The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - April 12, 2016

  After a week’s delay because of weather the 43rd Annual Icebreaker at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway got the green under sunny skies. There were 31 NASCAR Tour Modifieds on hand and 25 Sunoco (SK type Modifieds).
  Ryan Preece won the opening round 30 lap Sunoco Modified (SK) event. Ted Christopher led from the start until lap 3. Preece took the lead following a restart on lap 4 and never looked back. Christopher dogged Preece until lap 16 when he pitted with a flat right front tire. Rowan Pennink took over the runner-up spot until five to go was displayed. Keith Rocco moved into the second spot and held it over the final circuits and finished second. Pennink finished third and was followed by Woody Pitkat and Ron Williams.
  In Whelen Modified Tour qualifying Timmy Solomito, the defending IceBreaker winner, took the pole position with a 18.865 second run on the 5/8 mile oval. Second fastest was Chase Dowling. Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink and Craig Lutz rounded out the top five.
  Solomito led the start. Dowling failed to come up to speed and triggered a mee-lee going into turn one. As a result Max Zachem ended up in the grass and as the field slowed Preece and Coby got together with Coby ending up in the wall with severe damage which resulted in him being double hooked by wreckers to the pit area. The red was displayed to clean up the mess. Both Preece and Coby were done for the day.
Solomito led the restart but was overhauled by Pennink on lap21. By the half way mark Pennink had opened up a big lead but that all came to an end on lap 78 when Shawn Solomito in the Wayne Anderson entry hit the wall a ton. There were 16 cars on the lead lap at the time. Solomito faded to the bottom of the top ten by lap 100. Moving into contention were Bobby Santos, Ron Silk and Max Zachem.
  Jimmy Blewett spun out on lap 122 which brought out the caution which saw the leaders including Pennink, pit for tires. Pennink restarted in seventh spot on lap 132. Ron Silk led the restart.followed by Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore. Santos, who was fifth, rocketed into second on lap135 and took the lead one lap later. Pennink moved into second. Silk spun around in turn two on lap 135 as does Pitkat and Blewett. After riding around under caution, NASCAR threw the red on lap 141 which would set up a dash to the finish.
  On the restart another jumble occurred in turn one which eliminated among others, Silk and Andy Seuss. Another red was displayed. With six laps to the finish the field restarted with the field going green on lap. The final green flew on lap 147. Santos led going into turn one but by the time the field reached turn three Pennink had shot into the lead with Timmy Solomito and Max Zachem following while Santos faded to fourth. Patrick Emerling rounded out the top five. Sixth thru tenth were Eric Goodale, Matt Swanson, Woody Pitkat, Justin Bonsignore and Todd Szegedy

  In Southern Modified Racing Series action at the Southern National Speedway in North Carolina Brandon Ward made it three in a row in SMRS action as he held off Burt Myers for the win. Jeremy Gerstner finished third with Bobby Measmer, fourth and Danny Bohn, fifth. Twelve cars were on hand.

  (WTNH) TV 8 in New Haven, CT reported that two of the victims from the Danbury sex trafficking ring are suing the suspects in a civil case.
According to a release from the attorneys representing the victims, their clients are suing both Bruce Bemer, of Glastonbury, and William Trefzger, of Westport, who were recently arrested for their involvement in a sex trafficking ring that targeted young men with mental disabilities for racketeering and sexual trafficking. Bemer is a well-known business man who owns two businesses in the state, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford and Bemer Petroleum in Glastonbury.
  The victims are looking to receive financial justice after Bemer and Trefzger allegedly forced them into drug addiction, drug use, and prostitution over the course of many years. According to court arrest warrants, Bemer admitted to police that he repeatedly coerced sex from victims. Bemer and Trefzger would promise access to vintage cars and aircraft to coerce the victims with mental illnesses into partaking in sexual acts. Following his arraignment, Bemer was released on a $500,000 bond.
  The victims have filed a motion to freeze the assets of the defendants up to $10,000,000. If the motion is approved, the defendants will not be able to sell or transfer their assets until the civil case is settled.
In the mean time, Speedbowl race officials have resigned their positions as well as NASCAR pulling their sanctions for both weekly racing and the Whelen Modified Tour Series. Scott Gregory, who has been running the day to day operations at the Speedbowl told Auto Racing trade paper Area Auto Racing News stated “I’m doing everything on my power to keep the race track as a race track in 2017”. The racing season is scheduled to begin on Friday, May 5 with a practice session followed by the beginning of the actual racing season on Sunday, May 7.
  Dennis Perry, a driver, owner, fan and his family have supported the Speedbowl thru three generations of family involvement, summed up what many are feeling about all that has happed at and to the shoreline oval. “Ok I'm done I have kept quiet thru all this Speedbowl drama but I can't sit here and watch supposed fans and supporters share all the negativity. I know there are things happening that could save the bowl. Sharing every negative post and crying the sky is falling helps no one. Over the last week I don't know how many people I have had to explain to that the bowl is not the enemy. The acts were done by a man not a location. I don't condone in anyway what was done but I also don't condone the tearing apart of a historic site that has been a part of so many people's lives. I have serious issues with the way NASCAR pulled out and the way Inex did too. These are both companies that exist due to the support of racers. I understand distancing yourself from Bruce and in doing so the Speedbowl but what have they offered the racers who paid the 2017 fees and what support have they shown those same racers.”
  He added, “Unfortunately the bowl is now the face of this scandal do to the media and the people who claim to be supporters who helped share it. I have faith a buyer is in the wings and the old girl doesn't need her so called family of racers showing a lack of support for the facility”.

  On the speedway stock market scene this week two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on the positive side. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.95 to 37.90 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.54 to 19.38 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.15 to 2.05. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 0.92 to 45.85 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.82 to 35.18 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.17 to 36.35. The car manufacturers were all negative. Ford dropped 0.41 to 11.23, General Motors dropped 0.65 to 33.71 and Toyota dropped 2.71 to 105.91. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.30 to 147.13 while Lowes dropped 0.07 to 82.14. In the area of big team sponsor’s stocks, McDonalds went up 0.35 to 129.96, Aarons Rentals went up 0.65 to 30.39 and Fedex went up 0.50 to 195.65 while Coca-Cola dropped 6.81 to 199.21 and Target dropped 1.95 to 53.24.

  On the tube this week:

  Wednesday, April 12

5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

  Thursday, April 13
5:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

  Friday, April 14 NASCAR's top three divisions are off to celebrate Easter with their families.

  Sunday, April 16
5:30 PM, Classic NASCAR - 1997 Daytona 500, FS1

   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: April 12, 2017

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