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DeLange Racing And Driver Eric Beers Leaving The NASCAR Whelen
November 2, 2012DeLange Racing And Driver Eric Beers Leaving The NASCAR Whelen
By Shawn Courchesne
November 2, 2012
of Lockport, N.Y., had fielded a car for Eric Beers, who finished sixth in
the Whelen Modified Tour standings driving for the organization in 2012.“Right
now we will not be returning to the [Whelen Modified] Tour next year,” DeLange
said. “There’s a myriad of reasons. One is Eric spends a lot of time working.
He has to put in a lot of overtime. He’s on the road a lot and he’s a very
hands on guy. It’s made it very difficult on him with his family obligations
and so on. And as far our situation, goes, frankly I’m getting beat up with
the travel. We live near Buffalo, N.Y. and the closest races for us are six
and seven hours away. It’s tough and it’s started to beat me up a bit. That’s
another factor.”DeLange began competing on the Modified Tour in 2008 with
driver Erick Rudolph. After parting ways with Rudolph after the 2008 season,
DeLange and Beers connected for the 2009 season. DeLange shared the responsibility
of fielding a car for Beers in 2009 with fellow team owner Bob Katon Jr. Beers
drove to an eighth place in the standings in 2009. DeLange then teamed with
owner John Blewett Sr. in 2010 to field cars for Beers, who finished ninth
in the standings that year. DeLange has fielded cars full-time as the sole
owner for the season for the last two years for Beers. The team was third
in the Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2011. “The Tour has become not fun
any more,” DeLange said. “It’s costing us more and more money to run on the
Tour. My opinion, and this is strictly my opinion, I believe that NASCAR has
lost sight of who we are. And by we I mean, the Modifieds. We’re weekend racers
and we don’t have full-time paid crews like a Sprint Cup operation or a Nationwide
operation. The financial burden has been very tough. They change the rules
at the drop of a hat and changing those rules always costs us money. The up
and coming year  we’ve got to go to a new seat, we’ve got make adjustments
to the car itself and all these things cost money. There’s a price tag to
everything and it has become very very difficult with everything they do.
“I’ve enjoyed the Tour, I’ve been able to meet a lot of nice people. There’s
nobody better than the Eddie Flemke’s and the Jamie Tomaino’s and the Jimmy
Blewett’s. I’ll miss racing with those people, I’ll miss interacting with
those people, but we won’t miss a lot of the stuff that goes along with the
NASCAR operation.”DeLange said he will continue to work with Beers, of Northampton,
Pa. He will field a car full-time for Beers next season at Mahoning Valley
Speedway in Lehighton, Pa. “Mahoning is a great place to race, it’s a lot
of fun,” DeLange said. “It’s a throwback to the old days, which I miss greatly.
It’s a very enjoyable.”He
said the team will also run special events at Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster,
N.Y., just outside of Buffalo. He said he doesn’t rule out the possibility
of making selected starts on the Modified Tour.“A
lot will depend on what it looks like cost-wise to make the changes to the
car that are necessary for racing with NASCAR next year,” DeLange said.
27 - Mahoning Speedway - 130 laps
- Octoberfast - 3
PA 10-27-12) It was the biggest payday and longest race distance for the Modifieds,
Late Models and Street Stocks ever at Mahoning Valley Speedway and race teams
responded to the cash and laps offerings with a very impressive field in the
highly touted “Octoberfast 2012, Fright Night in the Valley.
all was said and done, Matt Hirschman proved once again why he is the undisputed
king of extra distance races at the paved quarter mile oval as the Northampton
ace drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a decisive $5000 victory in
the 130 lap feature, Earl Paules of Palmerton won his 10th Late Model race
of the season and TJ Gursky, also from Palmerton, took top honors in the 100
lap Street Stock feature and it was all in front a full grandstand.
The Octoberfast 2012 goes down as one of the most successful days in track
history and brings to a close the first year of promoting under Floyd Santee.
The racing was the track’s season finale and was part of a close to $50,000
purse. It drew 34 Modifieds, 20 Late Models and 31 Street Stocks from throughout
Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“We wouldn’t be here tonight if it hadn’t been for (promoter) Floyd Santee
and his family. They stepped up to the plate and did something here that no
one else had ever done before. This means that we’ll come back again next
year. We have to keep this event going. They did an excellent job with the
fans and the racers,” said Hirschman.
An all-star 24 car field began the Modified main. Hirschman, in the J &
J Motorsports No. 59, became the sixth and final leader when he assumed the
top spot under a lap 59 caution. He then drove the rest of the way with little
resistance for his track leading seventh 100-plus lap feature win at Mahoning
“This was unbelievable. To race in front of this size of a crowd in late October,
it’s my favorite time of year,” said Hirschman.
Some crafty pit strategy early on played nicely into his hands too. Under
the race’s first yellow on lap 34, Hirschman gave up his fifth place running
spot to duck in for a left rear tire. He came back out ninth and patiently
held steady after reaching sixth place.
Then on lap 59 leader Lou Strohl spun and brought out a caution. Much to Hirschman’s
benefit all five cars ahead of him made pit stops which then moved him to
the front of the pack.
At Mahoning Valley it’s rare to see Hirschman passed once he takes the lead
and this time was no different as the rest of the way was near effortless.
“It worked out to be a masterpiece of perfection. I couldn’t have asked for
it to go any better than that. I’m a big believer in momentum and when you
got that behind you and you’re not doubting yourself and your car and your
team in the pits, it almost comes easy,” he said.
A redraw after heats saw newly crowned track champion Paules snag the pole
with New York star Chuck Hossfeld alongside.
At the drop of the green Paules took to the early lead with Hossfeld closely
alongside him. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standout Ryan Preece, 2011 Mahoning
champ Tyler Haydt and Hirschman made up the top five.
Hossfeld, who was making his first appearance at Mahoning Valley, was giving
Paules a handful to deal with, attacking from both the high and low lanes.
On lap seven he drove to the inside and took control of the lead.
Haydt had worked to third and was now running two-wide with Paules while they
each went nip-and-tuck with Hossfeld.
Utilizing his home track advantage and keen ability of running the high groove,
Paules was able to shake free of Haydt and continued towards Hossfeld, retaking
the lead on lap 22. Likewise Haydt also followed Paules as did Preece.
The rapid paced action was halted for the first time on lap 34 when Jimmy
Zacharias made contact with Tony Hirschman in turn three and put an end to
Under the yellow a handful of cars went pit-side including M. Hirschman. Upon
returning he would be shown in 10th. Paules was still out front with Haydt
followed by Nevin George, Eric Beers Roger Coss.
When the race got back underway Paules got very defensive as Haydt and George
were attacking from either side of him. George, who was on the inside, made
a thrusting surge coming through turn four on lap 37 and entered into the
Hard charging Coss was starting to make his presence felt by this time as
well. He and Paules began going back and forth for second. Also on the move
was Strohl in the Matt Higgins owned No. 88.
After a lap 45 restart, Strohl was third behind George and Coss and within
two laps of going back green he powered his way past both. Things were looking
good for the all-time Modified wins leader as he was chasing after his first
in three years.
George was keeping right on his tail but Strohl was not showing signs of uneasiness.
The leaders then came upon lapped traffic by lap 58. Just ahead of them was
Matt Wentz. On lap 59 as they came off of turn one, Strohl and George, while
running to the inside of Wentz, just cleared him but as they were heading
into turn two, George tapped the back of Strohl and the leader went into a
With the caution now out George along with third, fourth and fifth runners
Paules, Haydt and Beers, all made pit stops. That elevated Hirschman to the
top. Bobby Jones was now second with Chip Santee, Hossfeld and John Bennett
making up the top five.
Once the action got back underway Hirschman would remain in charge. Even with
a few more cautions that allowed others to challenge, he would have nothing
to do with it. He was even passing cars on the final few laps despite his
“I had a great car. I felt comfortable and ran that pace. The lapped cars
worked with me and it was a perfect day,” said Hirschman who drove away to
a five car length margin of victory.
“You slack off a little bit and leave the door open and somebody’s filling
it. We’re racing for five grand here today and you don’t give someone an opportunity
if you don’t have to.
With 32 laps to go Coss progressed to second and similar to Hirschman would
not be challenged the rest of the way.
“It was a good run. I was trying real hard but he was a little better than
me. I finished second to the best in the business, there’s no question about
it,” said Coss who pocketed $3000.
“It’s a good payday. One spot higher would be a lot nicer but we’ll take second
in this case.”
Beers, who like Hirschman always comes into the extra distance races as a
favorite, fought hard to come home third. His efforts netted him $2000. Zane
Zeiner came from 17th to fourth with Paules rounding out the top five. They
cleared $1600 and $1200 respectively.
There were four heats which were won by Tony Hirschman, Don Wagner, Beers
and Kevin Rex, Jr. Zeiner and Bennett won the consolation races.
Feature Finish, 100 Laps: 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Roger Coss, 3. Eric Beers,
4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Chip Santee, 7. John Bennett, 8. John Markovic,
9. Nevin George, 10. Todd Baer, 11. Tyler Haydt, 12. Bobby Jones, 13. Chuck
Hossfeld, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Anthony Sesely, 17. Rick Kirkendall,
18. Matt Wentz, 19. Kevin Rex, Jr., 20. Brian DeFebo, 21. Scott Adams, 22.
Ryan Preece, 23. Tony Hirschman, 24. Jimmy Zacharias
Modified B-Main, 25 Laps: 1. James Pritchard, Jr. 2. Tom Flanagan, 3. Shaun
Carrig, 4. Troy Bollinger, 5. TJ Zacharias, 6. Matt Clemens
Did not start: Tommy Farrell, Bobby Drown, Terry Markovic, Ron Frees
B-main for non-qualified cars was held and in the non-stop 25-lapper James
Pritchard, Jr., of Roxberry, NJ led every lap and won for the first time in
a Modfied. The race was worth $1000. It was his first win since a Factory
Stock victory back in 2006.
Oct 13-14 - Thompson Speedway - NASCAR - 5
Eric said the car was good - it was a little tight on the start of a run but
then came in and he could hold his own. Also restarting on the inside was
bad and then had to work to get back positions.
THOMPSON, Conn. – It was all about the little
guys on Sunday at Thompson International Speedway.
a part-time ride, former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Bobby Santos
won the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series 150 for his second consecutive
win to close out the season, while Doug Coby celebrated his first career championship
with a team that was making just its first foray into fielding a full-time
ride on the Tour.There
might be bigger teams, bigger budgets and even bigger star power in other
corners of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but Sunday served notice that
there are plenty of smaller operations with the know-how to get the job done
– both on race day and over the long haul of a six-month season.“When
(team owner Wayne Darling) decided to go full-time, it really had to do with
the schedule that NASCAR put together,” Coby said. “If it was the same schedule
as last year, he would not have gone full-time. We just got lucky that it
was spread out more. He looked at it with his crew chief and said, 'We can
do this with our two cars and our two motors and we'll be fine.“Let's
take a shot at it.'It
obviously worked out, as Coby won five of the 14 races on the season. His
sixth-place finish on Sunday in the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire 150 gave him his
11th Top-10 of the season along with eight Top-5s.Santos
spent the last two years with Bob Garbarino's Mystic Missile team, a fixture
on the Tour since its inception in the 1980s. This year, replaced in that
seat by two-time series champion Donny Lia, he was sent looking for gainful
employment in the Modified ranks.He
found it with a part-time team in Tinio Racing. How high were the odds stacked
against the No. 44 this year? Santos said when they agreed to purchase a Tour
Modified from his father, they originally they thought they were buying an
SK Modified that would have competed in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Santos believed the team could surprise people, especially after an eye-opening
pole and second-place finish at Stafford Motor Speedway in May.“They
have all the right pieces, and they're just giving me a really great race
car,” said Santos, a two-time winner of the World Series. “The biggest thing
is that they work with me, and they listen to me, and they believe in me.“That's
something I need, and it means a lot that this team believes in me.”;Santos,
who has filled his summer schedule the last few years with a slew of open-wheel
sprint and midget races, used that belief to fuel his efforts on the Whelen
Modified Tour. Despite winning the 2010 series championship, Santos said he
has still had to learn how to be a different kind of driver in a Modified.On
Sunday, he used that mentality to power past the leaders for the win.“I
don't feel like I drive like a Modified driver. I feel I'm an open-wheel style
driver, and I try to race really clean,” Santos said. “The way this Modified
racing is right now, you have to be really aggressive and you've got to use
the nerf bars a little more. I hate doing it, but I did it a couple of times
in today's race where I would normally never do that. But if you want to win
in this series right now, the way it is, you have to race like that.”;Even
in victory, it didn't feel natural to Santos – who also won at Stafford Motor
Speedway two weeks ago to give Tinio Racing its first Tour win as an organization.“I
felt horrible,” Santos said. “I was just talking to (third-place finish Todd
Szegedy), and he said, 'That's nothing what you did to me.' I guess I'm just
kind of out of my league with this racing. It's just not my style.“I
always feel like I'm the one getting shoved around, but today I had too good
of a race car to let people push me around. I just did what it took to get
to Victory Lane.”;And
in doing so, he rewarded his team with its second victory to close out a 2012
season that was remarkable for the success found by the little guys.Coby's
title was the ultimate illustration of that.“As
far as putting the pieces of the puzzle together, I knew that this team had
good motors and they had a good cars,” Coby said. “The first time I drove
this car, we should have won the World Series here in 2010. That was a dominant
performance by that car, where a part broke and we finished third.“That's
where the story started. That's where we kind of all knew, 'Wow. This could
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series
Sunday At Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 74.356 mph.
2. (4) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
3. (14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 150.
4. (6) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 150.
5. (7) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
6. (9) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
7. (15) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
8. (18) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
9. (19) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (11) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 150.
11. (3) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
12. (21) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (23) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Ford, 150.
14. (13) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
15. (1) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
16. (8) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
17. (20) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
18. (12) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 150.
19. (5) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
20. (22) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 148, engine.
21. (28) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
22. (25) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 146.
23. (27) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145.
24. (32) Shawn Solomito, Islip, Chevrolet, 137.
25. (30) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 136.
26. (16) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 123, accident.
27. (29) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 88.
28. (31) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 64, oil pressure.
29. (24) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 50, suspension.
30. (17) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 41, accident.
31. (26) Cole Powell, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Chevrolet, 34, accident.
32. (10) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Chevrolet, 29, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 15 minutes 39 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.367 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: E. Berndt (120.922 mph, 18.607 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 38 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: E. Berndt 1-2; R. Preece 3-48; D. Lia 49-82; R. Preece 83-92;
T. Szegedy 93-129; B. Santos 130-150.
1. D. Coby, 556; 2. R. Preece, 545; 3. R. Silk, 533; 4. D. Lia, 493; 5. T.
Szegedy, 476; 6. E. Beers, 469; 7. J. Bonsignore, 460; 8. J. Blewett, 459;
9. T. Christopher, 452; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 439
Oct 6 - Mahoning Speedway - 100 laps - 1
Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman, neighbors from
Mud Lane in Northampton, don’t race regularly at Mahoning Valley Speedway
but make no mistake that when they do you’ll usually see them vying for the
win, especially when it comes to a 100 lap feature. After they drew the front
row, Beers was then able to lead every lap and held off Hirschman for the
$3000 victory. It was the sixth time that Beers has won a Mahoning race of
that distance, equaling the mark with Hirschman for most at the paved quarter
mile oval. And, while that race unfolded, third place finisher Earl Paules
clinched the division championship which complimented his Late Model crown
from two weeks earlier. Zane Zeiner was fourth and in the process picked up
an additional $2000 from the $6000 purse as the overall winner of the Mahoning
Modified Madness Series. Rookie Scott Meckes completed the top five. 26 Modifieds
time trialed which locked the top 12 into the starting grid. Don Wagner turned
the fastest lap at 9.798-seconds, a mere .001-second over Beers. Beers, driving
the Horwith Trucking No. 45, got a quick jump on Hirschman when the race commenced.
Paules also snookered Hirschman and grabbed second spot. Throughout the first
half of the contest the front duo waged a solid battle with many of the laps
run in near two-wide formation. Numerous attempts by Paules to move into the
lead where thwarted by Beers. “Earl (Paules) is the master here. Had he started
pole and me second I would most likely not have won this race,” admitted Beers.
Hirschman never was a factor during the first half and had fallen back to
seventh at one point. It wasn’t until the final 32 laps that he reemerged
as a contender. After a restart on lap 65, he displaced strong running Meckes
for third and then aimed his attention on Paules. It would take him the better
part of the next 20 laps to do so. Once he did his motivation was now Beers.
At that point there was only six laps left and he did all he could to race
into the lead, however, with Beers’ car sticking perfectly to the inside,
the former track champ was able to hold his line and score the big win, his
first of any kind this season. “With the dampness the track didn’t have a
whole lot of grip tonight and without having a mirror or a radio which we
have on the (NASCAR) Tour all the time, you don’t know how close anyone is
to you so you’re always going as hard as you can,” said Beers who now has
28 career Modified wins at Mahoning Valley. “I knew he (Hirschman) was right
on me and he and everyone else ran a clean race. This is home to me and I’m
glad to be here.”; Beers, Hirschman and several other “outsiders” used the
race as a tune-up for the upcoming October 27 $5000-to-win season finale,
130 lap event.
“This gives us a lot of confidence coming into that race,” offered Beers.
“We have a little bit of work to do to get the car better for that one. It’s
going to be huge here that day and you can expect a lot of hot shoes from
around the Northeast.”
DJ Wagner and Brian DeFebo were b-main winners.
Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Eric Beers, 2. Matt Hirschman, 3. Earl Paules,
4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Scott Meckes, 6. John Markovic, 7. Nevin George, 8. Ed
Brunnhoelzl, 9. Bobby Jones, 10. Brian DeFebo, 11. Tony Hirschman, 12. Don
Wagner, 13. Roger Coss, 14. Chip Santee, 15. Shawn Sitarchyk, 16. Lou Strohl,
17. Matt Wentz, 18. Troy Bollinger, 19. Joe Mooney, 20. Kevin Rex, Jr., 21.
Tyler Haydt, 22. Tom Flanagan, 23. DJ Wagner, 24. John Bennett Did not qualify:
Vinnie Biondolillo, Matt Higgins,
30 - Stafford Speedway - NASCARR - 13
waited until the end to make his move and then powered past Woody Pitkat to
win the CARQUEST Fall Final Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway. Santos made
the winning pass with four laps to go en route to his first win of the season.
It was the seventh career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win for the Franklin,
Mass., driver. Four of those wins have come at Stafford, including the 2010
Fall Final. “I was taking care a little bit and saving for 10 to go, but Flemke
held me up a little and that kind of motivated me,” said Santos, the 2010
Whelen Modified Tour champion.
Pitkat led a race-high 128 laps at his hometown track. The Stafford driver
had a cushion of over a second late in the race before Santos cleared lapped
traffic and tracked him down. Santos wound up winning by .644 seconds. “I
have to congratulate (Pitkat). He did an awesome jog,” stated Santos. “I really
wish he could have gotten his first win, but it feels great to win for us,
too.” While Pitkat had to settle for second place, he was proud of his team’s
performance. “The car was really good. I wanted to stay out front so I wouldn’t
have to abuse the car and that’s what we did,” said Pitkat. “But something
happened toward the end. I think we started leaking power steering fluid or
something. It was all over the front of the car there at the end. “This team
has worked really hard and it was nice to prove that we have a top-five car.
It’s an honor to drive for these guys. Hopefully we can be one spot better
at Thompson.” Jimmy Blewett, who won his second career Coors Light Pole Award
in qualifying Saturday, finished third. Blewett pitted early for tires but
the strategy backfired when the race ran 93 laps under green. Neither Santos
nor Pitkat pitted. “The car was a little too free at the beginning. We came
in put the tires on and made a chassis adjustment,” Blewett said. “We hoped
that we’d get a late-race caution and everybody else would pit and pick up
track position. We didn’t get that caution we really wanted. We had to go
when we did and it was just a little too late in the game.” Ron Silk and Ryan
Preece finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Mike Stefanik was sixth, followed
by Donny Lia, Bryon Chew, Doug Coby and Matt Hirschman. With one race remaining
Coby holds a 17-point lead over Ryan Preece and 18 over defending tour champion
Silk. Lia and Justin Bonsignore round out the top five but are mathematically
eliminated from championship contention.
With the victory, Santos locked up a spot in the NASCAR Whelen Modified race
at the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the .4-mile oval at Daytona International
Speedway next February during Speedweeks.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour concludes the season Sunday, Oct. 14 at Thompson
(Conn.) International Speedway.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-CARQUEST Fall Final Results - UNOFFICIAL
Sunday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
Lap length: 0.5 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (2) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 74.462 mph.
2. (4) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 150.
3. (1) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
4. (3) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
5. (10) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
6. (17) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 150.
7. (9) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 150.
8. (8) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
9. (11) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (6) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA, Chevrolet, 150.
11. (13) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
12. (14) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (7) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
14. (16) Richie Pallai,, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
15. (12) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
16. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
17. (21) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
18. (23) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 149.
19. (15) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, Mass., Chevrolet, 149.
20. (20) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 149.
21. (19) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
22. (25) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 142.
23. (5) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 128.
24. (26) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 70, clutch.
25. (22) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 50, steering.
26. (18) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Ford, 10, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 0 minutes 26 seconds
Margin of Victory: .644 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: J. Blewett (98.318 mph, 18.308 seconds)
Caution Flags: 4 for 24 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Blewett 1-2; R. Silk 3-16; W. Pitkat 17-144; B. Santos 145-150.
1. D. Coby, 518; 2. R. Preece, 501; 3. R. Silk, 500; 4. D. Lia, 466; 5. J.
Bonsignore, 435; 6. T. Szegedy, 434; 7. J. Blewett, 431; 8. E. Beers, 430;
9. T. Christopher, 421; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 412.
Sept 22 - New Hampshire Speedway - NASCAR - 6
COBY CAPTURES FIRST MAGIC MILE WIN
Fifth Win Of The Season For Whelen Modified Tour Leader
Doug Coby held on in a two-lap dash to the finish to win the F.W. Webb 100
at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday to score his fifth NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour win of the season.It marked the seventh career win and first
victory at the Magic Mile for the Milford, Conn., driver - who extended his
lead in the championship standings.“I’ve only won at Stafford, Thompson and
Waterford in my career and to come outside of Connecticut – being a Connecticut
boy – to come to this stage and on TV, it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling,”
Coby said.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
led eight different times for a race-high 47 laps after qualifying on the
pole.“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.”The race appeared to mark a turnaround for Coby - who started the
season with top 10s in each of the first eight races, but had finishes of
11th, 13th and 22nd in the three outings leading to New Hampshire.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.With the win Coby extended to a 21-point lead on Ryan
Preece with just two races remaining in the season. Defending champion Silk
is three points further back in third.The race featured 23 lead changes among
six different drivers. It marked the most lead changes in a Whelen Modified
Tour event since July 15, 2006 when there were 28, also at New Hampshire.
The F.W. Webb 100, the second of two visits by the tour this year to NHMS,
and the 57th all-time at the 1.058-mile oval. It was televised live on SPEED.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action with the CARQUEST Fall
Final at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 30.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - F.W.
Webb 100 - Unofficial Results
Saturday At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Lap length: 1.058 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 100 laps, 96.817 mph.
2. (1) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 100.
3. (3) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 100.
4. (6) Ryan Newman, South Bend, IN, Chevrolet, 100.
5. (11) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 100.
6. (16) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 100.
7. (13) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100.
8. (20) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 100.
9. (12) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
10. (4) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 100.
11. (15) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
12. (18) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 100.
13. (24) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 100.
14. (22) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 100.
15. (27) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100.
16. (19) Cole Powell, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Canada, Chevrolet, 100.
17. (5) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 99, accident.
18. (9) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99, accident.
19. (30) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.
20. (28) Mike Christopher, Plainville, CT, Dodge, 98.
21. (31) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 98.
22. (23) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 97.
23. (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 95.
24. (14) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Chevrolet, 94.
25. (21) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 92.
26. (8) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 92.
27. (26) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92.
28. (17) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 59, suspension.
29. (10) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 32, engine.
30. (29) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 30, handling.
31. (25) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 7, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 34 seconds
Margin of Victory: Under Caution
Fastest Qualifier: D. Lia (129.763 mph, 29.352 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 17 laps.
Lead Changes: 23 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: 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.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 483; 2.
R. Preece, 462; 3. R. Silk, 459; 4. D. Lia, 429; 5. T. Szegedy, 414; 6. J.
Bonsignore, 401; 7. E. Beers, 399; 8. T. Christopher, 397; 9. J. Blewett,
389; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 380.
September 15 - Riverhead - Start 19 - Finish 11
was fourth fastest in the first practice so car was goods and then they straped
on tires for qualifying that were junk and started 18th - on lap 20 another
car slammed the right front and bent the spindle
so from that point on Eric was loose on the straighaway- then loose in tight
off and all sorts of stuff - so not a bad 11th place finish
ROLLS TO RIVERHEAD VICTORY
Takes 2nd Whelen Modified Tour Win Of The Season
Ryan Preece rolled to his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win of the season
Saturday night in the Riverhead 200 at Riverhead Raceway. To get it, the Berlin,
Conn., driver led 168 laps before he survived a green-white-checkered finish
for his fifth career win, and second at Riverhead. A caution on Lap 196 set
up Preece in a battle with Jimmy Blewett on the final restart and pushed the
race to 203 laps on the quarter-mile. Blewett was penalized to the tail end
of the lead lap for jumping that final restart and finished 12th. Saturday
marked the second career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Preece at Riverhead,
who also nabbed two wins in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Modified Division this year. “I love this stuff, I like tight racing,
getting up on the wheel and sawing at it,” Preece said of bullring races.
“I had a good time, I love coming to Riverhead Raceway, and I had a
lot of fun.” Preece’s other victory this season came at Monadnock
Speedway, the other quarter-mile facility on the Whelen Modified Tour schedule.
Defending Riverhead 200 winner Justin Bonsignore consistently ran in or near
the top five throughout the night and finished second after winning last week
at Thompson International Speedway. “I thought we had a really good
chance [to win] two weeks in a row,” Bonsignore said. “I got a
good start on that green-white-checkered and honestly I didn’t know
that they had posted the 76 [Blewett]. I had a wheel next to Ryan, maybe I
would have pressed the issue if I would have known, but all in all it was
a good day.” Todd Szegedy was third, followed by Riverhead regular Howie
Brode and Ted Christopher. Christopher rallied from an early-race incident
and was the free pass beneficiary twice to get back in position for his stretch
run. Tom Rogers Jr., Eric Goodale, Donny Lia, Ron Silk and Eric Berndt completed
the top 10. Goodale led a career-high 35 laps Saturday night. It was just
the third race in his career that he ran out front, and first time in two
years. While running near the front, points leader Doug Coby experienced engine
issues 60 laps into the event and finished 22nd to allow Preece to close to
within nine points in the standings with three races remaining. Silk slipped
from second to third in the standings, 19 points back of Coby. Earlier in
the day, Preece won his sixth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, the most
by a Whelen Modified Tour driver since 2005. He went on to lead a race-high
168 laps. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race next in the F.W. Webb
100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 22. The race will air
live on SPEED.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - Riverhead 200 Unofficial Results
Saturday At Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, N.Y.
Lap length: 0.25 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (1) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 203 laps, 53.593 mph.
2. (10) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 203.
3. (4) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 203.
4. (11) Howie Brode, East Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 203.
5. (12) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 203.
6. (6) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 203.
7. (2) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 203.
8. (5) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 203.
9. (9) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 203.
10. (16) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 203.
11. (18) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 203.
12. (13) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 203.
13. (17) Frank Vigliarolo, Mt. Sinai, N.Y., Chevrolet, 201.
14. (19) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 201.
15. (22) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
16. (20) Ed Brunnhoelzl, III, Levittown, N.Y., Chevrolet, 199.
17. (15) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 199.
18. (21) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 195, suspension.
19. (23) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 192, suspension.
20. (14) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 184.
21. (3) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 148, steering.
22. (7) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 60, engine.
23. (8) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 53, mechanical.
Time of Race: 0 hours 56 minutes 49 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.448 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Preece (75.605 mph, 11.904 seconds)
Caution Flags: 7 for 45 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-77; E. Goodale 78-112; R. Preece 113-203.
1. D. Coby, 436; 2. R. Preece, 427; 3. R. Silk, 417; 4. T. Szegedy, 395; 5.
D. Lia, 385; 6. J. Bonsignore, 383; 7. T. Christopher, 369; 8. J. Blewett,
368; 9. E. Beers, 361; 10. R. Yuhas, Jr., 345.
RIVERHEAD RACEWAY 200
by Polly Reid
The Riverhead 200 originally scheduled to run in July, postponed because of
rain is finally in the books two months later. One would have to agree the
wait was worth it for Ryan Preece. The Berlin, CT driver set fast time earlier
in the day at Riverhead Raceway in the Eric Sanderson owned, East West Marine
sponsored Ford earning his 6th pole of the season and ended his day with a
trip to victory lane in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Riverhead 200.
“It’s awesome,” smiled Preece. “Sly, Jerry, everybody
in the shop, Fred, Jack everyone that works on this car, they do a phenomenal
job, they work their tails off and to get this win for them it means a lot
to me. And to get our sixth pole of the year, that’s pretty cool. We’re
clicking away, we’re getting better and better every week- I’m
very fortunate to be with the car owner I have, Eric Sanderson, he’s
a great guy and car owner- he has all the confidence in the world in me. I’m
proud of these guys and I can’t thank them enough.”
Justin Bonsignore was second with Todd Szegedy third, Howie Brode fourth and
Ted Christopher fifth.
It is Preece's second win of the season, the first coming at Monadnock Speedway
The night was not without controversy. It might be categorized as hard short
track racing when the seventh and final caution of the night waved as four
cars tangled in turn two with only four circuits remaining on the board. After
the track was clear, the night was going to come down to a green white checker
finish. Preece leading came around turn four for the final restart of the
night with Jimmy Blewett on the outside. With the green flagin the air, Blewett
got the edge on the restart and passed Preece too soon. Blewett was immediately
penalized by NASCAR for jumping the restart, the win scored to Preece as the
Riverhead 200 was extended to lap 203. Preece awarded the victory, Blewett
scored 12th, the last car on the lead lap.
“Jimmy Blewett on the outside,” said Preece about the final restart.
“He always runs me clean. There’s nothing wrong with a little
bumping and banging. I respect Jimmy a lot, I’ve always looked up to
him as an idol figure- he’s one of the guys as when I started racing,
he would always come over to me, he gave me a lot of advice when I was younger
and tearing up race cars, I got thank him a lot- Mike Herman, Ken Bouchard-
my family, all those people played a big role in my racing career and development.”
Preece earned his season 6th Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day and
led the first 77 circuits. Hometown driver Eric Goodale in the Riverhead Building
Supply Chevrolet lined up on the outside of Preece and tucked in for second
becoming the shadow of the 16 car. Doug Coby however had other plans and took
over second from Goodaleby lap 50, suddenly a threat to Preece until the next
caution came out on lap 58. Coby was forced to pit with engine issues, leaving
the track under his own power, however, he would not return, the Reynolds
Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet was unexpectedly done for the night.
Goodale lined up second again and finally made his move becoming the new leader
over Preece on lap 78.
At the half, 100 down, 100 to go, the longest green run of the night underway,
the top ten were Goodale, Preece, Szegedy, Donny Lia, Bonsignore, Ron Silk,
Tom Rogers, Howie Brode, Blewett and Jon McKennedy. As the green continued,
Preece made his move out of turn four, going low to capture the lead back
on lap 113, Szegedy followed with Bonsignore third.
“As soon as he got by me he definitely looked a little free off so I
knew with a little bit of patience we’d have it back and we did,”
said Preece. “He ran a good race, he was fast, he definitely worked
me over and it seems with me saving my tires at the beginning, being patient
it kind of paid off for me.”
The trio of Preece, Szegedy and Bonsignore remained in that running order
until Szegedy in the Mike Smeriglio III owned, Delicacies Gourmet/Dunleavy
Repair sponsored Ford took over second on a restart with 25 to go. Blewett
became part of the top three by lap 177 and on the next restart, took over
second with 12 to go in the Riverhead 200. Starting 13th after qualifying,
Blewett was suddenly a contender to take it all as the final restart lined
up double file for the green white checker dash. Preece on the point with
Blewett on the outside, Szegedy, Bonsignore and Tom Rogers made up the top
five. Blewett crossed the line first at the checkers but the call had already
been made by officials- the win to Preece, Bonsignore second, Szegedy third.
In the end, Blewett 12th.
“This one of those moments I wish it was a 175 lap race,” said
Preece referring to the original distance. “We won, it is what it is-
it was a race that’s for sure I was up on the edge. We were really good
(on the long green run). Todd was good but we were a little bit better- I
didn’t know if he was saving or not. I love Riverhead, it’s awesome,
it really is a driver’s track, you have to get up on the wheel but you
have to be smart at the same time.”
Bonsignore in the Kenneth Massa owned M3 Technology Chevrolet with crew chief
John Sanford, the winner of this event one year ago, somehow made it despite
being under the weather. “I guess I’ve been fighting the flu it
seems since we left Thompson- we got in the truck to come home that night
and I felt like heck ever since then. There may not have been a lot of cars
today but the field is so close, so competitive. We missed the pole by 9 one-hundredths
of a second and started 10th. We just had to race really hard to get to second
– I had a good long-run car. We caught Ryan- if it had gone green we
probably could have caught him, it would have been awesome but our car just
wasn’t good on the short runs. I had a wheel on Ryan coming to the white,
it was a good run. We’re starting to turn the season around, we wanted
to win at home but you can’t win every year. We’re trying to finish
off strong, get a win or two, we’d like to win every week but obviously
you’re not going to. I’m looking forward to next week, it’s
when you start stringing these weeks together like this you want to keep going,
you don’t want the season to end.”
Another podium finish at the quarter mile NY bullring for the Ridgefield,
CT driver- Szegedy has developed a new attitude over the years about his approach
to running at Riverhead. “I like it here now, we finished second here
last year, we finished second for the 77, this year we finished third at the
77 and now another third. You’re nothing without the equipment underneath
you,” said Szegedy referring to the MSR Team headed up by crew chief
Phil Moran. “They give me a car I can drive.”
2012 marks the 17th year as a Tour car owner for Eric Sanderson. “I’m
beginning to be one of the old guys on the Tour,” said Sanderson who
actually made his start in racing when Stafford went from dirt to asphalt.
“They started what’s called the All American Sportsman division-
I put my first car in that in the late sixties. I drove a few years myself,
the All American Sportsman, I drove a modified for a couple of years but decided
to quit because I felt I was getting in the way- which I was,” smiled
Sanderson. Racing stopped when the money stopped and Sanderson took up golf,
“until I got involved with Chris Kopec in ’94 when he was running
for the track championship at Riverside. Then we went Tour racing and the
rest is history.”Sanderson is more than appreciative of the efforts
of his Flamingo Motorsports team. “This is the first time we’ve
won two races in one season. It’s been an incredible season. These guys
work their butts off- it’s a great bunch of guys and we’re having
fun- that’s what it’s all about, having fun.” Sanderson
confirmed that Preece will return as the driver of the 16 for the 2013 season.
From his point of view, the day became an immediate challenge for crew chief
of the Flamingo Motorsports team- Stan ‘Sly’ Szaban admittedthe
car was not where they thought it would be when practice started. “It
didn’t start out too good, we went out in practice and the car was surprisingly
terrible, we didn’t expect that, we thought we’d come here with
a pretty good car, but the first half was terrible. We made some changes-different
shock package, different spring package and it kind of woke the car up. I
said to the team, at that point, practice starts now, just forget what happened-
I was like this is where our day is starting now- start fresh. We went from
there, made our adjustments and with Ryan’s help on the chassis, we
got him what we needed.” Preece ended up second fastest by the end of
the practice session and went on to set fast time to earn his sixth pole of
the season. “I mean, without a doubt it’s a team effort, every
piece of the puzzle is just as important as the other piece- Ryan happens
to be a big piece of it. If you just get it close, he does the rest, he is
an amazing driver. I’d like to take credit for it, but I just can’t.
Our car owner gives us everything we need to get our job done- Eric has given
us all the tools.”
The season has come a long way for the Flamingo Motorsports team that has
risen from their 16th place finish at the Icebreaker. Szaban continued,“If
someone told me at the beginning of the season that we would have two wins,
six poles, a track record, I would not have believed it. I don’t know
why we’re having a season like this, I don’t feel like we’re
doing anything different, I mean we’ve had seasons like this with Mike
where you could do no wrong- call it luck, whatever, they just happen.”
The remaining top ten include Tom Rogers, Jr. crossing for sixth with Eric
Goodale seventh, Donny Lia seventh, Ron Silk eighth and Eric Berndt tenth.
Three events remain on the 2012 NWMT schedule. Finishing the night 22nd, Coby
remains the point leader by nine over Preece who moves up a spot to second
with Silk in third only 19 behind Coby. The NWMT heads to New Hampshire Motor
Speedway this Saturday September 22nd for the F.W. Webb 100.
A big thank you to all the people at Riverhead that helped Denise DuPont and
I with the live updates for The Chrome Horn- from getting us situated so we
could report the race to spotting when the action was at its most heated-
it was all much appreciated.
9- Thompson Speedway - NASCAR - 8
BONSIGNORE WINS NWMT TOWN FAIR TIRE NORTHERN 75
Bonsignore Gets Second Career Win at Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid
Starting second at the green and dropping back to sixth before five circuits
were complete, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY in the M3 Technology sponsored
Chevrolet went to task and worked his way methodically forward. On lap 68
he made the winning move passing Ryan Preece to score his second career win,
his first at Thompson International Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour Town Fair Tire Northern 75.
Crossing for second was Bobby Santos, Ryan Preece third, Todd Szegedy fourth
and Ted Christopher fifth.
“This is huge,” smiled Bonsignore. “Our team has been up and down all year,
we really thought we'd come out of the box and contend like Doug (Coby) has
all year. We kind of took a step backwards, made some changes with our team,
this is only our third race together, we struggled our first race, Bristol
showed we can do it. I have all the confidence in the world in my guys. They
are so dedicated and when they get to the race track, it's a good time.”
The 75 lap point race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had a total of four
cautions including the finish under yellow when Ron Silk running seventh hit
the turn one and two outside wall on the white flag lap, the field crossing
the stripe under a yellow checker.
It was after the caution with 22 laps to go that Bonsignore noticed his car
was coming to him. "We were just really tight in the beginning, our car
just had no forward drive, then we got that caution and I don't know if everyone
else just came back to us or if we got a little bit better but we got a really
good restart that got us up to third there.”
Bonsignore gained three positions on that restart and found himself two spots
from the checkers - only Ted Christopher with thirteen Tour wins at Thompson
and Ryan Preece who had led the entire event was between him and pulling the
Ken Massa owned modified into victory lane. Bonsignore knew there was not
much time, 22 circuits to be exact and he took his move forward to task. “I
started working Teddy over as hard as I could, showed him a nose, showed him
an outside, it's real hard to pass him here, everyone knows that, he's the
best. Finally I just put the slide job on him in turn three and we didn't
make any contact which is how you're supposed to do it then we ran Ryan down.
I didn't think I was going to get him as easy as I did. He tried to cross
back over but our car was really good up off."
Bonsignore became the second leader of the day and just as he was putting
some distance from the field a turn four incident involving Bryon Chew, Ed
Flemke, Rowan Pennink and Patrick Emerling brought out the yellow, three circuits
shy of the checkers. “The last thing I wanted to see was that caution. That's
not what you want to see when you're driving away from them with two to go.”
The Town Fair Tire Northern 75 was going into overtime.
Bonsignore lined up to lead the field for a green, white, checkered finish
with Preece, Christopher, Santos and Mike Stefanik the top five. Bonsignore
maintained his lead while the scramble for the checkers became fierce. Silk
got the worse of it on the white flag lap and was forced into the outside
wall bringing out a yellow, checker finish. Santos secured second and Preece
claimed third on the extended feature at lap 82, seven over the advertised
distance. “We got a good start, rolled in on the top- Bobby was coming- I
knew it was going to be exciting- the way our season's gone, I'll take it
with the caution that ended the race.”
Rolling into his hometrack next weekend, Bonsignore will no doubt be a top
choice for victory at Riverhead Raceway where he collected his first career
Tour win last year. “We've got another good week next week at Riverhead, I'm
really looking forward to that, maybe we can go two in a row. We're going
back home, we ran there recently and won two weeks ago- I think there is a
really good chance.”
He may be a part time driver on the NWMT, but when he does make it to the
track, Bobby Santos of Franklin, MA seems to make a statement, for the good,
in the ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. sponsored, Sully Tinio owned Chevrolet.
Third at the initial green, Santos challenged Preece in the beginning, then
Bonsignore at the end, his day’s work resulting in a solid second. “My guys
gave me a really good car, that Billy the Kid Motor is really good. We just
got a little loose, we were off just a little bit- I want to thank those guys
they did an awesome job.”
Setting fast time, collecting his fifth Coors Light pole award of the season,
Ryan Preece turned on a torrid pace keeping the competition in his rear view
mirror. If the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 had remained green, there would
have been no catching the Berlin, CT driver.
After Bonsignore made his move for the lead, the final caution occurred with
a less than a handful of circuits left on the board. The caution cost Preece
yet another position, his day ending third. “I want to thank East West Marine,
Flamingo Motorsports, Sanderson McCloud, R&B Enterprises, American Lamp
Recycling, everybody involved in this whole deal. We wouldn't be here without
them.” Preece was already looking ahead before he even climbed out of the
car. “We know what we have to do to make our car better for the 50 lap showdown
and hope we can put on a show for the fans.”
Mike Stefanik crossed sixth with Donny Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie
Pallai, Jr the remaining top ten finishers.
Point leader Doug Coby finished the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 in 13th- while
not the best points day for the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct
title contending modified, Coby maintains a 32 point lead over Ron Silk heading
to Riverhead Raceway this next Saturday, Sept. 15th.
SEUSS TAKES TO THE HIGH SIDE
TO WIN THE NWSMT AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY
With Lady Luck on His Side Seuss Gets First 2012 Win
by Denise DuPont
Race teams from the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) traveled
north for the second annual North South Showdown on Sunday September 9th.
There were twenty-two NWSMT teams registered and all started the Green Pointe
EnergySouthern75 tour race. The southern race was the first of the two tour
events scheduled to run. There was a caution on lap1 after two cars made contact
on the backstretch and then pulled away. After that the race continued to
the finish without caution.
As the laps clicked off there was a lot of passing and just good hard racing.
Coming into the race at Thompson Speedway, NWSMT regular Andy Seuss was winless
in 2012. The #11, Ideal race team has had more than their share of bad luck
and damaged cars this season. But the team’s bad luck finally turned around
at Thompson. Andy Seuss started the race on the outside pole, passed for the
lead on lap 24 and out drove Matt Hirschman to take the win.
As the laps clicked off and race leaders made their way through lapped traffic,
fans were on their feet cheering the leaders on and waiting to see if lapped
cars would change the race outcome. But Seuss used the cars to his advantage
to pass them and remained ahead of Hirschman. On lap 75 Andy Seuss took the
checkers winning the GreenPointe Energy Southern “75” race.
“I started to get worried when they said that he (Matt Hirschman) was coming.
I do not know if lapped track helped or hurt,” said Seuss from victory lane.
“I cannot thank this team enough. We have had a terrible year luck wise. There
were times over the past few weeks that I was not sure if I was going to get
a win this year. Everything was just right today. I just went where the car
was fast and that was where they told me the car was fastest to get good momentum.
“The crew worked so hard in practice yesterday and then this morning we threw
everything at it (the car). So I just had to drive it based on how it was
handling. It (the car) was loose all race and I was chasing the rear end up
the hill but it worked up there. The crew chief, my dad the interim crew chief,
told me to run up there and I did and it worked out. ”
Seuss may have had a loose car but he had a car that ran good on the outside
which he could use to his advantage to pass lapped traffic. “My crew said
“Run up top you are getting a good run off the turns”. So I did and a couple
of times I got to the outside of cars running up there.”
At the end of the race Seuss was still racing hard after the checkers flew.
“I got confused when it was two to go and they did not show it because of
the lapped cars. Then I thought I saw the white flag waving and I thought
I saw them throw the checkers but I was not taking chances. I keep going until
my spotter told me to slow down. I have to thank all those lapped cars for
giving me respect and room. Lapped traffic always plays into a race here.
Matt Hirschman ran real clean. I have to thank him. . I cannot wait to come
back here for the World Series. ”
Matt Hirschman brought the Goodale #50 car across the finish line right behind
Andy Seuss for a solid second place finish. “The car just came up a little
bit short,” said Hirschman after the race. “I was able to get to Andy but
not make a move around him. It just did not have it coming up off the corner
there. We were about equal and then he was a little bit better the last few
This was the first time Hirschman drove the Goodale family car but it did
not show as he maneuvered the car like it was his. “I did not know what to
expect coming into this race today. This is the first time that I have driven
this car and raced for this team, so considering that I think that this was
an excellent run for us. I appreciate the opportunity that these guys gave
me with Goodie Motorsports.”
Rob Fuller came from the rear of the field for a podium finish in the NWSMT
race at Thompson. Even though he won the pole during qualifying, Fuller was
forced to dropped to the rear of the field after his spotter missed a pre-race
meeting. “It felt great. Starting in the back I felt a little nervous but
I think that we showed them that we belonged up front. With one more caution,
I tell you that I do not think that the fastest car won the race.”
Fuller had to get from the back to the front if he wanted to win and knowing
that he passed eighteen cars by lap 50. “I have never raced before with these
southern guys and I have to say that these guys gave me all the room in the
world. I have to give this one to my guys. They worked their butts off. The
crew chief let us down a little by missing the meeting or whatever happened
there but we stuck together and pulled something good out of it.”
The NWSMT cars will return south and have a few weeks off before their next
race on September 29th at Caraway Speedway.
from Thompson Speedway:
are your thoughts on securing a guaranteed starting spot at Daytona race in
“It is really big. This is really exciting. That was one of the things that
Eddie Harvey said when I got out of the car. He said “We are going to Daytona.”
I did not think of that at first because of the win. But having that is really
does this win mean to you?
“It is huge because I recently thought what if I cannot get a win in 2012?
Now that is a weight off our shoulder. I hate to do the first win this late
in the season but hopefully by the end of the year we can chaulk up a couple
Your thoughts on competing in the UNOH 50 lap Showdown Race:
“The 50 lapper is going to be tough. They guys have run here a few times over
the year and a few of these guys run here weekly in the SKs. They know this
track and even though I am originally from up here I do not have all that
many races here. And you can never say that experience does not help you because
it does. So we are going to go out there and compete and do the best we can.”
After a second place finish in the NWSMT Matt Hirschman still had the 50 lap
Showdown to compete in and he was ready. “Now we will have a good test to
see how we compare with the northern guys because they really have a handle
on this place. This is a trial here today to maybe do more with these guys
and so far so good. We will see what we have a little bit later.“
And Hirschman definitely passed the test with a seventh place finish in the
“It was all fun; I am looking forward the 50 lapper. We will start the 50
lapper in a good starting position and we will see how it goes.”
SHOWDOWN WIN TO CHRISTOPHER IN FAMED BOEHLER 3
Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid
It was big. The buzz was there- the best of the best in the NASCAR North and
South Tour modifieds came to Thompson International Speedway to compete in
the 50-lap, $15,000 to win UNOH Showdown. The second year that UNOH and Thompson
have collaborated to make this ‘the modified event of the year,’ it was Ted
Christopher of Plainville, CT in the 3 Ole Blue making his move early for
the lead and never looking backwent on to claim the coveted UNOH Showdown
“We had a pretty good run going into the first race,” said Christopher. “Scott
(Richards) said he’d make some adjustments to get it better and it really
did. I really want to thank them- Mike Boehler, Scott, Greg, Rabbit, everyone
on this crew for allowing me to drive after the unforeseen circumstances losing
my other ride. It’s good to be back in a car, especially when you’re winning.”
In addition to his payday and UNOH Showdown bragging rights, Dale Wolbrink
awarded Christopher a special helmet painted by Ryan Young of Indocil Art
in victory lane in honor of the late Charles Kepley. “I really appreciate
this” said Christopher. “Charles did so much for the North South race, he
is definitely missed.”
Jimmy Blewett came from a distant 27th starting position to finish second
with Ryan Preece third, Donny Lia fourth and Doug Coby fifth.
The 32 car field was set by the finishes of the Town Fair Tire Northern 75
and the Green Pointe Energy 75, NWMT winner Justin Bonsignore brought the
field to green with NWSMT winner Andy Seuss on the outside. Christopher lined
up tenth and while Bonsignore was the leader early, Bobby Santos made his
move to take the lead on the second circuit while Christopher passed for fourth
by the first caution on lap 3.
Santos on the restart with Ryan Preece and Bonsignore the top three, Christopher
turned his fourth into a second and by the time seven circuits were on the
board, Christopher was the new leader. Holding off the challenges of first
Preece, surviving a caution just before the half way mark and then a final
surge from Jimmy Blewett in the final dozen laps, Christopher held on for
the win and the lucrative payday.
“I really didn’t think my odds were that good starting tenth and I knew there
were real good guys in front of me- it was really weird, under the warm up
laps (NASCAR allowed a handful of laps prior to the green to scuff tires),
I was really fast, I mean it was only warm up laps but as a driver you can
tell how your car feels and I was like, this car is getting drive, I was thinking
I just might have something for these guys. I was happy we lined up on the
outside and got the run going good there, then I had to pass. I had to. I
didn’t want to stay behind people. A lot of people always say ‘save yourself,
save yourself’ and after all these years, I’m still not that mentality to
do that. I had to go.” Christopher continued. “I’m happy for those guys, when
I led laps at Bristol, it had been three years since they led a lap with that
car so to lead laps and finally win with that car- that means a lot. They’re
really nice people, great guys to work with. Scott and Greg are cool guys.
I was disappointed at Bristol ‘cause I had such a great car and I’ve led so
many laps there but haven’t been able to win there. Next year.”
A 50 lap shootout isn’t much time to make your way through the field. But
someone forgot to tell Jimmy Blewett about that. Taking the green more in
the back than anywhere else at 27th, that didn’t deter Blewett who used the
spot as a launch to the front. “I’m just really proud of my guys, the only
thing that stinks about this is my grandfather left after the first race,
“this one’s for him.”
Blewett continued. “My car was just a tick off in the first race, it looked
like I didn’t have any motor, like I wasn’t there, but the minor changes for
the second race, it puts you right to the front. I enjoy doing runs like that
because it proves to people that work with me how much I really appreciate
it- they stick with me no matter how many good runs I have or how many bad
runs I have. My grandfather funds my whole operation- he left to go home not
realizing we were going to be in the second race.” The top ten transferred
to the UNOH Showdown plus five each North and South provisional spots and
two promoter’s picks, Blewett finishing 20th in the first event, it would
be easy to see why the Howell, NJ driver might be watching this one from the
“My grandfather said he was tired and was heading home but he told me don’t
give up, keep going, keep your nose clean, try the best you can and where
you finish you finish. He said he was proud of me. He puts his money into
this and without him, our sponsors and our crew, I would not even be able
to be standing here right now.”
Preece finished the day with a pair of top three finishes. “Thought I had
something for the 3 there- I remember when driving for them, I had a lot of
fun, congratulations to them. We had a phenomenal day. We’re definitely working
our way forward to victory lane and I plan on being there before the season
“Making a tire adjustment and tightening up the car a little bit, that’s all
we needed,” said Preece. “It made it almost a completely different car, even
coming off the corner, it was unbelievable. It’s just the fine tuning that
makes you that much better in the end. In the modified Tour, everybody’s right
there, it’s almost like you have to be perfect to win these races and we’re
close, definitely close. It’s all crew chief, crew, we drive the cars, we
keep it out of trouble, but they’re the ones that get us up front, those are
the guys that keep me, Teddy, Jimmy, Todd Szegedy, Ron Silk, Doug Coby all
up front. It’s all crew chiefs, crew, a lot of hours in the race shop. We
got it really racing today, we’re looking forward to the rest of the races
“We had some luck finally,” said Michael Boehler after the Showdown withOle
Blue car owner Jan Boehler. “The first race, he was just too loose, a lot
of guys were, he was just hanging on there getting in and coming off. It was
a lot better this time, they tightened it up a little bit and the tires were
good. This is good for the guys. It was tough at Bristol a couple of weeks
ago leading and get a flat there. The guys worked hard, Teddy drove hard and
finally, it all came together. It’s been like three years, a lot of races,
a lot of tough luck, if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be, in life and in
racing. The guys build this car in house, the chassis, the body, a lot of
the suspension stuff, the bars, it’s even more gratifying to win. We’re still
trying to keep everything going 55 years later.”
chief of the Boehler 3, Scott Richards is doing his part to contribute to
the Boehler legacy. “We didn’t do a lot of changes, we took a little bit of
stagger away and put some spring rubbers in. He told us it was too loose going
in and it was obvious to the naked eye that it was too loose, that helped
us. I’m really excited, it’s been a long time since the 3 has been in victory
lane and we do it because we love the race car. This car here, Greg Fournier
and I actually built ourselves, the first one we built in the stable, it’s
pretty exciting to have it in victory lane.” Richards laughed when asked how
long he has been with the team. “Ah, like twenty years, twenty five years?
Since I was a little kid. I grew up across the street from the shop. Michael
and I were friends since we were little. We raced big wheels together, we
raced lawnmowers, whatever we could get. I swept the floors, we played in
the racecars, Lenny yelled at us for sitting in the racecars during the week-
that’s how I learned it.” The likes of Richards, Fournier and others on the
team and now Christopher, are indeed part of the what makes the Boehler legacy
a continued success- 55 years and counting.
The anticipated weekend is in the record books. Donny Lia echoed best the
general feeling of the last two days of competition. “I'm thankful to see
Thompson and UNOH working together to do something like this, it's really
great for the modifieds- the response of the southern guys coming up here,
the whole thing, it's a good deal."
Next for the NWMT is the rescheduled Riverhead Raceway event on Saturday Sept
15th while the NWSMT heads to Caraway Speedway Saturday Sept 29th.
By Travis Barrett, Special To NASCAR
THOMPSON, Conn. – Not that Jimmy Blewett needed to live up to his nickname,
but “Showtime” was at it again on Sunday at Thompson International Speedway.
Blewett drove from 27th in the 32-car UNOH Showdown field and finished second
after challenging eventual winner Ted Christopher for the lead in the late
going of the non-points showcase featuring both the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. After being a non-factor in
the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 earlier in the afternoon, Blewett was a force
in the main event.
“I enjoy making runs like that, because it proves to the people who work with
me how much I really appreciate this, you know what I mean? They stick with
me no matter how many bad runs I have or how many good runs I have,” said
Blewett, who finished 20th in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75.
“It's nice to show people you can still do it.”
One person who didn't see Blewett's impressive performance was his grandfather,
John Blewett Sr. – though the family patriarch had some pertinent advice for
his grandson before the 50-lap UNOH Showdown.
“My grandfather, he's getting a little older and he funds the whole operation,
he came and watched the first race. The car wasn't running the way we needed
it to run today, and he left after the first race because he didn't realize
we were in (The Showdown),” Blewett said. “He said, 'I'm on my way home, I'm
really tired, but I just want to tell you: Don't give up, keep going.'
“It's a shame he couldn't be here to see it, because everybody knows this
place has a weight on our shoulders.”
In 2007, Blewett's brother, John Blewett III, was killed in a crash at Thompson
during a Whelen Modified Tour event.
For a myriad of reasons, Blewett was happy to have returned to his “Showtime”
ways on Sunday.
“This place was (at) one time my home track weekly,” said Blewett, of Howell,
N.J. “To come from the back like that and be able to show some of the fans
that are still here from when I used to race here that I can still get it
done, it feels good.”
TWO-TIME: Justin Bonsignore's championship season never took shape, but he's
rounding into form in the late stages of 2012.
Bonsignore passed Ryan Preece with 14 laps remaining Sunday afternoon and
went on to survive a green-white-checkered finish to win the Town Fair Tire
Northern 75 at Thompson. It was Bonsignore's first win of the season and second
of his career, and it came at a track where he had three DNFs in his three
most recent starts.
“This is unbelievable. This is just long overdue for this team,” Bonsignore
said. “We've been struggling all year. We were so close last year, we thought
we could contend for the title this year. Things just didn't go our way. We
made some changes, and it just proves that hard work and dedication can (come
through) when you need it.”
victory wasn't without its anxious moments.
Bonsignore had to compete with two of the best competitors Thompson has seen
– both this year and in recent years – as well as some radio issues in the
No. 51. He had to chase down the pole-sitter Preece – who has nine wins in
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified competition at the track this
season – while holding off Christopher. Christopher has 13 career Tour wins
at Thompson and has now finished in the Top-5 in 15 of the last 18 Tour events
at the track.
“We had a lot of radio trouble, and I was complaining a lot,” Bonsignore said.
“I had to work Teddy over, and he's the best around this place. I can't thank
Ryan and Teddy enough for racing me clean. It was a lot of fun racing with
The Tour now heads to Riverhead Raceway – Bonsignore's home track – where
he won a Whelen All-American Series Modified feature two weeks ago and earned
his first career Tour victory last season. He's moved to sixth in the Tour
standings, 13 points out of fourth.
LOOK: Andy Seuss' win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour GreenPointe
Energy Southern 75 came as a result of having found a new way to get around
the high-banked Thompson track.
Seuss rode the high line all the way along the wall for most of the event,
holding off Matt Hirschman in heavy traffic to record his 12th career victory.
His best previous finish at Thompson was ninth in a Whelen Modified Tour race
“I jst went where the car was fast, and that's where they told me the car
was fastest,” said Seuss, a native of Hampstead, N.H., who recently moved
to North Carolina. “I could get good momentum on people.
“It was loose the whole race. I was chasing the rear end right up the hill,
but it worked up there.”
Seuss qualified third for the GreenPointe Energy Southern 75, but he said
his car hadn't been that good during practice and qualifying on Saturday.
“This crew worked so hard in practice yesterday,” Seuss said. “We threw everything
at it this morning. It's a different car. I just had to drive it how it was
BACK: While Bonsignore was winning the Town Fair Tire Northern 75, the point
leaders were engaged in one of the quietest point battles seen in quite sometime.
It may have lacked the lap-by-lap drama of last season's XtraMart World Series
150 at Thompson last October, but it may end up having no less of an impact.
On a day that looked like leader Doug Coby's point lead was going to take
a big hit with an ill-performing car, things changed on the final lap when
Ron Silk brought out the caution with a wrecked car in Turn 2.
Silk was running seventh on the green-white-checkered restart when he brushed
the frontstretch wall and then ended up having wrecked a quarter of a lap
later as a result of the damage he suffered. He lost five points to Coby –
who started third but spent the bulk of the race running outside the Top-10.
Unofficially, Coby now holds a 32-point lead over Silk with four races remaining.
Kevin Green, NASCAR
THOMPSON, Conn. (Sept. 9, 2012) – No stranger to Victory Lane at Thompson
International Speedway, Ted Christopher once again came out on top in the
UNOH Showdown combination race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR
Whelen Southern Modified Tours.
Christopher took the lead from Bobby Santos on Lap 7 and held off a hard-charging
Jimmy Blewett in the closing circuits of the 50 green-flag-lap exhibition
showcase between the two tours. Ryan Preece crossed the line third in the
second edition of the non-points event at the historic .625-mile oval in northeastern
Donny Lia and defending race winner Doug Coby finished fourth and fifth, respectively,
in the UNOH Showdown. Ron Silk, Matt Hirschman, Santos, Andy Seuss and Burt
Myers brought home the top 10.
The UNOH Showdown was the premier event of the weekend, but two points races
preceded it on Sunday. Seuss was victorious in the GreenPointe Energy Southern
75 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race while Bonsignore took the checkered
flag in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour contest.
Changes made to his car after qualifying gave Seuss what he needed to win
the Green Pointe Energy Southern 75, the first on Sunday’s card. The Hampstead,
N.H., driver credited his crew with making the changes that led to his first
win of the year and 12th career victory.
Seuss qualified third, but ended up leading the field to the green because
polesitter Rob Fuller had to drop to the back for the start after his crew
chief missed a mandatory meeting. Although he slipped back at the drop of
the green flag, Seuss quickly mounted a move to the front and took the lead
from Burt Myers on Lap 24.
Seuss held on for the win over Hirschman, with Fuller charging through the
field to take third. Myers was fourth, with Tim Brown fifth. Completing the
top 10 were Steve Masse, Danny Bohn, George Brunnhoelzl III, John Smith and
Brunnhoelzl, with five wins this year, continues to lead the championship
standings - with 385 points. Jason Myers is second with 337, Bohn with 328,
Brown with 321 and Seuss with 313.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour followed with the Town Fair Tire Northern
75, which saw Bonsignore power to the lead past polesitter Preece on Lap 68
and hold on through a green-white-checker finish for the victory.
It was the second career victory for Bonsignore, who hails from Holtsville,
N.Y. The first came at his home track, Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, in 2011.
Santos crossed the line second in the Town Fair Tire 75 and Preece, who led
the first 67 laps from the pole, settled for third. Todd Szegedy and Christopher
brought home the top five.
Mike Stefanik, Lia, Eric Beers, Eric Berndt and Richie Pallai Jr. rounded
out the top 10.
Points leader Coby finished 13th in the Town Fair Tire 75, but second in points
Silk suffered a last-lap accident and was relegated to 18th. As a consequence,
Coby extended his lead to 441-382 on Silk with Preece ranked third after 10
races at 379.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 15
at Riverhead while the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will next contest
a race at Caraway Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Modified Tour Unofficial Results
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Chevrolet 82 47 4 Running
2 3 44 Bobby Santos ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. Chevrolet 82 42 Running
3 1 16 Ryan Preece East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford 82 43 2 Running
4 6 2 Todd Szegedy UNOH/Dunleavy Repair Ford 82 40 Running
5 7 3 Ted Christopher Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Const. Chevrolet 82 39
6 8 66 Mike Stefanik Cady's Tavern/Town Line Farms Ford 82 38 Running
7 13 4 Donny Lia Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 82 37 Running
8 10 45 Eric Beers Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc Ford 82 36 Running
9 11 46 Eric Berndt Cape Cod Agts/North End Auto Parts Chevrolet 82 35 Running
10 17 39 Richie Pallai, Jr. Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet 82 34 Running
11 19 58 Eric Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 82 33 Running
12 21 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 82 32 Running
13 4 52 Doug Coby Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet 82 31 Running
14 16 64 Ron Yuhas, Jr. Fast Track Elect./Complete Const. Chevrolet 82 30
15 18 07 Patrick Emerling Emerling Chevrolet Dealership Chevrolet 82 29 Running
16 23 33 Wade Cole Perf Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 82 28 Running
17 20 88 Bryon Chew Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet 82 27 Running
18 9 6 Ron Silk Calverton Tree Farm/T.S. Haulers Chevrolet 81 26 Accident
19 5 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 81 25 Running
20 14 76 Jimmy Blewett John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet 80 24 Running
21 15 28 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard's Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet 76 23
22 12 79 Jon McKennedy Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 72 22 Rear End
23 24 38 Brian Schofield Perf Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 56 21 Suspension
24 22 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Chevrolet 47 20 Suspension
Fastest Qualifier: Ryan Preece, Time: 18.828 Seconds, Speed: 119.503 mph
Caution Flags: Laps 43-46 (Car #76 spin Turn 3 <33>); 50-52 (Cars #88
& 64 accident Frontstretech); 73-79 (Cars #07 & 93 spin Turn 4 <76>).
3 for 14 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ryan Preece 1-67, Justin Bonsignore 68-82.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 67, Justin Bonsignore 15. 1 changes involving
Southern Modified Tour Unofficial Results
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 3 11 Andy Seuss Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Chevrolet 75 48 5 Running
2 8 50 Matt Hirschman Heritage Wide Plank Flooring Chevrolet 75 42 Running
3 1 71 Rob Fuller Draco Springs Ford 75 41 Running
4 5 1 Burt Myers Citrusafe/NAPA/Adams Towing Ford 75 41 1 Running
5 2 02 Tim Brown Hayes Jewelers/T&C Mtrspts Chevrolet 75 40 1 Running
6 4 13 Steve Masse * R&R Landscaping Chevrolet 75 38 Running
7 6 65 Danny Bohn * Rifenburg Const/Rustoleum Chevrolet 75 37 Running
8 7 09 George Brunnhoelzl, III Phoenix Pre-Owned Chevrolet Chevrolet 75 36
9 9 25 John Smith Havoline Plus/Shady Grady Racing Chevrolet 75 35 Running
10 17 73 Cole Powell * Copp's Buildall/Tricar/Fountain Chevrolet 75 34 Running
11 14 76 Jimmy Zacharias * Wilbur Auto Sales Chevrolet 75 33 Running
12 10 4 Jason Myers Trantham Moorefield/Wendell Edwards Ford 75 32 Running
13 15 7 Thomas Stinson Cowardin Jewelers/United Solar/Dennis' Towing 74 31
14 12 77 Gary Putnam Stock Car Steel Chevrolet 74 30 Running
15 19 55 Ken Bouchard Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores Chevrolet 74 29 Running
16 18 40 Frank Fleming Autos By Nelson/Lewisville Motors Ford 74 28 Running
17 21 80 Michael Speeney * MRI Graphics Chevrolet 74 27 Running
18 20 37 Joe Scarbrough * Dreadnought Shaving/Atlantic Solar Chevrolet 73
19 13 51 Kyle Ebersole * Ebersole Excavating Inc Ford 73 25 Running
20 11 59 Renee Dupuis Ed Bennett Properties Chevrolet 73 24 Running
21 16 9 AJ Winstead * Health Diagnostic Chevrolet 54 23 Engine
Race Comments: Prior to the green flag, the following drivers, under penalty,
dropped from their original starting positions to the rear of the field for
the reason indicated. #71Rob Fuller, #13 Steve Masse (missed crew chief meeting).
Fastest Qualifier: Rob Fuller, Time: 18.947 Seconds, Speed: 118.752 mph
Time of Race: 26 mins, 52 secs Average Speed: 104.684 mph Margin of Victory:
Caution Flags: Laps 2-4 (Cars #59, #51 spin Backstretch). 1 for 3 laps.
Lap Leaders: Tim Brown 1-13, Burt Myers 14-23, Andy Seuss 24-75.
Total Laps Led: Andy Seuss 52, Tim Brown 13, Burt Myers 10. 2 changes involving
Top 10 Driver Points: George Brunnhoelzl, III 385, Jason Myers 337, Danny
Bohn * 328, Tim Brown 321, Andy Seuss 313, Kyle Ebersole * 302, Frank
Fleming 300, John Smith 295, Thomas Stinson 289, Michael Speeney * 281
* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender
Ct.----The second annual UNOH showdown at the Thompson International Speedway
has been the talk since the season began and once again, one of the big draws
for the fan appreciation party was North Carolina’s Burt Myers.
Myers, one of the ‘stars’ on the History Channels presentation of the ‘Mad
House’ which portrayed the weekly racing at the historic Bowman-Gray Stadium
and was clearly one of the favorites with the fans. “We look forward to this
race.” Burt said. “This is one of the races that we look forward to. We enjoy
coming up here and the Hoenig family has gone out of their way to make it
easier for us from the south.”
While Myers loves racing at the Thompson Speedway, it costs him and all of
the southern competitors a lot because of their much smaller budgets.
“One of the reasons that we love coming back here is the passion of the fans
and how much they love the modifieds. We have pockets of fan support but not
like up here. This is modified country.” Burt said winning over more of the
‘Yankee’ fans with his quick smile.
While Myers would like to see a track down south reciprocate and run twin
races like here at Thompson and then a shootout, he realizes that it is tough.
“You look at some of our races this year, we’d have 25 cars and at some of
the races we’d only have 15 so it’s kind of a hit and miss.”
When I asked Burt what would be the perfect track to host a mod tour doubleheader
and shootout, he naturally said Bowman-Gray Stadium. “Could you imagine that?
I can tell you one thing is that it would be entertaining. Then with the shootout….”
When you think about it, it would be the only track that realistically could
play host in separate paying tour shows. They traditionally draw anywhere
from 10,000 to upwards to 18,000 fans on a WEEKLY basis and it could get downright
ugly if an incident occurred with a southern driver and a guy from the north.
But wouldn’t it be a great event!
While Myers would like to make more starts at other tracks in the northeast,
he said he must weigh his racing budget.
“I would love to race at Hew Hampshire. That is definitely on my bucket list.”
Burt said as the line of autograph seekers continued to get bigger. “I would
love it but you’d have to manage it just right. It’s hard to spend money like
that for just one race when we could race a lot of southern races with that
When I brought up the race at Daytona Speedway during Speedweeks, he said
that is another track and race that he would love to be a part of and it would
be nice if he had that guaranteed spot that comes with winning a modified
“That is a long way to go and not get in the show, though I am sure that we
would and it would be something to race at Daytona and win that race.”
While Myers priorities are running the southern modified tour and the weekly
series at Bowman-Gray, he always looks forward to seeing his northern competitors
“As I said, we look forward to this because of the way the Hoenig’s help all
of us out from the southern tour and how much we enjoy racing at Thompson
Doug Coby has had a ‘dream season’ in many ways on the modified tour but don’t
expect him to say that.
Coby, of Milford, CT is the current modified tour point’s leader and has been
the most consistent driver on the tour. Coby is also the defending champion
of the UNOH shootout as well as northern modified tour feature and earned
over $25,000 for his days work last year in his major break out win.
“I’d like to have the same kind of results today.” joked Doug. When asked
about the ‘dream season’ he said he doesn’t look at it that way. “As a driver,
you go to each race thinking that you are going to win but you know realistically,
that isn’t going to happen.”
Coby driving the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace and Duct Supply Company #52
has three wins at Stafford this year on the tour and one at Waterford and
has a 27 point cushion over last year’s champion Ronnie Silk.
With just five races left in the 2012 season, I asked if there is a point
when you are points racing instead of racing to win.
“Well, I’d say you have to wait at least until after New Hampshire before
you can afford to do that. You have to get through today and then the wildcard
in Riverhead and who knows what can happen at New Hampshire.”
But, Doug said in a perfect world, he love to have a good lead heading into
Stafford, the second to last points race of the year before he’d think about
“Right now, we are just focused on today race and when it’s over we’ll look
at Riverhead. That could be the key race for this year. We would love to win
at New Hampshire because it’s New Hampshire. Once we get through the next
few races we’ll know better where we are. A couple of bad races and you can
go from 30 up to 30 down so the best way is one race at a time.
I walked through the pit area, I ran into many long time friends who ran the
tour when I covered the series from 1985 to 2007 full time.
Reggie Ruggiero was seen walking through the pit area talking with many people
as way his long time car owner, Mario Fiore.
Had the chance to talk with former modified tour champion, Wayne Anderson
from Long Island. Wayne was the 1994 series champion driving the Len Boehler
Wayne is still involved with racing, owning a car at the Riverhead Raceway
where Ted Christopher ran it in the top five on a consistent basis ending
up fourth in points and TC missed two shows because of a tour commitment.
Talked with both Tony Hirschman, Sr. and Tony Jr. Senior is now following
and helping out with his son, Matt’s career. Matt was making a start in the
southern modified tour race as the youngest Hirschman has won every big modified
race in both prestige as well as purse wise.
Young Tony is spotting for Kyle Busch on the Sprint Cup series as well as
spotting for current truck points leader Timothy Peters but he has to come
back ‘home’ to get his modified fix.
Also chatted with Charlie Pasteryak and brother, Carl. Charlie son, Chris
is an upcoming modified driver on the Modified Racing Series and finished
second at Waterford Saturday night. Also in the pit area was Kevin “Bono’
Manion, crew chief for Jamie McMurray on the Sprint Cup series.
twin races for the 2012 edition of the UNOH Shootout were reduced from 125
laps last year to 75 laps this year and most people expect that to make the
races much better this year. While each race pays separate points and is important
to the overall series champion, many drivers are concerned with keeping their
cars ready for the $50,000 shootout portion of the shootout plus with the
additional Lap money, one driver, like Doug Coby last year, could walk away
with over a combined pay day of over $25,000.
DRIVERS LOCKED IN FOR DAYTONA SHOOTOUT
With the Thompson win. Seuss now joins George Brunnhoelzl, III, Brian Loftin,
Brandon Ward and Jason Myers as southern winners and a guaranteed spot in
Daytona from the southern series while on the northern side, Doug Coby, Ron
Silk, Ryan Preece, Mike Stefanik, Justin Bonsignore and Donny Lia all have
northern spots all sewed up.
GOOD BUT NOT GREAT
crowd for the second annual race was good but certainly not great. With the
opening of the NFL season, kids back in school and hundreds of New England
Fairs to attend it wasn’t quite what the Thompson Speedway management was
hoping for. Also, a $55.00 adult admission is still very tough to swallow
in this very poor economy, especially in the eastern part of Connecticut.
WINS SOUTHERN 75
While Andy Seuss may talk with a New Hampshire accent, he won the 75 lap feature
for the southern modified tour in a race that ran green to checker. Matt Hirschman
chased him across the line with pole sitter, Robby Fuller third.
Fuller, who set the fastest lap in time trials, was forced to start last when
his crew chief missed the drivers meeting but still worked his way back to
the front in a very entertaining race.
Burt Myers was fourth and fifth was Tim Brown while points leader George Brunnhoelzl,
III was eighth but extended his points lead over Jason Myers who was 12th.
CAPTURES NORTHERN 75
Bonsignore used a great move on lap 68 to secure his first modified tour win
of 2012 season as he passed Ryan Preece to earn his second career win.
Bobby Santos was second followed by Ryan Preece, Todd Szegedy and Ted Christopher.
The race only had three cautions but it ended when Ronnie Silk bounced off
the wall and then crashed hard in turn one after the leaders had taken the
Doug Coby had a miserable day as he finished 13th but extended his points
lead with Silks bad finish although Preece cut into points off the runner
Aug 22 - Bristol Speedway - NASCAR - 21
Eric was a victim of the Ryan Newman Lap three spin that affected more than
half the field. After the initial chaos and the carnage was about over, in
came the Jason Myers car and hit the 45 on the right side nerf when the 45
was sitting innocently at the start finish line. Besides some bent parts the
biggest problem was getting a new nerf bar on.
SILK WEATHERS STORM IN THUNDER VALLEY
Takes Checkered Flag In Whelen Modified Race At Bristol
Ron Silk took a big step toward getting a chance to defend his NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour championship Wednesday with a win in the UNOH Perfect Storm
150. It was Silk's second win of the season and first in the annual combination
race between the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour on the track known as "The World's Fastest Half Mile." It was
also the first victory for a driver running a NASCAR-approved SPEC motor on
either Modified tour. Todd Szegedy finished second, followed by Ryan Preece,
Justin Bonsignore and Ron Yuhas Jr.
George Brunnhoelzl III was the top finishing NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified
Tour driver in sixth. The tour's points leader is credited with a win, his
fourth straight and fifth overall. It was the second time he’s been the highest-finishing
south driver in four all-time Bristol events. Silk's finish combined with
a late-race accident involving Whelen Modified Tour points leader Doug Coby
allowed Silk to cut 14 points off Coby's lead. With five races left, the advantage
is down to 27 as Coby's run of seven straight top-three finishes ended with
a 17th-place finish. Earlier in the day, Silk won the Coors Light Pole Award,
but for the majority of the race Szegedy was the class of the field with a
race-high 80 laps led. During a caution on Lap 127, while in the race lead,
made Szegedy contact with Silk and spun out. “I’m pretty sure I held the bottom,
I haven’t seen video of it, but I know I had the thing down as far as I could,”
Silk said. “We made contact and he went around, which I hate to see for him,
and I’m glad to see he finished second because that’s how good his car was.
“From there it was kind of clear sailing, just staying clear of lap traffic,
but it definitely feels good to get a win here,” Silk said. Szegedy made a
mad dash in the closing laps to make it up to second, but ran out of time
to catch up to Silk. “My plan was to go to the outside and I was going to
bring it home wrecked or a win,” Szegedy said of his post-spin strategy. “So
at that point it was just pass as many cars as I could. I needed five more
laps and I could have got him.” In four Bristol race Szegedy has now posted
consecutive finishes of sixth, fourth, third and second. Rookie Danny Bohn
was seventh, followed by Ken Heagy, Thomas Stinson and rookie Michael Speeney.
Brunnhoelzl leads Bohn by 52 points in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour standings
with four races remaining. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, who
won the last two Bristol events, was involved in an accident in the opening
laps and ended up 19th overall. The UNOH Perfect Storm 150, which aired live
on SPEED, was slowed by eight cautions for 54 laps and two red flags, including
a 13-car pile-up on the frontstretch on Lap 3. The NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour will return to the track Sept. 9 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway
for the Town Fair Tire 75, while the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
will race Sept. 1 in the Langley 150 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.
WHELEN 'COMBINED' - UNOH Perfect Storm "150" Results
Wednesday At Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol TN
Lap length: 0.53 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 62.299 mph.
2. (3) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 150.
3. (6) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
4. (12) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
5. (22) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
6. (10) George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
7. (31) Danny Bohn, Freehold, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
8. (29) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
9. (35) Tom Stinson, Chester, Va., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (33) Michael Speeney, Newtown, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
11. (27) Jonny Kievman, Deerfield Beach, Fl., Chevrolet, 150.
12. (5) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Pontiac, 149.
13. (8) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.
14. (25) Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, Pa., Chevrolet, 147.
15. (9) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147.
16. (34) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 146.
17. (13) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 138.
18. (30) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 138.
19. (7) Ryan Newman, South Bend, In., Chevrolet, 130.
20. (28) Jason Myers, Walnut Grove, N.C., Ford, 122.
21. (18) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 119.
22. (16) Cole Powell, Mtn. Brydges, Ontario, Chevrolet, 116, accident.
23. (2) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Dodge, 116.
24. (20) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 114, accident.
25. (11) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 108.
26. (4) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 105, accident.
27. (32) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southiington, Conn., Chevrolet, 101, accident.
28. (23) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 101.
29. (15) Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, N.C., Ford, 56.
30. (26) Gary Fountain Sr., Minneola, Fla., Chevrolet, 49, accident.
31. (36) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 24.
32. (14) Burt Myers, Walnut Grove, N.C., Ford, 3, accident.
33. (24) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 3, accident.
34. (19) Rowan Pennick, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 3, accident.
35. (21) John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 3, accident.
36. (17) Tim Brown, Cana, Va., Chevrolet, 3, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 16 minutes 34 seconds
Margin of Victory: .864 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Silk (126.634 mph, 15.067 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 54 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Silk 0; T. Szegedy 1-12; T. Christopher 13-58; T. Szegedy
59-126; R. Silk 127-150.
10 NWMT Driver Standings: Doug Coby 383, Ron Silk 356, Ryan Preece 336, Todd
Szegedy 314, Donny Lia 312, Jimmy Blewett 312, Justin Bonsignore 294, Eric
Beers 292, Ted Christopher 291, Mike Stefanik 290
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - UNOH PERFECT STORM 150
Bristol Motor Speedway
by Polly Reid
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour met
at the high banked ‘world’s fastest half-mile’ for their combined event, the
UNOH Perfect Storm 150. Ron Silk from Norwalk, CT in the Ed Partridge owned,
Calverton Tree Farm/TS Haulers sponsored Chevrolet won the Coors Light pole
award and finished off the night crossing the line for a victory, his second
of the 2012 season. Following Silk across the strip was Todd Szegedy, Ryan
Preece, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Yuhas, Jr. Leading the 36 combined Tour
field to the green, Todd Szegedy in the Mike Smeriglio Ford edged out Silk
to become the first leader of the evening on the first circuit, Ted Christopher
falling into second and Silk third. The complexion of the race changed immediately
on the fourth lap when a solo spin by Ryan Newman on the front stretch, running
sixth, forced the entire field behind him to take evasive action. A massive
pile up brought out the red flag, the night suddenly over for Mike Stefanik
who posted fastest time in the second practice, Rowan Pennink who was making
his way forward along with John Smith, Burt Myers and Tim Brown. Szegedy,
Christopher, Silk, Ryan Preece and Jon McKennedy led the restart with Christopher
in the Boehler entry taking over as the new leader on lap thirteen becoming
the car to beat. Szegedy kept Christopher within striking distance as the
UNOH Perfect Storm continued, Szegedy using a restart strategy taking over
the lead on lap 59. It was shortly after that when Christopher coming out
of turn two made contact with Ryan Preece running third, Christopher cut down
a tire and going around, became the fourth caution of the evening. Preece
was able to maintain his position. At the half way mark, Szegedy led the way
down pit row for the mandatory half way break as teams took on tires, fuel
and made adjustments on lap 75. Lining up for the green, Szegedy, Silk, Preece,
Bonsignore and Ron Yuhas led the way for the final segment. A red flag and
another caution kept Szegedy from completely driving away from the field.
It was just after a restart with less than 25 to go that turned up the half
mile heat. As Silk was making his move low for a pass, contact with Szegedy
was made. The spin sent Szegedy to the rear of the lead lap cars for what
turned out to be the final restart of the night, 17 laps to the checkers.
Inheriting the lead, Silk pulled away from the pack as Preece and Bonsignore
battled for second. Meanwhile, Szegedy, using the outside groove, blazed his
way forward and with nine laps to go, passed Bonsignore for third, then Preece
for second with three to go. Closing the gap to Silk leading, Szegedy simply
ran out of time. Silk crossed for the win, Szegedy second, Preece, Bonsignore
and Yuhas the top five. “I got a run down the backstretch,” explained Silk
about the incident with Szegedy. “I don’t know, I haven’t seen the video but
I’m pretty confident in the fact that I got down under him, I had a wheel
under him, held my car as low as I could on the racetrack – I was far enough
where I wouldn’t lift. I don’t even think he knew I was even there the way
he turned down. Todd is a good friend of mine, he is one of the few people
I really respect, I understand him being upset and disappointed at the end
there, I’ve done things like that too. I think when he sees it, he might have
a different opinion.” Szegedy made an outstanding comeback through the field
and if there were a few more laps, there could have possibly been a different
outcome. Catching up with Szegedy after the event, there was no masking his
disappointment. “I’ve got nothing to prove except to win races,” said Szegedy.
“To me, this is a loss because no matter how I came back through the pack,
it doesn’t matter, I finished second and that’s the most painful thing. The
good thing is, my team gave me a good car, a car that could win.”
The UNOH Perfect Storm win is Silk’s ninth career victory. “It’s awesome,”
said the defending champion. “This and Loudon are definitely the two coolest
places to win races. Now being able to say I’ve won at both of them is definitely
awesome. It’s an awesome feeling driving up to the roof of that building where
victory lane is and now I’ll have the trophy that says Bristol Victory Lane
forever.”Silk continued, “We’ve got a good team, we’ve been experimenting
with a lot of stuff this year and kind of still are but we have it going in
the right direction and Thompson is one of my best tracks, I’ve finished first
and second so far there this year so hopefully we can go get another win.”
Winning crew chief Tom Grasso talked about their day that started with an
8:30am practice session. “We started out pretty good, actually we usually
don’t come off the trailer here and run all that good. Today, when we rolled
off the trailer the car was the best it was all day. We adjusted a bunch of
stuff on the car during the two practices and we never really found anything
better than when we first rolled out so we switched it all back, run what
we came with. It seemed to work, put it on the pole, made a few adjustments
for the race- the car was a little free in the first segment, tightened it
up some for the second segment, he was still a little free but it worked out
ok. The track is demanding and unforgiving on the driver and the race car.
You would think it was an easy place to drive because of all the banking but
the banking and the speed actually makes it much more difficult. It’s tough
on setups, there is a lot of diversity on the setups on the cars here. We
just had everything right today.” Winning at Bristol? “Right up there, one
of the biggest. This is just as big as Loudon and this is such a tough track
to run on it kind of means a little something extra.” Car owner Ed Partridge
echoed Grasso’s thoughts of winning at Bristol. “It feels great. We’ve been
struggling here a little bit. We came with a brand new shock package- I didn’t
think we would run as good as we did. Szegedy was coming pretty hard, a little
contact with him, Ron tried to back out then they touched and he spun. But
overall we had a great finish. Teddy was strong in the beginning, then he
had some trouble. Ryan was strong then he faded a little. Bonsignore was coming,
there were a lot of guys challenging there at the end. They just for whatever
reason had some issues. Szegedy was coming back up as you can see, he caught
us in the end.” Preece in the East West Marine Ford closed out his night third
after a brush with Christopher before the half way mark. “Teddy just got real
loose and things happen so fast here. I was trying to turn down but I was
still trying to go through the corner there – when you check up, you’re already
into the guy there. It ruined his day, screwed up our day- we probably would
have been really good in that second half if that didn’t happen. I’m happy
we ended up third. We’re going to keep going forward and just keep trying
to knock off some good finishes.” Damage after the contact with Christopher
kept the Flamingo Motorsports team busy during the break. “We tried to get
the toe on the front end as close as we could get it. We have an awesome team,
everyone behind us and we’re going to look forward to Thompson. We know we
have a really good car there- I want to win the pole and the race there for
sure.” George Brunnhoelzl III crossed the line as the first NASCAR Southern
Whelen Modified Tour entry taking home an overall sixth place finish. Starting
10th, Brunnhoelzl III was able to escape the carnage of the early pile up
on the front stretch going on to take claim his fourth NSWMT win of the season.
“The guys did great, we had a good car. We struggled here for the last three
years, we got a little bit better this year but apparently we are still searching.”
Brunnhoelzl III from West Babylon, NY in the Howard Harvey owned, Phoenix
Pre-Owned sponsored Chevrolet remained consistent in the first half coming
in seventh at the half way break. “We tried to tighten it up a little bit
(during the break) and it just wasn’t enough. The track changed from earlier
today, I don’t know maybe it was just my car, but it definitely got a little
different. Brunnhoelzl III will be the first to tell there were a lot of close
calls out there today but his philosophy, especially regarding points, remains
the same. “We set out to win every race and hope the points fall where they
fall. Winning is always the best way to do anything with the points.” The
NASCAR Southern Modified Tour heads to Langley September 1st, Brunnhoelzl
III leads the series in points by 52 over Danny Bohn. Following Brunnhoelzl
was Danny Bohn seventh, Ken Heagy eighth, Thomas Stinson ninth and Michael
Speeney tenth. Next up for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is the Town Fair
Tire 75 at Thompson International Speedway September 9th. “You lose respect
for how fast you’re going until you have to stop” Ron Silk, Bristol Motor
Speedway August 22, 2012.
Aug 9- Thompson Speedway - NASCAR - 11th
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR VICTORY AT THOMPSON
Two-Time Champion Rebounds From Problem In Pits To Win
Donny Lia darted into the lead with 21 laps to go and pulled away to win the
Budweiser King of Beers 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson International
Speedway on Thursday night. It marked the 16th career win and third Thompson
victory for the two-time tour champion from Jericho, N.Y. Lia, who started
ninth on the grid in the No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge, initially challenged
pole-sitter Mike Stefanik for the lead on Lap 59. Stefanik battled back, however,
to regain the lead and stay out front to the midway point of the race. Lia,
meanwhile, lost a lap to the leaders due to a problem with a lug nut during
a pit stop, and two more subsequent trips to pit road to correct the issue.
He gained the lap back as the beneficiary during a caution on Lap 83. Lia
steadily worked his way forward from there. He was up to sixth by Lap 95 and
moved by Todd Szegedy for second on Lap 108. Lia moved by Ron Silk for the
lead on Lap 129 and set sail for the finish. “Tonight was a really good night
to get back on track, and give these guys a win,” Lia said. “I means so much
to me just to win. [Car owner] Bob [Garbarino] has had a rough year, he’s
had a lot of struggles, racing and in personal life. He’s just not a happy
camper right now, so I’m glad we can put a smile on his face and make it all
worthwhile just for one night.” Silk held off Doug Coby for second. Ted Christopher,
who was penalized for aggressive driving and sent to the back of the pack
on Lap 84, rebounded to finish fourth. Stefanik was fifth. Rounding out the
top 10 were Rowan Pennink, Jimmy Blewett, Bobby Santos, Ron Yuhas Jr. and
Szegedy. With his podium finish, Coby extended his streak of consecutive podium
finishes to seven and maintained his lead in the championship standings. “You’ve
just gotta ride the wave,” Coby said of his current streak. “I’ve been on
the bottom of the wave for a long time and to be at the top feels really cool.
My guys deserve good finishes so I’m real proud to bring the [No.] 52 home
in one piece.”
For Lia, his two previous wins at Thompson came in 2007 and 2009, his title
seasons. With this win, he secured a locked-in starting position for the inaugural
UNOH Battle at the Beach during 2013 Speedweeks on a temporary short track
at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The Budweiser King of Beers 150
marked the first race in the second half of the tour schedule. It was the
second of four tour events at Thompson this season and the 118th visit by
the tour there. The tour returns to Thompson for the Town Fair Tire Northern
75/UNOH Showdown on Sept. 9 and for the season finale on Oct. 14. In the meantime,
the next event on the tour schedule is the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 combination
race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway
on Aug. 22.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR
Budweiser King of Beers 150 - Unofficial Results
Thursday At Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (9) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 150 laps, 80.549 mph.
2. (4) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
3. (14) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
4. (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
5. (1) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 150.
6. (7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
7. (8) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
8. (2) Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
9. (12) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (6) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 150.
11. (11) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
12. (17) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
13. (18) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
14. (25) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 150.
15. (5) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 149.
16. (22) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 149.
17. (21) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 147.
18. (24) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 145.
19. (13) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, mechanical.
20. (19) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 93.
21. (16) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 91, mechanical.
22. (20) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Ford, 87, accident.
23. (23) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 61.
24. (10) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 16, mechanical.
25. (15) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 15, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 9 minutes 50 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.120 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M. Stefanik (121.372 mph, 18.538 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. Stefanik 1-74; T. Szegedy 75-94; R. Silk 95-128; D. Lia 129-150.
1. D. Coby, 350; 2. R. Silk, 309; 3. R. Preece, 295; 4. J. Blewett, 283; 5.
D. Lia, 282; 6. T. Szegedy, 270; 7. M. Stefanik, 266; 8. T. Christopher, 263;
9. E. Beers, 261; 10. J. Bonsignore, 254.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - BUD 150
Thompson International Speedway
by Polly Reid
RIt may have been a while and it may have not been the easiest way to get
there but two time Tour champion Donny Lia from Jericho, NY driving the Bob
Garbarino Mystic Missile found his way to victory lane taking down the win
in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Budweiser King of Beers 150 at Thompson
International Speedway. Lia qualified ninth, suffered issues on pit road,
went down a lap, got a free pass getting his lap back, then made his charge
to the front and the winning pass to become the final leader on lap 129. Following
Lia was Ron Silk who held off Doug Coby for second, point leader Coby crossing
third with Ted Christopher in the Boehler 3 fourth and pole winner Mike Stefanik
fifth. “It feels really, really good,” said Lia about being back in victory
lane, his first win since October of 2009 at Stafford. “I want to thank Bob
Garbarino for sticking with this program, giving us what we need, I love the
guy and I’m so happy to win this for him. All these guys, they’ve been busting
their butts in the shop- this means a lot to me- my first win since both my
sons were born.” Lia acknowledged long time crew member Jimmy Savage, welcoming
him into victory lane with the entire Mystic Missile team. “I wanted to get
to victory lane for him, for everybody. This is what it’s all about.” While
it is Lia’s sixteenth career win, his third at Thompson, it is the first win
for Dan Laferriere as crew chief of the legendary Mystic Missile. “We have
two motors, one went back to Hutter to get rebuilt after the rainout at Riverhead-
that one’s not ready,” said Laferriere. “Then last week at Stafford we broke
a tranny, so we were down to no motors. Luckily Al Heinke was kind enough
to lend us a motor. But, it wasn’t one of our motors so it didn’t exactly
slide right in. We spent a lot of time in the shop getting everything right.”
Laferriere has been with Garbarino since 2007 and was part of the team that
earned two NWMT Championship titles with Lia in ’07 and ’09. “It feels good,”
said Laferriere about his first trip to victory lane as crew chief. “We kind
of got used to being there then the last couple of years, it’s been quite
a while, now that we finally got back, it makes it that much more rewarding.
It’s an honor to be the crew chief of this car. This is a car that has its
own fans, made history; it’s an honor to be calling the shots.” Laferriere
learned under Bob Mueller, the former crew chief of the Mystic Missile. When
Bob stepped aside, he recommended Laferriere to Garbarino. “I’m glad Bob gave
me the chance.” Coors Pole winner Mike Stefanik led the entire first half
of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Lia challenged for the top spotaround
the 59 lap mark but Stefanik fought back and the seven time champion kept
his lead in the Ed Marceau entry. Stefanik pitted on lap 90 and was in a solid
8th by lap 100. The Coventry, RI driver made his way to fifth by lap 128 and
ran with the pack taking down a solid top five finish.
It was when the caution fell on lap 62 that things got interesting for Lia.
“The first time we came in, we were planning on taking our tires and we stripped
out a lug nut, we couldn’t get the tires off,” said Laferriere. “We left our
time trial tires on, went back out and we put together a game plan on how
we were going to get it off. We came back down, we had to change how we did
things and we got it right. It was all in the drivers hands from then on.”
“We couldn’t get a tire off so they decided not to put any on, not get the
change set out of cycle,” said Lia. “It took another two pit stops, we went
a lap down but we were lucky no one else was a lap down and we got the lucky
dog right away. It’s kind of like our season in one night, in a nutshell,
it’s been a tough year. I know everyone says their guys work hard, but these
guys have been in the shop since Stafford every single night until two in
the morning working on this car. My guys, hats off for even getting here today.”
Lia became thoughtful when talking about his mindset coming into evening.
“After qualifying, I sat in the car just thinking, shaking my head, after
a while, every driver, I don’t care who it is, goes through a point where
‘is it me? Did I forget how to do this?’ You start doubting yourself. Tonight
was a really good night to get back on track and give these guys a win, it
means so much to me.”
“There is nothing like victory lane,” said Garbarino.“Everybody wants to be
there and everybody should get a shot at being there.” Garbarino was not sure
about the night when they had the trouble on pit road. “I was thinking, what
else could go wrong? We had a decent car but we couldn’t get the lug nuts
off, but it worked out. We got that caution, got him in, tires changed, got
the lucky dog, it kind of fell our way a little bit there as far as that was
concerned.” After the red flag incident involving Ed Flemke and Wood Pitkat,
Lia lined up 10th, for the restart on lap 92. Todd Szegedy was the current
leader with Ron Silk who put on a spirited side by side battle with Szegedy,
Silk taking over the top spot on lap 95. Up to fifth by lap 100, Lia made
his way forward to second fifteen circuits later. A caution on lap 117 that
collected the field, Silk electing the outside row, Lia inside on the restart
with 28 circuits left in the event that became pivotal. “I got a little run
on him, just drove it into the corner, got underneath him, he was nice enough
to give me a lane there,” said Lia. Lia became the final leader of the night
on lap 129. The confidence is re-ignited. Coby, in the Wayne Darling, Reynolds
Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct sponsored Chevrolet had another good points
night, the seventh consecutive podium finish for the Milford, CT driver keeps
the points tally 41 ahead of Silk who moved up a notch to second place. “It’s
a night where you stay out of trouble,” said Coby who took the green fourteenth.
“It was a good honest effort from our team- anybody who knows Wayne or how
our team works knows they are a real fun team to be around, level headed,
never snap out at anything, it’s really fun to be around them because it’s
one of those deals where you can just go to the track and whatever you have
you have. Tonight it was a third place car. Six races to go, we’re trying
to keep this streak going, top threes, it’s pretty cool. I’ve never had anything
like this in my career. The wins are one thing, they’re in the books, its
nights like tonight where you start fourteenth and finish third that means
a lot too.” Rowan Pennink was sixth followed by Jimmy Blewett seventh, Bobby
Santos, digging deep from an earlier spin crossed for eighth, Ron Yuhas who
ran as high as third bringing home ninth and Szegedy who led nearly 20 laps
just past the half way mark claimed tenth.
3 - Staffford Speedway - NASCAR- 4
At the track where he got his start in racing, Stafford Motor Speedway has
become home sweet home for Doug Coby during the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified
Coby, from Milford, Conn., made it three-for-three in Whelen Modified Tour
events at the historic half mile so far this year as he turned in another
dominant performance for his fourth overall triumph of the campaign. Coby
inherited the lead when leader Eric Beers came to pit road along with the
majority of the front-runners on Lap 48. He more than held his own down the
stretch, however, as the lead was never relinquished, or really in question.
It was his fourth career victory at Stafford.
Jimmy Blewett crossed the line second with Todd Szegedy third. Beers and Ted
Christopher rounded out the top five. Pole winner Ryan Preece, Jon McKennedy,
Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore completed the top 10.
With the victory, Coby extended his lead in the season standings on Preece
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Budweiser King
of Beers 150 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Aug. 9.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-22nd Annual Stafford 150
Friday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (6) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 68.234 mph.
2. (11) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
3. (13) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 150.
4. (5) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
5. (10) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
6. (1) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 150.
7. (18) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 150.
8. (22) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Ford, 150.
9. (2) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
10. (27) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
11. (4) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
12. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (20) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 149.
14. (25) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 147.
15. (23) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 147.
16. (3) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 147.
17. (21) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 147.
18. (12) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 146, ignition.
19. (16) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 141.
20. (17) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 135.
21. (26) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 135.
22. (15) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 113, mechanical.
23. (14) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass, Chevrolet, 85, suspension.
24. (9) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 82, accident.
25. (24) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 45, mechanical.
26. (19) Richie Pallai, Jr, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 43, accident.
27. (7) Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 29, mechanical.
Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 57 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.508 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R. Preece (98.296 mph, 18.312 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 30 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-22; E. Beers 23-48; D. Coby 49-150.
1. D. Coby, 309; 2. R. Preece, 268; 3. R. Silk, 266; 4. J. Blewett, 246; 5.
J. Bonsignore, 235; 6. T. Szegedy, 235; 7. D. Lia, 235; 8. E. Beers, 228;
9. M. Stefanik, 225; 10. T. Christopher, 223.
NASCAR WMT STAFFORD 150 by Polly Reid
Coming in for fresh tires was the game plan but as the race unfolded, including
a long green final run, Doug Coby stayed where he was, in the lead bringing
home the Wayne Darling owned, Reynolds Auto Wrecking /Furnace & Duct sponsored
Chevrolet across the line for a dominating win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour 22nd Annual Stafford 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
The victory marks Coby’s sixth career win, his third win in a row at Stafford.
The Milford, CT driver now has four NWMT wins this year. Sharing the podium,
Jimmy Blewett crossed for second with Todd Szegedy third. Eric Beers fourth,
Ted Christopher fifth, pole winner Ryan Preece, Jon McKennedy, Woody Pitkat,
Eric Goodale and Justin Bonsignore in a back-up car completed the top ten.
Pole award winner and early leader Ryan Preece in the Flamingo Motorsports
Ford was in charge at the drop of the green with Eric Beers quickly lining
up behind Preece with Bobby Santos and Eric Goodale in the hunt. Coby sat
just out of the top five, qualifying sixth on the grid. The first caution
on lap 17 crowed the field together again and as Preece and Beers battled
side by side for five laps, it was Beers inching ahead to become the new leader
on lap 23. Coby, fourth on the restart, moved into third and when the next
caution waved at lap 29, Coby used his lane to move into second by lap 40,
his sights set on Beers. The game changer came was on lap 44, a caution came
then a red flag for an incident in turn three where Steve Masse and Rich Pallai
tangled. While the guardrail was being repaired, the field was stopped on
the backstretch for 15 minutes. Rolling again, the pits opened on lap 47-
when leader Beers came down for fresh tires, more than half the field followed
including all the front runners, except for Coby who inherited the lead and
Ted Christopher. Preece came down pit row but was waved on by his team when
it was discovered the left rear tire they were going to put on was going flat.
Preece, who crossed for sixth, held on in contention until about 40 to go
when it was suspected a dropped cylinder kept them from being in the mix at
the end. “We were going to come in early but we wanted to lead a lap so when
the 45 came in we said we’d stay out and lead a lap,” said Coby. “Maybe we’d
come in around lap 100 or so then we had no more cautions. This car is built
to last on the long runs I think everyone saw that in the Sizzler and the
125, that we know we can go at least 100 laps on these tires if not more.”
Coby, Christopher, Ed Flemke who also stayed out and Preece led the restart
but as the cautions came, Coby maintained his lead. Flemeke pitted on the
next yellow, Christopher at the following caution coming in on lap 66. At
the half way mark it was Coby, Preece, Blewett, Bryon Chew, Rowan Pennink,
Justin Bonsignore, Szegedy and Beers the top eight. The last caution of the
night came on lap 83, contact sending Chew hard into the outside wall on the
backstretch. From the restart on lap 88 to the end, the race was green. Blewett
took over second before the 90 mark, Szegedy into third five circuits later.
While Blewett and Szegedy contended for second, Coby stretched out his lead.
“We had a lot of cautions in the middle of the race,” said Coby. “My spotter
kept giving me updates on the lap times and those guys with tires on a night
like tonight they’re not going to make a lot of ground up- we just never really
fell off.” Coby crossed the stripe for the 22nd Annual Stafford 150 win with
a 2.508 second margin of victory. “I just didn’t want a caution. I was praying
for no cautions,” admitted car owner Wayne Darling. “I was surprised without
putting tires on it that it didn’t fall off, it might have if we had a caution.
It stayed real fast though out the whole race. We were one of the quickest
cars to the very end.” Coby talked about the decision to stay out. “We were
going to pit at lap 40 or after, our plan was, if we were leading, we wanted
to do exactly what Eric did, pit as the leader, make everyone follow us in,
then we’ll be in the top three or four when we get out and make them now got
100 laps or so, that was our plan, make them go 100 laps instead of say, 75
which would give them better tires on the long run. We know our car can go
100 and we knew we would have a good car on the long run. So who pits? Everybody.
Who doesn’t? Us. In an instant it was over getting one bonus point where we
said let’s stay out and lead a lap. Now we got more points because we led
the most laps and then we got the win. We try to stick to our plan; we always
say that, no matter what. But crew chief says plan changes when you need a
bonus point and I agreed with him. Our car was still very much tight and racy.
I was thinking maybe by lap 100 we’ll be junk and we’ll have to pit, by then
those guys will have 50 laps on their tires and we can pass some of them and
come back through, it’s crazy how it works.” Winning crew chief John McKenna
echoed Coby. “The other teams, they decided for us not to pit. We decided
to lead a lap to get a bonus point not thinking they were all going to come
in. I was surprised that many came in. Alright, let’s make them chase us and
wear their tires out and we come down and put our tires on we’ll have something
to come through the field with. But as we were going, nobody was coming, nobody
was coming, nobody was coming – then when it went the long green, let it go,
we couldn’t pit, even if the caution did come out. It worked out, but it was
luck. The last time, we weren’t planning on pitting, we got a flat tire and
it worked out. This time, we were planning on pitting and we didn’t.” Coming
into the 2012 season, there is a renewed desire to succeed, to be competitive
among the best. A season high second place finish for the Howell, NJ driver,
Jimmy Blewett in the John Blewett Inc/Ling Trucking sponsored, John Blewett
Sr. owned Chevrolet with crew chief Ed Bennett III, is appreciative of what
it takes to make the podium. “I can’t thank Ed (Bennett) enough for stepping
up to the plate for me. My crew chief Kevin Crowley, he had to step aside
because of family purposes. I can’t thank Ed enough for coming on board with
us. You’re only as good as your car is sometimes and my crew guys work their
hearts out week in and week out, we’re committed to running the full series.
This one’s for my guys.” Blewett continued, “You know our team, it’s been
one thing after another, we just really needed a good finish. During the off
season, I lost a bunch of weight just trying to get myself prepared to run
this car for my grandfather. I felt like I have to give 150 percent. We put
a pretty good crew together, a little bit from my brother’s team, a little
bit of guys that worked for me, a couple of friends I met when I drove the
14 car and even a couple of guys that were around the pit area. The hard work
is what makes you. I have a lot more appreciation for racing now more than
ever. When I drove for Eddie Partridge, it was show up with your helmet and
suit and race. It’s not that I need to work on cars and build them, I did
that with my brother, my grandfather made us start that way, now to do that
at the highest level is a whole different story. What makes me feel that way
is my brother, what he did, driver, crew chief, he did everything, he was
the total package. I feel like tonight would be a night where he would be
proud of all of us.” Szegedy in the Mike Smeriglio III owned, Dunleavy Repair/A&J
Romano Construction sponsored Ford tallied up another top five finish, four
to date with the 2 Team headed up by crew chief Phil Moran. “Our season has
been either real good finishes or we’ve been getting wrecked. Everybody ran
pretty good, it got a little wild there with some of the guys backing up it
really us bunched up, but all in all is was a good run for the Mike Smeriglio
Ford. We just have to keep having these good finishes. The 52 was strong tonight.
We took tires and he still whooped up on us, we’ve got a lot of work to do
to catch up on him. We can’t blame engine power, he runs a Chevy, we run a
Ford but we’re all built by Bob Brunneau power- it’s a good finish for Bob,
one, two and three. We’re going to Thompson where we’ve had absolutely horrible
luck and hopefully turn it around with another top five. We’re going to build
off this finish.” Szegedy will focus on getting where they know they are capable
of being. “ When we finish, they’re good. We’re good enough to run the top
five but we’re not yet this year been good enough to win. Tonight I think
was the closet night to that. If we had a green, white, checker, it might
have been a different story, Doug did have older tires and I think that would
have affected him the most, our car was great on restarts. I think being third,
we would have had a shot at winning the race but it didn’t happen. I gave
it all I could, I didn’t have anything left. It’s good, but I’m anxious to
get the car better. I want to continue with these finishes.” To compete in
this series, the work is hard, never ending and requires sacrifice and dedication.
A whole series could be written on what one has given up to be here. There
is one more factor, an elusive four letter word that permeates the racing
world- luck. That word was heard across the board tonight from the 52 team.
“Lucky, very lucky,” said Darling. “The last race here, we had a flat and
it worked out for us, the race at Waterford, that big wreck on the front stretch,
we got hit, but it didn’t do any damage, Todd ended up in it, we got hit,
nerf bar damage, but we made it through. This race here, no cautions at the
end, right now, we’re just riding the luck. These guys do hard work, I mean
we had a good car last year and stupid stuff would bite us, cautions come
out at the wrong time, it’s all luck, when you have it, ride it.” “I’ll tell
you what, I had a blast with Ryan, Eric, Bobby- that four group of us running
side by side, was really cool. It was really fun racing with these guys,”
said Coby. “When you beat them, you know you’re beating the best. That’s the
most satisfying for us right now, it’s knowing that when you beat Ted, Mike
Stefanik, Silk’s team, Preece, Todd- those are top notch teams and for us
to run with them and beat them, it’s really cool. It can change in an instant.
We can have a 60 point lead and it can go away in a heartbeat. We’re trying
to not take anything for granted, we’ve won four Tour races in a year, no
matter where we finish in points, points don’t tell the whole story. For somebody
like me whose never finished better than fifth in points or won more than
one Tour race in a season, this is just like the coolest thing ever. We know
we’re on a wave.” “We weren’t really surprised (about the car falling off)
that’s what we’ve been working on,” said McKenna. “My nephew Alex has been
doing the setups on it, we have a new tire guy, we knew half way through last
year that our tire guy would not be returning since he was going to spend
time with his daughter playing softball so he and Simon worked together. Tim
taught Simon how to do the tires and he picked that right up, that’s been
key. The guys on the team have been stepping up to do different things- it’s
all of us working hard. We know we’re riding the wave, we know we’re going
to go on the other side of the wave sooner or later. We’ve been doing this
long enough to know, that’s the truth, it’s a reality.” The season is officially
half way. Seven races in the books, seven to go. Coby leads the way with 309,
Preece in second 41 back with Silk only two behind Preece. Jimmy Blewett stands
fourth with Justin Bonsignore, Todd Szegedy and Donny Lia all tied for fifth
each with 235 points. The tight turn around to Thursday night at Thompson
will be another test for all. Easy to say the season is just heating up.
28 - Riverhead Raceway - Rain - rescheduled to Sept 15
14 - New Hampshire Speedway - 4th
STEFANIK WINS THRILLER IN LOUDON
Veteran Edges Silk By .003 Of A Second At Line
Who says the older drivers can’t mix it up with the young ones? Mike Stefanik
proved he can still take home checkered flags.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Mike Stefanik edged Ron Silk by .003
of a second to win the Town Fair Tire 100 in a photo finish at New Hampshire
Motor Speedway Saturday.“I
am just happy this old man can mix it up with the young guys out here,” said
the 54-year-old Stefanik after climbing out of the No. 66 Canto & Sons
Paving/Robert B Our Co. Ford in Victory Lane. “I asked my spotter how many
to go. She said five to go. I counted two more and went for it.”Stefanik
and Silk swapped the lead 17 times over the final 48 laps of the 100-lap event
on the 1.058-mile oval. Stefanik took the lead for the final time on Lap 97
and held on for his 72nd career victory. It was also Stefanik's eighth win
at New Hampshire, where he is the winningest driver."Believe
it or not, I came out of Turn 4 and I said, 'Oh boy, this is going to be tight,'
" Stefanik said. "And I actually physically sat up in the seat as
much as I could and peered over the front of my car and rolled my eyes to
the right to see which bumper was ahead. It's kind of funny you would think
about doing that but I just wanted to win after such a hard fought battle
with Ronnie Silk."Silk
won the Coors Light Pole Award Friday in the No. 6 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Schnitzer
Chevrolet and led nine times for a race-high 82 laps Saturday, including the
first 51. Once Stefanik passed him for the first time, the two traded the
lead back and forth as they jockeyed to be in position for the win on the
didn't want to make (the pass) with one to go because I thought they'd probably
pass me before the one to go because they would want to be leading,"
Stefanik said. "I made the pass on Ronnie and then thought, I've got
to hold this guy off for three laps. I do not want him going back by me."Said
Silk: "I was in the spot I wanted to be in on the last lap. I wanted
to be in second coming off Turn 2. I had the run off the backstretch, I just
wasn't able to get him."Mike
did an awesome job on the last lap. I got a run on him. I even ran him up
a little bit. He was able to hang on to it in the marbles and beat me back
to the line, so congratulations to him and those guys. They did a great job."The
win also gave Stefanik a locked-in spot to the UNOH Battle At The Beach on
the .4-mile oval at Daytona International Speedway next February during Speedweeks,Points
leader Doug Coby closed late to finish third after pitting four times in the
first half of the race to adjust the car. Coby leads Silk, 261-244.Coby
said his No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking Chevrolet struggled over the first
half of the race with his car setup, citing the tire rubber put down during
NASCAR Sprint Cup practice prior to the Modified race."We
just made the right adjustments at the break," said Coby, "and I
don't know how it happened but we found ourselves in the top five with 10
to go. We just tried to make some smart moves."Off
the final turn, Rowan Pennink made a brief bid to make it three-wide for the
lead but lost ground in the scrum and wound up sixth.Eric
Beers finished fourth and Todd Szegedy fifth. After Pennink, Andy Seuss, Donny
Lia, Zane Zeiner and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top 10.NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, a two-time winner in the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour, qualified fifth but finished 30th after being involved in an
accident just prior to the race's halfway point.The
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race next on Saturday, July 28 at Riverhead
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR-Town Fair Tire 100 Results
Saturday At New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
Lap length: 1.058 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (9) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 100 laps, 82.016 mph.
2. (1) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 100.
3. (3) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
4. (12) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 100.
5. (10) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 100.
6. (7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 100.
7. (15) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Chevrolet, 100.
8. (19) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 100.
9. (13) Zane Zeiner, Bath, Pa., Dodge, 100.
10. (18) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Ford, 100.
11. (17) Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 100.
12. (2) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 100.
13. (22) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 100.
14. (8) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 100.
15. (4) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.
16. (23) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100.
17. (25) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 99.
18. (20) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 99.
19. (28) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 99.
20. (29) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 99.
21. (16) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.
22. (6) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 94.
23. (33) Steve Dickey, Londonderry, N.H., Chevrolet, 84, accident.
24. (30) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 81.
25. (21) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 68.
26. (26) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 62, accident.
27. (14) Richie Pallai, Jr, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 60, accident.
28. (27) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 60, accident.
29. (24) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 51, accident.
30. (5) Ryan Newman, South Bend, IN, Chevrolet, 48, accident.
31. (32) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 47, engine.
32. (34) Mike Christopher, Plainville, CT, Dodge, 47, overheating.
33. (11) Ryan Blaney, High Pointe, NC, Chevrolet, 37, accident.
34. (31) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 0, engine.
Time of Race: 1 hour 17 minutes 24 seconds
Margin of Victory: .003 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Silk (129.147 mph, 29.492 seconds)
Caution Flags: 7 for 26 laps.
Lead Changes: 17 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Silk 1-51; M. Stefanik 52-53; R. Silk 54-57; M. Stefanik 58-59;
R. Silk 60; M. Stefanik 61; R. Silk 62-71; M. Stefanik 72-73; R. Silk 74-76;
M. Stefanik 77-78; R. Silk 79-81; M. Stefanik 82-83; R. Silk 84-86; M. Stefanik
87-88; R. Silk 89-93; M. Stefanik 94; R. Silk 95-96; M. Stefanik 97-100.
- - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -
the lead for the final 25 laps, it came down to the final circuit. The crowd
on their feet, out of turn four with the checkered flag in the air, Mike Stefanik
and Ron Silk were side by side, Rowan Pennink went low making it three wide
for the win. In a split second, Pennink was forced to back out, Silk and Stefanik
continued, crossing the line at nearly the same time. By 3 thousandths of
a second, Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI in the Ed Marceau owned, Canto &
Sons Paving/Robert B Our Company sponsored Ford scored the coveted win in
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.Silk
locked in second, Doug Coby third, Eric Beers fourth and Todd Szegedy crossed
fifth. Pennink held on for sixth.“When
I came out of four, I knew it was going to be tight,” said Stefanik recalling
the last lap. “I actually physically sat up in the seat as much as much as
I could and kind of like peered over the front of my car and rolled my eyes
to the right to see what bumper was ahead. It’s actually funny, you wouldn’t
think about doing that but I just wanted to win after such a long hard battle
with Ronnie Silk. You hate to give it away, they just don’t come enough. This
feeling I have today just never gets old. I’m 54 years old and I still feel
like I’m 21.”The
Town Fair Tire 100 marks Stefanik’s 72nd career win, his eighth at New Hampshire
Motor Speedway, his last coming in August of 2011.Silk
commanded the lead from the green leading the entire first half until the
mandatory break that fell at a lap 47 caution. While the likes of Keith Rocco,
Ryan Preece, Rowan Pennink, Eric Beers and Ryan Newman swapped out second
place, none were able to make a complete pass on Silk and make it stick for
a full circuit. Stefanik who took the green ninth, methodically moved forward
repeatedly optimizing the draft, move low and complete the pass. By the time
the mandatory pit stop was called, Stefanik had secured second.A
right front flat on the Newman modified brought out a yellow on lap 47 where
NASCAR officials called the mandatory pit stop. Drivers were able to change
tires, fuel and make adjustments under the 5 minute red flag. When the green
waved, Stefanik became the dominate threat to Silk’s day. With the final thirty
two laps green, the pair would swap the top spot a modified fan pleasing seventeen
times. It was the final circuit that brought the fans to their feet.“With
three to go I made my decision. I didn’t want to make it with one to go because
I thought that they would probably pass with one to go- they would want to
be leading. I asked my spotter Carol who did a fantastic job, I said what
lap is this and she said five to go at the line. I counted two more laps,
made the pass on Ronnie and then I was like I have to try and hold this guy
off for three laps because I did not want him going back by me for those three
laps. His car got tight and that is what allowed me to come up with this plan.
He was struggling a little bit in the corner but he had a lot of steam under
the hood with that spec motor. I made the move with three to go- luck, whatever;
we won it by a fraction.”“Whenever
you get in the lead draft here at New Hampshire, crazy stuff is happening
the whole time,” said defending champion Silk in the Ed Partridge owned, Reynolds
Auto Wrecking/Schnitzer sponsored Chevrolet. “I don’t know what it looked
like from the outside but it was a lot of fun in the car. Mike did an awesome
job on the last lap. I got a run on him, I ran him up a little bit and he
was able to hang onto to it up in the marbles a little bit and beat me back
to the line, congratulations to him and those guys. I was in the spot I wanted
to be in on the last lap. I wanted to be in second coming off of turn two.
I had the run down the backstretch but I just couldn’t get him. I knew this
morning in practice, I was around him a little bit in practice drafting and
I knew his car was good.”The
victory for 7 time NWMT champion Stefanik was as much as a win for him as
it was for his new team, car owner Ed Marceau and crew chief Brad Lafontaine.
“I always admired Brad Lafontaine’s ability to give his drivers fantastic
cars. I’m still a student of this game, I study everybody’s car, you just
know who is driving a good car, who is struggling. It seems like more often
than not, he’s given his drivers what they need to win the race. He’s been
around the game a long time, he works hard at it and he’s smart at it. He’s
an icon crew chief in this series.”Point
leader Doug Coby of Milford, CT in the Reynolds Auto Wrecking Chevrolet overcame
what turned out to be a challenging day for the Wayne Darling crew headed
up by crew chief John McKenna. Starting third on the grid, Coby was not able
to hold onto the position when the green flew. It would have been easy to
think this team would be more than a long shot for the podium when Coby pitted
on lap 8.Then
lap 13. Then again on lap 27. After the mandatory pit on lap 47, Coby lined
up seventeenth. Making the adjustments early, the strategy paid off. Coby
became a contender and was in the thick of things in the final circuit.“My
race was a little different than Ron’s,” explained Coby. “As I’m sure you
guys saw me pit like four times. We were just struggling on that Nationwide
Series and Cup rubber really bad, sometimes it comes around, sometimes it
doesn’t. And I think those guys from 5th or 7th on back, the track really
never came into their cars. We just made the right adjustments at the break.
I don’t know how it happened but we found ourselves in the top five with ten
to go. We tried to make some smart moves and right there at the end when Ron,
Mike and Rowan were dicing it up I tried to get a couple of spots and we ended
up third. It was a great day for our team.”Andy
Seuss of Hampstead, NH started 15th and crossed the line 7th. Denise DuPont
was able to catch up with Andy at the conclusion of the Town Fair Tire 100,
her report is below. Donny Lia finished 8th, Zane Zeiner 9th and Woody Pitkat
a solid 10th.Riverhead
Raceway is the next stop for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on July 28th.
The contribution below is by Denise DuPont who caught up with Eric Beers and
Andy Seuss in the pits after the race. Thank you Denise.
has had a strong race car in 2012 and it is only a matter of when the Horwith
Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford will have a 2012 win. Beers started the
race in eleventh spot and made his way through the field to actually lead
the race for a short while. He ran with the leaders the whole race making
some daring moves on the outside, some which cost him race spots. “We had
a good car right out of the box,” said Beers about the #45. “We drove from
twelfth right up to second. We got by Ronnie (Silk) once for the lead and
then he got right by us. We were twelfth for the first segment and we were
short and got fourth for the second segment. Our second set of tires we not
near as good as the first set of tires. We were very loose. The car would
drive into the corner and I would turn right through the whole corner. We
dropped all the way back to twelfth or thirteenth with twenty laps to go.
Then it end up tightening up a little bit. I found a lane where the car would
actually work and I started driving the car in a different spot and I drove
all the way up to fourth. If we had a little bit more help there I thought
we had a real good shot at it. One time we drove up underneath Stefanik for
second coming through the corner but the draft killed us and we were back
to fifth place.”
to Michael and his team. They had a good run. It was a nice clean race. Hopefully
we come back here next year and we do not have to wait for the car to come
in until twenty laps to go.”
Whelen Southern Modified Tour has been the primary concentration for New Hampshire
native Andy Seuss. On off weekends Seuss has raced where he can with the family
owned #70 car. Seuss started the Rockingham Boat/MUA/Summit Signs Chevrolet
fifteenth and maneuvered his way to the front.
finished the race seventh. “I am real happy with my race finish. The car was
real loose at the green flag and the guys did some awesome adjustments. We
almost thought that it was going to be too much but it did get loose the last
few laps. During the last few laps I had a great battle with Szegedy at the
a run with those teams today , guys like - Lia, Szegedy, Pennink, Silk and
the money that they spend while we are just doing it as a family operation
it is amazing. I have to thank my parents, Lyle and Kathy Patterson, Lee and
Pam Vinyl from Vinyl Excavating, and everybody that put into this car or work
on the car for this race to make it better. It is great just to be friends
with everybody that we race with. And to have a good finish at a track like
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR - TOWN FAIR TIRE 100 QUALIFYING
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
by Polly Reid
Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT earned fast time for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway winning the Coors Light
pole awardand will lead the thirty-four car field to green on Saturday for
car owner Ed Partridge in the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Schnitzer sponsored Chevrolet.“The
car drove real well,” said Coors Light pole sitter Silk. “We were quick in
practice but not really happy with how the car went. We spent a lot of time
after practice and changed just about everything we could. We went out for
time and the car drove really well. I’ve got to thank my guys – I’m really
looking forward to tomorrow.”Silk
crossed the line with a 29.492 second lap with a ‘spec’ engine under the hood
followed by Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT at 29.884 seconds and Doug Coby third
with a 28.880 second lap.Eric
Berndt and NSCS driver Ryan Newman will make up the top five.The
Coors Light pole award is Silk’s sixth career, his second at the Magic Mile.
The NWMT defending champion is also the winner of the last NWMT outing at
NHMS back in September.
of the Year contender Keith Rocco will roll off sixth for the Town Fair Tire
100 with Bryan Chew, Rowan Pennink, Mike Stefanik and Todd Szegedy the top
Blaney in the McHawk Northeast modified will make his first NWMT career start
Saturday. Blaney qualified just outside the top ten at eleventh.The
top three qualifiers, Silk, Preece and Coby are also by coincidence, the top
three in the point standings. Coby leads the way with 220 points, Silk follows
with 200 with Preece a close third at 197 points. The NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour is scheduled to go green at 1pm – you can follow it here on TheChromeHorn.com
with Denise Dupont.
30 - Mahoning Speedway - pair of 9's
Earl Paules and Don Wagner each garnered Modified wins Saturday night at Mahoning
Valley Speedway and in the process they kept their tight point battle going
strong as season’s the midway juncture nears.Point
leader Paules of Palmerton picked up his second victory coming in the make-up
race from June 3. Starting seventh, he had to work his tail off in taking
the lead from his teammate Scott Meckes.Wagner,
who hails from Wharton, passed Tom Flanagan on 17 then held off John Bennett
for his third ’12 verdict.In
the first race pole sitter Troy Bollinger jumped out to the early lead and
then held steady until lap 17 which is when Meckes took over after an outside
pass at the start/finish line.By
lap 19 Paules appeared in second then needed every bit of the next five laps
to get past Meckes who made a solid effort to protect the lead.It
wasn’t until a restart on lap 24 when Meckes lost the top spot, but, the Rookie
of the Year contender never eased up as he kept in close range with Paules,
taking a career best second.“He,
(Meckes) did a great job, drove me clean and he definitely made me work out
there. We’re teammates and this was good and he was due for a good finish,”
the heat today the track was a little slick and you have to drive it that
way. I really want to thank the fans for coming out in this heat too.”;John
Bennett ran a balanced race for third with Matt Wentz and John Markovic rounding
out the top five.
the regular feature Tom Flanagan was the pole sitter and early leader. Right
behind him the cars of Jeff Rex, Jr., Wagner and Bennett all raced tightly.A
near winner from the previous week, Flanagan was looking to redeem himself
and was once again showing that this could be his night. Wagner, however,
was uncompromising as he caught and then went side-by-side with Flanagan on
lap 15. From the outside line he then inched into the lead on lap 19 and the
next time around had a car length advantage.“The
top groove was definitely the faster groove. I was struggling to hold it down
to the bottom. I got a good run on Tommy (Flanagan) to get around him on the
top side and that was the place to be,” said Wagner.Over
the final ten laps Bennett stepped up to second and was throwing everything
at Wagner as the two crafty veterans engaged in a closely run contest the
rest of the way.“Whenever
you got this guy is on your outside, Johnny Bennett, he’s the man to beat
here for the last few years. He’s a really good race car driver and no one
in the class makes it easy. There was a bunch of fast cars up front and we
were just lucky to get the win tonight.” said Wagner.Paules,
Rex and Bobby Jones completed the top five. Flanagan, Wagner and Rex copped
Feature Finish, (6/3) 35 Laps: 1. Earl Paules, 2. Scott Meckes, 3. John Bennett,
4. Matt Wentz, 5. John Markovic, 6. Nevin George, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Shawn
Sitarchyk, 9. Eric Beers, 10. Kevin Rex, Jr., 11. Terry Markovic, 12. Troy
Bollinger, 13. Bobby Jones, 14. Matt Higgins, 15. Chip Wanamaker, 16. Tom
Flanagan, 17. Todd Geist Did not start: DJ Wagner, Zane Zeiner, Ron Missimer
Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Wagner, 2. Bennett, 3. Paules, 4. Rex, 5. Jones,
6. George, 7. John Markovic, 8. Wentz, 9. Beers, 10. Behler, 11. Higgins,
12. Geist, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Flanagan, 15. Sitarchyk, 16. Bollinger,
17. Tyler Haydt, 18. Meckes, 19. Mooney
23- Waterford Speedbowl - NASCAR - 7
ROOTER 161 Waterford Speedbowl
by Polly Reid
front of a capacity crowd, Doug Coby of Milford, CT in the Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace
and Duct sponsored, Wayne Darling owned Chevrolet held off the hard charges
of Ryan Preece and Justin Bonsignore in a green white checkered finish to
score the victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Mr. Rooter 161 at Waterford
Speedbowl. Bonsignore crossed for second, Preece third, Ron Yuhas, Jr. fourth
with Donny Lia fifth.The win is Coby’s third of the 2012 season, fifth
of his career, his first at Waterford. “I’ve been trying to win
at this track in a Tour car for a long time,” said Coby. “My first
career win should have come back in like ’04 with the 28 team, that
was the one that got away. These guys on the 52 team- we were really terrible
in practice, we were really struggling today, they put their heads together
and came up with a new set up for time trials today, we got to start up front
(3rd), the car was just flawless- I’ve got thank them- this is a win
for them.” Coors Light Pole award winner Ted Christopher led the twenty-four
car field to green with Coby moving into second by the first completed circuit.
As the green flag laps ticked off the board, Coby made his move getting past
Christopher to become the new leader on lap 44. Christopher would not get
a chance to threaten again when the first caution of the evening waved, contact
with a lap car sending the Plainville, CT driver around on the front stretch.
Christopher recovered but was forced to pit on the next yellow and working
his way forward, ended his night ninth.
Todd Szegedy was the next challenge for Coby. Szegedy had reclaimed the ground
lost on the original start, the Ridgefield, CT driver more than a solid contender
when lap traffic came into play. Contact just before the turn one entry ended
Szegedy’s chances for a run at the checkers his night ending abruptly
As Coby continued to lead, it was Preece from Berlin, CT in the Diversified
Metals/R.B Enterprises Ford that gave Coby a run for the 161 Richie Evans
trophy. A restart with less than 20 to go, Coby and Preece battled side by
side for several circuits, Preece edging out Coby at one point- credited with
leading a lap until Coby mustered the power to regain the lead. A final caution
for an incident on the front stretch involving Jamie Tomaino and Johnny Bush
turned into the second red flag of the night setting up the finale- a green,
white, checkered dash to the finish. Coby’s lead vanished- Preece had
another shot to win. Coming out of turn four, the green in the air, the pair
sailed towards turn one. Coby adjusted his line, there was a ‘hip check’
as Coby called it unsettling the 16 car which quickly led to Justin Bonsignore
in the M3 Technology Chevrolet, seeing opportunity and tucked low under Preece
to claim second place. Coby cruised to the checkers, Bonsignore who had never
raced at Waterford before, crossed second, Preece third. “The outside
was the place to be on the restarts, he (Preece) was getting great runs there,”
said Coby in victory lane. “My spotter kept telling me, ‘raise
your entry,’ I knew I had to take away the entry for him, kind of stay
on the bottom, up off, change his line a little bit. I knew Ryan wasn’t
going to do anything stupid so I guess I would take the chance.” A thoughtful
Preece put into context the white flag circuit. “He was leading- he
had to do what he had to do. It was green white checker, what do you expect?
I would have run somebody just as hard as Doug did. He ran a great race and
congratulations to him and that whole team- I’m not taking anything
away from them.” “We’re trying to get a good finish, maybe
get a string of wins like they (52) are,” said Bonsignore.“We
got a little behind on the initial start, got shuffled back but the car was
coming to us, we picked them off one at a time- got to third, thought I had
something for Ryan. I don’t know if the right front gave out but we
struggled the last 30 or 40 laps. This is our first time here, I’m proud
of our guys.”
“I’ve been here to watch two MRS shows,” explained Bonsignore
who made the trip from Holtsville, NY, “sat up in the stands and enjoyed
some good times. It was awesome to see the place packed the way it was. I’m
glad, I want to keep coming back, it was a blast to race here. It always helps
when you run good but I love the place, it was pretty racey tonight.”
“I thought the green white checker was going to work out in my favor.
The 16 team, Sly Szaban, everybody on the team, they did a phenomenal job
there – I hate it for them because I know we had a car that was real
good on the short runs and pretty good on the long runs- I’m pretty
sure we’ll be coming back next year and I hope we’re going to
be the ones up there,” said Preece nodding in the direction of victory
“With three laps to go, Ryan could hang there, I wasn’t sure,”
said car owner Wayne Darling admitting he questioned how the finish would
play out. Darling, who spent the race in the stands echoed the consensus of
the night, “I thought it was a good show, not too many cautions. The
crowd I thought was very appreciative, they were into it. There’s nothing
better than when the crowd gets into it.” “The practice, it wasn’t
anywhere what they were thinking,” said Darling who had something else
to celebrate, his son winning a 75 lap pro stock race at Seekonk earlier in
the evening. “John (McKenna) and Doug got together and decided what
to do. They talked it over and it was their decision on what to do.”
17th on the final practice speed chart, the last and only time the 52 Tour
team had been to Waterford was six years ago when Matt Hirschman drove. Crew
Chief John McKenna had his work cut out for him. “We probably changed
ten things after practice,” said McKenna. “We were happy after
time trials.” With not much of a notebook to fall back on, the communication
between Coby and McKenna was critical and it’s clicking. “Doug
doesn’t tell me what to change on the car; he tells me what it’s
doing.” Leading the points heading to Loudon, McKenna is encouraged.
“Loudon has not been a good track for us. The test got us going in the
right direction. When Dale (Quarterly) drove for us there, he started us going
forward, then the test- we learned a lot.” Jigsaw, Inheritance or No
Groove, whatever the name, Coby will for sure be one to watch at the Magic
Mile. Rowan Pennink finished the Mr. Rooter 161 sixth, Eric Beers seventh,
Rookie of the Year Contender Keith Rocco, Ted Christopher and Jon McKennedy
completed the top ten.
Waterford Speedbowl pulled off a short track dream night- maximum attendance,
perfect weather, a great short track show- Preece had a quote worth repeating.
“You can’t even describe the feeling when you pull onto the frontstretch,
get out of your car and you see this place packed, it was just awesome.”
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour meets again Saturday July 14th at New Hampshire
Motor Speedway for the Town Fair Tire 100.
Conn. – Doug Coby continued to roll in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action
Saturday when he captured the checkered flag in front of a capacity crowd
in the Mr. Rooter 161 at Waterford Speedbowl.
Coby, from Milford, Conn., led 119 laps in the No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace
& Duct Supply Chevrolet Saturday en route to his third victory in five
races to start the 2012 season. It is his fifth career victory overall, and
first in eight Whelen Modified Tour starts at Waterford. “I’ve
been trying to win at this track in a [Whelen Modified] Tour car for a long
time, my first career win should have come here back in 2004 – that
was one that got away,” Coby said. While he led the vast majority of
the race – 119 of 163 laps – Coby needed to hold off Ryan Preece
on a green-white-checker restart for the victory. Entering turn one on that
restart, Coby made the decisive move to secure the victory. “Knock the
16 [Preece] in the door, and hang on for a few laps,” Coby said of his
move. “The outside was the place to be on the restarts, he was getting
great runs. I knew I had to take away the entry for him and kind of stay on
the bottom up off and change his entry for him and kind of change his line
a little bit.”
Justin Bonsignore crossed the line second while Preece settled for in third.
“It was interesting, it got a little tight there,” Preece said
of the race finish. “I know we had a car that was real good on those
short runs and pretty good on the long runs. But I’m pretty sure we’ll
be coming back here next year and I hope we’re going to be the one in
Victory Lane.” Ron Yuhas Jr. and Donny Lia brought home the top five
with Rowan Pennink, Eric Beers, Keith Rocco, polesitter Ted Christopher and
Jon McKennedy the rest of the top 10. The fourth-place effort marked the second
career top-five finish for Yuhas, and the first since his third-place run
at Thompson International Speedway in 2007, a span of 19 starts. Defending
Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ron Silk finished 11th, his first finish outside
the top five this season. With the victory, Coby extended his lead on Silk
in the season standings to 20. With his third podium finish in five outings,
Preece sits third in points, 23 out.
Coby, who had two wins in 116 starts across 10 seasons, became the third driver
in the last six years to win three times in five races on the schedule. The
last two drivers to accomplish that feat – Donny Lia in 2007 and Bobby
Santos in 2010 – both went on to capture that season’s title.
The first Whelen Modified Tour event at Waterford since 2006, and the 18th
overall at the facility, saw three lead changes and just four caution periods.
Coby became the 14th different Whelen Modified Tour winner in the .375-mile
3 52 Doug Coby Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet 163 48 5 Running
2 4 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Chevrolet 163 42 Running
3 7 16 Ryan Preece Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford 163 42 1 Running
4 11 64 Ron Yuhas, Jr. DreamRide.org/Hughes Motors Chevrolet 163 40 Running
5 8 4 Donny Lia Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 163 39 Running
6 6 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 163 38 Running
7 16 45 Eric Beers Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc Ford 163 37 Running
8 12 3 Keith Rocco * Belltown Motors/Macara/Big A Chevrolet 163 36 Running
9 1 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 163 36 1 Running
10 15 79 Jon McKennedy Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 163 34 Running
11 5 6 Ron Silk Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Mr. Rooter Chevrolet 163 33 Running
12 17 46 Eric Berndt North End Auto Parts/Cape Cod Agts Chevrolet 163 32 Running
13 18 76 Jimmy Blewett John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet 160 31 Running
14 9 88 Bryon Chew Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet 160 30 Running
15 24 33 Wade Cole Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil,/Ryan's Chevrolet 156 29 Running
16 14 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 155 28 Accident
17 23 38 Johnny Bush Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil,/Ryan's Chevrolet 153 27 Running
18 21 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Chevrolet 111 26 Running
19 2 2 Todd Szegedy Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Const. Ford 102 25 Running
20 20 28 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard's Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet 101 24
21 13 07 Patrick Emerling Emerling Chevrolet Dealership Chevrolet 101 23 Accident
22 19 66 Mike Stefanik Town-line farms/Xtreme Auto Chevrolet 67 22 Accident
23 22 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape /TRC Electric Pontiac 59 21 Front
24 10 58 Eric Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 39 20 Electrica
Fastest Qualifier: Ted Christopher, Time: 13.74 Seconds, Speed: 96.943 mph
Time of Race: 0 hrs., 53 mins, 3 secs Average Speed: 68.211 mph Margin of
Victory: 0.505 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 49-55 (Car #36 spin frontstretch <76>); 102-110
(Cars No. 2, 07, 28 accident frontstretch [Red Flag 5 mins.]); 139-144 (Car
No. 33 spin frontstretch <6>); 157-160 (Cars No. 38, 99 accident frontstretch
[Red Flag 5 mins.]). 4 for 26 laps. Lap Leaders: Ted Christopher 1-43, Doug
Coby 44-145, Ryan Preece 146, Doug Coby 147-163.
Total Laps Led: Doug Coby 119, Ted Christopher 43, Ryan Preece 1. 3 changes
involving 3 drivers.
WATERFORD – We can see it now, the public service announcement launched
just in time for next year’s Daytona 500 by the good folks from NASCAR
Home Tracks. Drivers Go From Racing For First To First Responders Sunday Morning
In Waterford Maybe they can even get Kevin Harvick to go into that really
deep and introspective “Kevin Harvick mode” to open the commercial,
scripted out to say: “Winning races, saving lives, these are the men
of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.”
Unfortunately, the NASCAR camera crews weren’t at the Waterford Speedbowl
early Sunday morning to catch some footage of the drama and folly that unfolded
just outside the Waterford Speedbowl’s front entrance. Saturday night,
before a packed crowd at the Speedbowl, Doug Coby used some dramatic moves
in the last two laps to hold off Ryan Preece and win the Mr. Rooter 161 at
Waterford, the first Whelen Modified Tour event at shoreline oval since 2006.
Coby took the checkered flag just after 10 p.m. for the event. Four hours
later Coby was back involved in another dramatic engagement at Waterford.
Around 2 a.m., a driver heading down Route 85 outside the Speedbowl lost control
and flipped his subcompact car into small patch of woods just across the street
from the track’s entrance.
The commotion of the flipping car sent many of those still milling about in
the Speedbowl parking lot to check on the situation, including Coby. Coby
was one of four Whelen Modified Tour drivers and one Whelen All-American Series
Waterford Speedbowl regular on the scene just seconds after the accident happened.
Also on scene were Modified Tour regulars Ron Silk, Rowan Pennink and Keith
Rocco along with Speedbowl SK Modified division regular - and Saturday night
winner - Rob Janovic Jr. The five drivers were just part of a bustling group
of about 15 that made their way to start the improvised rescue efforts. Once
the rag-tag emergency group made it to Route 85 that’s when the impromptu
crew went barreling into action, albeit with some quality comedic tone thanks
to a crash victim that seemed about as aloof as a 13-year old on a date. "I
lean down to see if whoever is in the car is alright and I look inside and
there's this kid playing with the radio and talking on his cell phone while
he's upside down,” Janovic said. The first responders responsibly made
sure from the victim that there were no other passengers in the car to be
accounted for and then offered to bust out the windows to let him out. It
seems after finishing his song on the radio and ending his cell phone call
the crash victim decided to vacate the vehicle. Safe, and seemingly unharmed,
the ragtag emergency crew then went to work in trying to help him secure a
ride home, as in, his own ride. It took about two people in the group call
out , “let’s flip it back” and within seconds there was
a line of arms pushing on one side of the mangled ride, bouncing the subcompact
easily back onto four wheels, a very damaged four wheels at that, even before
professional emergency responders arrived.
2: Mahoning Speedway - 19
couple of the cars that were in the front of the field spun on the initial
restarts and Eric was pushed into their mess and bent up the right front.
was a banner night to what has already been a banner season for Palmerton’s
Earl Paules as he won both the Modified and Late Model features at Mahoning
Valley Speedway, the first time a driver has done that fete with those classes
in the same night and he added to his acclaim by assuming the point lead in
each division. It
was Baltimore Life Insurance Fan Appreciation Night and a packed grandstand
witnessed the powerhouse performance by Paules. In the Modified main he started
eighth. After two skirmishes trying to get the first lap in the books, Paules
was able to methodically move to fifth. He then began his progression to the
front by moving to the outside groove where he would grab fourth by lap three
and third the next time around. Matt Wentz had been leading from the outset
and had Bobby Jones giving him a handful. It would be lap six when Jones was
able to slip by and grab the lead. It took Paules until lap eight to make
his way ahead of Wentz. After that it was great battle that ensued between
him and Jones. On lap 15 Paules was able to take over as the leader and from
there to the finish he held steady for his first Modified win of the year.
“It’s just patience. You have that the wins will come. It’s Mahoning Valley,
it’s a tough little race track,” said Paules. “Bobby (Jones) and I are both
hard racers. I know he will run you clean and he gave me plenty of room.”;
Defending class champion Tyler Haydt had a solid drive through the pack as
he came from 14th to second by lap 22 and then remained in tow with Paules
to the end. New Jersey’s Roger Coss was making a rare Mahoning start and turned
in a noteworthy run coming from 15th to second, a spot he earned by inches
over Don Wagner at the checkers. Nevin George rounded out the top five. Mod
heats went to Paules, Jones and John Bennett. Todd Geist annexed the consolation.
Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. Earl Paules, 2. Tyler Haydt, 3. Roger Coss, 4.
Don Wagner, 5. Nevin George, 6. Bobby Jones, 7. Kevin Rex, Jr., 8. Brian DeFebo,
9. Troy Bollinger, 10. Shawn Sitarchyk, 11. Chip Wanamaker, 12. Matt Wentz,
13. Todd Geist, 14. Lonnie Behler, 15. Joe Mooney, 16. John Bennett, 17. James
Pritchard, Jr., 18. Tom Flanagan, 19. Eric Beers, 20. Scott Meckes
not qualify: Rick Reichenbach, Brent Wentz, DJ Wagner, Paul Skodacek, Keith
Mullineax, Terry Markovic, Stacey Brown
May 25: Stafford Speedway - 13
MOTOR SPEEDWAY - TSI HARLEY-DAVIDSON 125
Coby Makes a Comeback for Stafford Victory
by Polly Reid
to pit with a right front flat, Doug Coby of Milford, CT in the Wayne Darling
owned, Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct sponsored Chevrolet made
an unexpected pit stop early on then methodically caught and passed his way
through the field eventually getting by leader Bobby Santos III with less
than ten to go to score the win at Stafford Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour TSI Harley-Davidson 125.“This
is a different car and motor than we won the Sizzler with,” said Coby who
claimed the Spring Sizzler win last month. “We call this the show car, I told
them I never want to race it, want to keep it nice and shiny. The show car
put on the show tonight, it was freaking awesome.”Restarting deep in the field
after being forced to pit on lap 27, Coby used the outside groove to make
his way through the field. Coby turned his long night around taking the lead
from Santos who had until then, dominated the entire night. Coby was credited
with leading the final seven circuits.“I know I got into the 88 when he didn’t
go on the first couple of laps. I kind of bobbled into his nerf bar, I don’t
know if that’s what cut it down but the car was tight and that’s what a tire
going down makes you feel, but then the car was fine. I don’t know if it was
then and when it cooled down under the caution it rolled off the bead or something
like that, but I was shocked when it went down. We weren’t planning to pit,
it’s just one of those things, we ended up pitting before everyone else. We
didn’t make any changes to the car only put on two right side tires.”Santos
crossed for second with Ron Silk third, Todd Szegedy fourth and Rowan Pennink
fifth.Earlier in the evening, Bobby Santos III set fast time winning the Coors
Light Pole award, led the most laps and held off the challenges of Eric Berndt,
Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher and Silk along the way. But it was a showdown
between Santos and Coby that changed the night. The pass started out of turn
two where Coby was strong and ended at turn four, Coby emerging the second
and winning leader of the night.“Doug was good, he was good at the end and
he beat us. Overall I’m very happy but you can’t- there is just nothing worse
than leading the race and getting beat. But, Doug did it clean, did it the
right way, he did a good job.”His second Tour start of the season, Santos
never skipped a beat with his new team headed up by car owner Sully Tinio.
“I’ve got to thank this whole team, Billy The Kid, awesome motor, Steve Lemay,
Sully Tinio, it’s a lot of fun to drive for him. The 44 is a good team, they
have the potential to win a lot of races on this Tour.”Santos was repeating
what Silk did a year ago in this event, leading every lap, the checkered flag
getting closer with every circuit ticked off the board. “I was taking care
of my car the whole race, not pushing it as hard as I had to until I got a
couple of challenges there. We were a little free getting into the turns there
the whole race but it wasn’t a big deal. I’m disappointed to loose a race
at the end- could not be prouder of what the guys did- at the end, wish I
could have held on a little better, I don’t know what to say.”Defending winner
of this race Ronnie Silk turned his challenging night into a podium finish.
Silk started ninth and just after he cracked the top five, the call was made
to pit. “We kind of had a rough night with a good ending. We were too loose
to start. We pitted on lap 30, took our tires then, got some good lanes on
the restarts- then with like 25 to go, thought I had a good shot at winning
it. Got a couple of good runs on Bobby, but just didn’t have enough forward
drive to really pass him. The two times I did try and pass him it really screwed
both of us up and Doug was able to make some ground up on us. Doug- that 52
team, they’ve been really strong all year and we’re going to have to get a
little better to beat them.”“We won this last year and never even thought
about pitting. You come to try and win all these races and we weren’t going
to win the way were so we needed to make an adjustment on the car- it definitely
improved where we finished.”A different car was brought to Stafford than the
one that Coby won with at the Sizzler. “They said they wanted to bring this
car because it runs better at night,” explained car owner Wayne Darling about
crew chief John McKenna’s call to switch up the car. “The right front flat
actually helped us, we put on two right side tires. We were thinking it was
early enough, pick a few off, get a couple of good restarts, we’d be in good
shape.”Considering the day they were having, Darling smiled, he wasn’t completely
convinced they had the car to win until they took the lead. “Up until then
I wasn’t sure. Getting by Teddy, getting by Ronnie, they were tough, tougher
than Bobby was going to be. Teddy and I, he’s a good friend of mine, we have
a rivalry; Doug and Ronnie are real close friends, they have a rivalry, so
I figured they would be the toughest to get by and they were.”Balloons decorated
the 52 pit cart signs of a celebration for crew chief John McKenna who marked
a big one at Stafford. Maybe turning 50 isn’t a bad thing when you can celebrate
in victory lane. But the day, well, wasn’t quite so smooth. “My day started
out pretty crappy this morning. Like 6:30 this morning, taking a shower, the
water stopped.” McKenna’s first repair of the day was the water tank for his
well.Next, it gets better. “We’ve been having trouble with the hauler, it’s
been acting up.” Out for repairs twice since the MRS race at Monadnock, they
were told they were good to go. “When we left today, about 20 mins from the
shop it started going into de-rate mode, it looses all it’s horsepower so
it only goes like 35 mph. We kept pulling over, shutting it off, run it for
20 mins at best, then the light would come back on. Climbing the hills on
the Mass. Pike it was going like 15 mph. That’s how my day started.”After
the unscheduled stop for the right front flat, McKenna would have been pleased
with a top ten finish. “Usually there is not a lot of passing. Here it’s track
position. Then Doug set sail- running the outside. I couldn’t believe how
good he was running the outside.” Rating his birthday overall? “This is the
best one yet- excellent.”Keith Rocco closed his night at Stafford crossing
sixth, Ted Christopher seventh, Woody Pitkat, Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore
the top ten.Coby leaves Stafford and heads to Waterford Speedbowl in three
weeks the new NWMT point leader, 172 points to Silk’s 167. Ryan Preece moves
into third in points with Jimmy Blewett fourth and Justin Bonsignore fifth.
Motor problems for seven time NWMT champion Mike Stefanik at the start hurt
the Coventry, RI in points who now sits ninth. However, there are only five
points that separate Rocco in fifth to Szegedy in tenth..Doug Coby slipped
past Bobby Santos eight laps from the finish to win the TSI Harley-Davidson
125 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday and become the driver with more than
one win this season.Coby’s first win came in the tour's first visit to Stafford
last month.For the Milford, Conn., driver – who was making his 118th start
– it marked his fourth career win and his third victory on Stafford’s half-mile
oval.The driver of the No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet
started fifth but had to pit on Lap 27 under caution for a flat right front
tire. He charged back and chased down Santos, who had won the pole and led
the race from the drop of the green. Coby closed in on the leader with 10
laps to go and on his second attempt slipped by for the lead.Santos held on
for second, followed by Ron Silk, Todd Szegedy and Rowan Pennink. Keith Rocco,
Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat, Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore completed
the top 10.Coby previously won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford in 2006 and
earlier this year. With Friday night's win, Coby took the points lead over
defending champion Silk by five points after four events.The NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour will be back in action when it visits Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl
for the first time since 2006 for the Mr. Rooter 161 on Saturday, June 23.
TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Results Unofficial Results
Friday At Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, CT
Lap length: 0.5 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (5) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 125 laps, 72.440 mph.
2. (1) Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 125.
3. (9) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn, Chevrolet, 125.
4. (14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 125.
5. (6) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 125.
6. (16) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
7. (11) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
8. (21) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Ford, 125.
9. (13) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 125.
10. (20) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
11. (4) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 125.
12. (15) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
13. (8) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 125.
14. (18) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 125.
15. (2) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
16. (12) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
17. (10) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 125.
18. (23) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 125.
19. (3) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 125.
20. (7) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 125.
21. (22) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 125.
22. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 124.
23. (25) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 124.
24. (19) Richie Pallai, Jr, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124.
25. (17) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 123.
26. (24) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 2, engine.
Time of Race: 51 minutes, 46 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.000 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B.Santos III (98.874 mph, 18.205 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 21 laps.
Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B. Santos III 1-117; D. Coby 118-125.
1. D. Coby, 172; 2. R. Silk, 167; 3. R. Preece, 155; 4. J. Blewett, 145; 5.
J. Bonsignore, 143; 6. K. Rocco, 135; 7. T. Christopher, 133; 8. D. Lia, 132;
9. M. Stefanik, 131; 10. T. Szegedy, 130.
suffered a flat tire on lap 28 of the TSI Harley Davidson 125 at Stafford
Motor Speedway, and looked like he was headed for a long night near the rear
of the field.“You
just never give up,” Coby said. “We weren’t planning to pit.”He
used that fresh rubber, however, to the utmost advantage. Coby razzle-dazzled
his way through the field and moved into the top five with 50 laps to go.
Then he surged underneath all the front runners, including race leader Bobby
Santos with seven laps to go to win his second Whelen Modified Tour race of
the season Friday night.*
Santos tried to go the entire 125-lap distance without changing tires, and
played the price with seven laps remaining.“Based
on the last two years, I didn’t think you could win this race by pitting,”
Santos said. “Doug Coby proved me wrong. He was good at the end. He beat us.”Coby
made many passes on the outside to get into contention, but then made a high-voltage
move down low to vapor past Santos.“I
wish I could have held on a little better,” Santos said. “We made the right
decision not to pit. We just got beat at the end.”Coby
said he knew he had a chance when he started to pick off Ted Christopher,
who finished seventh. Then when he got close to Santos, he knew exactly what
hate to say it was easy to pass him,” Coby said, “But it was easy to figure
out where I was better than him. I just made a big arc behind him so he couldn’t
pinch down on me and made the move. I knew when I got under Bobby, he wasn’t
going to wreck his car.”Once
he took the lead, Coby pulled away. Ron Silk finished third followed by Todd
Szegedy and Rowan Pennink. The win also vaulted Coby into the Tour point lead
after four races.“I
don’t care about that,” Coby said. “I’m happier about winning two tour races
in one year. I’ve never done that before.”If
the Coby comebacks continue, two wins may be just scratching the surface in
19: Mahoning Speedway
hard to imagine that four weeks into the 2012 season at Mahoning Valley Speedway
and multi-time Modified track champion John Bennett of Lehighton is nowhere
near the top five in points, a place he has solidified over the past five
years. More to the fact is he’s not even in the top ten as his results have
been uncharacteristic of his amazing ability of getting around the demanding
paved quarter mile. Saturday
night Bennett was back in true form as he shook all the hard luck that had
beleaguered him and scored a decisive victory. “We must have had a huge black
cloud hovering over us and we couldn’t buy a break for the first four weeks.
I’m glad to come out on the top tonight and it feels real good,” said Bennett.
Bennett’s rough start to the season was due to either mechanical woes or just
plain bad luck and in actuality his win was due in part to hardship of drivers
just ahead of him. Joe Mooney had just taken the lead from Troy Bollinger
on lap 24. They had been running side-by-side for a number of laps. Bollinger
had led from the start but Mooney was a constant challenge. Mooney’s efforts
finally paid off when he tucked in low on the front straight and pulled ahead.
However, before they reached turn two the new leader had spun after being
tagged by Bollinger. Both had to go to the rear due to the incident. In third
at the time was Bennett who avoided the scene and became the front man for
the restart. The rest of the race it was classic Bennett as he went unchallenged
thanks to a far enough lead he built over the remaining laps. “Racing luck,
we finally got it back and it paid off big time,” said Bennett. “This is just
what we needed and we’ll be back at this more often I’m sure.” Bennett earned
his 28th career Modified win and 58th overall and remains uncontested as the
all-time leader in track victories. Don Wagner settled for second and has
moved back into the points lead. Defending champ Tyler Haydt, Rick Reichenbach
and Earl Paules completed the top five. Mod heats went to Haydt, Bennett and
Feature Finish, 35 Laps: 1. John Bennett, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Tyler Haydt, 4.
Rick Reichenbach, 5, Earl Paules, 6. Nevin George, 7. Kames Pritchard, Jr.,
8. Eric Beers, 9. Bobby Jones, 10. Todd Geist, 11. Kevin Rex, Jr., 12. Lonnie
Behler, 13. Joe Mooney, 14. DJ Wagner, 15. Troy Bollinger, 16. Jarred Nace,
17. Matt Wentz, 18. Scott Meckes, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Tom Flanagan Did
not qualify: Chip Wanamaker, Shawn Sitarchyk
May 12: Monadnock Speedway-
Monadnock Speedway hosted the third stop on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
with the Whitcomb 200 presented by Mobix & Town Fair Tire. After setting
a new track record earlier in qualifying, Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT survived
several restarts and a tenacious Doug Coby in the closing circuits to score
his first win in the Eric Sanderson owned, Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises
sponsored Ford. The victory is the fourth NWMT career win for Preece. Preece
led the 175 lap event wire to wire and climbed the fence in a victory lane
celebration. “Sly Szaban, this whole Flamingo Motorsports team is unbelievable.
I’m just so lucky to be a part of it and I’m very grateful for this opportunity.
Doug (Coby) said he had the perfect car last race, I feel like that this week.
Once we got going, I would just take off, I think I could have gone another
100 laps, it was that good.” Doug Coby of Milford, CT crossed for second with
Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT third, Holtsville, NY’s Justin Bonsignore fourth
and Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT fifth. “I don’t think we were going to get by
the 16 car today- I gave it all I had,” said Coby who wheeled the Wayne Darling
owned modified to victory lane in the last outing at Stafford Motor Speedway.
“We started second, finished second but it definitely wasn’t that easy. It
was a battle with the 36 (Christopher) and the 2 (Szegedy) and the 6 (Silk)
for a while and of course Ryan. I tried my hardest on those restarts- wanted
to really roll the outside the best I could. It’s really tough at this track-
it’s my third time here- I’m learning every time I’m here. I think coming
to that MRS race a month ago really helped us with our set up. We ran up front
and that’s all on a quarter mile track that you can hope for.” Coby whose
52 modified carries sponsorship from Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace &
Duct continued, “I really want to thank Teddy Bear Pools for putting up the
extra money, that means a lot and for Long Island Manic for getting Jerry
Marquis back in a car- that was pretty cool. And I want to thank my guys for
a really good car, it was fun to drive.”Szegedy scored his first podium finish
of the season in the Mike Smerigilo, III owned, Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano
Construction Ford crossing the stripe third. “The guys at the shop work real
hard to prepare these race cars. My car owner gives me the best equipment
out here. When you have bad luck, racing isn’t fun, I’ll be the first one
to tell you but when you run well, compete for top five’s, it’s a good time.”
Szegedy is turning around a season that has been heading uphill since the
season opener at Thompson. Szegedy brought up a suggestion that he thought
would make the race even more entertaining for the fans. “I think for these
short track races, NASCAR needs to give us the option to pit and put a right
rear on. I was hardly touching the throttle the whole race then when it was
time to go, we had no tires left. If they would give us a right rear we could
have a lot of cool looking racing. Preece would not have pitted but some of
us would have and you would see a lot of outside racing- let’s lobby for that
right rear and make this race even better.”Preece started his afternoon off
by breaking the track record at Monadnock with a 12.315 second lap around
the high banked oval besting the time of 12.390 set in May 1988. Preece then
backed it up leading all 175 laps but not before surviving ten cautions that
included two red flags. The reds, one for fluid on the speedway on lap 99
and the second for Jon McKennedy’s hard hit into the turn one tire barrier
about 20 circuits later did not shake Preece’s momentum. “It made me calm
down- it cooled off my tires a little bit. I think the most intense part of
that race was when the 18 got that flat tire (in the closing circuits). I
almost got into him,” admitted Preece. “The restarts, they were good, I tried
to switch it up at the end. Doug did what he had to do, staying right beside
me- that last restart, I knew what I had to do to really get away and run
my race- the car was phenomenal. This team is such a fun team- it’s an environment
I like to be around- I’m looking forward to the rest of this year.” Preece
also gave a shout out to Mike Herman, Jr and Kenny Bouchard for their support.“It’s
the best feeling in the world,” said winning car owner Eric Sanderson. “The
team, they’re the best. Sly and the guys put a great car together. It’s like
a dream, it really is. Ryan, he’s always smiling, all the time. In the car,
no matter what’s happening, he has a great attitude.”“Coming here I didn’t
think we had much because we struggled the last couple of years,” said Flamingo
Motorsports crew chief Sly Szaban. “When we got here, we decided to go with
what we think was going to work. We unloaded and the car was good right off
the trailer. We made some spring changes to give Ryan some different feels,
give him a few options and let him make some decisions. After the pole and
the impound, the crew got together and we came up with some ideas for the
race- some changes we needed to make and as a group we came up with what we
thought would be the right decisions. We went with them and they worked.”
Szaban credits spotter Joe Scotnicki for keeping their driver in the right
frame of mind, “he gives Ryan the right things to think about, what to watch
for. Joe was a big part of the win tonight.”Donny Lia in the Mystic Missile,
Mike Stefanik in the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth and Eric Beers in the
Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc sponsored modified all came back from
a lap down to collect a top ten finish- Lia crossing the stripe for sixth,
Stefanik seventh and Beers eighth. Ed Flemke, Jr claimed his first top ten
of the season in the Ron Bouchard’s Autos/Raceworks ride finishing ninth and
rookie of the year contender Keith Rocco in the Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar
Construction Boehler machine tenth. Defending NWMT champion Ron Silk continues
to lead the way in the points, one over Coby with Preece third, Stefanik fourth
while Jimmy Blewett and Justin Bonsignore are locked in a tie for fifth.
Ryan After winning his third Coors Light Pole Award in as many races, Ryan
Preece finally converted it into his first win of the season Saturday night
with a victory in the Whitcomb 200 presented by Mobix & Town Fair Tire
at Monadnock Speedway.Preece
led every lap and took the checkered flag 1.423 seconds in front of runner-up
Doug Coby. Todd Szegedy, the 2011 race winner, finished third. Justin Bonsignore
and Ron Silk finished fourth and fifth, respectively.Preece, was able to maintain
the lead in the caution-filled event and credited his car owner and team for
giving him the equipment to get the job done.“Stan Szaban gave me an unbelievable
car and this entire Flamingo Motorsports team is great and I am just so lucky
to be a part of it,” an ecstatic Preece said in Victory Lane after his fourth
win overall on the tour. “I am just so grateful for this opportunity to drive
for this team.”Preece also added his car was one of the best he has ever driven.“Doug
(Coby) said he had a perfect car last (race) and I feel I had a perfect car
this week,” Preece said. “Once we got going I could just take off and I think
I could have ran another 100 laps (out front).”Coby, who entered the race
coming off a dominating win at Stafford two weeks ago, said he tried to make
a move on the outside but just ran out of room and laps.“I could run with
him a lap or two on the outside on the restarts, but I don’t really know the
track well enough were I could make up ground,” Coby said.“I tried to time
the restarts so we could be even going in to Turn 1 but he was just better
than us and Todd (Szegedy) probably was too there at the end, but I listened
to my spotter and just kept the car on the inside the rest of the race.”Szegedy
felt better after picking up a top-three finish and is glad his car ran well
at Monadnock.“We finally got a good finish after wrecking the past couple
of races,” Szegedy said. “It’s great to finish in the top five and its good
for the team and myself. I got to tell you I can’t stand running bad and I
hate racing when you are wrecking and not running good. This is why we race
because it is fun when you are running good.”Silk, the points leader, maintained
a one-point advantage in the standings over Coby. Preece is four points behind
Silk. The 21-year-old Berlin, Conn., finished second (2009) and sixth (2010)
in tour points before winning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified
Division championship last year at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. His previous
tour wins came at Martinsville in 2008, and Riverhead and Stafford in 2009.Donny
Lia finished sixth at Monadnock, followed by Mike Stefanik, Eric Beers, Ed
Flemke Jr., and rookie Keith Rocco.Jerry Marquis started 15th in his first
race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour since 2007, but was collected in a
couple of on-track incidents and was forced to call it a night early on lap
134 when suspension problems forced him to the pits. He finished 22nd
1. (1) Ryan Preece,
Berlin, Conn., Ford, 175 laps, 42.487 mph.
2. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 175.
3. (3) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 175.
4. (14) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 175.
5. (8) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn, Chevrolet, 175.
6. (17) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 175.
7. (9) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 175.
8. (22) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 175.
9. (20) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 175.
10. (6) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 175.
11. (19) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 175.
12. (5) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 175.
13. (12) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, NH, Chevrolet, 175.
14. (16) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 175.
15. (24) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 174.
16. (7) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 174.
17. (10) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 174.
18. (21) Renee Dupuis, Hebron, CT, Chevrolet, 172.
19. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 171.
20. (11) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Ford, 136, accident.
21. (13) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 136.
22. (15) Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook, Conn., Chevrolet, 134, suspension.
23. (4) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Pontiac, 124, accident.
24. (18) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97, engine.
25. (23) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 81, overheating.
26. (25) Kyle Spencer, Montgomery, Mass., Chevrolet,
Time of Race: 1 hour 1 minute 47 seconds
Margin of Victory: 1.423 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R. Preece (73.082 mph, 12.315 seconds)
Caution Flags: 10 for 60 laps
Lead Changes: None.
Lap Leaders: R. Preece 1-175.
April 28-29: Stafford Speedway - 24
A decent day went bad on lap 164 when the 45 car was running 6th and lost
a cylinder. Looking to rebound at Monadnock.
STAFFORD, Conn. – Doug Coby sailed to his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour victory Sunday in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor
Conn., driver led the final 89 laps of the 200-lap event en route to the victory
over a pair of drivers who are well accustom to success on the historic half-mile
sitter Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco finished second and third respectively.
Preece was the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified Division
champion at Stafford and Rocco was the 2008 and ‘10 track champ.Points
leader Ron Silk and Jimmy Blewett rounded out the top five. Justin Bonsignore
was sixth, followed by Ron Yuhas Jr., Woody Pitkat, Mike Stefanik and Bryon
first career win came at Stafford in the 2006 Spring Sizzler. His other win
was last September at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.With
the victory, Coby secured a locked-in starting position for the inaugural
UNOH Battle at the Beach during 2013 Speedweeks on a temporary short track
at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 7 52 Doug Coby Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Sims Chevrolet 200 47 4 Running
2 1 16 Ryan Preece Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford 200 44 2 Running
3 9 3 Keith Rocco * Wheelers Auto/Silver Dollar Const. Chevrolet 200 41 Running
4 8 6 Ron Silk Reynolds Auto Wrkng/Schnitzer Chevrolet 200 40 Running
5 10 76 Jimmy Blewett John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet 200 39 Running
6 5 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Ford 200 38 Running
7 11 64 Ron Yuhas, Jr. Hughes Motors/DreamRide.org Chevrolet 200 37 Running
8 20 11 Woody Pitkat Spectro Peformance Oil Chevrolet 200 36 Running
9 4 66 Mike Stefanik Robert B. Our Co. Chevrolet 200 35 Running
10 25 88 Bryon Chew Buzz Chew Chevrolet/GT Vodka Chevrolet 200 34 Running
11 14 79 Daniel Hemric * Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 200 33 Running
12 12 2 Todd Szegedy Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Const. Ford 200 32 Running
13 13 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 200 31 Running
14 6 4 Donny Lia Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 200 30 Running
15 3 46 Eric Berndt Cape Cod Aggregrates/ North End Auto Parts 200 30 1 Running
16 21 39 Richie Pallai, Jr CARQUEST Filters/Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet 199
17 17 28 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet 199 27 Running
18 18 58 Eric Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 199 26 Running
19 22 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 198 25 Running
20 19 07 Patrick Emerling Emerling Ford Chevrolet 197 24 Running
21 27 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Chevrolet 193 23 Running
22 15 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 187 22 Vibration
23 26 38 John Jensen * Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 183 21 Running
24 16 45 Eric Beers Howrith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford 164 20 Steering
25 28 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape/TRC Electric Chevrolet 154 19 Running
26 24 33 Wade Cole Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 114 18 Running
27 2 17 Corey LaJoie * LaJoie Scrap Metal/Joie of Seating Chevrolet 103 17
28 23 50 Kevin Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 50 16 Brakes
– Doug Coby may not have a stockpile of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories
on his resume, but the Milford driver is showing he knows how to collect the
big check in the historic events.Doug
Coby in victory lane following his Spring Sizzler victory Sunday at Stafford
Speedway (NASCAR/David Silverman)Coby
made the most of a dominant car Sunday by running away with victory in the
Whelen Modified Tour Tech-Net Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway.The
Spring Sizzler stands arguably as the most historic event left on the Modified
Tour schedule. In 2006 Coby scored his first Whelen Modified Tour victory
by winning the Sizzler.“It’s
amazing,” Coby said. “To be able to put my name on the Sizzler win list twice
now is pretty damn cool.”It
was Coby’s third career victory in the series. His second came last season
at Thompson International Speedway. Ryan Preece of Berlin was a distant second.
Keith Rocco of Wallingford, had a career best third place finish in his seventh
pulled easily away from Preece over the final 30 laps and won by 1.8 seconds.“Holy
crap,” Coby said in victory lane. “This is actually the best racecar I’ve
ever driven in my life at this speedway.”Coby
and team owner Wayne Darling are in their first season together running full-time
in the division. Last season Coby split time with two teams, with Darling
providing a car to Coby for half the series events.“It’s
a really really big thing to have done this,” Coby said. “Big for my team.
They work so hard and their attitudes are phenomenal. They are the type of
people you just want to be around, good days or bad days. So it makes the
good days even better when you really like the people that you work with.”
Coby started the race seventh and ran with the leaders for the first half
of the race. Coby was running sixth after most of the leaders hit pit road
on lap 97 under caution. The race restarted on lap 109 and on lap 112 Coby
was making what turned out to be the race winning move under Preece going
into turn one. Preece, who started on the pole, lead 100 of the first 111
just had a good run,” Coby said. “I passed him into [turn one] which I never
do here. I usually get a run off of [turn] two and then dive bomb into [turn]
three like an [SK Modified] move. That is by far the easiest way to pass here.“I
don’t think he was freaking out because I passed him then, but I think probably
with about 30 to go he was freaking out because I was driving away from him,”
Coby said of the pass for the lead. “I looked at it this way, you never know,
80 laps [later] how your car is going to be handling, so I figured, let me
get the hell in front of him now while I have good tires and then if he’s
that much better than me 50 laps from now and he drives by me, more power
to him. But, he didn’t, so it was the right decision at the right time.”Coby’s
day was nearly ruined when a piece of paper caught in his grill sent his water
temperatures skyrocketing over the final 60 laps, but the motor survived despite
the adverse conditions.“We
had a Subway wrapper on our grill and that shot the water temperature up from
200 or 210 [degrees] right to 240,” Coby said. “Two-forty is when you pull
in. We were actually debating on one of those cautions with 48 to go, to come
in the pits and pull the wrapper of the grill. It stayed at 240, then it went
to 230, then it was 236 and [crew chief John McKenna] told me ‘There’s a light
in there that’s going to tell you, if you the light comes on you’ve got to
pull in.’ And it never came on and I don’t think I would have told him if
it came on. But, it was just one of those things where, somebody got a sandwich
at Subway and it almost ruined our race.”It
was the second time in two races this season that Preece started on the pole
and dominated the first half of the race but had to settle for not being in
victory lane. In the season opener at Thompson on April 15 Preece was caught
up in a wreck in the second half of the race.“I
started pushing it and [Coby] started pushing and I think his car just started
coming to him and mine just started going the wrong direction,” Preece said.
“We know what we did so we know what we’ve got to do to bring it back to how
it was at the beginning. I know we have a really fast car and hopefully we’ll
be in victory lane real soon.”
April 15: Thompson Speedway - NASCAR- 21
Eric was up to Eight when the big one started in front
of him and he was about to make it through when he was hit from behind and
pushed into it
Strange Spin: Ron Silk Declared Winner After
Odd Finish Of Modified Tour Season Opener At Thompson
Shawn Courchesne On April 15, 2012 · 15 Comments
– Ron Silk began defense of his 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship
in perfect fashion, celebrating in victory lane Sunday at Thompson International
Speedway, though the path to celebration proved a strange one. Ron Silk celebrates
his Icebreaker 150 victory Sunday (NASCAR/Corey Sipkin)
On the track, Silk was second at the start/finish line behind Rowan Pennink
when the checkered flag flew, though NASCAR officials immediately deemed Silk
the winner of the season opening Icebreaker 150 at Thompson.
The race was extended to 159 laps because of late cautions. Pennink was penalized
after the race because NASCAR officials deemed he jumped Silk, of Norwalk,
on a lap 158 restart to take the lead.
Ted Christopher of Plainville was second and Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I.
third. Pennink was penalized to a 10th place finish, the last car on the lead
lap. Silk had no sympathy for Pennink. “He jumped [the restart],”
Silk said. “He got what he deserved.”; Though the controversy
was hardly as cut and dried as Silk made it sound.
Silk passed Pennink for the lead on lap 138. On a lap 154 restart, Pennink
got under Silk in turn two and took retook the lead, with Christopher then
moving past Pennink for the lead in turn four before the caution flew again
prior to the lap being completed, putting the three back to the positions
they were in before the restart.
On the next restart Silk seemed to spin his tires coming out of turn four
to restart the race. When the two cars reached the start/finish line for the
official restart, Pennink was ahead of Silk. NASCAR rules state that the leader
of the race must cross the start/finish line first on a restart. “I
don’t make the rules, I don’t make the calls,” Silk said.
“If I was making the calls I probably would have penalized Rowan when
he had me up [near the wall] in turn two on the restart before that. I don’t
think Rowan had a better car than me. I don’t think it’s a fluke
that we won. I ran him down with 15 laps to go and I passed him.”;
Silk said he didn’t spin his tires on the restart, though his car clearly
got sideways, indicative of spinning tires.
“He spun the tires, he was sideways,” said Christopher, who was
directly behind Silk. “If I stayed with him I would have spun him out
and then I would have been the bad guy.”; Said Pennink: “Am I
supposed to stop and wreck the whole field because [Silk] spun his tires on
the restart and he couldn’t go? It’s stupid. There’s nothing
I could do. My choice was either brake check the whole field and give it back
to him right there or do what I did and [get penalized].”; Whelen Modified
Tour series director Chad Little said Pennink had the option of allowing Silk
to catch him after the restart and avoid a penalty. “The rule is you
can’t beat the leader to the start/finish line,” Little said.
“The exception is if the leader clearly has a bad start. Blows a motor,
spins his tires and goes sideways. We didn’t see it that way. “If
you beat the leader at the start/finish line, as a courtesy, what we tell
the drivers and the spotters, they need to make an attempt to give it back.
Give back what they took away on the start. We didn’t see him make an
attempt to give it back. “Obviously you make the call quick. We went
down and looked at the tape [after the race]. We saw [Silk] jerk sideways
about 20 or 30 feet before the cone which is the restart mark. At the cone
they were even. I assume [Silk] lost his momentum because he did jerk sideways.
So [Pennink] beats him to the start/finish line. We watched [Pennink] to see
if he would give an attempt to give back what he took and he didn’t.”;
Said Pennink: “It’s just [bull]. It seems like every time we got
going and get some good runs they [hurt] us. I guess that’s NASCAR.”;
It was the eighth career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Silk, and fourth
at Thompson Speedway. Silk was greeted in victory lane by a chorus of boos
“I think it means a lot to do this in the first race,” Silk said.
“We won the championship last year and we had a great car today. We
didn’t have a great car all day. We were about a sixth to seventh place
car before the pit stop [on lap 72] and as a team we made it better and drove
to the front.”;
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Pennink’s No. 93 car sat outside the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour trailer
at Thompson Speedway on Sunday, an unofficial checkered flag hanging out of
its driver’s side window. That flag wouldn’t be in one piece for
long. Pennink exited from the trailer after a brief meeting with Whelen Modified
Tour Director Chad Little and broke the poor flag in two. Pennink threw it
against the side of the trailer, grabbed the wheel of his car and with his
crew, angrily pushed his car through the postrace crowd in the pits. Pennink
came across the finish line first in the Icebreaker 150-lap Whelen Modified
Tour opener, but a shocked crowd soon learned that he was being posted in
the back of those on the lead lap. Pennink was penalized for jumping the cone
on the third and final green-white-checkered restart, and not correcting the
mistake by the time the cars reached the start/finish line. Pennink, running
in second at the time of the restart, could not be the leader at the line,
according to the rules.
Ronnie Silk was awarded his eighth career Whelen Modified Tour victory and
fourth at Thompson.
“It was Ronnie’s mistake he picked the bottom and it ended up
(hurting) me because he spun the tires,” Pennink said. “There
was nothing I could do. My choice was either brake check the whole field and
give (the lead) back to him or do what I did and finish last.”; Silk
agreed that he should have chosen the outside, but insisted he did not spin
his tires and that the call by Little was the right one. “It’s
in black-and-white. It’s not a judgment call,” Silk said. “You
can’t beat the leader to the line. If you do, you have to lift and let
him get back at least partially ahead of you. “I didn’t write
the rule. I’m just happy to win.”;
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ----- - - - - -
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour kicked off the season with the traditional
Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway and Ron Silk from Norwalk, CT
in the Ed Partridge owned, Reynolds Auto Wrecking/ Schnitzer sponsored Chevrolet
who was crowned the series champion at World Series finale last fall, opened
the 2012 season with the win. The Icebreaker was extended nine laps over the
scheduled 150, the run for the stripe coming down to a green white checker
finish. Leader Silk was lined up on the inside of Rowan Pennink with Ted Christopher
third, Mike Stefanik fourth and Jimmy Blewett fifth. As the field rounded
the turn for the final green, Pennink crossed the restart line before the
leader and was immediately posted for jumping the start. While Pennink was
clearly the car to actually finish first, the call from NASCAR officials placed
Pennink 10th, the last car on the lead lap. “He had me up in the marbles
in turns one and two (on the prior restart) I’m not saying that’s
right or wrong,” said Silk. “He didn’t give me a chance
to even have a line down there. I don’t know, I shouldn’t have
picked the inside on that last restart, I should have picked the outside,
but it didn’t matter because you can’t beat the leader to the
line and he beat me quite a bit. It’s in black and white (about the
call), it’s not a judgment call, you can’t beat the leader to
the line and if you do you have to lift and let him get at least partially
ahead of you- I didn’t write the rule, I didn’t make the call.
I’m just happy to win, I think we had a car that should have won and
we did.”; According to race control, the penalty was for jumping the
restart because Pennink went before the actual ‘restart cone.’
That is different than crossing the start/finish line first where Pennink
may have been able to give the lead back. The original penalty was because
Pennink restarted before the restart line. The finish bumped Christopher to
second, Stefanik to third, Blewett and Donny Lia the top five. Jamie Tomaino
crossed for sixth with Patrick Emerling, Doug Coby and Wade Cole the top nine
and Pennink tenth. Christopher who was in third on the restart relayed what
he saw about the final restart. “He definitely jumped the start. The
rule is you can’t beat the leader to the start finish line, I don’t
make the rules.” Christopher was pleased with his finish. “I think
I have a car this year that is going to be really good once we figure it out.
To go that long on a set of tires without pitting, we actually thought about
not coming in but we did- unfortunately a lot of cautions at the end. It is
a good run to start the season. We’ve got a good car, I can’t
wait for the next race.” Christopher who started 12th earned the Featherlite
Most Improved Driver award of the race. “It’s good to get the
first one over, that was a wild one,” smiled Stefanik. “I was
just about in every mess that I could be in, it was a long day but the crew
kept digging- we got out of here with a third, a lot of other guys got out
of here a lot worse than that. There was a lot of action out there, some you
couldn’t avoid. The car got damaged hard earlier in the race when someone
spun out of two, a chain reaction, I knew I didn’t have any front bumper
so I had to be more careful on restarts, I didn’t want to do any damage
to the radiator. It’s nice to have a cushion on those restarts when
someone misses a gear you have a little check-up distance, I had no room for
error. The guys did a good job, I got to thank my team, car owners, for putting
this program together and allowing me to go out and do something I love to
do. It’s been really good.”;
“We never had really good luck at the Icebreaker- last year we were
flying through the air. The year before that, we were a top ten, the way the
point structure is now, every little bit helps,” said Silk’s car
owner Ed Partridge. “We lucked out on a few of those wrecks. You need
Lady Luck on your team, I mean look at Ryan Preece- he was fast and he got
caught up.”; Crew chief for Silk, Tom Grasso admitted those last restarts
were, “nerve racking”. Obviously when you’re leading with
five to go and essentially pulling away, you don’t want a caution but
that’s when they always happen. And of course to get two or three green
white checkers, we didn’t want any of them. Ronnie kept his head together.”
Grasso continued, “It’s a brand new car, we bought it a year ago
and we worked on it a little bit here and there. We put it together for the
banquet and brought it there- decided to bring that one since it had a new
body on it, brought it a show in Philadelphia then brought it home and got
it ready to go, this is its first outing. I guess that’s pretty good
for a brand new car to win the first race. The guys were concerned; they wanted
to run the old car obviously because we won the championship with it last
year. The old car is the now the back-up car. I told them, believe me, this
car is going to be just as good.” Grasso smiling added, “I’m
glad it worked out- it didn’t make a liar out of me.”; “This
is the first time I’ve ever lead the points at the first race,”
said Grasso. “We’ll enjoy that for the next two weeks, come back
and we’ll see what we can do at Stafford.”
“A goal every season is to win a race,” added Silk. “So
with that out of the way the first week, now the goal is to just go win more.
We definitely have the team and the equipment to do it- we’ll see what
we can get rolling here.” Ryan Preece who set fast time to earn the
first Coors Light pole award the day before, led twice for a total of 86 circuits.
Pitting, the Berlin, CT driver was working his way to the front when he was
caught up in a multi-car incident in turn three with just over 25 to go. While
Preece was able to make it to pit row, radiator damage kept Preece from returning
to the field ending his day 16th.
Jimmy Blewett was in the top ten during most of the 150 laps at the Thompson
race opener. He crossed the start finish line in fourth place with the Blewett
family car in one piece. Blewett not only avoided accidents but ran with the
leaders keeping pace to the end. “It is just a good start for us for
the year. We have a new crew. Some of my brother’s old crew came out
to help me here this week. I kind of threw everything together at the last
minute for the most part. There are some of the guys that helped me when I
drove the #14 car last year. And Kevin Crowley crew chiefing us I think is
key. For the first race on the Tour this is good for us. The first race that
he (Kevin Crowley) was with us we won the Turkey Derby Race. I am just excited
to come out of this race so strong. We were only planning to run on a limited
schedule but I feel if we keep this consistency and we are in the top five
in points we may be able to run a couple of more shows then we had planned.
My grandpa and a couple of sponsors I am sure will support us. We would do
it but we just did not plan on it. We will see where the next couple take
us and we will try to keep it focused.”;
Two veterans beat the odds and have top ten finishes.
Jamie Tomaino finished the 150 lap Icebreaker in sixth spot after avoiding
many incidents and driving cautiously to finish the race. “The last
couple of years here the same thing has happened at this race. Unfortunately
people drive over their heads and make mistakes. They think the race is 75
laps not 150.”;
“The last couple of years I was actually caught up in some of the stuff
myself. So this year when my car went away on us we started making adjustments
and I told my son that is my crew chief: “We are going to just keep
on making adjustments and hang out back here. It looks like nobody is going
to become lapped today and we will wait until towards the end of the race.
It seems like it all came into play for me and before you know with five laps
to go we were running in the top ten. So I felt good I may not be as fast
as a lot of guys but sometimes your brains are a little more important than
your gas pedal foot.”;
Wade Cole was caught up in a few incidents, spun on his own but in the end
ran a consistently paced race. Cole completed the Icebreaker 150 in nine place.
“We are lucky to survive it. There were a lot of close calls and we
made it out of them. I had trouble with the steering. It steered into the
turns fine but then I could not straighten the car back out. There was no
steering back to the right. So the car got me into trouble a couple of times.
We will fix the rack and we should be good. We will review the car and make
a few tweaks on it and this is a good way to start the year. We had a great
day and it was beautiful race day.”;
NWMT makes their next stop at Stafford Motor Speedway April 29th for the Spring
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Silk started the 2012 campaign where he ended 2011 in celebration at Thompson
International Speedway, but it wasn’t without controversy.
The Norwalk, Conn., earned his eighth career win Sunday afternoon as he opened
defense of his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in the traditional season-opener,
The Icebreaker. He finished just inches ahead of Ted Christopher at the culmination
of a third green-white-checkered attempt.
Rowan Pennink crossed the line in front of both but had been posted by NASCAR
officials on the previous lap for jumping the race’s final restart.
As a result, it was Silk not Pennink driving into Victory Lane – where
Silk had raised the tour championship trophy last October. Pennink was credited
with a 10th-place finish.
Mike Stefanik finished third, followed by Jimmy Blewett and Donny Lia. Ryan
Preece earned the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday qualifying but was caught
up in a Lap 123 melee and finished 16th.
Jamie Tomaino finished sixth, followed by Patrick Emerling, Doug Coby, Wade
Cole and Pennink.
Silk became the first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver to earn a protected
spot in the starting lineup for the UNOH Battle At The Beach, to be held on
a temporary oval on the backstretch of Daytona International Speedway during
Speedweeks 2013 next February.
The next NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event is the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring
Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
Thompson 4/15/12 Unofficial Results
Race: NWMT Thompson 4/15/12
8 6 Ron Silk Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Schnitzer Chevrolet 159 47 4 Running
2. 12 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 159 42 Running
3. 7 66 Mike Stefanik Robert B. Our Co. Chevrolet 159 41 Running
4. 16 76 Jimmy Blewett John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet 159 40 Running
5. 10 4 Donny Lia Mystic Missile Racing Dodge 159 40 1 Running
6. 21 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 159 38 Running
7. 14 07 Patrick Emerling Emerling Ford Chevrolet 159 37 Running
8. 19 52 Doug Coby Reynolds Auto Wrkg/Sims Chevrolet 159 36 Running
9. 26 33 Wade Cole Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 159 35 Running
10. 5 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 159 35 1 Running
11. 17 28 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard Autos/Raceworks TV Chevrolet 158 33
12. 13 50 Kevin Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 158 32 Running
13. 2 51 Justin Bonsignore M3 Technology Chevrolet 149 31 Accident
14. 22 39 Richie Pallai, Jr CARQUEST Filters/Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet 130
15. 20 11 Woody Pitkat Spectro Peformance Oil Chevrolet 129 29 Running
16. 1 16 Ryan Preece Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford 125 30 2 Accident
17. 3 44 Bobby Santos Imperial Cars/Tinio Corp. Chevrolet 124 28 1 Accident
18. 6 64 Ron Yuhas, Jr. Fast Track Electric/DreamRide.org Chevrolet 122 26
19. 25 88 Bryon Chew Buzz Chew Chevrolet/GT Vodka Chevrolet 122 25 Running
20. 27 79 Daniel Hemric * Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 121 24 Electrical
21. 24 45 Eric Beers Howrith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford 118 23 Suspension
22. 4 3 Keith Rocco * Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Const. Chevrolet 88 22
23. 11 58 Eric Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 87 21 Accident
24. 15 46 Eric Berndt Cape Cod Agts/ North End Auto Parts Chevrolet 86 20
25. 23 71 Rob Fuller Draco Spring Ford 86 19 Accident
26. 18 31 Tony Ferrante, Jr Ferrante & Co. Chevrolet 85 18 Accident
27. 9 2 Todd Szegedy Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Const. Ford 78 17 Accident
28. 28 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/MacLad Drywall Chevrolet 75 16 Engine
29. 29 38 John Jensen * Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Chevrolet 42 15 Engine
* Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender
Fastest Qualifier: Ryan Preece, Time: 18.387 Seconds, Speed: 122.369 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 24 mins, 42 secs
Average Speed: 70.396 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.111 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 10-12 (Cars #07, 52 spin Turn 2); 40-43 (Car #2 spin backstretch);
53-55 (Car #58 spin Turn 4); 70-73 (Cars #28, 52 spin Turn 2); 75-77 (Car
#3 spin Turn 2); 79-82 (Cars #2, 6, 07 accident backstretch); 86-89 (Multi-car
accident Turn 1 [Red Flag 10 mins.]); 114-117 (Car #52 spin Turn 2); 123-128
(Multi-car accident Turn 3); 144-148 (Car #33 spin Turn 2); 150-152 (Cars
#4, 51 accident Turn 2); 155-156 (Car #33 spin Turn 4). 12 for 45 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ryan Preece 1-84, Bobby Santos 85-86, Ryan Preece 87-88, Donny
Lia 89-129, Rowan Pennink 130-137, Ron Silk 138-159.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 86, Donny Lia 41, Ron Silk 22, Rowan Pennink 8,
Bobby Santos 2. 5 changes involving 5 drivers.
April 1: Thompson Speedway Practice
2012 NWMT OPEN PRACTICE
snow in the area delayed open practice by a day at Thompson International
Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour but by Sunday at 12noon when
engines fired, ten teams took advantage of the track time to shake down their
rides in preparation of the season opening Icebreaker two short weeks away.
On hand to practice was Todd Szegedy, Ryan Preece, Ron Yuhas, Bryon Chew,
Eric Beers, Donny Lia, Patrick Emerling, Richie Pallai, Jr, Rob Fuller and
have two new chassis’, Troyer, two brand new cars, everything’s different.”
said Bryon Chew who unloaded one car for testing. “We’re just shaking some
stuff down today, we’re pretty close here, when it’s cold out it’s hard to
tell, but so far I like it. A couple of adjustments, but so far, it’s good.”
Chew has set the bar this year for himself- “Do a lot better than last year.
Top ten in points, win a race and have some fun.”
2011 Rookie of the Year, Patrick Emerling was rather stealth looking in a
black unlettered car. The Orchard Park, NY driver will be back for the Icebreaker
with his familiar #07. “We’re running the whole series in the Chassis Dynamics
cars. We have a different team than last year- Mike Paquette is the crew chief.
We’re excited, I just drove the car and it’s awesome.” Emerling didn’t hesitate
adding, “I think with the team we have this year, we’re going to be a contender.”
Be on the look-out this year for Rob Fuller to run all the Thompson and NHMS
events. Fuller is teamed up with NY crew chief Jeff DeMinck who is a car owner
himself of a Sunoco Modified competing at Spencer Speedway with driver Mike
2003 Champion Todd Szegedy, reunited last year with crew chief Phil Moran,
collected three wins in 2011 and contended for the title finishing second
for the season. The venues Szegedy won at in 2011 could not have been more
diverse- Monadnock, New Hampshire and Lime Rock- a sure sign of a driver and
team adaptability. “Our goal this year is top ten’s. We have to get more wins
too. Our qualifying last year was phenomenal- we only qualified out of the
top ten once and that was at Stafford- we were the second car out, it had
rained- I’m glad it’s going to be on practice speeds, that’s the fairest way.
Every race at Stafford last year I was in the top five to go out for qualifying,
the track that really matters, we went out early every time.” Szegedy was
busy shaking down two cars in practice. “I think the person that finishes
in the top ten in every race is going to win. I would take a top ten in every
race and win a championship over winning races.” Szegedy will also be running
select Valenti Modified Races this year.
NWMT Champion Donny Lia returns this year in a familiar seat- the Bob Garbarino
#4 Mystic Missile. “It’s a good feeling to be racing here. This place is familiar,
the car is familiar, it’s comfortable so far. We’re trying different things,
learning a little bit- it’s nice to be back. We’ve got a good team- I’m looking
forward to it- hopefully we’ll have a good time.” A new face will be calling
the shots this year as crew chief- Danny Laferriere. But no worries about
team chemistry here, Laferriere has been with the Mystic Missile crew since
2007. “I have faith, I believe in this deal and when you believe in something,
there is a confidence.” What else is Lia looking forward to this year? He
and his wife Nancy are expecting their second child in July.
is a new paint scheme this year for the #16 Eric Sanderson Flamingo Motorsports
modified- two cars unloaded for practice, one with the familiar 2011 look
and the other, dramatically different for 2012. The session today will help
determine which one will be at the Icebreaker. Ryan Preece seemed pleased
with both. “They are both really good, it comes down to which one Sly (Szaban)
wants to run. We’re having a good time, the cars are good right off from where
we started last year. I’m looking forward to it- the Icebreaker can’t come
quick enough.” The Berlin, CT driver has nothing but the highest of expectations
for the season. “Win some races and be in contention for the championship
at the end of the year. I mean everything is here to do it so I don’t see
why we shouldn’t be able to go for it.”
NWMT season at this point is not in the future for Richie Pallai, Jr. the
Yorktown Heights, NY driver will however make the most of every lap including
practice today. “Right now we’re going to run about 10 Tour races, Riverhead
and a good amount of MRS- pick and choose races. Like right now, we’re not
going to Monadnock for the Tour race but if we’re up in there in points, we
might end up going, it all depends on that. We’re going to run the big money
open shows too.” Pleased with practice, Pallai noted they have new power under
the hood from Bob Bruneau. “Definitely like that, the car is very good. We
found a few problems with the new car over the off season….we’re very excited.
If feels really great to be back out on the track especially since hockey
ended three weeks ago.” While Pallai was not sure what the track would give
them today, he noted, “the best guys are here today so it’s a good gauge.”
Tour start came in 2004 however it was not until 2011 that Eric Berndt ran
his first full NWMT season. “The plan is to run the full season this year,”
said Berndt who explained it will be in two different cars, same as last year.
“We’re looking to better what we did last year.” Berndt was in the hunt on
several occasions and there is no reason to believe it will not be the same
again this year except add a little twist- “We need a little luck.” Berndt’s
best finish of the 2011 season was a top five at Thompson in June.
spent the day testing two Tour cars at Thompson, a track where he recorded
his first career podium finish in 2007. “We’re not here to set any land speed
record, it’s more to just take the cars out, run them, make sure we don’t
have leaks, get the brakes good, shake the cars down, that was our main objective
today and we accomplished that.” Looking ahead, Yuhas is realistic about the
fast approaching season. “I think our goals are a little bit different depending
on the race track. Here, at Thompson, it’s one of our better race tracks,
we have a lot of experience here so our goal is probably a top five. The reality
is, we have really great equipment, but we’re probably an underdog team. Places
like Loudon, we’ve done well there, expectations there will be different than
our goals at Bristol. Our Achilles heel is Stafford, to have a good run there
would be an accomplishment.”
a career best for Eric Beers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour finishing
3rd in points. The Northampton, PA driver is again behind the wheel of Dave
DeLange’s #45. “We’re trying some new stuff- we’re getting better every time
we go out there. We have a couple more things yet to try and see if we can
get going even a little bit better.” While a win escaped Beers last season,
he completed all but two laps recorded for the season, a Tour high. “Our goal
is to get into victory lane, we were so close last year numerous times and
something happened. I’m pretty confident we’ll be there. We’ll build on what
we did last year and go a little further.”
green flag drops, all the effort and work since the last checker flag flew
last fall will indeed pay off. The next two weeks will fly by for some, drag
for others. One thing for sure, the competition will be as strong as ever
this year. See you at the Icebreaker!