For Tuesday Sept. 13, 2005

By Phil Smith

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series was at the Thompson Speedway last weekend for the Annual Thompson 300. With the announcement that the 300 would return to its original format came applause from fans and competitors alike. Thirty-seven Modifieds were on hand for time trials on Saturday. Tony Hirschman, who trailed Ted Christopher by 21 points going into the event, earned his seventh Bud Pole of the year. Hirschman was in a class by himself as he toured the 5/8 mile oval in 18.962 seconds for a speed of 118.658 mph. Second fastest was Zach Sylvester who went 118.141 mph. Donnie Lia, Mike Stefanik and John Blewett III rounded out the top five. Hirschman drew eighth on the draw for starting positions while Carl Pasteryak drew the pole.

Ted Christopher maintained his lead in the Whelen Modified Tour Series standings as he added the Thompson 300 to his war chest of wins. Christopher, who now has six wins on the series this year, took the lead with 26 laps to go. Tony Hirschman, who was the odds-on favorite to take the win, finished second. Ed Flemke Jr. turned in a strong run to finish third. Jerry Marquis and Mike Stefanik rounded out the top five. With five laps to go the event took a twist that changed the top five. Donnie Lia exibited a little road rage as he planted Doug Coby into the front chute wall. Coby, who had taken second spot after running Lia up the track a bit. Instead of an almost positive second place finish Coby ended up 19th. NASCAR felt that Lia’s actions were deliberate and parked him with five to go which resulted in a 20th place finish. Fines and or sanctions from NASCAR could be headed Lia’s way. In an interview on Gary Danko's Speedway Line Report Radio Show Monday night, Lia was all apologetic. The radio show can be heard in it's entirety on

The Sunoco Modifieds and the Late Models ran double features at the Thompson Speedway last weekend. Ronnie Silk won the Saturday night Sunoco Modified 25 lapper over Tom Cravenho, Jimmy Blewett, Keith Rocco and Jeff Malave. Woody Pitkat was the Late Model winner. Sunday’s action saw Jeff Malave rebound to take the win in the Sunoco Modifieds. Malave started fifth. Second generation driver Keith Rocco finished an impressive second with Tom Cravenho, third. Richard Savory and Ronnie Silk rounded out the top five. Charles Bailey III took the Sunday Late Model event and Ron Smith won the Pro Stock finish.

The Stafford Motor Speedway wrapped up its regular on Friday night season. Lloyd Agor went into last Friday night’s SK Modified feature with a 24 point lead over Todd Owen. He was hoping to wrap up his first Stafford championship. Lady luck had other ideas as Agor ended up 14th and Owen ended up third behind Jeff Baral and Ted Christopher. Owen is now within 2 points of Agor. The track title will be settled at the Car Quest Fall Final. Jeff Baral staged a spirited battle with Ted Christopher right up to the final lap of the 40-lap feature. Baral had led from lap 12. Early leader Keith Rocco fell victim to mechanical problems. Willie Hardie and Chuck Docherty rounded out the top five. Other Friday night winners were Tom Butler in the Late Models and John Hurley in the DARE Stocks.

Shawn Monahan scored his second victory of the season at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night. Monahan started on the pole and led the entire distance. Rob Summers finished second and in doing so, took over the point lead. Going into the event Ron Yuhas Jr held a 22 point lead. A devastating crash in the early going put Yuhas behind the eight ball as his car was severly damaged and his night ended with a 19th place finish. Dennis Gada finished third. Other winners at the shoreline oval on Saturday night were Norm Root in the Sportsman division, Larry Goss in the Late Models, Dave Silvia in the Mini Stocks and George Whitney in the Legends Cars.

In TV land, this week’s viewing will consist of an extensive amount of Speed Channel programming. NASCAR Nation is now on every day, Monday thru Friday at 7:00pm. This weeks viewing begins on Tuesday at 4:00pm with last Thursday’s Craftsman Truck event that was run at Richmond VA last Thursday. Wednesday’s viewing begins at noon with last Saturday’s Busch Series 250 that was held in Richmond. NASCAR Fast Forward gets the green at 5:00pm with highlights of all the events run in Richmond last weekend. The action moves to the Outdoor Channel at 8:00pm for the World of Outlaws. Last September’s Nextel Cup Sylvania 300 from Loudon, NH gets the Speed Channel revisit treatment at noon on Thursday. Following at 3:00pm will be a full replay of last Saturday night’s Nextel Cup 400 from Richmond. At 8:00pm the Speed Channel presents "The Chase Is On". Ralph Shaheen sizes up the competition in the final weeks leading up to the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Friday’s action begins at noon with the USAR Hooters Cup Late Models. The Speed Channel goes live at 5:00pm from Loudon with a recap of the day’s events. Another one hour block of live programming goes at 8:00pm. Same day-taped delayed coverage of Nextel Cup final practice will be on from 8:00pm to 9:30pm. Saturday’s viewing begins with live coverage by TNT of Nextel Cup qualifying at noon. Speed goes live at 3:00pm with the Craftsman Trucks from Loudon. Speed News Saturday wraps up the day’s activities at 7:00pm. At 8:00pm the Speed Channel presents a three hour movie, GONE IN 60 SECONDS. TNT will present live coverage of the Nextel Cup Sylvania 300 beginning at 1:00pm. NASCAR Victory Lane, from 8:00 – 9:00pm and Wind Tunnel from 9:00 – 11:00pm wrap up the weekend’s racing. Subscriptions for Lou’s Motorsports TV Calendar are now by e-mail only and can be had for $12.00 per year. The all-new version features larger type, better accuracy and more detailed. Checks can be sent to LMTVC, 27 Bayberry Drive, #2, Sharon, Mass. 02067.

On the Speedway Stock market Scene last week all three-speedway stocks rebounded to finish the week in the green. Leading the pack was the International Speedway Corporation, which went up 0.80 to 53.85. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.58 to 36.99 and Dover Downs went up 0.04 to 7.02. Nextel went up 0.32 to 25.78 and Sun Oil took a huge jump of 4.40 to 79.65. Action Performance went up 0.01 to 12.67 while Featherlite Trailers dropped 0.30 to 3.79. Boundless Motorsports remained at 5.00 without any movement. In the drug sector Pfizer came to life as they went up 1.44 to 26.33. Bristol Meyers-Squib went up 0.65 to 25.11. The home improvement sector was also up as Lowes jumped 3.84 to 68.09 and Home Depot went up 0.89 to 41.22. Parcel carriers Fedex and UPS had a mixed bag. Fedex went up 0.75 to 80.51 and UPS dropped 0.48 to 68.50.

That’s about it for this week from 40 Clark St, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467 or days at 860-433-5250.E-mail  

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