam-bang event. Shannon Mongeau finished third with Matt Hirschman,
fourth. Michael Gervais rounded out the top five. Dennis Perry was headed
for a possible top five when a fire erupted with seven laps remaining
cutting his day short.
Big news came from the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in
Connecticut and the American Canadian Tour (ACT), based in Waterbury, VT who
agreed that the 2015 ACT Championship Late Model stock car season would
crown the ACT Champion at the famed Thompson World Series event on Saturday,
October 17, 2015. ACT would join over 15 other divisions at TSMP in a
year-end celebration for both fendered and open wheeled race cars.
The Thompson track also announced a few changes to their racing rules for
2015 most notably awarding points for heat finishing positions.
Drivers will earn points based on finishing position in both the heat and
It looked like the "Battle at the Beach at the Daytona International
Speedway was a dead issue and is now history. In a NASCAR Statement from
George Silbermann, NASCAR Vice President, Regional and Touring Series,
Regarding UNOH Battle At The Beach, ďThe UNOH Battle at the Beach provided
NASCARís stars of tomorrow an excellent opportunity to participate at The
World Center of Racing, but it isnít feasible to continue the event given
the progress with the DAYTONA Rising project.
Congratulations went out to Mr and Mrs Gary DeSarro who became
Grandparents. The late Fred DeSarro would have been a proud Great
Grandfather as Linda DeSarro-Palardy is a proud Great Grandmother. Just
think, Fred DeSarro Sr would have been pouring down the Scope to celebrate
being a Great-Great Grandfather.
On a sad note, Don Flynn a noted Modified driver and car owner passed
away, Flynn's signature No. 25's were always in contention for Best
Appearing. Flynn owned Standard Auto Body and Bradley Air Parking. He was a
former amateur boxer who had a tussle with Leo Cleary in the first turn at
Stafford with both of them out of their cars and slugging it out on the
Flynn passed away Thursday Morning, November 27th, after an extended
series of illnesses.
Thatís 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.
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