The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - September 12, 2017

  In racing action at the Stafford Motor Speedway taking down weekly feature wins Friday night were Ted Christopher in the SK Modifiedģ feature, Glen Reen in the Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn in the Ltd. Late Model feature, and Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature.
  Ted Christopher came to Stafford last Friday with a distinct disadvantage. Because of his behavior on Sept 4 Christopher was denied any pre-race practice and forced to start last in his qualifying heat. Never to be called a slacker and not to be denied Christopher started dead last in the 22 car starting field. A true Modified racer, Christopher focused his efforts on his charge to the front, taking the lead from Chase Dowling on lap 30 and never looked back. Dowling hung on to finish second with Rowan Pennink, third. Eric Berndt and Stephen Kopcik rounded out the top five.
  Christopher is the Stafford's all-time winningest driver with 131 feature wins including 109 SK Modified victories. His over-all lifetime total shows a whopping 373 wins. At 59 years of age he shows no means of slowing down in the near future.
  Speaking of records, Keith Rocco added to his as he won his seventh SK Modified win of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Rocco brought his track win total to 145wins, 87 of those in an SK Modified. The win also took Rocco over the top to a career overall total of 245 wins which also include victories at Thompson and 43 at Stafford Speedway. Todd   Owen was second and Kyle James was third.
Starting fifth on the grid, Rocco wasted no time by grabbing the lead away from Todd Owen on lap-3. Ted Christopher and Rob Janovic Jr. rounded out the top five.
  Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. won the 125-lap Exit Realty Modified Touring Series event. Woody Pitkat of Stafford was second and Ted Christopher of Plainville third. Richard Savary and Keith Rocco rounded out the top five.
  Other winners at the shoreline oval were Wayne Burroughs Jr. who recorded his third victory of the season in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature and Joey Ternullo who won the 25-lap Legends feature.

  Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, twin 50s were run for the Modifieds with Kyle Soper and John Fortin taking the wins. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes concludes a two week break as they head to the Riverhead Raceway this coming Saturday, Sept. 16.
The Southern Modified Racing Series (SMRS) ran Twin-50s at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina. Tim Brown and Burt Myers scored the victories.

  Closing out the weekend on Sunday the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park saluted the fans with the annual For the Fans Night and 20/20 Sprint Sunoco Modified event. The event featured giveaways and fan appreciation activities as the spotlight on the track was put squarely on the local drivers and divisions of Thompson with one final chance to gain points and a win before the season finale in October.
  The main event was actually a series of three races, all featuring the drivers of the Sunoco Modified division looking for points, wins, and a big payday. The Sunoco 20/20 Sprint features two points paying races and a final 10-lap shootout with the ultimate goal of every driver to finish as high as possible, thus collecting the least amount of points in the process, with the lowest score after the three events earning one driver a payout and the glory of being the overall 20/20 Sprint winner. Three different victors were crowned over the course of the evening, starting with two of the divisionís biggest stars each taking home a trophy for winning one of the 20-lap features.
  The first feature event was an important one for a local racing legend, Ted Christopher, who started in the top three and worked his way through traffic and restarts to claim his 99th career victory. Christopher looked to make the evening a big one for his career as he came within two positions of taking win number 100 in the second 20-lap segment of the 20/20 Sprint, but it was not meant to be. Despite working his way through traffic following the inversion of the starting order based on the first featureís finish, Christopher made contact with the backstretch wall on a restart which eventually led to hard contact between Christopher and Matt Gallo taking both drivers out of the remainder of the event. Hoping to defend his 2016 title, Keith Rocco charged during the second segment and took his own victory.
  While Christopher and Rocco drove home with trophyís they were not consistent enough to take the overall 20/20 Sprint win however. That right went to Todd Owen, who sits second in the points behind Keith Rocco and turned a third place finish in segment two and a pair of second place finishes in the first and final segments into a big payday. Owen finished second to Troy Talman in the final ten-lap sprint, securing the 20/20 Sprint title to close out the evening.
  The Late Models kicked off the evening with Ray Parent looking to build on his points lead and defending champion William Wall working to make up ground, but it was a new name that found his way into victory lane at the conclusion of the 25-lap feature. In his first race back after a work injury sidelined his racing venture Ryan Morgan took the checkered flag for his first win of the season and first win at Thompson.
  The Limited Sportsman 20-lap feature saw the best of the division duke it out for a victory with the championship still up for grabs. Points leader Shawn Monahan saw early success, but it was his closest competition in the points Scott Sundeen who drove his way to the front enduring three way battles and an early race caution to take home the trophy.
  In the Mini Stocks a former champion returned to his winning ways, and just in time too as the season draws to a close. It has not been an easy year for 2015 division champion Dave Trudeau, but he recovered well and finally found his way back to victory lane for the first time since the 2017 Icebreaker weekend in April. Finally in the Lite Modifieds Glenn Griswold made his way to victory lane.
  Thompson has one final weekend in store for race fans as the biggest event of the season, the World Series of Racing, takes place from October 13 through the 15 with three nights of championship races to decide track champions and the new titleholder for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series Tour.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks ended on positive notes. Dover Entertainment went up 0.15 to 2.30 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.12 to 21.22 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.25 to 34.65. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 0.24 to 56.32 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.76 to 18.55 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.23 to 30.31. Two of the three car builders had positive returns for the week. Ford went up 0.01 to 11.36 and Toyota went up 1.94 to 114.97 while General Motors dropped 0.36 to 37.00. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 8.88 to 159.66 and Lowes went up 3.91 to 78.56. In big team sponsorís stocks, Target went up 1.05 to 57.27 while McDonalds dropped 0.10 to 159.71, Coca-Cola dropped 0.66 to 212.29, Aarons Rentals dropped 2.62 to 41.88 and Fedex dropped 4.57 to 210.48.

  On the tube this week:

  Friday, September 15

11:00 AM, NASCAR Special, NBC Sports Net
12:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
12:30 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Chicagoland practice, NBCSN
2:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Chicagoland practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS Chicagoland practice, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chicagoland qualifying, Fox Sports 1
6:30 PM, MENCS Chicagoland qualifying, NBCSN
8:00 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
8:30 PM, NCWTS Chicagoland race, FS1

  Saturday, September 16
5:30 AM, NCWTS Chicagoland race re-air, FS1
11:30 AM, MENCS Chicagoland practice, CNBC
12:30 PM, NXS Chicagoland qualifying, NBCSN
1:30 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:00 PM, MENCS Chicagoland final practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NXS Chicagoland race, NBCN
6:00 PM, NXS Post Race Show, NBCSN
9:30 PM, MENCS Chicagoland qualifying re-air, NBCSN

  Sunday, September 17
11:30 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR America Sunday, NBCSN
2:30 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:00 PM, MENCS Chicagoland race, NBCSN
6:00 PM, MENCS Post Race Show, NBCSN
10:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1

  Monday, September 18
3:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Chicagoland race re-air, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

   Thatís 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: September 12, 2017

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