Tuesday July 2, 2013

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Thompson Speedway Thursday Night Thunder Series fell victim to first mist followed by heavy rain this past Thursday. The speedway management pulled the plug at 10:00am in order to save competitors the hassle of having to leave work early. Thursday night Thunder resumes on July 11. The Ltd sportsman double feature that was suppose to run this past Thursday will now run on July 18th, and the 40 lap Late Model race will run on July 25th!

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ryan Preece made it two in a row in SK Modified competition. Preece rallied after a mid race tangle with Rowan Pennink. Preece was sent to the rear for being overly aggressive. Tom Bolles finished second, with Pennink coming back to finish third. Woody Pitkat, and Ted Christopher rounded out the top-5.

Other Friday night winners at Stafford were Tom Fearn in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Ronnie Williams in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Austin Bessette in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kris Fluckiger in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Richie Pallai, Jr. was the winner of the 15-lap CARQUEST Champions For Charities race.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series traveled to the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island last Saturday night. Riverhead, a tight and fast quarter mile always provides plenty of slam-bang action and this event kept the reputation alive with 92 of the scheduled 200 laps, which was extended to 207 because of the multitude of wrecks, run under caution. Ryan Preece, who inherited the lead on lap 193 when leader Ted Christopher spun his wheels on a restart and was drilled by Eric Goodale. Preece, who now has three in a row in Modified Tour competition, led the rest of the way outdistancing Goodale to the finish. John Beatty Jr., Shawn Solomito and Mike Stefanik round out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Woody Pitkat, Ken Heagy, Frank Vigliarolo Jr., Bryon Chew and Ed Flemke Jr. There were 28 Modifieds on hand.

Preece began the race on the front row, overtaking pole winner Ron Silk on Lap 44. A wreck on lap 95, however, knocked the eventual winner out of the top 10, eventually forcing him to pit row for damage. Preece would battle back in the second half, working his way back up to the front row on Lap 183, alongside then race leader Ted Christopher. The two would battle it out over the next 10 laps until Christopher got spun on lap 195, giving Preece the lead for good. A few did not have a good night on the Island. Doug Coby never made it to the main event. During time trials he had the misfortune of having his throttle stick which resulted in a hard crash between turns one and two. Without a back-up car and unable to make repairs, Coby was unable to start but was awarded last place points for making an attempt to compete. Justin Bonsignore's night ended after 93 laps as his car suffered broken suspension parts. Don Lia and Eric Berndt finished 15th and 16th as a result of losing laps because of minor accidents. Ted Christopher ended up 18th as he was unable to continue after his confrontation with the pace car. Todd Szegedy ended up 19th as a result of an accident as did Ron Silk who ended up 20th.

Competitors now have a weekend off to lick their wounds. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race next in the Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 13. This event will be televised live by the Speed Channel beginning at 1:00pm EST.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC Burt Myers held off brother Jason Myers at the start of the first of two 25-lap races for the featured Modified Division and held on the rest of the way. Tony Black, a second-year Modified driver, etched his name on Bowman Grayís all-time list of feature-race winners with a victory in the second 25-lap race. Myers won the pole position for the first
25-lap Modified race with a lap of 13.358 seconds (67.4 mph) on the quarter-mile track. Brother Jason hung on for more than a full lap before Burt Myers, who nearly spun after hitting a patch of dirt on the track, finally cleared him and sailed on to his 55th career victory, which tied him for fourth with Paul Radford on Bowman Grayís all-time list. Jason Myers finished second, Danny Bohn third, Tim Brown fourth and John Smith fifth.

At the Waterford Speedbowl Keith Rocco continues to be the class of the field as he won his fifth SK Modified feature of the season to highlight a fast-paced night NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing at the Connecticut shoreline oval on Saturday. Diego Monahan took the lead on lap 8 and before Rocco and Craig Lutz joined Monahan for a hard charging three-way battle until lap 26, when Rocco used a crossover move out of turn four to take the lead. He never trailed again, but had to hold off charges by Monahan and Kyle James to cross the finish line first. James finished second and Lutz wound up third while Rob Janovic Jr. was fourth and Todd Ceravolo placed fifth.

Other Saturday night winners were Dillon Moltz (Late Models), Brandon Plemons (Street Stocks), Bill Leonard (Mini Stocks), Giovanni Giarratana (Legend Cars) and Ed Ryan (Super X-Cars).

On the speedway stock market scene last week all three speedway stocks were down for the week. Dover Entertainment dropped 0.03 to 2.16 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.06 to 17.40 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.07 to 31.47. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.05 to 7.02 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.36 to 15.30 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) jumped 3.00 to 50.54. The car makers had a very good week. Ford went up 0.47 to 15.47 and General Motors went up 1.10 to 33.31 while Toyota jumped 1.11 to 120.66. In the home improvement sector Home Depot jumped 3.65 to 77.47 and Lowes jumped 1.35 to 40.90. In the world of race team sponsorship, Dupont went down 0.41 to 52.50 and Aarons Rentals went down 0.21 to 28.07 while Coca- Cola went up 1.43 to 61.15, Target Department Stores went up 0.03 to 68.86 and Fedex went up 2.12 to 95.58.

In TV Land this week:
7 3 Wed 12:00 PM 3:00 PM NSCS Replay Kentucky SPEED  
7 3 Wed 6:00 PM 7:00 PM NASCAR Race Hub   SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 7:00 AM 8:00 AM NASCAR Hall of Fame Biography: Class of 2013   SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 12:00 PM 2:30 PM NNS Replay Kentucky SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 2:30 PM 4:00 PM NNS Practice Daytona SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 4:00 PM 5:30 PM NSCS Practice Daytona SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 5:30 PM 6:30 PM NNS Final Practice Daytona SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 6:30 PM 8:00 PM NSCS Final Practice Daytona SPEED  
7 4 Thurs 10:00 PM 11:30 PM NSCS Final Practice Daytona SPEED  
7 5 Fri 1:00 AM 1:30 AM NASCAR Now   ESPN2  
7 5 Fri 7:00 AM 8:00 AM NASCAR Race Hub   SPEED  
7 5 Fri 2:00 PM 4:00 PM NNS Coors Light Pole Qualifying Daytona ESPN2  
7 5 Fri 4:00 PM 6:30 PM NSCS Coors Light Pole Qualifying Daytona SPEED  
7 5 Fri 6:30 PM 7:00 PM Trackside Daytona SPEED  
7 5 Fri 7:00 PM 7:30 PM NNS Countdown Daytona ESPN   
7 5 Fri 7:30 PM 10:00 PM NNS: SUBWAY Firecracker 250 Daytona ESPN 7:51 PM
7 5 Fri 10:00 PM 12:30 AM NSCS Coors Light Pole Qualifying Daytona SPEED  
7 6 Sat 12:30 AM 1:00 AM Trackside Daytona SPEED  
7 6 Sat 1:00 AM 1:30 AM NASCAR Now   ESPN2  
7 6 Sat 1:30 AM 3:30 AM NNS: SUBWAY Firecracker 250 Daytona ESPN2  
7 6 Sat 2:00 PM 3:00 PM NASCAR Now   ESPN2  
7 6 Sat 3:00 PM 4:00 PM A Racer's Life: Richard Petty   SPEED  
7 6 Sat 4:00 PM 4:30 PM SPEED Center NASCAR Edition   SPEED  
7 6 Sat 4:30 PM 6:30 PM NASCAR RaceDay Daytona SPEED  
7 6 Sat 6:30 PM 7:30 PM NSCS Countdown to Green Daytona TNT  
7 6 Sat 7:30 PM 11:00 PM NSCS: Coke Zero 400 Daytona TNT 7:49 PM
7 6 Sat 11:00 PM 11:30 PM NASCAR Victory Lane Daytona SPEED  
7 6 Sat 11:30 PM 12:00 AM The 10   SPEED  
7 7 Sun 4:00 AM 6:00 AM NNS: SUBWAY Firecracker 250 Daytona ESPN deportes  
7 7 Sun 8:30 PM 9:00 PM NASCAR Victory Lane Daytona SPEED

Thatís 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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