Champ Trail -
October 24, 2017
The New London-Waterford Speedbowl closed out their racing season last week
with BowlStrong-Fall Finale. Third generation driver Bryan Narducci of
Colchester continues to dazzle the competition as he won the 25-lap SK Light
Modified feature on Saturday night. Other Saturday winners were Anthony
Flannery in the Late Models and Joe Squeglia in the Granite State Pro Stocks
to name a few. Over 155 cars in 12 divisions were in competition.
There were 22 Modified Touring Series cars on hand Sunday for their
season finale. Three qualifying heats were run. Heat winners were Jon
McKennedy, Chris Pasteryak and Les Hinckley. Sk Modified heat winners were
Keith Rocco, Dylan Izzo, and Todd Owen.
Keith Rocco accomplished what other competitors did not when he recorded
a grand-slam in track championships in one year. Stafford, New
London-Waterford (SK Modified and Late Model) and Thompson. Bob Potter and
Ted Christopher recorded championships at all three but never all in the
same year. Bugsy Stevens was a champion at both Stafford and Thompson as
well as at Seekonk but never ran weekly at Waterford.
For Rocco it was touch and go until the final moments at Waterford. Kyle
James won the 80 lap contest while Rocco first suffered a flat tire and then
got collected in a wreck. When all was said and done, Rocco was credited
with a 16th place finish and a one point advantage to secure the
championship. James ended up second in the point chase.
After spending seven laps in the pits for repairs, Rocco rejoined the
track with nine laps to go. Four laps later a weld on the chassis in the
left front, broke, causing the left front tire to lay over and smoke. Rocco
was shown the black flag with four laps remaining. He pulled off three laps
Following a period of heated discussion, the scorers at first awarded the
championship to James by two points over Rocco. But immediately objections
came up from the Rocco crew, who made their way to the frontstretch and
contended that Rocco had made up enough positions from cars that had fallen
out of the race before pulling off to win the championship.
Roccoís track win total is 149 wins, 89 of those in an SK Modified. Rocco
also has 49 career Late Model victories, four Limited Sportsman division
wins, three Valenti Modified Racing Series victories, two Truck Series wins,
one Pro Four Modified win and one NEMA Lite win during his career at the
shoreline oval. His career total sits at 251 wins which also include
victories at Thompson and 45 at Stafford Speedway.
In the 125 Modified Touring Series championship event Rowan Pennink took
the win and the top prize of $5,000 while Eric Goodale who finished second
won the series championship that brought with it a $10,000 check. Chris
Pasteryak finished third with Tommy Barrett and Jon McKennedy rounding out
the top five.
In racing action below the Mason-Dixon line Danny Bohn won the Southern
Modified Racing Series 75 at the Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North
Carolina. Burt Myers finished second with Jeremy Gerstner, third. Jason
Myers and Tim Brown rounded out the top five.
Matt Hirschman is now $10,000 richer after earning his first victory at
Wyoming County Intíl Speedway in Perry, NY during the third running of
American Racer 100 for tour-type modifieds on Saturday.
A restart with around 40-laps remaining would see Jimmy Zacharias and
Chuck Hossfeld on the front row, but it was Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman
moving into second and third, behind Jimmy Zacharias. Austin Kochenash and
Mike Leaty got together on the front straightaway to bring out the red flag
on lap 63. Both Kochenash and Leaty climbed out of their racecars under
their own power. Eric Beers would take the lead on the restart as Matt
Hirschman moved into second, shifting Zacharias back to third. Hirschman
would look underneath Beers for the lead on lap 66 and would take the lead
on lap 67. Andy Jankowiak would move into the top five on lap 70 after
passing Barber. Tony Hanbury came to a stop in turn four to bring out the
caution on lap 89.
Hirschman would lead the final 11 circuits to grab the victory in the
American Racer 100. Beers finished second, followed by Jimmy Zacharias in
All roads lead to the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts this Saturday for
the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS). Officials have announced a
bounty on Matt Hirschman, in the upcoming Haunted Hundred at Seekonk.
Hirschman is undefeated in TTOMS competition thus far in 2017; scoring
victories in the lucrative Open Wheel Wednesday and SBM IV events at Seekonk
and Star Speedways respectively as well as the most recent event at Star.
Any competitor who dethrones Hirschman will receive a $1,500 bonus (should
Hirschman also be on the lead lap). If Hirschman out-duels the competition
yet again, he will take home the $1,500 bonus.
A total of 34 teams have filed entries thus far for the Haunted Hundred.
Pit gates will open at 8am on Saturday, October 28. Grandstands will open at
11am with racing starting at 1pm. Pit admission is $35. Adult general
admission is $25 and children 12 and under are admitted free. Also on the
racing card is a 50-lap main event for Late Models and a 30 lapper for the
INEX Legends. Building on a Seekonk Speedway Halloween tradition, prizes
will be awarded for the best costumes. Children and adults alike are invited
to participate in the costume contest. The rain date for the Haunted Hundred
is Sunday, October 29.
It looks like we will be seeing a lot more of Burt Meyers in the north
next year as he has stated that he will be driving the Ideal Racing No. 11
in selected NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races in 2018. Meyers also stated
that he will be running in the November Myrtle Beach 400.
A tip of the hat to Paula and Chad Bouchard of Ron Bouchard Auto Stores
who visited the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster recently to
present the club with a new van they donated to the club.
The donation was made through the Bouchard family's RB Racing Charity. The
van, a 2017 Nissan NV worth $35,000, can seat up to 12 children and will be
used to transport club members to and from events.
NEAR Hall of Famer Billy Harman was feted at a surprise birthday party
held in his honor last Sunday at the American Legion in Niantic, CT. Among
those who celebrated with him was Ray Miller, Bob Potter, Dennis Zimmerman,
Bugsy Stevens,Dickie Doo Ceravolo, George Summers and Richard Brooks.
Just when you thought there was no room for any additional Modified
racing series along comes Joe Lewandoski, former Riverside Park Speedway
general manager, who announced there would be a touring SK Light Modified
division for the 2018 racing season in the Northeast. Details will be
announced on Sunday, Nov 19 at Hoosier Tire East in Manchester, CT.
Lewandoski did elaborate that there would be no conflictions with any weekly
tracks as this series would run on Wednesdays and Sundays from April thru
On the speedway stock market scene last week, two of the three speedway
stocks closed out the week on a positive note. The International Speedway
Corporation went up 0.45 to 39.75 and Speedway Motorsports went up 0.25 to
23.09 while Dover Entertainment dropped 0.25 to 1.95. NASCAR cup sponsor
Monster Beverage went up 0.63 to 56.46. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy
Transfer) dropped 0.75 to 17.54 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up
0.93 to 33.94. Two of the three car manufacturers had positive results. Ford
went up 0.05 to 12.10 and Toyota went up 0.33 to 123.71 while General Motors
dropped 0.27 to 45.61. In the home improvement sector Lowes dropped 2.29 to
80.04 and Home Depot dropped 1.04 to 163.93. In big team sponsorís stocks,
Coca-Cola dropped 0.46 to 234.84 while McDonalds went up 0.93 to 166.30,
Target went up 0.91 to 61.76, Aarons Rentals went up 0.64 to 42.74 and Fedex
went up 2.85 to 225.07.
On the tube this week:
Thursday, October 26
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
6:00 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
6:30 PM, NASCAR Special, NBCSN
Friday, October 27
2:00 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
1:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Martinsville practice, FS1
2:00 PM, NASCAR Masters of the Clock: the Legend of Martinsville, FS1
3:00 PM, NCWTS Martinsville final practice, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
Saturday, October 28
9:30 AM, Classic NASCAR: 1997 Daytona 500, FS1
10:00 AM, NCWTS Martinsville qualifying, FS1
11:30 AM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville practice, NBC Sports
12:30 PM, NCWTS SetUp, FS1
1:00 PM, NCWTS Martinsville race, FS1
4:00 PM, MENCS Martinsville final practice, NBCSN
Sunday, October 29
9:30 AM, NCWTS Martinsville race re-air, FS1
11:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:00 PM, MENCS Martinsville qualifying, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
3:00 PM, MENCS Martinsville race, NBCSN
7:00 PM, MENCS Post Race show, NBCSN
7:30 PM, NASCAR Victory Lap, NBCSN
Monday, October 30
12:00 AM, NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Martinsville race re-air, 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.
Smith / Champ Trail