Tuesday December 6, 2011

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

Chris Pasteryak was honored this past Saturday night when the Valenti Modified Racing Series held it’s 9thAnnual Awards Banquet at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in West Springfield, MA. Pasteryak was crowned series champion for the second time. His first title was in 2008. The 31-year-old second generation driver won three races in 2011. He opened the season with a victory at Waterford, CT., in April, followed it with a win at Lee, NH., in July, and a popular victory at Stafford, CT., in September. Pasteryak drove to nine top-five finishes.

Second through fifteenth in the final standings were Les Hinckley, Rowan Pennink, Mike Holdridge, Norman Wrenn, Louie Mechalides, Rob Goodenough, Dwight Jarvis, Joe Doucette, Max Zachem, Tim Jordan, Jon McKennedy, Jacob Dore, Ken Barry and Todd Annarummo.

The annual “Achievement” awards, chosen by series officials, were also presented. Joe Doucette, of Framingham, MA., was presented the “SPAFCO Most Improved Driver” award. Jack Bateman received the “Tough Luck” award. Max Zachem the “Sportsmanship”Award, and “Mechanic of the Year” was presented to Butch Shea, of the CMR (#06) team. Timmy Jordan received the “Mountainside Graphix Rookie of the Year” award, Gary Casella, the “Dedication to Racing” award, and this year’s recipient of the “Above and Beyond” award was presented in memory of John Hoyt, to the entire MRS Staff. The prestigious “7-11” award, for professionalism on and off the track was presented to Mike Holdridge by New England Hall of Fame driver Bob Polverari. A 15-race schedule was announced for 2012 with the first event scheduled for March 31, April 1, at the Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT.

The annual Modified Racing Series Car-Owners & Drivers winter meeting will be held this coming Sunday, December 11, at the Stafford Springs Motor Speedway Fairgrounds Banquet Hall. The meeting start time is 11:00 AM.

The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will be Friday, Dec. 9. The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Banquet – celebrating the champions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (East and West), the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and the NASCAR Mexico Series presented by Toyota – will be held the following night, Saturday, Dec. 10. Mike Joy and Dick Berggren, both of NASCAR on FOX and NASCAR on SPEED, will once again return to serve as co-hosts for both banquets.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series will return to the Waterford Speedbowl in 2012. It will be the first Modified Tour event at the shoreline oval since 2006. The date of the event is set for Saturday night, June 23 and will join the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly race program that evening. The Speedbowl’s three-eighths mile asphalt oval has hosted a total of seventeen previous series events, held 1985-1987, 1989, then again from 2000-2006. Thirteen different drivers have logged wins at the track over the series history.

In TV land Race viewing for the week on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at noon with the Australian V8 Supercars, Norton 360 Sandown Challenge that was held at the Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, Australia. On Friday, Dec 9 at 4:00pm Speed replays the recent 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony that was held in Las Vegas. The only other racing on the tube will be the 2011 Goodwood Revival, vintage races on the historic Goodwood circuit in Chichester, England.

Word comes from Bones Bourcier that Richie Evans' hour-long Hall of Fame biography will air Friday, December 16th at 8 p.m. (Eastern) on SPEED.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week it was all positive as the racing related stocks had a banner week. All three speedway stocks ended the week on the plus side. Leading the pack was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 2.54 to 24.47. Speedway Motorsports went up 1.77 to 14.25 and Dover Motorsports went up 0.08 to 1.18. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.22 to 2.60 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 2.74 to 39.00 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 2.22 to 14.15. The car builders were also positive. General Motors went up 0.94 to 21.28 while Ford went up 1.15 to 10.90 and Toyota went up 4.13 to 66.24. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 3.47 to 39.94 and Lowes went up 1.63 to 24.31. The major team sponsors were also jumping. Dupont went up 3.30 to 47.13 while Coca-Cola went up 3.32 to 54.80, Target Department Stores went up 1.76 to 52.97, Aarons Rentals went up 2.66 to 26.73 and Fedex went up 6.06 to 82.14.

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, 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.

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