Tuesday July 13, 2010

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Stafford Motor Speedway held their annual Extreme Tuesday event last week smack dab in the middle of a 100 plus degree heat wave. Fans and competitors as well as machines were put to the test. Mike Ordway, Sr. won the 50-lap ISMA Supermodified feature, Randy Cabral won the 30-lap NEMA Midget feature event, and Norm Wrenn made it three in a row at Stafford by taking the 25-lap Pro-4 Modified feature event.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitors enjoyed a week off as they prepare to head to the high banked, quarter mile, Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH this coming Saturday, July 17.

The Thompson International Speedway continued with their Thursday Night Thunder Series. Danny Cates was extremely strong in his victory in the Sunoco Modified main event. Brian Sullivan shined in the TIS Modified annual extra-distance event. While Shawn Monahan turned in a repeat winning performance in the Limited Sportsman division and it was a night of firsts in the Super Late Models and Mini Stocks. Larry Gelinas, driving for Rollie Linblad, earned his first-ever Thompson victory in a hotly contested Super Late Model feature. Dwayne Dorr turned in a dominating performance to score his first Mini Stock victory of 2010. John Falconi of North Grafton, MA, was awarded the victory in the Late Models when officials discovered illegal cylinder heads on Rick Gentes’ motor.

The Modified Racing Series ventured to the Lee USA Speedway for the Laticrete Port City 100. Jon McKennedy took the win over Dwight Jarvis, Jimmy Kuhn, Andy Seuss and Rowan Pennink before a huge crowd.

The win was McKennedy’s eighth career victory with the Modified Racing Series, sponsored by Bob Valenti AutoMall.Com., and his second at the Lee oval. The race was competitive right from the start with five different leaders and seven lead changes throughout the 100 lap green flag race.

Pole sitter Dwight Jarvis led the opening lap with Mike Ordway Jr taking over the top spot on lap two. The Fremont, NH., driver led the field until lap 16 when another local favorite, Louie Mechalides, took the lead. Mechalides set the pace before yielding the top spot to Milford, CT., standout Doug Coby on lap 34. It was Coby’s turn at the front as he opened up a sizeable lead before Jarvis took it back for two laps when Coby slowed. Mechalides and Jarvis then swapped the lead with Jarvis prevailing through lap 73, when a fast closing #73, McKennedy, powered by. Heavy traffic created a close finish as Jarvis was 0.325 behind the winner at the checkered flag.

A total of 31 race teams entered the event. 24 cars started the race with 20 cars finishing, 12 cars finished on the lead lap.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway, Frank Ruocco took his second victory of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Keith Rocco picked up his first career Late Model feature victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett scored his third win of the 2010 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Rob Dow won his first race of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Nick Salva was a first time career winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

For the record, Rocco now has 18 wins for the season. His NASCAR total is sixteen. In addition to his Late Model win at Stafford, Rocco also recorded an SK Modified win at New Smyrna in Florida.

The Waterford Speedbowl did not have their regular Saturday night divisions scheduled because of a Fireworks display on the Thames River in New London. An Enduro had been scheduled but was scrubbed because of impending rain.

The Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem North Carolina was back in action with a 100 lap Modified main event. Northern invader Ted Christopher made his first ever start at the flat quarter mile oval driving for Roger and Sandra Hill. Tim Brown won the caution-filled 100-lap Modified Division race at the track they call the MadHouse. Brown led all but one of the final 33 laps to grab his third win of the year. The luck of the draw following time trials found Christopher starting on the pole. The invader led the first 24 laps before being passed by Jonathan Brown. Jonathan Brown would wreck later in the event and limped home in 18th place, but there were plenty of fireworks around Christopher, who tangled with Junior Miller on the 79th lap and sent Miller to the pits. Miller finished the race in 19th and wasn't very pleased with Christopher. The Winston-Salem Journal Now quoted both Miller and Christopher following the race. "We had a shot at winning this race and that weasel from up North came in here and just flat wrecked us there at the end," Miller said. "I was pushing (Brown) when (Christopher) came across the hood and tore the front end off". Christopher, one of the top drivers on the Whelen Modified Tour, said that he would like to race at Bowman Gray again. "At least I can say I led at Bowman Gray," said Christopher, who finished 15th. "I tried to race with Junior and those guys and that guy has to be the biggest idiot in the world. He should probably retire". Christopher added, "I don't mind and everybody says they move people and stuff but he damn threw the whole car at me and planted me hard and I said, ‘Oh well, I can play at that game.'

Following Tim Brown at the finish was Brian Loftin and Burt Myers. Rupert Sink and Dean Ward rounded out the top five. Jason Myers ended up 13th, Christopher, 15th, Jonathan Brown, 18th and Junior Miller, 19th.

At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island rain washed out the 77 Lap Tom Baldwin, Richie Evans, Charlie Jarzombek Memorial NASCAR Modified event.

Get well wishes to Wild Bill Slater who has been experiencing considerable pain in his left hip. Bill had the right hip replaced in 1988. For the most part he is using a walker to get around.
In TV land this weeks viewing begins with NASCAR Race Hub on the Speed Channel which airs at 7:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and on Thursday. NASCAR Now on espn2 airs at 5:00pm on Tuesday and Wednesday plus Thursday at 7:00pm. Actual race programming on Speed begins with Race in 60 at 6:00pm on Tuesday with the March 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. At 10:00pm Race in 60 highlights the July 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 that was run at the Chicagoland Speedway. Wednesdays programming on Speed begins at noon with a complete rerun of the 400. At 6:00pm Race in 60 replays the March 29 Sprint Cup Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 that was run at Martinsville, VA. Thursday's Speed viewing begins at noon with the July 9 NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 that was run at Chicagoland Speedway. The 2009 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard follows at 3:00pm. At 6:00pm Speed travels to New England for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event that was run at Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT on July 3. Speed travels to Madison, IL on Friday at 7:00pm for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying at the Gateway International Raceway. Coverage continues at 8:30pm with the pre-race show that will lead to the 9:00pm start of the Truck Series 200 at Gateway International. Saturdays programming starts at noon with Race in 60 which will highlight the June 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at Loudon, NH. A 60 minute recap of the July 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 at Daytona follows at 1:00pm. At 4:30pm the action switches to espn2 for NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at the Gateway Intl. Raceway in Madison, IL. At 7:00pm espn2 has the pre-race show that leads in to the 8:00pm start of the Nationwide Series Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway Intl. If that's not your cup of tea switch to Speed at 7:30mfor the Legends Million at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Sprint Cup competitors have the weekend off. On Sunday the action shifts to ABC at 12:30pm for the IZOD Indycar Series Honda Indy Toronto at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada. Rounding out the day on the Speed Channel is The Speed Report at 7:00pm, a NASCAR Hall of Fame Special which will be Highlighting each of the 25 nominees for the next five slots to be enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market Scene last week two of the three speedway stocks all but recovered from the previous weeks losses. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.49 to 13.42 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.30 to 25.81. On the down side was Dover Motorsports which dropped 0.08 to 1.80. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.12 to 4.28 while fuel supplier Sun Oil jumped 1.31 to 33.86 and Goodyear jumped 0.88 to 10.89. The car makers were all positive for the week. Ford went up 0.57 to 10.85 while Toyota jumped 2.81 to 71.07 and General Motors went up 0.01 to 0.42. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.50 to 28.26 and Lowes went up 0.16 to 20.43. The car sponsors also had a good week. Dupont went up 2.84 to 36.90 while Coca-Cola went up 2.76 to 49.00 and Target Department Stores went up 0.32 to 49.85. Aarons Rentals jumped 1.11 to 17.55 and Fedex jumped 2.81 to 74.22.

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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