Tuesday August 12, 2008

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

Ryan Preece is strapped into the No. 3 and ready to make his qualifying run. (Photo Credit: Howie Hodge/NASCAR)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season reached its midway point when the New England Dodge Dealers 150 was run at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night. Jimmy Blewett, who was running third on the final lap got a gift from NASCAR when apparent winner Ryan Preece was stripped of the victory and placed last on the lead lap. Preece passed Todd Szegedy for the lead on a lap 86 restart and led until a lap 149 restart when Szegedy went by him on the green flag before the last lap confrontation. Szegedy admitted that he roughed up the leader in order to make the pass. Shortly after taking the lead Preece gave Szegedy a slight tap as they entered turn one which caused Szegedy to spin in turn two. Evidently NASCAR director Chad

Little felt that Preece needed to be penalized as he made the call that stripped him of the win. Ed Flemke ended up in second spot and was followed by Doug Coby who has, along with Woody Pitkat, replaced James Civali in the Don King No. 28, Matt Hirschman, Eric Beers, Kevin Goodale, Mike Stefanik, Danny Sammons, Carl Pasteryak and Charlie Pasteryak. Chuck Hossfeld finished 15th and holds an 86 point lead over Ted Christopher.

There were eight caution laps for 46 laps and seven lead changes among five drivers. Among those who failed to qualify were Tom Abele, Jr., Jake Marosz, Reggie Ruggiero, Renee Dupuis, Gary McDonald and Frank Ruocco, who attempted qualifying after crashing in practice.

Doug Coby held off Blewett over the closing laps to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature. Corey Hutchings started on the pole and led every lap on the way to victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature. It was the first victory of the season for Hutchings. Ryan Posocco passed Woody Pitkat for second place. During the running of the event Steven Reed hung a job on Keith Rocco. No action was taken by the track.

In the 40-lap SK Modified feature event, it was Coby taking down his first feature win of the 2008 season with a dominating drive. Zach Sylvester took the early race lead and he lead the first 8 laps before Coby took over the lead on lap-9. Jimmy Blewett followed Coby past Sylvester and moved into second place. The race was slowed by caution with 17 laps complete with Coby still out front. The final 23 laps of the race ran green to checkered with Coby dominating the action. Blewett and Chris Jones put on a spirited battle for second in the closing laps, which allowed Coby to pull away. Blewett came home second behind Coby, with Jones, Frank Ruocco, and Wade Mattesen rounding out the top-5.

Thursday night Thunder Racing at Thompson was cancelled due to rain. The Whelen Modified Tour Series heads for the Thompson Speedway for the New England Dodge Dealers-Budweiser 150 this coming Thursday, Aug 14. Grandstands will open at 2 PM with qualifying slated for 5:30 PM. Thompson’s ‘Super Six’ racing divisions will open the night with their feature races and the “Tour” race is scheduled for an 8:45 PM start.

At the Waterford Speedbowl, Tyler Chadwick held off Ron Yuhus Jr. over the final 14 laps to claim the 35-lap SK-Modified feature Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl. It was the second win in three weeks for Chadwick. The win earned Chadwick a spot in SK-Modified segment of the North-South Shootout in October. Jason Palmer won the 50-lap National Qualifier Legends event. Tony Macrino won the 35-lap Late Model feature. Ronnie Oldham Jr. won both h Sportsman 20 lap features. Louie Bellisle ruled the Mini Stock 20 lapper.

Chadwick assumed the lead when Rob Janovic Jr. and Doug Coby, running first and second, made contact in turn two. Coby went sent to rear for rough riding putting Chadwick and Yuhas on the front row. The event went non-stop to the finish. Chadwick admitting to using as much track as possible to thwart the determined Yuhas. Keith Rocco was in the picture as well actually finishing beside Yuhas in third. Matt Gallo was fourth while Colby stormed back to fifth. An epic crash on lap nine which included a rollover by Jeffrey Paul eliminated Shawn Monahan and took the fight out of point leader Dennis who limped home ninth.

In TV land this week televised action begins on the Speed Channel on Thursday at 3:00am with a replay of the Aug 9 ARCA RE/MAX Series Toyota ARCA 150 that was run at the Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, TN. At noon Speed replays last Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Centurion Boats at the Glen that was run atWatkins Glen International Speedway in New York. Speed goes live on Friday at noon with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at the Michigan Intl. Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. Nationwide Series practice at Michigan follows at 1:30. Live coverage continues at 3:30 with Sprint Cup qualifying at Michigan. Another practice session for the Nationwide Series follows at 5:00. At 7:00pm, Trackside at Michigan finishes up the day. The NASCAR Nationwide Series has their qualifying session at 10:30am on Saturday. NASCAR Live follows at noon. At 12:30 the Sprint Cup cars begin a 2-1/2 hour practice session. At 3:00 the action switches to ESPN2 for the Nationwide Series pre-race show that will lead in to a 3:45 start of the Carfax 250 at Michigan Intl. NASCAR New England, which shows the weekly events run at the Stafford Motor Speedway airs on NESN at 4:00pm. Sunday’s viewing begins at 10:00am on ESPN2 with NASCAR Now. At 11:00 the action switches to the Speed
Channel for a two hour NASCAR RaceDay.  The action moves to ESPN at

Dennis Gada was involved in the wreck that left Jeffery Paul on his roof. (Keith Cyr Photo)

The 'epic" wreck that left Jeffery Paul on his roof.
(Keith Cyr Photos)

1:00 for another hour of race previews which will lead in to the green flag of the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan Intl. Speedway, The Speed Channel wraps up the weekend on Sunday night with The Speed Report at 7:00pm, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00pm and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week all three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Leading the way was Speedway Motorsports, which went up 2.05 to 21.26. The International Speedway Corporation went up 1.40 to 38.20 and Dover Downs went up 0.31 to 4.75. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.63 to 8.72 while second division sponsor Nationwide took a huge jump as they went up 4.34 to 51.15. NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil jumped 4.89 to 45.36. Goodyear was also on a roll as they went up 2.13 to 21.33. NASCAR team sponsor Dupont went up 2.00 to 45.31 while Target Department stores rose 4.06 to 48.74 and Aarons Rentals went up 0.97 to 28.03. Coca-Cola went up 0.82 to 33.57. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 2.47 to 26.37 and Lowes went up 2.48 to 22.78. The parcel sector also had a positive ending. Fedex went up 0.82 to 88.16 and UPS went up 3.44 to 65.70. One of the chosen few on the down side was the World Racing Group (DIRT Motorsports), which dropped 0.03 to 0.10.

That’s it for this week from 40 Clark St. Westerly RI 02891 . Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and other publications for over 3 decades.

Web Design Copyright © 2006 & - All Rights Reserved
Opinions expressed in Phil Smith's "Champ Trail" do not necessarily reflect the opinions of and the contents are the sole responsibility and opinions of the author.
For permission to reproduce any part of"Champ Trail" contact Phil Smith @
The "Champ Trail" is Copyright © 2006-2008 Phil Smith