The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - August 8, 2016

  The Stafford Speedway played host to the Whelen Modified Tour Series along with their weekly venue of Friday night racing. Ryan Preece, who just confirmed he will compete in the NASCAR Infinity Series VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 23, won the WMT 150 after starting last because officials determined that his car was too low, won the Modified Tour event while Stephen Kopcik, scored his very first career SK Modified® feature victory, Michael Bennett won the Late Model feature, Dan Wesson, the SK Light feature, Al Saunders, the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson took the checkered flag first in the DARE Stock feature but he was found to have an illegal timing chain in his engine and he was disqualified from the feature, making Johnny Walker the winner.
  There were 28 cars on hand. Preece took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn't look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30. Although it looked like Coby was en route to winning for the 11th time at Stafford after leading 135 laps, a few late caution flags allowed the rest of the field to close to his back bumper. After a multiple car crash on the frontstretch on lap 144, Preece got his chance at Coby, lining up to his outside on a restart with just two laps remaining. When the green flag flew, Preece used the outside lane and powered around Coby going into turn one. He never looked back. Justin Bonsignore finished third. Timmy Solomito took the championship points lead with a fourth-place finish, while Jon McKennedy completed the top five.
  Rob Summers was sixth, followed by Dave Sapienza, Craig Lutz, Gary Putnam and Matt Swanson. Rowan Pennink, who held the points lead coming into the event, finished 17th and is seven points behind Solomito. Preece is fifth in points, one behind Eric Goodale and Bonsignore and 26 back of Solomito.
  There were 9 caution flags, which consumed 43 laps. The first caution flew on lap 36 when Ted Christopher slowed in turn two. Max Zachem got into the back of Christopher after Christopher slowed. He was running just inside the top five when he slowed. The second caution flew on lap 45 for Wade Cole who took a trip into the wall in turn one. The third caution came on lap 60 for Walter Sutcliffe and Gary McDonald who came together in turn four. The fourth caution flew on lap 100 for Shawn Solomito who spun in turn two. The fifth caution ended up a red flag as a crash on the backstretch collected Rowan Pennink, Max Zachem and Calvin Carroll. Yellow No. 6 was for debris in turn one. Ronnie Williams and Brendon Bock spun in turn three on lap 126 for caution 7. Caution No. 8 was for Bobby Santos who spun in turn two. The ninth and final caution came on lap 144 when Andrew Krause, Ronnie Williams and Woody Pitkat got collected when Eric Goodale didn’t go on a restart and was clobbered by Rowan Pennink.
  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action this coming Wednesday night, Aug 9,with the running of the Bud 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

  Keith Rocco continues to rule the roost as he took down the 35-lap SK Feature for the fourth time in 2017, and for the 142nd time in his career. It was Todd Owen’s grabbing the lead as the green flag flew. It wasn’t long for Teddy Christopher to power his way to the lead. With Christopher pacing the field it was Rocco working around the high side to move into second. The Berlin, CT driver used the inside groove to move past Christopher and had to hold off a quick charging Kyle James and cruised to the checkered flag for the win. Rounding out the top five was Rocco, Kyle James, Christopher, Owens and Dylan Izzo.
  Other winners at the Connecticut shoreline oval were: Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series (35-laps) Joshua Stringer, NLWS Trucks (Combination Race) Joshua Stringer, Limited Sportsman (25-laps) Chris Meyer, Pro 4 Modifieds (25-laps) Rob Richard, SK Lite Modifieds (25-laps) Andrew Molleur and Mini Stock (25-laps) Wayne Burroughs.
  Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead notched his third NASCAR Whelen All American Series Modified win of 2017 Saturday night in the Elvis Night 50 and in the process took over the championship lead by 1 point over John Fortin Sr. 403 to 402. The triumph was the 46th of Tom's NASCAR Modified career moving him to just 4 wins behind Jim Malone Sr. on the all time win list, Malone won 50 times at the historic quarter mile oval.
  Dillon Steuer was runner-up while Howie Brode crossed the line third. Chris Young and Dave Brigati were in the hunt all race long and rounded out the top five at the finish.
Down in the south land, at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem NC on Saturday night, Danny Bohn was looking for his first win of the season at the North Carolina track, but Jason Myers, Burt Myers, John Smith, and Brandon Ward had other ideas on their minds. The four drivers each had a shot at up to $12,000 via the Fan’s Challenge, which was a challenge accepted by all. While they contested their battle, it was James Civali and Bohn who fought it out for the race win, with Bohn ultimately taking his first Bowman Gray checkered flag of the season
  Civali started first via the redraw and held the position for the first 78 laps, only to have it taken after Bohn got the perfect restart, jumping out front and leading them back to the line. After that, it was all Bohn, who lived up to his “Bad to the Bohn” moniker, fending off a late charge by Civali and winning for the first time of the season at “The Madhouse.”
  Bohn started in the ninth position, but made his way through the field by the time his golden opportunity came up, and he made the most of it. He worked his way around Civali, but not without controversy, as Bohn appeared to have possibly jumped the start while making contact with Civali.
While Bohn and Civali were slugging it out for the lead, Smith, Jason Myers, and Burt Myers were racing to get into the top four to win the Fan’s Challenge after Brandon Ward retired early.
  Jason and Burt Myers both made their ways through the field rather methodically, while John Smith was on the hunt from the word go. In the end, all three drivers found their way to the top ten, and then top five, and battled it out for the $12,000 Fan’s Challenge. When all was said and done, Civali settled second, followed by John Smith in third, Jason Myers in fourth, and Joe Ryan Osborne completing the top five. Point leader Burt Myers finished sixth.
  Because of the fact that Jason Myers and John Smith finished in the top four, both drivers split the $12,000 prize evenly, with $6,000 to Jason Myers and $6,000 to John Smith.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks had positive results for the week. Leading the way was Speedway Motorsports, which went up 0.68 to 21.91. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.15 to 35.75 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.05. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage dropped 0.70 to 52.71 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.41 to 20.17 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.31 to 31.20. With the exception of Toyota, which went op 1.38 to 113.64, the car manufacturers had a negative week. Ford dropped 0.22 to 10.95 and General Motors dropped 0.50 to 35.27. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot shot up 4.67 to 152.75 and Lowes went up 1.89 to 78.37. In big team sponsors stocks, McDonalds dropped 2.03 to 153.82, Coca-Cola dropped 1.74 to 238.80, Aarons Rentals dropped 1.16 to 46.38 and Fedex went up 1.28 to 209.32. Target, which went up 1.47 to 57.58 announced that they will leave NASCAR at the end of this season after 16 years with Chip Ganassi Racing.
  Target had served as the primary sponsor for Cup driver Kyle Larson since his debut in 2013. The 24-year-old Larson has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in NASCAR and has two wins and nine top-10 finishes this season.
  His success wasn't enough to keep Target interested in racing. The Minneapolis-based retail giant left Ganassi and IndyCar at the end of last season following a 27-year run.
  Target says it will focus it sports sponsorship on soccer. Target and Ganassi partnered for 11 championships and four Indianapolis 500 victories in IndyCar.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, August 10

5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR The Decades - The 1970s, NBCSN

  Friday, August 11
11:30 AM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Michigan practice, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Michigan practice, Fox Sports 1
3:00 PM, NCWTS Michigan final practice, FS1
5:00 PM, MENCS Michigan qualifying, NBCSN

  Saturday, August 12
3:30 AM, NCWTS Michigan practice re-air, FS1
4:30 AM, NCWTS Michigan final practice re-air, FS1
8:30 AM, MENCS Michigan practice, CNBC
9:30 AM, NCWTS Michigan qualifying, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Mid-Ohio qualifying, CNBC
1:00 PM, NCWTS Michigan race, FS1
3:30 PM, NXS Mid-Ohio race, NBCSN

  Sunday, August 13
12:30 AM, NCWTS Michigan race re-air, FS2
9:00 AM, NCWTS Michigan race re-air, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:30 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
2:30 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:00 PM, MENCS Michigan race, NBCSN
6:00 PM, MENCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

  Monday, August 14
2:30 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
7:30 AM, 9:00 AM, NCWTS Michigan race re-air, FS1
3:00 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Michigan 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.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: August 8, 2017

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