Tuesday May 7, 2013

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series has been on Spring Break until this coming Saturday, May 11, when the action resumes at the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. After two events Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece are tied for the point lead. One point behind is Mike Stefanik. Rounding out the top five are Ted Christopher and Justin Bonsignore.

The Monadnock Speedway, located in Winchester, NH is a 1/4 mile high banked speedway.

The Stafford Motor Speedway begins it's regular Friday night series starting this week on Friday, May 14.

In Saturday night action at the Waterford Speedbowl, Keith Rocco, who suffered a broken left wrist during a heat race on April 27, won the 35-lap SK Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Other winners in the weekly Saturday night NASCAR Whelen All-American series were Cam McDermott in the SK Light Modified race, Garrett Denton in the Mini Stock feature - his third win in five races - Dylan Izzo in the Legends Cars and Chris Meyers in a special 50-lap Street Stock feature.

In the SK Modified feature, Rocco took the lead on lap-12 from Jeff Gallup and survived numerous restarts. On lap 23, an incident collected over half of the field in a pileup in turn one. Once the race resumed, Rocco had to hold off serious bid from Craig Lutz. The two made contact and swapped the lead twice over the final five laps, but Rocco held off Lutz to earn a trip to victory lane. Todd Ceravolo finished third. Diego Monahan and Tyler Chadwick rounded out the top five.

The 35-lap race took more than an hour because of a red flag with 12 laps to go. Lutz and Diego Monahan made came together at the front of the field and set off a chain-reaction that collected 12 cars behind them.

A touching opening ceremony kicked off the night. Steve Barrett of Preston was surprised with a brand new Street Stock racecar in a heartfelt presentation by several members of the racing community. Barrett, a member of the US Army National Guard’s 1109th TASMG unit based in Groton,CT had just returned from ten months active duty overseas. During his deployment a group around the track organized a cause, “Racers for a Soldier”, taking donations to help build Barrett the car presented on Saturday. The effort was spearheaded by Jeff Winsor of Moosup. Barrett destroyed his racecar beyond repair in early 2012 prior to his deployment. He has competed at the track for the past several seasons.

The Riverhead Raceway, the last remaining speedway on Long Island, opened for the season last Saturday night. The NASCAR Modifieds ran twin 30 lap features. The Modifieds took to the track next for their twin 30-lap features. Timmy Solomito set fast time during time trails posting a fast lap of 11.761 seconds. The Modifieds did a re-draw of the top eight and Solomito re-drew seventh. His brother, and defending track champion Shawn Solomito won the draw and started the race on the pole Solomito was able to hold off John Beatty for the victory in the first 30 laps. The second 30-lap race started the same way the previous race finished, but this time all restarts were single-file. The first caution came out 17 laps in when McGuire spun out in turn one. Solomito restarted with Beatty right behind him, followed by Dave Brigati, Eric Goodale, and Timmy Solomito. Three laps after the restart Ryan Preece got by Timmy Solomito for fifth place. One lap later Timmy Solomito was in the wall. Tom Rogers Jr. dove underneath Solomito entering turn one. Solomito hopped the right-front tire of Rogers and both went up and into the outside wall. Rogers was able to drive back to the pits, but Solomito was taken off by a Brigandi Brothers Tow Vehicle. On the next restart, Shawn Solomito held onto the lead and maintained it all the way to the finish, keeping the Solomito Opening Night Win Streak. He led all 60 laps over the course of both 30-lap races. Going into the final lap, exiting turn two, John Beatty’s No. 14 lost power on the back straight causing everyone behind him to scatter in order to avoid him. Resulting in a top five which include: Shawn Solomito, Dave Brigati, Eric Goodale, Ryan Preece and Howie Brode.

In open wheeled Modified action south of the Mason-Dixon line at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC Burt Myers found the right combination and won the first of two 25-lap races for the featured Modified Division. Randy Butner picked up a victory in the second.

On a sad note it was reported by Pete Zanardi that Jerry Wheeler had passed away. Wheeler was the first to use a Chevy V-8 for power in a Modified.

Kevin Rice advises that the June 15 SBM 125 SBM total purse at the Star Speedway in Epping, NH is within reach of a $45,000 total. The bonus awards are at about $12,000, a conservative guess on the lap money after the remaining laps are sold totals about $7,000. The purse paid by Star Speedway is $25,000. Those three total $44,000. Said Rice, "To get there we still have to sell 180 t-shirts and the 50-50 raffle tickets a few more laps, and a couple of bonus sponsors, but we are well on our way. Thank you to all of those who are making this possible. Let's make $45,000 the goal!"

On the Speedway Stock Market scene last week all three speedway stocks ended the week on a positive note. Leading the way was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 1.52 to 34.02. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.59 to 18.24 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.01 to 2.09. NASCAR cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.03 to 7.15 while NASCAR's fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 1.08 to 47.83 and Goodyear dropped 0.14 to 12.37. With the exception of Toyota which dropped 0.56 to 114.92, the car builders had a pretty fair week as General Motors went up 1,60 to 32.10 and Ford went up 0.16 to 13.83. In the home improvement sector, Lowes went up 2.19 to 39.59 and Home Depot went up 0.61 to 73.96. With the exception of Target which dropped 0.02 to 70.50 stocks of the team sponsors had a good week. Dupont went up 1.04 to 53.94, Coca-Cola went up 0.29 to 61.23, Aarons Rentals went up 0.27 to 28.51 and Fedex went up 0.34 to 94.52.

In TV land this week:

5    8    Wed    12:00noon    3:00 PM    NASCAR Sprint Cup Talladega 500        SPEED   
5    9    Thurs    12:00noon    3:00 PM    NASCAR Nationwide Series Talladega        SPEED   
5    9    Thurs    8:00 PM    10:00 PM    ARCA Talladega event        SPEED   
5    10    Fri    11:30 AM    1:30 PM    NSCS Practice    Darlington    SPEED   
5    10    Fri    2:00 PM    3:00 PM    NSCS Final Practice    Darlington    SPEED   
5    10    Fri    3:30 PM    5:00 PM    NNS Coors Light Pole Qualifying    Darlington    ESPN2   
5    10    Fri    5:00 PM    6:30 PM    NSCS Coors Light Pole Qualifying    Darlington    SPEED   
5    10    Fri    7:00 PM    7:30 PM    NNS Countdown    Darlington    ESPN2   
5    10    Fri    7:30 PM    10:00 PM    NNS: NNS 200    Darlington    ESPN2    7:45 PM
5    11    Sat    11:00 AM    12:00 PM    NASCAR Now        ESPN2   
5    11    Sat    6:00 PM    6:45 PM    NSCS Pre-Race Show    Darlington    FOX   
5    11    Sat    6:45 PM    10:30 PM    NSCS: Bojangle's Southern 500    Darlington    FOX    7:00 PM 

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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