Tuesday June 5, 2007  

By Phil Smith                                                                                                

The 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regroups for a couple more weeks before coming alive for their “Summer Session” which begins on Thursday, June 21 at the Thompson Int. Speedway. Jimmy Blewett holds a slim three point lead over James Civali. Two points behind Civali is Matt Hirschman. Blewett and Civali have won, Hirschman has not. Donny Lia with two wins to his credit sits in fourth spot, thirteen points behind Hirschman. Rounding out the top five is Todd Szegedy. Sixth through tenth are Zach Sylvester, Jerry Marquis, Mike Stefanik, Ronnie Silk and Jamie Tomaino. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series continues to be strong as 52 different drivers have entered into competition in four events.

Thursday Night Thunder at the Thompson Speedway was canceled when Thunder Showers descended upon the speedway shortly after qualifying was completed.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Woody Pitkat in the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Scott Cook in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Brit Andersen in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Sean Foster in the Limited Late Model feature, and Carla Botticello in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. The 40-lap SK Modified feature saw Woody Pitkat and Zach Sylvester duel for much of the race, with Pitkat having to hold off Ted Christopher to take his first win of the 2007 season. Sylvester took the lead at the drop of the green, and set the early pace. Pitkat settled into second, but moved past Sylvester on lap-6 to take over the lead. Pitkat then held the lead until lap-20 when Sylvester moved back out front. Sylvester then held the lead until lap-33, when Pitkat moved back by Sylvester to take the lead back. Ted Christopher followed Pitkat by Sylvester to move into second. Christopher hounded the bumper of Pitkat, but was unable to make a pass for the win. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Sylvester was Todd Owen, Sylvester, and Ryan Posocco.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action at the Waterford Speedbowl Jeff Pearl scored his 25th career win at the shoreline oval. Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Jack Aquilina (Sportsman), Joe Godbout III (Mini Stock), and Chris Bakaj (Legends).
Pearl passed early leader Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. on the ninth lap. With the victory, Pearl earned a guaranteed starting spot for this Saturday’s True Value Modified Tour 100 at the Speedbowl. Diego Monahan, Dennis Charette, Ron Janovic Jr., and Frank Ruocco (subbing for Jimmy Horton), rounded-out the top-5. Sixth through tenth were Zach Sylvester in a new entry owned by Dick Ceravolo, Shawn Monahan, Wendell Dailey, Mucciacciaro and Jay Miller.
In Late Model action, it was Bruce Thomas Jr. collecting his 3rd feature victory of the season. After a long intense side-by-side battle with multi-time champion Allen Coates that resulted in one of the closest finishes in Speedbowl history, Following Thomas and Coates was Tony Macrino, Ernie Bertrand, and Larry Goss

In TV land this week and for the remainder of the season NASCAR Now on ESPN2 will be in the 6:30pm time slot seven days a week. This weeks viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday at 9:30am with Back in the Day featuring the The 1972 Virginia 500 at Martinsville . Wednesday’s viewing begins at noon with the NASCAR Grand National Series East-West combination race, the Featherlite Coaches 200 that was run at the Iowa Speedway in Newton , IA on May 20. At 3:00pm its the May 18 World of Outlaws sprint cars from the Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg , PA. At 4:00 pm Speed goes with coverage of the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Sears Auto Center 200 that ran at the Madison Intl. Speedway, Madison , WI on May 26. The action moves to HBO at 7:00pm with a special titled Nextel Prelude to the Dream Presented by Old Spice. Old School Racing Meets New Age Media – Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and more go back to the dirt Eldora Speedway in Rossburg , OH . The action switches back to the Speed Channel at noon on Thursday with a re-run of last Saturday’s NASCAR Busch Series Dover 200 at the Dover Downs Speedway in Delaware. Last Sunday’s Nextel Cup Autism Speaks 400 at Dover follows at 3:00pm . Friday’s action begins at 11:00am with the May 26. Hooters Pro Cup Sears Auto Center 200 that was run at the Madison Intl. Speedway in Madison , WI . Speed goes live at noon with 90 minutes of NASCAR Nextel Cup practice from the Pocono Intl. Speedway. NASCAR Live from Pocono Intl. Raceway starts at 1:30 . At 3:00 the NASCAR Nextel Cup cars run against the clock for their qualifying session. At 6:00pm the action moves to Nashville , Tenn. for NASCAR Busch Series practice.At 7:00 its back to Pennsylvania for Trackside at the Pocono Intl. Raceway. The NASCAR Craftsman Truckstake center stage in the Lone Star State at 9:00pm with the Series Sam’s Town 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth , TX . Saturday’s programming begins at 10:00am with a 60 minute Nextel Cup practice session from Pocono. At 3:00pm the action switches to ESPN2 for NASCAR Busch Series qualifying from Nashville . At 4:00pm its NASCAR New England on NESN. NASCAR New England will present features and highlights from the Stafford Springs Motorspeedway The final 60 minute Nextel Cup practice session at Pocono goes at 5:30 . At 6:30 the action switches to ESPN2 for the Busch Series pre-race show. The NASCAR Busch Series Federated Auto Parts 300at the Nashville Superspeedway goes green at 7:00pm . At 8:00 the Speed Channel will have same day, taped delayed coverage of the ARCA RE/MAX Series Pocono 200 from Pocono , PA. On Sunday ESPN2 starts it off at 10:00 with NASCAR Now. If Nextel Cup is not your bag then switch to Speed at 1:00 for the World of Outlaws sprint cars at The Dirt Track at Lowes Motor Speedway, Concord , NC . Live flag to flag coverage of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Pocono 500 begins on TNT at 2:00pm . Wrapping up the weekend on the Speed Channel is The SPEED Report at 9:30 , NASCAR Victory Lane at 10:30 and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 11:30

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. The International Speedway Corporation jumped up 1.36 to 52.86 and Speedway Motorsports jumped 0.91 to 40.81. Dover Downs dropped 0.11 to 5.65. Nextel/Sprint also had a good week as they went up 0.77 to 22.87. Sun Oil also had a big week as they went up 2.82 to 81.11. Goodyear keeps on rolling as they went up 1.69 to 36.13. One of the few on the down side was DIRT Motorsports which dropped 0.10 to 1.60. In the drug sector, Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.43 to 30.48 and Pfizer went up 0.15 to 27.68. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.83 to 39.21 and Lowes went up 0.53 to 32.66. The parcel carriers went through the roof. UPS jumped 6.28 to 77.36 and Fedex jumped 5.33 to 111.29.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 E-mail

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

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