Tuesday May 8, 2012

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series goes "Up Country" this Saturday night, May 12, to the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Ronnie Silk continues to lead the point standings as he holds a 4 point lead over Doug Coby. Silk won the season opening IceBreaker at the Thompson Speedway and Coby won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford. Jimmy Blewett sits in third with Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece rounding out the top five. Sixth through tenth are Donny Lia, Justin Bonsignore, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat and Ted Christopher. Monadnock is a high banked-high speed quarter mile speedway.

The Stafford Motor Speedway cancelled its May 4 Opening Night racing program due to the forecast of showers and thunderstorms that lasted throughout the day and into the evening. Stafford Speedway will return to racing this coming Friday night, May 11th with the Late Model Xtra Mart Xtra D event. The Late Model division will run an extra distance feature event of 40-laps while Stafford’s other four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will race their normal feature distances. Pit gates will open at 3pm, practice begins at 4:00pm, grandstand gates will open at 5:15pm, heat races will start at 6:15pm, and feature events will begin at approximately 7:15pm.

Tickets for the May 11th Late Model XtraMart Xtra D event are now on sale at the Stafford Motor Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $17.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, free for children ages 5 & under, and $20.00 for reserved seats.

At the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco made it four out of six in the SK Modifieds, while Mike Caprio won the night's special extra-distance Street Stock feature. Those victories came as Waterford Speedbowl played host to a six-division race program Saturday evening as part of the shoreline oval's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule. It was Rocco's 40th career win in an SK Modified at the shoreline oval. Tom Abele finished second, followed by Nichole Morgillo, Jeff Pearl and Tyler Chadwick.

Other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winners included Ken Cassidy Jr. who won his fifth Mini Stock race out of six on the year and Corey Barry who was named the winner in the SK Light Modified feature. Matt Pappa was the night's Legends Cars feature winner and Dan Butler won another Super X-Car race.

Rocco had to overcome adversity to pick up his fourth victory of the six SK Modified events at the Speedbowl. He received damage in a lap-7 wreck that involved his brother Jeff Rocco and Diego Monahan. Keith Rocco was third in the running order on lap 19 when under another caution flag, he ducked to the pits to make repairs to his car. Rocco restarted in the rear and made a determined charge to the front setting up for the final five lap run to the checkered flag.

Rocco dogged Abele looking for a way around. Headed into turn one on lap-32, Rocco made a bold inside bottom shot on Abele. With two wheels on the apron and two wheels in the grass he made the move stick and raced out of turn two with the lead. A stunned Abele fought back, getting to Rocco’s rear bumper in turn three a determined Rocco was able to hang on to the lead. From there he went on to the win.

A surprise entry in the SK Lite division was 72 year old former Track Modified Champion Dickie Doo Ceravolo. Just out to have some fun, Ceravolo finished fifth.

The sparks flew on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway. Twin 30's for the Modified were run with Tim Solomito winning both. Ted Christopher crashed out of the first feature and never made it out for the night cap.

In Modified action at Bowman-Gray in North Carolina, Tim Brown pulled off a pass from the outside and went on to claim his 59th career victory in the featured Modified Division. Robert Jeffreys won the second 25-lap Modified race after a tangle between Brad Robbins and visitor Jimmy Blewett left both out of contention. Jeffreys matched Alfred Hill, at age 67, as the oldest winners of a feature race at Bowman Gray.

Brown started from the outside on the front row, beside pole winner Lee Jeffreys, and took the lead on the opening lap. Lee Jeffreys, the fastest in qualifying with a lap of 13.276 seconds (67.8 miles per hour) on the quarter-mile track, appeared to have successfully held off Brown at the start. But Brown pulled ahead on the backstretch and led the rest of the way. Lee Jeffreys finished second, and Burt Myers was third.

Brown, an eight-time Bowman Gray champion who finished in the top five just once in the first seven races in 2011, followed a third-place finish in the season opener with his victory.

Robbins started from the pole in the second Modified race, but Blewett, driving for Hillbilly Racing, maneuvered his way to the lead in the opening lap. Robbins kept the pressure on Blewett with bumps and shoves, and Blewett went spinning on the 18th lap. One lap later, Blewett sent leader Robbins spinning, and Robert Jeffreys took the lead for good. Ronnie Clifton finished second, and Jason Myers was third.

In TV land, viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Tuesday, at 6:00pm with NASCAR Race Hub. Race Hub will also be shown on Wednesday and Thursday at the same time. NASCAR Now will be on espn2 at 3:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and on Friday plus at noon on Saturday.

Race viewing on the Speed Channel begins on Wednesday at noon with a replay of last weekend's Sprint Cup event that was run at Talladega. On Thursday at noon Speed will replay the Talladega Nationwide Series event.

Speed goes live at Darlington at 11:00am on Friday. Sprint Cup practice follows at 11:30am for two hours. At 1:30pm NASCAR Live breaks it up before the final one hour practice starts at 2:00pm. Another segment of NASCAR Live airs at 3:00pm. The action shifts to ESPN2 at 3:30pm for Nationwide Series pole qualifying. At 5:00pm it's back to the Speed Channel for Sprint Cup qualifying. At 6:30pm it's back to ESPN2 for the Nationwide Series pre-race show that will lead to the 7:15pm start of the Darlington 200.

Saturday's action begins at 3:00am on the Speed Channel with the NASCAR Kids and Nephews (K&N) Series event that was run in Richmond. At noon Speed shifts gears and heads to Homestead Fl to cover the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. At 4:30 Speed goes back to Darlington for a two hour edition of RaceDay at Darlington. At 6:3-pm FOX goes live at Darlington with their pre-race show that will lead to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Bojangles' Southern 500. NASCAR Victory Lane at 11:00pm wraps it up.

Sunday is Mother's Day. The only action will be the Rolex Sports Car Series in New Jersey at 1:00pm and the Lucas Oil Late Model Series on Speed at 6:00pm.

On Sunday night, the Speed Channel will have Speed Center at 7:00pm and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 8:00pm. NASCAR Victory Lane follows at 9:00pm.

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week all three speedway stocks were down for the week. Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.98 to 16.23 while the International Speedway Corporation dropped 0.94 to 26.67 and Dover Motorsports dropped 0.12 to 1.39. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint closed where they started at 2.36 wile NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.48 to 10.84 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sun oil jumped a whopping 9.32 to 50.23. During the early part of last week Sun Oil announced that they were in the process of being purchased by Energy Transfer Partners. Once the announcement hit the street Sun Oil took off like a rocket. The car builders were down for the week. Ford dropped 0.93 to 10.67 while General Motors dropped dropped 1.17 to 22.36. Toyota also took a hit as they dropped 3.66 to 78.63. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 0.01 to 51.96 while Lowes dropped 0.52 to 31.09. With the exception of Fedex which went up 1.06 to 89.30 the major team sponsors were down for the week. Dupont dropped 0.83 to 52.89 wile Coca-Cola dropped 2.01 to 62.48, Target Department Stores dropped 2.61 to 55.65 and Aarons Rentals dropped 1.26 to 26.64.

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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