Champ Trail -
August 1, 2016
The big news last week was the victory scored by Ryan Preece in NASCAR’s
Xfinity Series event at the Iowa Speedway in a top car owned by Joe Gibbs
Racing. The 26-year-old Preece survived a green-white-checkered finish.
Preece, running the second of a two-race deal with the powerhouse JGR team,
started from the pole and held off Kyle Benjamin on three restarts in the
final 17 laps crossed the start-finish line less than a car-length ahead of
Benjamin. The 19-year-old Benjamin was a career-best second, followed by
Brian Scott, Brennan Poole and rookie Cole Custer. Preece is the grandson of
legendary Modified car owner Bobby Judkins. Judkins built Modifieds carried
Eddie Flemke, Ronnie Bouchard and Gene Bergin to hundreds of wins.
The Stafford Speedway held their Friday night program on a cool but dry
night. Taking down feature wins on the night were Chase Dowling for a
division leading fourth time this season in the SK Modified® feature, Tyler
Leary was a first time career winner in the Late Model feature, Marcello
Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Robert Bloxsom, III in the Limited Late
Model feature, Trace Beyer in the DARE Stock feature, and Nick Hadden was
the winner of the special Wild Thing Karts Senior Champs feature
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Dowling took the lead from Matt
Galko on lap-35 with a pass in turn 2. Todd Owen was third with Keith Rocco
in fourth and Cam McDermott in fifth with 5 laps to go. Once he got out
front, Dowling began to pull away from Galko and he scored his division
leading fourth win of the 2017 season. Owen finished third with Rocco and
McDermott rounding out the top-5.
The Whelen Modified Tour Series will run a 150 lapper this coming Friday
night at Stafford.
Bobby Santos, who won the recent Whelen Modified Tour Series event at
Loudon grabbed his second consecutive USAC Silver Crown Series victory last
Friday night at Toledo Speedway in Ohio, winning the Hemelgarn Racing/Super
Fitness Rollie Beale Classic.
The Tri-Track Open competition Modified Series was at the Star Speedway
in Epping, NH for the – SBM 125. Thirty-two Modifieds were on hand. Matt
Hirschman of Northampton, PA, continued his dominance of the SBM series of
Modified events at Star Speedway but also of 2017 Tri-Track Open Modified
Series (TTOMS) with his win on Saturday night. This victory was a repeat for
Hirschman in the SBM events and his second straight TTOMS win this season.
The victory was his fourth in the six-year history of the event.
Based on a draw of qualified drivers Steve Masse started on the pole and
led until pitting on lap 73, during a caution. Hirschman, who had started
14th also pitted and after restarting in fourth spot, took the lead on lap
Over the final stages of the event he held off challenges from a host of
notable drivers to score the victory. Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley,
PA, finished second with Josh Cantara of Saco, ME, third. Anthony Nocella of
Woburn, MA, and Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT, rounded out the top five.
Sixth thru tenth included Tommy Barrett, Steve Masse, Brian Robie, Jon
Kievman and Max Zachem.
The victory netted Hirschman nearly $7,000 in purse and bonuses. Heat
race wins went to Todd Annarummo, Max Zachem, Carl Medeiros, Jr., and Woody
Pitkat. The B-Main win went to Dillon Steuer.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of event founder Kevin Rice, a host of
specialty awards were presented on the evening as well
Kyle James has been knocking on the door of the SK Modified division at
the New London-Waterford Speedbowl since the start of the season. Last
Saturday night he kicked it in. James, of Ashaway, R.I., scored his first
victory of the season in the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Ted Christopher
finished in the runner-up spot with Keith Rocco, third.
In other action at the Connecticut shoreline oval Anthony Flannery was
the winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Dana DiMatteo won the SK Light
feature, Charles Canfield was the Mini-Stock winner, Chris Meyer was the
Limited Sportsman winner and Jon Puleo won the legends feature.
Gary Knight (Exit Realty Modified Touring Series Owner) and The
Speedbowl’s General Manager George Whitney both confirmed that a second date
has been added to the 2017 schedule. The event has been added to the Finale
2017 schedule on October 20th- 22nd. With the rain date scheduled for
October 29, 2017.
The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series will crown their 2017 Champion
along with the $10,000 that comes along with “The Sunoco Quest for the Cup”.
It was also announced that the purse structure will feature a $5,000 to win
for the 125-lap event.
Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway with a near
capacity crowd on hand on Saturday night, David Schneider of Northport took
the lead on lap 5 of the 40-lap NASCAR Modified feature and drove off to
score his first career Whelen All American Series victory. Among the
interested onlookers was NASCAR CEO Brian France and his family who were
vacationing in the famed Hamptons on the south fork of Long Island. France
was beyond impressed with the improvements at Riverhead Raceway made by
owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz since taking over the historic
oval at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on
Saturday night, in the twin 25-lap Modified races, Lee Jeffreys won his
first race since Aug. 8, defeating points leader Burt Myers, and six-time
champion Junior Miller won the night’s second race. Jeffreys dedicated the
win to his father, Robert, who died during the offseason.
Miller, who is now 66, picked up his 74th career win and first since June
7, 2014, by holding off Joe Ryan Osborne. Miller is now one ahead of Myers
for second place in career victories. Tim Brown is first with 83.
Get well wishes to Gary DeSarro who took a nasty fall onto a boat. Gary,
the oldest son of the late Fred DeSarro, suffered a couple vertebrae
fractures and cracked ribs.
On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway
stocks ended the week on a positive note. Speedway Motorsports went up 2.68
to 21.23 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.85 to 35.60
while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.10 to 2.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster
Beverage went up 0.83 to 53.41 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) went up 0.63 to 20.58 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped
2.89 to 32.51. The domestic car manufacturers had a down week while Toyota
went up 2.95 to 112.26. Ford dropped 0.36 to 11.17 and General Motors
dropped 0.30 to 35.77. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up
1.43 to 148.08 and Lowes went up 2.64 to 76.48. In big team sponsors stocks,
McDonalds went up 1.93 to 155.85, Coca-Cola dropped 0.22 to 240.54, Target
went up 1.27 to 56.11, Aarons Rentals went up 7.76 to 47.54 and Fedex
dropped 4.47 to 208.04.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, August 3
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Scan All Special, NBCSN
Friday, August 4
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
Saturday, August 5
10:00 AM, Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series Watkins Glen practice, NBCSN
11:00 AM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Watkins Glen qualifying, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
12:30 PM, MENCS Watkins Glen final practice, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NXS Watkins Glen race, NBCSN
4:30 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN
Sunday, August 6
12:00 PM, MENCS Watkins Glen qualifying, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
3:00 PM, MENCS Watkins Glen race, NBCSN
6:00 PM, MENCS Post race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
10:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
Monday, August 7
12:00 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Watkins Glen race re-air, 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.
Smith / Champ Trail