Tuesday October 5, 2010

By Phil Smith                                                                                             

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series headed for the Stafford Motor Speedway this past weekend for the annual Fall Final which carried a purse of $83,609. The event drew 31 cars. Justin Bonsignore bounced back from his recent disappointment at Thompson to capture his second Coors Lite pole of the year with a sizzling run of 18.355 seconds around the half mile oval. The young Long Island racer had recently won an open competition event at Thompson only to have the victory stripped away because he didn't use the proper gasoline. Eric Beers was second fastest with Mike Stefanik, third, Eric Berndt and Ryan Preece rounded out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Ed Flemke Jr, Rowan Pennink, Ron Silk, Eric Rudolph and Bobby Santos III. In the re-draw for the start Beers drew the pole with Flemke drawing the outside pole spot. Bonsignore drew the seventh starting spot.

Bobby Santos, who was celebrating his 25th birthday, took the eventual victory with the Garbarino Mystic Missile. Santos took the lead after a massive pile-up forced a long red flag period as the speedway fencing was destroyed and needed to be fixed. The wreck was triggered when Richie Pallai hit Dale Quarterly sending him sideways. It was a "Pig Pile" from then on. Also involved were Ed Flemke, Todd Szegedy, Eric Berndt and Eric Goodale. With seven laps remaining Santos jumped out and sprinted to the finish. Ron Silk finished second and was followed by Erick Rudolph, Rowan Pennink, Mike Stefanik, Ryan Preece, Glen Reen, Ted Christopher, Eric Beers and Ken Heagy. Polesitter Bonsignore took a shot in the turn two wall after getting sideways on lap 108. Also collected in the wreck was Jamie Tomaino and Woody Pitkat. Bonsignore finished 29th while Pitkat finished 30th and Tomaino, 28th.

All tolled, there were 8 caution periods for 45 laps. In addition to those previously mentioned Jimmy Blewett and Eric Berndt also ended their day in wrecks.

With one race remaining on the schedule, Santos will carry a 37-point lead on Stefanik in the season standings to Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Oct. 17. Ron Silk is up to third in points – 99 tallies behind Santos – with his eighth top-five finish in the last nine races. Christopher slipped to fourth and is 113 in arrears.

In regular weekly division racing at Stafford Keith Rocco, the 2010 Whelen All-American Series Champion, closed out the Stafford SK Modified season with his 10th win of the year to set a single-season track record. He clinched the track title earlier this year. Woody Pitkat won Stafford's Whelen All-American Series Late Model finale and Ryan Posocco clinched the division title.

Following Rocco in the 40 lap SK contest was Frank Ruocco with Chris Matthews, Jeff Baral, and Zach Sylvester rounding out the top-5. Ted Christopher, Stafford's winningist driver, finished 26th after being eliminated in a wreck.

In action on the Connecticut shoreline the Waterford Speedbowl completed its final Saturday night points race of 2010 with six feature events including all five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions in action. It was also Cystic Fibrosis Night at the track, raising awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Jeff Pearl dominated the SK Modifieds® to roll to his third win on the year. Bruce Thomas Jr. won the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, with Tim Jordan taking the championship. In the Street Stocks Ed Puleo won his sixth race of 2010. Al Stone III claimed the Street Stock championship after a wild race for the points contenders. Ken Cassidy Jr. clinched the Norwich Bulletin Mini Stock title in style, picking up his fifth win of the year. Allen Coates did the same in the A.B. CDL Driver Training Center Truck division, winning the race and title. Anthony Flannery finished the Saturday night season on a high note by taking yet another Legends Cars win.

In the SK Modifieds, Tyler Chadwick was second over Rob Janovic, Keith Rocco and Glenn Pressell. The win was the 34th of Pearl’s career, good for second all-time in the division ahead of Ted Christopher. Rocco already secured the championship.

Jason Myers was the winner of a special Modified event at the North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Carolina. Junior Miller was second with Burt Myers, third.

Next on the schedule for the Thompson International Speedway is the World Series of Speedway racing scheduled for October 15-17, 2010. The season ending event which plays host to 15 divisions will feature the Whelen Modified Tour and the International Supermodified Association.

The Waterford Speedbowl and the Seekonk Speedway will go head to head this weekend with their season ending racing events. A total of 10 feature races will take to the track at Waterford over the weekend offering fans a variety of close competition and exciting racing amongst a host of divisions. The 14th annual Budweiser Modified Nationals 150-lap SK Modified® race takes center stage Sunday, October 10th boasting total prize money of over $20,000. The race winner walks away $5,000 richer, the biggest payday across the Northeast for the division. Not to be overshadowed, the ACT Late Model Tour closes their season and points battle at the Speedbowl in a 150-lap race of their own on Sunday with posted awards of greater than $28,000. The duo of ground pounding Modifieds and best in Late Model racing throughout New England and beyond make the weekend a must-see for any racer and race fan.
A 50-lap Street Stock Showdown, an Outlaw Mini Stock Madness event and Outlaw Stock race are also on the weekend schedule with $500 going to each race winner. The popular 25-lap Outlaw Stock race is back again in 2010 and welcomes most any rear-wheel drive American made car or truck with at least a 104” wheelbase from across New England’s short tracks. Engine rules are a steel block, steel heads, and any single carburetor.
The Seekonk Speedway will present the annual D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Classic. Among the many divisions in competition will be the Modified Racing Series. The Seekonk event kicks off the final three races of the season with a hotly contested battle-taking place for the 2010 series championship. The chase to the title will also include races at Twin State Speedway, Claremont, NH., and Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH., later this month. In addition Seekonk regular divisions will be in competition.

In TV land this weeks viewing begins with NASCAR Hub on the Speed Channel will be seen on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00pm. NASCAR Now on espn2 can be viewed at 5:00pm on Tuesday thru Thursday and on Friday at 8:30pm. This weeks race programming begins on Tuesday night at 7:00pm when the Versus Network presents the Oct 3 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, CARQUEST Fall Final that was run at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT. At 10:00pm Race in 60 on the Speed Channel highlights last weekends NASCAR Sprint Cup Price Chopper 400 that was run at the Kansas Speedway. Race in 60 repeats on Wednesday at 10:00am. The entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Price Chopper 400 from Kansas Speedway will be shown at noon on Wednesday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series race that was run at Kansas City will be shown on Speed at noon on Thursday. At 3:00pm the Sprint Cup 2005 Sony HD 500 that was run at the California Speedway will be shown by Speed. At 6:00pm Speed will show the Sept 24 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Sunoco 150 that was run in Dover, DE. Friday's viewing begins at noon on Speed with Dave Despain on Assignment as he documents the Birth and Evolution of the Bristol Motor Speedway. At 2:00pm Speed travels west to Fontana, CA for Nationwide Series practice. At 3:00pm the action shifts to espn2 for Sprint Cup practice at Fontana. At 4:30 its back to Speed for the final 90 minutes of Nationwide Series practice. At 6:30pm its back to espn2 for Sprint Cup qualifying from Fontana. NASCAR Now on espn2 and Trackside on Speed go head to head at 8:30pm. Saturday's viewing starts at 11:30am with Nationwide Series qualifying at Fontana. The ARCA Racing Series American 200 from the Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, NC follows at 1:00pm. At 3:30 Speed heads for the Virginia Motor Speedway in Saluda, VA for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. At 4:00pm espn2 presents live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Camping World 300 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Sunday's viewing begins at noon with a two hour RaceDay preview of the Sprint Cup event at Fontana. At 2:00pm the action shifts to ESPN for a one hour pre-race show that will lead to the 3:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pepsi Max 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Rounding out the day on the Speed Channel is The Speed Report at 7:00pm, NASCAR Victory Lane at 8:00pm and Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain at 9:00pm. At 11:00pm Versus will reshow the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, CARQUEST Fall Final that was run at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT.

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 0.43 to 24.46 and Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.33 to 15.78 while Dover Motorsports went up 0.21 to 1.96. NASCAR Cup sponsor Sprint went up 0.28 to 4.72 while fuel supplier Sun Oil went up 1.94 to 36.59. Tire supplier Goodyear was also up as they gained 0.03 to close at 10.85 at weeks end. All three car makers were down for the week. Toyota dropped 1.26 to 71.80 while Ford dropped 0.30 to 12.26 and General Motors dropped 0.03 to 0.33. In the home improvement sector Home Depot went up 0.18 to 31.82 while Lowes dropped 0.13 to 22.35. The team sponsors had their ups and downs. Dupont dropped 0.73 to 44.85 while Coca-Cola went up 1.47 to 52.94 and Target Department Stores dropped 1.58 to 53.47. Aarons Rentals went up 0.11 to 18.16 and Fedex jumped 1.41 to 85.64.

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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