The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - August 29, 2017

  The Tri-Track Open Modified Series ran its third of four race series events at the Star Speedway in Epping, NH on Wednesday, August 23. With a some what light field of 21 cars, Matt Hirschman turned in a dominating performance in NorthEast Race Cars Tri-Track Open Modified Series action to score the victory in the Flamingo Motorsports 100. Hirschman and Ryan Preece qualified through heat races on the front row, Series managing partner Wayne Darling posed a challenge to the duo - start tail of the field, win and pocket an extra $1,000 cash. Series point leader Hirschman opted to remain on the front row. Preece started scratch on the field. Starting on the pole, Hirschman led every lap en route to the victory. Preece started shotgun on the field, got as high as fourth before tangling with Andy Jankowiak and Brian Robie on lap 59. Preece ended up 14th at the finish.
  Following Hirschman at the checker was Rowan Pennink and Tommy Barrett. During the cool down lap Barrett drilled Pennink who, in turn spun to the infield. Pennink retaliated and slammed Barrett. As a result race officials penalized both drivers. Pennink was placed in 16th spot and Barrett was placed in 17th.
  When all was said and done, Les Hinckley was awarded the runner-up spot and Jon McKennedy ended up third. Woody Pitkat and Jon Kievman rounded out the top five.
  The final race of the 2017 TTOMS season is scheduled for Saturday, October 28 at Seekonk Speedway with the running of the Haunted Hundred.

  In racing action at the Stafford Motor Speedway Ted Christopher took down his fifth and second consecutive win of the 2017 season in the SK Modified® feature, Paul Arute was a first time Late Model feature winner, Cory DiMatteo won a thrilling duel with Brett Gonyaw to nail down his fourth SK Light feature win of 2017, Bryan Narducci was the Limited Late Model feature winner for the 2nd consecutive race and fourth overall in 2017, Johnny Walker scored his third consecutive and fifth overall DARE Stock feature win of 2017, and Tyler Chapman was the winner of the special Wild Thing Karts Junior Outlaws feature event.
  Ted Christopher is the Stafford's all-time winningest driver with 129 feature wins including 107 SK Modified victories. In the early going of the SK Modified 40 lapper, Keith Rocco took the lead after a lap 14 restart with Christopher moving into second. The caution came back out with 16 laps complete for a spin in turns 3+4 by Matt Galko. Rocco and Christopher resumed their duel for the lead on the restart but it only lasted one lap before the caution came back out for a spin in turn 2 by Tom Bolles.
  On the restart, Cam McDermott touched wheels with another car which sent him up and over the car in front of him and several cars got into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution back out before a lap could be completed.
Still on lap 16, Rocco took the lead with Christopher right on his bumper. Christopher made a move to Rocco’s inside in turns 3+4 on lap-18 to move into the lead. Todd Owen was up to third and he pulled alongside Rocco for second on lap-19. Owen got clear on lap-21 and Tony Membrino, Jr. was now fourth with Williams in fifth. Gervais spun coming out of turn 4 and Reen came to a stop on the frontstretch infield after taking an off track excursion to bring the caution out with 23 laps complete.
  Christopher took the lead on the restart with Owen right on his back bumper. Rocco was third with Membrino in fourth and Williams in fifth. Owen was all over Christopher’s back bumper and he nearly made a pass coming out of turn 4 on lap-28 but he had to back out of his move which gave Rocco all the room he needed to take second from Owen.
  With 10 laps to go, Christopher led Rocco, Owen, Membrino, Williams, Galko, Rowan Pennink, and Chase Dowling. Owen went around Rocco to take over second on lap-33 and then Rocco’s car dropped off the pace and he limped back to pit road.
  Christopher and Owen now had a comfortable margin back to Williams in third, who now had Dowling in fourth and Pennink in fifth behind him. Christopher led Owen to the checkered flag to pick up his fifth win of the 2017 season and second consecutive. Williams finished third with Dowling and Pennink rounding out the top-5.
  Third generation driver Bryan Narducci led Cliff Saunders to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive Limited Late Model feature win of the 2017 season. Alexandra Fearn finished third. Narducci is the Great Grandson of NEAR Hall of Famer Ron Narducci and former SK Modified Champion Jerry Pearl.

  In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series racing Doug Coby ended a long dry spell as he dominated the second half of the Seekonk 150 at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday night and captured his first win of the 2017 season. He took the lead from Matt Hirschman on lap 63 and led all but one lap in the final stages en route to the win. Hirschman was the pole sitter and led the first 62 laps in what appeared to be a cake walk. Hirschman had the dominate car for about 50 laps before his handling started to go away. Coby, running second, tried numerous times to pass before finally making contact with the leader who ended up spinning. A video instant re-play indicated that Coby had the line going into turn three when Hirschman dropped down to block and was hit by Coby. Evidently NASCAR saw it the same way as they took no action. Coby went on to take the win over Anthony Nocella and Ryan Preece. Matt Swanson and Dave Sapienza rounded out the top five. Justin Bonsignore finished sixth with Hirschman, Max Zachem, Gary McDonald and Wade Cole rounding out the top ten.
  The Seekonk 150 will air on NBCSN Saturday Sept. 2 at 9:30 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track this coming Saturday night, Sept. 2, at the Oswego Speedway in New York.

  At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco keeps rolling along as he continues to build on his record setting feature win total. Rocco recorded one win in the SK Modifieds at the shoreline oval bringing his track win total to 142 wins, 85 of those in an SK Modified. It wasn’t easy to say the least as he had a very trying day. Because of the fact that his team just finished up making the final repairs to his SK Modified from last week’s mishap, he arrived late to the speedway. Then after making contact with the #07 Stephen Masse Rocco had to head pit side for repairs to the right front of the #88. Rocco finally caught leader Todd Owens in the #81 Cooker’s Construction sponsored machine and battled side by side for the lead. As the caution flag appeared to slow do the event, it now set up a Green-white-checkered with Rocco sitting on the outside of Owens. The race again would be slowed three more times and on the fifth Green-white-checkered restart it looked like it would be all Owns as he grabbed the lead and was holding Rocco at bay. Rocco in his Wheeler’s Auto sponsored #88 got around Owens exiting turn four and grabbed the win in the 35-lap feature. With the win, Rocco was able to grab the point lead away from Kyle James. “We had a good car, Todd runs very tough here but we are here to win,” comment Rocco in victory lane. Rounding out the top-5 were Rocco, Owens, Matt Galko, Matt Gallo and Paul Buzel.
  Other winners at the shoreline oval were in the 30-lap Late Model feature it was Berlin, CT’s Jason Palmer taking down the win in his return to The Speedbowl, 64-year old Nicholas Pappacoda took the win in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature, Ryan Waterman had the dominate car for the 26-lap Limited Sportsman feature, in the Mr. Rooter Truck Series / NLWS Trucks 35-lap feature it was father vs son right down to the finish. Allen Coates nudged the #81 of Chris and that little nudge was enough to put the elder Coates in victory lane and In the NEMA Lites it was Ben Mikitarian taking down the 25-lap feature.
  Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, with a standing room only crowd looking on Saturday night Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead double dipped once again as the hard charging driver topped the 40-lap NASCAR Modified feature as well the 15-lap Figure Eight event and in the process padded his championship lead in both divisions. Rogers 4th NASCAR Modified win of the year gives him a 35-point bulge over John Fortin Sr. of Holtsville while his 7th Figure Eight triumph of ’17 leaves him with a 22-point cushion over Tom Ferrara of Patchogue as the season enters it’s final month of competition.
  Down in the south land, Burt Myers won at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. Myers, the winner of the Bowman Gray Stadium Modified Division championship this season, won his third consecutive Southern Modified Racing Series race Saturday night in the 152-lap feature at Caraway Speedway. It was his fifth-career series victory in the 19 events held to date.
  The day started for Myers with a third-place run in qualifying, yielding a starting spot on the inside of the second row. He raced at the front of the field early and on lap 116 made the move past second-starting Bobby Measmer of Concord for the lead. Jeremy Gerstner of Wesley Chapel, Fla., finished second with Measmer third. Jason Myers, Burt’s brother, was fourth with Tim Brown fifth.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were up for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.93 to 34.93 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.32 to 20.80 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.20 to 1.95. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 1.17 to 55,22 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.30 to 18.56 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.32 to 30.07. The auto manufacturers were all on the positive side. Leading the way was Toyota, which went up 1.11 to 112.84. General Motors went up 0.77 to 35.60 and Ford went up 0.36 to 0.36 to 10.82. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 2.16 to 149.65 and Lowes went up 0.11 to 73.75. With the exception of Coca-Cola which dropped 2.03 to 202.64 and Target which dropped 0.66 to 55.01, the big team’s sponsors stocks were positive. McDonalds went up 1.06 to 158.82, Aarons Rentals went up 0.67 to 44.19 and Fedex went up 1.76 to 207.76.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, August 31

6:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBC Sports Net

  Friday, September 1
12:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Darlington practice, NBCSN
1:00 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Darlington practice, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NXS Darlington final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, MENCS Darlington final practice, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Southern Speed: Legend of Darlington, NBCSN
9:00 PM, NXS Darlington final practice, re-air, NBCSN
10:00 PM, MENCS Darlington final practice, re-air, NBCSN
11:30 PM, NASCAR Southern Speed: Legend of Darlington, NBCSN

  Saturday, September 2
12:30 AM, NASCAR Scan All Special, NBCSN
2:30 AM, NASCAR Scan All Special, NBCSN
12:00 PM, NXS Darlington qualifying, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:30 PM, MENCS Darlington qualifying, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NXS Darlington race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN
9:30 PM, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Seekonk, NBC Sports Net
10:30 PM, MENCS Darlington qualifying re-air, NBCSN

  Sunday, September 3
12:00 AM, MENCS Darlington final practice re-air, NBCSN
10:30 AM, NASCAR Southern Speed: Legend of Darllington, NBCSN
11:30 AM, MENCS Darlington qualifying re-air, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NCWTS Canada race, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM,MENCS Darlington race, NBCSN
10:30 PM, MENCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
11:00 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, 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 29, 2017

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