It appears that the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour may get a much needed shot
in the arm in 2015 as it has been
announced that NBC will replace the
combined coverage that ESPN and TNT
share in the current television
contract, which expires at the end of
the 2014 season.
In addition to rights to NASCAR Sprint
Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races,
NBC has also obtained exclusive rights
to practice and qualifying sessions for
NBC’s national series events during
their portion of the season, as well as
rights to broadcast the NASCAR K&N
Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour,
NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the
NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony
and NASCAR’s season-ending banquets.
Further, NBC has been granted
Spanish-language rights, certain
video-on-demand rights and exclusive TV
Everywhere rights for its NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series
Highly respected Area Auto Racing News
scribe Ernie Saxton stated that the
recent Whelen Modified Tour race at
Loudon did a .4 rating on the Speed
Channel with 420,000 viewers.
Seven drivers, Stan Meserve, Brian Ross,
Drew Fornoro, Ralph Nason, the late Bob
Stefanik, Bill Eldridge and Bob Sharp
and car owner Ron Berndt, with hundreds
of victories and dozens of championships
comprise the New England Auto Racers
Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013. It is the
16th class and brings the membership to
well over 115.
The class of 2013 will be inducted at
the 16th annual NEAR Hall of Fame
Banquet Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Lodge at
Manelley’s in South Windsor, CT.
On a sad note, NEAR Hall of Fame
member Charles "Chick" Stockwell passed
away on July 29th. Chick was a many time
Danbury Racearama Champion.
Much to the dismay of many, rain forced
cancellation of Thursday night Thunder
at the Thompson. The Valenti Modified
Racing Series was scheduled to be a part
of the program. The make up date for the
cancelled event will be this coming
Thursday 8/1. Both the MRS and the N.E.
Trucks will be there.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series will
hold it's next event this coming
Saturday on Aug. 3 at Beech Ridge Motor
Speedway in Scarborough, Me.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday
night Ryan Preece picked up his division
leading 6th win of the 2013 season in
the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Woody
Pitkat scored his second win of 2013
with a thrilling finish in the 30-lap
Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr.
picked up his second win of the 2013
season in the 20-lap SK Light feature,
David Arute took his second win of the
2013 season with a last lap pass in the
20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and
Cliff Saunders scored his second win of
the 2013 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock
With nine laps to go in the 40 lap SK
Modified feature Preece powered his way
by Pitkat in the outside groove to take
over the race lead. Pitkat settled into
second with Todd Owen, Ted Christopher,
and Keith Rocco lined up behind him.
Doug Coby was sixth behind Rocco, with
Rowan Pennink right behind him in
seventh. Nichole Morgillo and Zach
Aszklar spun in turn 3 to bring the
caution out with 38 laps complete and
set up a green white checkered finish.
Pitkat and Preece were side by side on
the restart and Preece got loose as they
came to the white flag. Preece gathered
his car back in and maintained the lead.
Preece led the field back to the
checkered flag to pick up his division
leading 6th win of the 2013 season.
Christopher nipped Pitkat at the line
for second with Owen and Coby rounding
out the top-5. Rocco finished sixth.
The Waterford Speedbowl hosted its
annual Nostalgia Night treating a large
crowd on hand to a thrilling night of
motorsports that honored racing past and
present. The event featured the track’s
usual fare of NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series racing in addition to exhibition
events by vintage auto racing clubs. The
Northeastern Midget Association, one of
the fastest and oldest sanctioned racing
groups in the country, also joined the
program for its Shane Hammond Memorial
Picking up NASCAR wins on the night
included Kyle James in the SK Modifieds®
and Dillon Moltz in the Bob Valenti Auto
Mall Late Model feature, while Phil
Evans was a first-time winner in the
Street Stocks and Ian Brew took the
night’s Mini Stock race. The
Northeastern Midget Association races
went to Anthony Marvuglio of East
Bridgewater, MA and Avery Stoehr of
Lakeville, MA, who won the NEMA Lite
James turned in a strong run in the
35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
SK Modified® feature to close out his
second win of the season. He was bogged
down in traffic at the start of the race
then used a long stretch of green flag
racing to march his way into contention.
James inherited the runner-up position
with nine laps remaining after Jeff
Gallup and Tyler Chadwick spun out of
Tom Abele’s strong run came up short as
James was able to ease by for the lead
on the final restart. In the end, Abele
settled for the second spot. Todd
Ceravolo benefited by the late caution
flag as he finished third. Keith Rocco
and Craig Lutz completed the top-five.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series
returned to the Monadnock Speedway in
Winchester, N.H for the Town Fair Tire
Whitcomb 200. The race was a makeup date
for a rain out on May 11. Justin
Bonsignore cut his racing teeth at the
tight and quick Riverhead Raceway on
Long Island. He put his experience to
good use as he took the win at Monadnock,
also a tight and quick quarter mile
oval. Bonsignore, who started on the
outside pole of the slim 23 car field.
took the lead from pole sitter Eric
Goodale following a restart on lap 16
and held off challenges from Donnie Lia,
Rowan Pennink and in the end Doug Coby.
Lia was well on his way to finishing
second or possibly a win until he made
contact with Patrick Emerling and hit
the wall between turns two and three.
Lia recovered to finish 15th, the last
car on the lead lap.
The final run-down saw Coby in the
runner-up spot followed by Pennink.
Bryon Chew and Ryan Preece rounded out
the top five. Sixth through tenth were
Ron Silk, Andy Seuss, Richie Pallai,
Woody Pitkat and Eric Berndt.
After seven of 14 races Preece now leads
Pennink by 42 points with the defending
champion Coby in third, 45 back. The
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is next in
action on August 2 for the CARQUEST 150
from Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
Down in the south land at the Bowman
Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC rain
prevailed. A two-day event is scheduled
this Friday and Saturday. Two 50-lap
races for the featured Modified Division
will highlight Friday's schedule.
NASCAR's Whelen Southern Modified Tour
will make its annual stop at Bowman Gray
on Saturday with the Kevin Powell
At the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island
Modified car counts for the season hit
bottom as there were only 11 cars in
competition. Dave Brigati took the win
over Dave Sapienza and Tim Solomito.
On the speedway stock market scene last
week two of the three speedway stocks
had negative results for the week. The
International Speedway Corporation
dropped 0.97 to 33.89 and Speedway
Motorsports dropped 0.37 to 19.33 while
Dover Entertainment went up 0.15 to
2.40. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint dropped
0.33 to 5.74 while NASCAR fuel supplier
Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.44 to
51.43 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear
dropped 0.46 to 16.77. With the
exception of Toyota which dropped 5.91
to 124.45 the car makers had a good week
as Ford went up 0.26 to 17.02 and
General Motors went up 0.06 to 36.67. In
the home improvement sector, Home Depot
dropped 1.15 to 78.74 and Lowes dropped
0.30 to 43.97. In the world of big team
sponsors, Dupont went up 0.49 to 57.63
and Coca-Cola went up 0.20 to 65.06
while Target Department Stores dropped
1.08 to 71.47, Aarons Rentals dropped
0.39 to 28.18 and Fedex dropped 3.46 to
In TV Land this week:
The Speed Channel re-runs last Sunday's
Sprint Cup event run at Indianapolis on
Wednesday at noon.
The Nationwide Series event run at Indy
goes at noon on Thursday, also on Speed.
On Friday, Speed goes live at Pocono at
1:00pm with Sprint Cup practice followed
by Sprint Cup qualifying and an ARCA
Late Model Series event.
At 7:00pm the Speed Channel no longer
exists as the cable outlet becomes FOX
Action on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday
begins at 10:00am with Truck Series
qualifying from Pocono followed by
Sprint Cup final practice at 11:30am and
the Truck Series event at 1:00pm.
The Pocono Sprint Cup event goes live on
ESPN on Sunday at 1:00pm.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is