ARCHIVES

Tuesday June 25, 2013
 

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The Thompson Speedway was extremely busy and enjoyed it's best Thursday night crowd so far this year. Double features highlighted NASCAR Whelen All American Series action in the Sunoco Modified and Lite Modified divisions. Keith Rocco and Kerry Malone each garnered a win in the Sunoco Modified division while Cam McDermott swept the Lite Modified. Other winners included Rick Gentes in the Late Models, Larry Barnett in the Limited Sportsman division, Scott Michalski in the Monster Mini Stocks, and Ben Lavangie in the Vintage Modified feature.

In the first Sunoco Modified feature, Rocco started fourth and took the lead from Kerry Malone after a lap 19 restart. As Rocco picked up his third win of the season Woody Pitkat moved into second and Malone faded to third. Ryan Preece and Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top five. Among those in the 17 car Sunoco Modified field was Tommy Barrett who drove the Richie Gallup No. 50. Barrett never got the chance to show his stuff as the Gallup car developed valve train problems and failed to finish.

The second Sunoco Modified 25 lapper provided close competition and a surprise finish in the end. On the start, Rocco who took the green in 8th spot, was collected in a three car spin on the back chute on the first lap. Rocco's car was double hooked off the speedway with severe front end damage. Tom Abele, Jr, who led the start also led the restart. By lap four, Ryan Preece had moved into the lead with Woody Pitkat in hot pursuit. Todd Ceravolo was also in the mix. A caution on lap 14 set the stage for the fireworks that were about to explode. Shortly after the restart, on lap 20, Preece and Pitkat, who were running side by side, came together in turn two. Preece, who was on the outside, fit the wall. Track officials felt that Pitkat did it intentionally and parked him for the night. Pitkat later said that it was his fault but it was not his intent to stuff Preece in the wall. Malone inherited the lead on the restart. Matt Gallo and Todd Ceravolo were on his bumper. As Malone was racing down the backstretch on the final lap a mass tangle ensued between Gallo and Paul Newcomb. Ceravolo, who had slipped to fourth, lifted to avoid the unfolding wreck. Dennis Perry, who had been running fifth made a brilliant move with some heads-up driving, came through the tangle and found himself in second place at the finish. Ceravolo recovered to finish third with Tom Abele, fourth. Joey Parker rounded out the top five.

At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday night Ted Christopher won by inches over Doug Coby and Woody Pitkat. It was a bitter-sweet victory as Christopher had lost his dad after a courageous battle with cancer. It was also his 99th career SK Modified win at Stafford. Christopher, who admitted to blocking in the closing moments, took the lead on lap 35 of the 40 lap feature.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of three visits during the 2013 season to Stafford for the Inaugural VMRS 80. Tommy Barrett, Jr. took the checkered flag to become the very first repeat Valenti Modified Racing Series winner at Stafford Motor Speedway. Barrett took the lead following a restart on lap 59.

Barrett led Steve Masse to the checkered flag to become the first two-time Valenti Modified Racing Series winner at Stafford. Dave Etheridge finished third, with Eric Goodale and Richard Savary rounding out the top-5. Sixth through tenth were Dan Meservey, Jr., Eddy Spiers, Woody Pitkat, Norm Wrenn and Louie Mechalides.

There were 33 Modifieds on hand for the MRS event. The 10th anniversary MRS season continues this coming Friday night, June 28, at Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH. with the running of the “Laticrete Port City 100.”

Other Friday night winners at Stafford were Adam Gray in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Jesse Hinze in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and 14-year old rookie Ryan Fearn in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series invaded the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Ryan Preece beat Doug Coby in a green-white-checkered finished to win the Mr. Rooter 161 at the shoreline oval. Preece followed Doug Coby for most of the race and Coby appeared to be in control until a final caution flag on lap-158 set up the thrilling finish. Coby chose the outside lane for the final restart with Preece lining up to his inside in second position.

Coby did not restart as smoothly as he had all race long and watched Preece drive by his inside. Coby tried to rally over the final lap, but could not get back alongside Preece through the final turns. Coby settled for second and was followed by Don Lia, Justin Bonsignore and Bobby Santos III.

The event, which drew 27 cars, saw Todd Szegedy take the pole position during qualifying after he toured the 1/3 mile oval in 13.833 seconds (97.593mph). Szegedy led from the start to lap 101 when Coby got him in heavy traffic. Nine cautions slowed the event. Sixth through tenth were Todd Szegedy, Eric Goodale, Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk and Bryon Chew.

The weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature winners were: Waterford's Rob Janovic Jr. (SK Modified), Keith Rocco (Late Model), Norm Root Jr. (Street Stock) and Bill Leonard (Mini Stock).

In the SK Modified feature, Janovic took the lead from Joe Gada after a restart on lap 24. Ed Puleo finished second with Todd Ceravolo, third. Gada faded to fourth. Craig Lutz rounded out the top five. Keith Rocco recovered after being involved in an early wreck with Shawn Monahan to finish 8th. Tyler Chadwick and Ted Christopher finished sixth and seventh.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC Tim Brown shot to the front at the start of Saturday night’s first 25-lap Modified race and never looked back. Brown went on to his 68th career victory. In the second 25-lap Modified race, Michael Clifton was declared the winner after leader Joseph Brown was black-flagged by officials when his car was identified for leaking fluid and he refused to pit.

On the speedway stock market scene last week few escaped what had to be one of the worst weeks of the year on Wall Street. Two of the three speedway stocks took substantial hits. Dover Entertainment went up 0.03 to 2.19 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 2.41 to 31.54 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 1.05 to 17.46. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint dropped 0.34 to 6.97, NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.85 to 47.54 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.47 to 14.94. The domestic car makers took it on the chin while Toyota went up 2.15 to 119.55. Ford dropped 0.36 to 15.00 and General Motors dropped 2.08 to 32.21. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 2.76 to 73.82 and Lowes dropped 1.61 to 39.55. In the area of team sponsorship stocks, Dupont went up 0.29 to 52.91 while Coca-Cola dropped 1.28 to 59.72, Target dropped 0.19 to 68.83, Aarons Rentals dropped 0.02 to 28.22 and Fedex dropped2.67 to 96.46.

The International Speedway Corporation announced that they have approved a redevelopment plan for the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona Int’l Speedway and ISC’s operations in Daytona Beach generate $1.6 billion in annual economic benefit to the state of Florida. Following an unsuccessful bid for a public / private partnership with the State of Florida during the most recent legislative session, the Company was forced to reduce the scale of its redevelopment plan. Among the features that were revised and no longer included in the redevelopment plan was a major overhaul of the midway area.

There will be an eventual decrease in seating capacity which will occur in stages following the 2014 Daytona 500 and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 motorsports season. By moving all seating to the front stretch, all attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility’s new amenities.
 

In TV Land this week:
 
6
26
Wed
12:00 PM
3:00 PM
NSCS Replay: Sonoma
 
SPEED
 
6
27
Thurs
7:30 PM
8:00 PM
NCWTS SetUp
Kentucky
SPEED
 
6
27
Thurs
8:00 PM
10:30 PM
NCWTS: UNOH 225
Kentucky
SPEED
8:18 PM
6
28
Fri
11:30 AM
12:30 PM
NSCS Practice
Kentucky
SPEED
 
6
28
Fri
1:30 PM
3:00 PM
NSCS Final Practice
Kentucky
SPEED
 
6
28
Fri
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
NSCS Qualifying
Kentucky
SPEED
 
6
28
Fri
7:00 PM
7:30 PM
NNS Countdown
Kentucky
ESPN
 
6
28
Fri
7:30 PM
10:00 PM
NNS: Feed the Children 300
Kentucky
ESPN
7:46 PM
6
29
Sat
4:30 PM
6:30 PM
NASCAR Raceday
 
SPEED
 
6
29
Sat
6:30 PM
7:30 PM
NSCS Countdown to Green
Kentucky
TNT
 
6
29
Sat
7:30 PM
11:00 PM
NSCS: Quaker State 400
Kentucky
TNT
7:45 PM
6
30
Sun
7:00 PM
8:00 PM
Speed Center
 
SPEED
 
6
30
Sun
8:00 PM
8:30 PM
Wind Tunnel With Dave Despain
 
SPEED
 
6
30
Sun
8:30 PM
9:00 PM
NASCAR Victory Lane
 
SPEED
 

That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is smithpe_97_97@yahoo.com.


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

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