The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour traveled
to Loudon, NH for the F.W. Webb 100 at
the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Thirty
One Modifieds were on hand for the
event. In early Friday morning practice
Donnie Lia was the fastest of the fast
as he topped the speed chart in NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour practice. Lia
toured the Magic Mile in 28.952 seconds
at an average speed of 131.556 mph.
Rowan Pennink was second quickest in the
95-minute practice session, turning a
lap of 29.196 seconds (130.456 mph). He
was followed by Ron Silk, Ted
Christopher and Patrick Emerling.
Completing the top 10 were Eric Beers,
Doug Coby, Jimmy Blewett, Mike Stefanik
and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular
Lia carried his speed over to qualifying
as he won the Coors Light Pole for the
F.W. Webb 100. The two-time tour
champion lapped the Loudon oval in
29.352 seconds at an average speed of
129.763 mph. Doug Coby, was second
quickest with a lap of 29.571 seconds
(128.802 mph). He was followed by Ron
Silk, Ryan Preece and Ted Christopher.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan
Newman turned in the sixth fastest lap
on his first qualifying lap, then
bounced off the Turn 2 wall on his
second lap. Newman drove to the garage
with damage to the nose of his car.
Jimmy Blewett, Justin Bonsignore, Eric
Goodale and Mike Stefanik completed the
top 10 in qualifying.
Doug Coby held on in a two-lap dash to
the finish to win the F.W. Webb 100 at
New Hampshire Motor Speedway to score
his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
win of the season. In a race that
featured lead changes on nearly every
lap early on, Coby took command on Lap
84 and never relinquished the top spot.
While he charged to the checkered flag
after a restart with two laps remaining,
second-place running Ted Christopher
ended up slamming the wall after contact
from Donny Lia, who went on to take the
runner-up spot as the race finished
under caution. Lia, who restarted fourth
clipped Christopher from behind and
turned him into the front stretch wall.
Christopher bounced off the wall and
careened into the inside wall that
protects the pit area.
Christopher used a few choice expletives
to express his displeasure with Lia's
driving. Lia had a different story. “We
were gonna fight for the win and I got a
run there on the 3 car [Christopher] and
got into the back of him,
unintentionally, and caused a wreck,”
Lia said. “It’s racing, I feel really
bad about it, by no means was it
intentional. I got a run and was trying
to go to the bottom and got him in the
left rear corner.” Following Coby and
Lia across the finish line were Ron
Silk, Ryan Newman and Rowan Pennink.
Eric Beers, Richie Pallai Jr., Matt
Hirschman, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Ryan Preece
rounded out the top 10.
Perfect weather, clear and in the low
70's greeted competitors alike. Prior to
the start of the event Boehler Racing
Crew Chief Scott Richards gave Ted
Christopher his marching orders. "Turn
the fans on when the green drops and
treat the first 50 laps as a practice
session". After starting fifth he ran
consistently between fifth and tenth
until the half way break. Following the
break Christopher began his march to the
front. By lap 76 Christopher was in the
lead as he passed Doug Coby in turn
three. Coby and Christopher were left to
settle it prior to the hit by Lia.
The planned 50 lap break took a lot of
pressure off crews to perform but it
robbed the fans of the excitement that
pit stops generate. The only excitement
was the possibility of a fire when an
individual who was fueling Patrick
Emerling's car accidentally spilled a
lot of gas on the ground. Woody Pitkat,
who was parked directly behind Emerling
stated "Who ever fueled the 07 is a
Mike Stefanik, who won the July race in
Loudon returned with a new car and great
expectations for a repeat performance.
Stefanik started tenth and got as high
as sixth at one point before his engine
suffered an internal malfunction on lap
31 and ended his day.
Sixteen of the original 31 starters
finished on the lead lap. In addition to
Christopher getting wrecked on lap 99
Eric Goodale was also collected in the
same incident. Wade Cole started 30th
and finished two laps down in19th spot.
Extremely under funded, Cole stayed out
of trouble and all things considered had
a good day.
Mike Christopher made his only start of
2012. Starting 28th, his car appeared to
be under powered as he was never a
factor as he too was two laps down at
the finish ending his day in 20th spot.
Long Islander Johnny Bush also had an
off day as he was also two laps down in
Patrick Emerling, who finished 12th on
the lead lap, triggered a big wreck on
lap 92 in turn one that took out Woody
Pitkat, Bryan Chew, Todd Szegedy and
Matt Hirschman. Emerling bounced off the
lapped car of Jimmy Blewett.
Donny Lia, who went on to take the
runner-up spot as the race finished
under caution, was not penalized for his
over aggressiveness by NASCAR.
There were five cautions for 17 laps.
The event went non-stop until the
mandatory stop at lap 50. The second
caution was for Jimmy Blewett who spun
between turns three and four. The third
caution came on lap 87 when it appeared
that Blewett dropped oil on the track.
The third caution was for the Emerling
triggered wreck on lap 92, the fourth
and fifth cautions were for the
Christopher wreck and the ultimate
finish under caution.
There were 23 official lead changes
among six drivers. D. Lia 1-3; R. Preece
4; D. Lia 5; R. Preece 6-11; R. Silk 12;
R. Preece 13-14; R. Silk 15; R. Preece
16; R. Silk 17; R. Preece 18-19; D. Lia
20-23; R. Silk 24; D. Lia 25; D. Coby
26; D. Lia 27; D. Coby 28; D. Lia 29-45;
P. Emerling 46; D. Lia 47-61; D. Coby
62-68; D. Lia 69-73; D. Coby 74-76; T.
Christopher 77-83; D. Coby 84-100. There
were numerous lead changes within the
Doug Coby leads the point standings by
22 over Ryan Preece. Ron Silk sits third
with Don Lia, fourth. Todd Szegedy
rounds out the top five.
A spokesperson for the New Hampshire
Motor Speedway stated that the Whelen
Modifieds would be back for two events
in 2013. That announcement would leave
one to believe that Speedway Motorsports
has no intention of moving any events
away from NHMS at this time. The Whelen
Modified Tour Series heads to the
Stafford Motor Speedway for the Fall
Final this weekend.
At the Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday
night it was a well deserved week off as
track management and competitors prepare
for the season ending Fall Final that is
scheduled for this coming weekend.
In Saturday night action at the
Waterford Speedbowl the NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series racing program was
highlighted by twin 35-lap SK Modified®
features, the premier weekly division at
the track. Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard won
the first of the two races, his fifth of
the year, while Tom Abele Jr. of Norwich
won the night’s second feature, his
first on the season. Cam McDermott of
North Scituate, RI picked up his second
checkered flag of the year in the SK
Light Modifieds. Dan Darnstaedt of
Durham scored the Street Stock feature
race win and Garrett Denton of Hope
Valley, RI grabbed his first Mini Stock
division victory of 2012. The X-Car
division competed in an event for their
Saturday Showdown Series, won by Wayne
Shifflett of Preston.
Among the surprise entries at the
shoreline oval was NEAR Hall of Fame
Legend Bob Potter. The 71-year old is a
six-time Speedbowl track champion. He
has been in the driver’s seat giving
race fans at Stafford Motor Speedway the
racecar experience in the two-seater SK
Light Modified this season at the track.
Potter also won five SK Modified
championships at Stafford and ranks
fourth all-time on the track’s SK
Modified win list with 24 career
victories, drove for car owner Pat
Doherty in the SK Light Modified feature
event. Potter finished eighth.
NASCAR headquarters in Daytona Beach Fla
announced that Lee Pulliam, 24, of
Semora, N.C., won the 2012 NASCAR Whelen
All-American Series national
championship in just his sixth year of
racing and fourth year in asphalt Late
Models. Pulliam rolled up 22 wins, 30
top fives and 32 top 10s in 36 starts to
run away with the national championship.
He out-distanced runner-up Keith Rocco,
794-748. Rocco dislocated his wrist and
broke a bone in an accident during
practice at Thompson July 29. He had
surgery and missed an entire weekend of
Rocco has nothing to be ashamed of as he
finished second in the final standings
for the second straight year and third
time in four years. Rocco had 14 wins,
26 top fives and 32 top 10s in 43 starts
racing his asphalt Modified at
Connecticut’s Thompson International
Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and
Waterford Speedbowl. He won his fifth
straight state title and has finished in
the top five nationally seven
Only four points separated the rest of
the top five. CE Falk III finished third
with 728, followed by Nate Monteith with
726 and Ryan Preece with 724.
Pulliam’s wins were spread among four
tracks including 10 at Motor Mile
Speedway in Radford, Va., nine at South
Boston (Va.) Speedway, two at Caraway
Speedway in Sophia, N.C., and one at
Southern National Motorsports Park in
Kenly, N.C. He placed third in points at
Motor Mile and South Boston running a
partial schedule at each. He also won
the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
In action on the tube this week last
Sunday's Sprint Cup race that was held
in New Hampshire will be re-run on the
Speed Channel at noon on Wednesday.
Speed goes live at Dover on Friday
morning with NASCAR Live at 10:30am.
Sprint Cup practice at Dover follows at
11:00am. Final practice for the
Nationwide Series at Dover will be on
Speed at 12:30pm followed by final
practice for the Sprint Cup cars at
Saturday's viewing begins at 11:30am on
the Speed Channel with NASCAR Live from
Dover. Coverage continues by Speed with
Nationwide Series qualifying at noon and
Sprint Cup qualifying at 1:30pm. The
action shifts to ESPN2 at 3:00pm for the
Nationwide Series pre-race show at Dover
which will lead to the 3:30pm start of
the NASCAR Nationwide Series OneMain
Financial 200 at Dover. At 8:00pm the
Speed Channel heads west to Las Vegas
for the NASCAR Truck Series Smith's 350
Sundays viewing begins at 11:00am on
Speed with a two hour RaceDay preview.
At 1:00pm the action moves to ESPN for a
one hour pre-race show that will lead to
the 2:00pm start of the NASCAR Sprint
Cup AAA 400 at Dover.
In other television racing related news
it has been announced that Robby
Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks and NBC
Sports Group have reached an agreement
to televise the 2013 Inaugural Stadium
SUPER Trucks Season on NBC and NBC
Sports Network. Starting in April of
2013, NBC and NBC Sports Network will
televise 12 races (11 domestic and one
Capitalizing on what was once known as
Mickey Thompson’s Off-Road Racing, Robby
Gordon’s Stadium SUPER Trucks will
feature high-flying off-road action
motorsports fans have been asking for.
The entire championship season will be
broadcasted on NBC and NBC Sports
Network, with the series awarding
$500,000 to the Champion driver of
Stadium SUPER Trucks.
That’s it for this week from 11 Gardner
Drive, Westerly RI 02891. Ring my chimes
at 401-596-5467. E-Mail is