Archive for September, 2011

Seekonk ISMA 100 Postponed Until Sunday Due to Weather Forecasts

Seekonk, MA — The management of Kraze Korlacki Speed Equipment & Seekonk Speedway, announce the re-scheduling of the Racing Against Cancer 100 from Saturday to Sunday at 2pm.

This change is made based on a review of all available weather data, and in full consideration and concern for our race fans and competitors.

We ask that all who receive this to please share with all your friends by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The track walk will proceed as scheduled unless changed by Racing Against Cancer; please check their web-site.

Continue reading ‘Seekonk ISMA 100 Postponed Until Sunday Due to Weather Forecasts’

Multiple Championships Up for Grabs In This Weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — This weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway has four track championships up for grabs. Although Ryan Preece has already staked his claim to the SK Modified® track championship, there are 4 track championships that will be decided on the track this weekend.

In Stafford’s Late Model division, the championship race comes down to a pair of hometown drivers, Ryan Posocco and Woody Pitkat. Posocco already holds the Stafford record with 5 Late Model championships, and he will be looking to add a sixth title to his resume, while Pitkat is in search of his second Late Model track title. Posocco took the points lead after the second race of the season, but soon he fell behind Jim Mavlouganes in the standings after a 15th place finish on May 20th. Posocco regained the points lead after the June 10th race and he has been at the front of the standings ever since. The road for Pitkat has been a bit bumpier than Posocco’s as he had only one top-5 finish in the first four races of the 2011 season, which left him in 15th place in the standings and nearly 100 points behind. But since that May 20th event, Pitkat hasn’t finished lower than fourth and he has won 5 times to get him to within 24 points of Posocco entering this weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final. Should Posocco finish 12th or better, he will clinch his sixth championship regardless of where Pitkat finishes. Pitkat needs to finish at least 12 spots ahead of Posocco to lay claim to the Late Model title for the second time in his career.

After 1-2 finishes in the first two SK Light features this season, defending track champion Matt Galko and Joey Cipriano served notice that they were going to be counted among the title contenders. Between the two of them, Galko and Cipriano have accounted for 10 of the 18 race wins in the SK Light division this season and they enter the CARQUEST Fall Final separated by 36 points in the title fight. Galko needs to finish 18th or better to wrap up his second consecutive track title, while Cipriano needs to finish at least 18 spots ahead of Galko in order to become the 2011 SK Light track champion.

Continue reading ‘Multiple Championships Up for Grabs In This Weekend’s CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway’

Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out to Feature The Best of Stafford’s DARE Stock Division at CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend

Stafford Springs, CT — As part of the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend festivities at Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend, the DARE Stock division will partake in the 15th Annual Paradiso-Muska DARE Stock Shoot-Out. The Paradiso-Muska DARE Stock Shoot-Out pits the 2011 DARE Stock feature winners as well as several wild card drivers against each other in an all-star 8-lap dash. The race winner will take home double what the normal DARE Stock winners’ share is, and with the big money, short lap format, the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out is the premier DARE Stock race of the season.

In 14 races since the Inaugural Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out in 1997, there has been 13 different winners with Scott Hitchcock the only driver who has won the race twice. Cliff Saunders is the defending champion of the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out, and coming off a win in the Sept. 16 Final Friday Night Shoot-Out, Saunders is looking forward to trying to join Hitchcock as the only multiple winners of the Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out.

“The Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out is a pretty cool race with all of the feature winners from the season,” said Saunders. “It’s the best DARE Stock drivers from the season, and to hold off guys like Don and Josh Wood and Kyle Casagrande last year was a pretty cool race for me to win. My car seems to be better on the short runs, and we didn’t make any changes to the car last year, so our plan is to leave the car as it is and try to win the race again.”
Continue reading ‘Paradiso-Muska Shoot-Out to Feature The Best of Stafford’s DARE Stock Division at CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend’

Chris Kopec Taking Over Hillbilly Racing #79 for CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Chris Kopec, a former regular competitor on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, will make his return to the series this weekend at Stafford Speedway for the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. Kopec will take over the driving duties of the #79 Hillbilly Racing car that was piloted by James Civali in the first 14 events of the 2011 season.

“I got the call on Monday night and it was definitely a surprise to me,” said Kopec. “I’m excited about having the opportunity to drive again. You always miss being in the driver’s seat and I kind of got the bug again this year after driving Dylan’s SK Light a couple of times. I feel bad what happened with the Hills and James. The Hills have good equipment and James is a good driver, for whatever reason they just had some bad luck. With this sport being performance based, I think maybe the Hills were looking for something that will work. We’re all friends and I wanted to make sure it stayed that way before I accepted the ride. It’s exciting for me to be back on the driver’s side of the fence.”

After making selected Whelen Modified Tour starts from 1990-1992, Kopec was a Tour regular from 1995-2003 before an injury kept him out of action for the 2004 season. Kopec made 9 starts in the 2005 season, but he hasn’t been behind the wheel of a Tour car since.

Continue reading ‘Chris Kopec Taking Over Hillbilly Racing #79 for CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend at Stafford Motor Speedway’

Sept. 29 Thompson Event Postponed Due to Rain

Tonight’s racing at Thompson International Speedway has been postponed to Thursday, October 6 due to rain. This is the final points race for all divisions.

Event Schedule

Thompson Falls Victim to Rain Again

Thompson, CT — For the third consecutive week, rain has forced the postponement of Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder race program. The track will attempt to run the final track points race of the year next Thursday, October 6th.

The amazing string of rainy Thursdays has frustrated racers, fans and track management. However, Thompson Owner and Promoter, Don Hoenig, today expressed his thanks to loyal fans and competitors for their understanding and said that he hopes that we all will get a break in a weather pattern that has targeted Thursdays in New England.

Four of Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions still have championship battles that Hoenig would like to see settled on the race track. “We have had so many shows rained out that it seems only the right thing to do to keep trying to give our competitors every chance possible to settle their quests for a division championship. We have one more Thursday night before the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing and we hope that the weather will finally cooperate,” he said.

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Statistical Advance: CARQUEST Fall Final

Analyzing The Whelen Modified Tour At StaffordDaytona Beach, FL — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway for the fourth and final time in 2011 for the CARQUEST Fall Final on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Chevrolet)
•  Has two wins, nine poles and 70 top 10s in 168 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.

•  Is fourth in points with nine top 10s in 14 races.
•  Leads all drivers in laps completed with 1,928, two shy of the entire season’s total.
•  Has 18 top 10s in 36 career starts at Stafford Motor Speedway with a best finish of second in 2008.

Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 Chevrolet)
•  Has five wins, one poles and 26 top 10s in 85 starts.

•  Has one top-10 finish in six appearances this year.
•  Has two wins and nine top 10s in 24 SMS races.

Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Chevrolet)
•  The 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

•  Has a win, two poles and 15 top 10s in 30 starts.
•  Is up to fifth in points with a win and eight top 10s, including the last six races in a row.
•  Only top-10 finish in seven races at SMS was his debut there in 2010. Has three DNFs in those races. Earned the pole for this event last year.
•  Is the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series 2011 Riverhead Raceway champion.

Continue reading ‘Statistical Advance: CARQUEST Fall Final’

NASCAR Finalist Program Honorees Named

24 Drivers Invited To Whelen All-American Series Banquet

Daytona Beach, FL –  NASCAR announced the 24 drivers to earn invitations to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet in December based on their achievements in the NASCAR Finalist Program.

The program recognizes drivers who compete in support divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks. With Division I being each track’s top division, the NASCAR Finalist Program highlights drivers competing in each track’s Division II, III, IV and V.

“We congratulate our top drivers in the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Finalist standings,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Their dedication and success highlight a great group of NASCAR competitors. We’re proud to recognize their achievements.”

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Finalist Program Honorees Named’

Ryan Preece Clinches First Career Stafford SK Modified® Track Championship

Stafford Springs, CT — Heading into the Final Friday Night Shoot-Out on Sept. 16th at Stafford Motor Speedway, Ryan Preece needed to finish 16th or better to clinch the 2011 SK Modified® track championship. Preece came home in the fourth position to become the 2011 Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified® track champion.

“It feels really good to be a champion,” said Preece. “It’s still sinking in that we won the championship, I don’t think it will really set in until the banquet. Anyone can win a race, but very few can win a championship, so it’s nice to b e able to add a championship at Stafford to my racing resume. My old crew chief on the #3 Tour car, Scott Richards, he had a saying that he told me all the time that ‘Drivers are a dime a dozen’ and he had another part to that quote that he was keeping secret from me. The next day after we clinched the championship, I had a text message from him saying ‘Drivers are a dime a dozen, but champions are few and far between’, which was pretty cool that he sent that to me.”

For much of the 2011 season, the SK Modified® title race was a dogfight between defending SK Modified® track champion Keith Rocco and Preece. Throughout the summer, Preece and Rocco were never separated by more than a handful of points. Preece began to take control of the championship fight after a change his team made on the night of August 12th during a practice session while Preece was in New Hampshire qualifying his Whelen Modified Tour entry. After Donny Travaglin practiced Preece’s car and his team made a change to the car, Preece went on to win 3 of the next 5 races and stamped his mark on the championship race.

Continue reading ‘Ryan Preece Clinches First Career Stafford SK Modified® Track Championship’

Stafford Speedway Host Announcer Ben Dodge Named as Grand Marshal for 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend

Stafford Springs, CT — Ben Dodge, Stafford Motor Speedway’s host announcer, has been named as the Grand Marshal of Stafford Motor Speedway’s 39th annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. With the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, Dodge will wrap up his 41st season as part of the Stafford Motor Speedway announce team. Dodge will give the command to send the Whelen Modified Tour on its way with the most famous words in motorsports.

“I was shocked to get the call from Mark Arute asking me if I wanted to be the grand marshal, but I’m totally honored and excited to be the grand marshal of this year’s CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend,” said Dodge. “I have to thank Rich Pallai from CARQUEST and the Arute family for giving me this opportunity. I have a great respect for Rich Pallai and everything he has done for motorsports and I have had a great relationship with the Arute family throughout the year. Stafford Speedway has been part of my family for most of my life. I used to come to Stafford as a kid and I sold popcorn at the track. Once I was done selling my popcorn, I used to sit outside the announce tower and I thought that would be something I’d like to be able to do one day. Stafford definitely has a special place in my heart and I can always call Stafford home.”

Not only has Dodge been part of the announce team at Stafford, but he has also owned and raced cars at Stafford.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway Host Announcer Ben Dodge Named as Grand Marshal for 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend’

Gunsmoke Stables Front Runner Challenge Up to $500 at CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend

Stafford Springs, CT — During the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Motor Speedway, SK Light drivers have been racing for some extra cash thanks to Steve and Diana Greer of Gunsmoke Stables. Instituted at the beginning of the 2011 season, the Greer’s provided a $100 bonus for SK Light Modified feature winners. The catch was that the same driver couldn’t win the award more than once, so if a driver that had already won a feature won again, the bonus was carried over to the next week. That will all change at the CARQUEST Fall Final as the highest finishing SK Light Modified driver who has made at least 2 starts this season will take home a $500 bonus from Gunsmoke Stables.

“I’ve been running an SK Light now for a couple of seasons, and with the economy being what it is today and sponsors getting harder to come by, my wife and I thought this would be a nice way to be able to help some of the SK Light drivers out,” said Steve Greer. “It’s not a lot of money, but we figured it would help guys out with some of the small stuff like maybe buying fuel for a night or paying for an extra tire or two.”

Joey Cipriano and Matt Galko each took home a $100 bonus in the first two races of the season before the award went unclaimed for 5 weeks, resulting in a $600 bonus for Tommy Membrino, Jr. After Membrino’s win, the award again went unclaimed for 5 weeks, giving Kyle Spencer a $600 bonus when he won his first career race on August 19. After Spencer’s victory, rookie driver Bob Charland won the next Friday night for a $100 bonus and the award has gone unclaimed since Charland’s first career SK Light victory. Greer says the program has been a huge hit with the SK Light drivers.

Continue reading ‘Gunsmoke Stables Front Runner Challenge Up to $500 at CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend’

New Hampshire Photo Galleries

[NHMS Friday 9 23 2011] by Adam Fohlin
[NHMS ACT 9 24 2011] by Adam Fohlin
[NHMS Modifieds 9 24 2011] by Adam Fohlin
[NHMS Trucks 9 24 2011] by Adam Fohlin
[NHMS Cup cars 9 24 2011] by Adam Fohlin
[NHMS Sylvania 300 9 25 2011] by Adam Fohlin

[NHMS 09/23/11] by Nathan Teto
[NHMS 09/24/11] by Nathan Teto
[NHMS 09/25/11] by Nathan Teto

[NHMS 09/24/11] by Nicholas Teto
[NHMS 09/25/11] by Nicholas Teto

Ruggiero, Fiore Atop NEAR Hall of Fame List

Driver Reggie Ruggiero and car owner Mario Fiore, at one time a powerful force on the modified scene, head up the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame class of 2012. Driver Joey Kourafas, car owner/mechanic Jim Jorgensen and track owners Irene Venditti and Donald Hoenig are also members of the class.

The group, along with three choices from the Veterans Committee, will be inducted at the NEAR’s 15th annual banquet Sunday Jan. 29 at the LaRenaissance Banquet Hall in East Windsor, CT. The Veterans Committee will meet in October.

Ticket information will be forthcoming.

Starting at Plainville Stadium, Ruggiero went on to score well over 200 feature wins, including 44 on the Modified Tour and a record 93 at Riverside Park. Between The Park, Stafford, New Smyrna and Monadnock Speedways he claimed 10 championships. In addition to Fiore, “The Reg” drove for the likes of Mike Greci, Ed Close, Bill Pelley and Tony Moffo compiling a resume that included a Race of Champions triumph and wins at some 20 different tracks including New Hampshire International, Martinsville and Oswego Speedways.

Continue reading ‘Ruggiero, Fiore Atop NEAR Hall of Fame List’

News & Notes: Whelen Modified Tour To Wrap Stafford Season With Fall Final

Silk, Szegedy In Points Battle With Two Races Left
Daytona Beach, FL — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will help bring the competition season to a close at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway as the headline event in the CARQUEST Fall Final, Oct. 1-2.

The Fall Final will be the fourth and final event of the year at the Stafford half mile for the Whelen Modified Tour. Bobby Santos, Ron Silk and Ted Christopher were victorious in the three previous events. Santos is also the defending winner of the Fall Final.

Santos and Christopher may have combined to win four of the last six races at Stafford, but it is the winners of those other two events that will take center stage on Fall Final weekend: Silk and Todd Szegedy.

Just eight points separate the pair atop the season standings with two events remaining. With his third win of the 2011 campaign last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Silk regained the slim edge on Szegedy, who finished second at the ‘Magic Mile.’

Continue reading ‘News & Notes: Whelen Modified Tour To Wrap Stafford Season With Fall Final’

LIVE: Whelen Modifieds At Stafford Fall Final

The penultimate event of the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will take place in the CARQUEST Fall Final at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 1.For updates from the track throughout race weekend, please click here: LAP-BY-LAP 

EVENT SCHEDULEENTRY LIST | PRACTICE  |  QUALIFYING  |  RESULTS

Continue reading ‘LIVE: Whelen Modifieds At Stafford Fall Final’

Thompson to Try Again This Thursday

Thompson, CT — Thompson International Speedway will try again this week to complete its season of Thursday Night Thompson Thunder race events. Mother Nature has caused the postponement of the final weekly event twice. Speedway management hopes that the third time will be the charm.

September 15th was the final Thursday night race listed on the track’s 2011 racing schedule. However, due to some very close points races in four of the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, management felt it was important for the champions to be determined on the race track and not by Mother Nature.

Going into this week’s final points race, Keith Rocco holds a 26 points advantage over Ryan Preece in the track’s Sunoco Modified division. Their 30-lap feature even this Thursday will determine the 2011 division champ. These are the only two drivers that are mathematically within striking distance of the crown. A win pays 50 points. Points then decrease by two for every finishing position behind the winner.

Continue reading ‘Thompson to Try Again This Thursday’

Diverse Team to Officiate Annual North-South Shootout

Asheboro, NC — Over the last several months, a number of changes have been announced for the ninth annual North-South Shootout ™ for 2011. After eight successful years, the event has been moved to Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC. There will be new management in place for the 2011 event and there will be a host of new personnel.

Among the new personnel for 2011, competitors will also encounter many familiar faces. Shootout “veterans” will work alongside Caraway Speedway officials to ensure fair and equitable treatment to all competitors.

Some long-time Shootout officials will be taking on new responsibilities while others will remain in their familiar roles. Robert Pettit will serve as the Race Director under the Caraway Speedway Management for the 2011 installment of the event. Pettit has worked as an official with the North-South Shootout since its inception. He was a long-time official and Series Director for Southern Modified Auto Racers Tour (SMART) and continues to work as a NASCAR official at Bowman Gray Stadium. For the first time, Joe Larsen, an official with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, will be part of the team as well.

Continue reading ‘Diverse Team to Officiate Annual North-South Shootout’

Rocco claims record 11th win of year in SK Mods; Stone, Canfield, Correll capture NWAAS wins; Stoehr and Nocella in NEMA Victory Lane

Waterford, CT — NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing returned to Waterford Speedbowl Saturday evening, as it hosted four divisions of NASCAR action plus the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites. Keith Rocco of Wallingford padded his point lead and picked up his 11th feature win of the year in the SK Modifieds®. Also scoring victories on the night were Al Stone of New Haven, who won his sixth Street Stock feature of the season, Charles Canfield also of New Haven notched his first career victory in the Mini Stocks and Chris Correll of New London captured his first career SK Light Modified checkered flag. In the touring NEMA races, Russ Stoehr of Lakeville, MA won for the second time at the Speedbowl in 2011 while Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA scored victory in the companion NEMA Lite feature race.

The 35-lap SK Modified® feature saw two-time winner on the year Glenn Pressel III on the pole. He led the opening two laps with Shawn Solomito moving to second. Caution waved before lap-3 was complete as newcomer William Schneider had a left front tire down on his car, halting him in turn four.

When the race went back to green flag only one more lap could be completed before a four-car incident on the back chute collected Diego Monahan, Joe Perry, Wendell Dailey and Bob Georgiades. The single lap scored complete saw Nichole Morgillo move to second position past Solomito. Jeff Pearl was also able to get by Solomito to settle into third.

[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Rocco claims record 11th win of year in SK Mods; Stone, Canfield, Correll capture NWAAS wins; Stoehr and Nocella in NEMA Victory Lane’

Russ Stoehr Returns To Victory Lane In Speedbowl NEMA Action, Nocella Records Lites Win

Waterford, CT — Russ Stoehr won Saturday evening’s 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. It was the 4th feature victory of the season for the 6-time NEMA champion.

Commanding the outside lane, Stoehr passed pole-sitter Doug Cleveland and second-place Chris DeRitis in dramatic fashion to take the lead on the second-lap. The yellow flew only 2-circuits later when former champion Joey Pane wheeling the Ed Breault-owned #44 recently vacated by Erica Santos abruptly drove into the infield coming to a halt.

Moving into second on the restart, point leader Randy Cabral appeared to mount a serious challenge to Stoehr by lap-6 but suddenly slowed, his car momentarily loosing power.

Rounding-out the top-3 at halfway was Stoehr, DeRitis, and “Liquid Lou” Cicconi (making his first NEMA start of the year).

Continue reading ‘Russ Stoehr Returns To Victory Lane In Speedbowl NEMA Action, Nocella Records Lites Win’

Silk Sails To Whelen Modified Tour Win At New Hampshire

Regains Points Lead With New Hampshire 100 Triumph

Loudon, NH — Ron Silk pulled away from the field on a green-white-checkered finish to win the New Hampshire 100 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and take back to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points lead.

Silk got a push from Todd Szegedy on the final restart to open some ground on the rest of the field and was unchallenged over the final two laps. Szegedy, who won the tour race at New Hampshire in July, finished second followed by Justin Bonsignore.

Silk won the Coors Light Pole Award Thursday and led the most laps in Saturday’s race to erase a 12-point deficit to Szegedy with two races remaining. Silk leads 2182-2174.

[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Silk Sails To Whelen Modified Tour Win At New Hampshire’

NOTEBOOK: Fast Friends Lead Tour Standings

Silk, Szegedy Battling To Wire For Whelen Modified Title

Loudon, NH — As it turns out, this is going to be a friendly battle for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

For the second time in as many races, Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy swapped the series points lead – this time with Silk emerging with an eight-point advantage after the pair finished 1-2 in the New Hampshire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Silk had held the lead through six consecutive races before Szegedy grabbed the top spot a week ago with a win at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. By winning and leading a race-high 66 laps on Saturday at New Hampshire, though, Silk is back out front by a slim 8-point margin.

Just two races remain – next weekend at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway and in October with the World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

Continue reading ‘NOTEBOOK: Fast Friends Lead Tour Standings’

New Hampshire

New Hampshire

QUALIFYING: Top Spot For Silk

Wins Coors Pole For Whelen Modified At New Hampshire

Loudon, NH — Ron Silk, looking to get his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points lead back, will start on the point for Saturday’s New Hampshire 100 after winning the Coors Light Pole Award Thursday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Silk had a top lap of 29.764 seconds (127.967 mph) around the 1.058-mile oval. It was the fifth career pole for the Norwalk, Conn., driver, who won at the ‘Magic Mile’ in 2009.

The New Hampshire 100 will be carried by SPEED Saturday at 1 p.m., prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

Silk finished 15th at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., last week to drop 12 points behind Todd Szegedy in the championship standings. Szegedy, who won at Lime Rock and earlier this season at New Hampshire, qualified eighth Thursday.

Continue reading ‘QUALIFYING: Top Spot For Silk’

NOTEBOOK: Szegedy At Best Down Stretch

2003 Mod Tour Champ Surges Over Toughest Part Of Schedule

Loudon, NH — Turn the calendar back to early August, and the task ahead of Todd Szegedy appeared daunting.

Szegedy had been rolling along at Stafford Motor Speedway, pointed toward a Top-5 finish and embroiled in a bitter dogfight atop the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. But Szegedy ran into trouble in the form of another race car, and he finished 14th in the Town Fair Tire 150 while both Ron Silk and Rowan Pennink posted solid finishes to build a bit of distance between themselves and Szegedy.

Szegedy dropped to fourth in the overall standings, 116 points behind Silk. Worse yet, the Tour’s teams were embarking on a harrowing stretch of scheduling that had them set to compete five times in a span of five weeks. The stretch included races in Canada, at Bristol Motor Speedway and on a road course.

Undaunted, Szegedy and his No. 2 Wisk Ford team put in their best stretch of work yet.

Continue reading ‘NOTEBOOK: Szegedy At Best Down Stretch’

Matt Galko Racing for Second Consecutive Championship, will Make SK Modified® Debut in Stafford’s CARQUEST Fall Final

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend promises to be a busy weekend for defending SK Light track champion Matt Galko. Galko is currently chasing a second consecutive track championship and he will also make his SK Modified® debut during the final race event of the 2011 season, set for Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd. In addition to piloting his #20 Davidson Company SK Light to what he hopes will be a second consecutive track championship, Galko will also take the wheel of the #3 Davidson Company SK Modified® that was previously piloted by Jeff Malave.

“We’re working on putting the car together right now, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Galko. “The Fall Final is one of the biggest races of the year, so it’s even better. The SK Light is still going to be our first priority, but I’m pretty excited to get this opportunity now because this might be the only opportunity I have to drive an SK car. Of course we want to win the race, but we have to be realistic about our goals and a top-10 finish would be perfect for us. The motor in the car is a little bit older and hasn’t been refreshed in a while, but we’re going to give it all we have to try to get a top-10 finish.”

Not only will Galko be racing for a championship and making his debut in the SK Modified® division, but he will be racing to try to attract some sponsorship for the 2011 season. Galko will no longer have sponsorship from the Davidson Company and he and his team are not sure what the future will hold for them if they can’t find sponsorship.

Continue reading ‘Matt Galko Racing for Second Consecutive Championship, will Make SK Modified® Debut in Stafford’s CARQUEST Fall Final’

Doug Coby Looks to Continue Hot Streak at Stafford Speedway in CARQUEST Fall Final

Stafford Springs, CT — Since the beginning of September, perhaps no driver has been hotter in the Whelen Modified Tour ranks than Doug Coby. Coby finished second at Delaware Speedway in Canada, and then won both portions of the North-South Shootout at Thompson Speedway before crashing out of the Lime Rock race while in the lead. After the Tour stops in New Hampshire, Coby will return to Stafford for the CARQUEST Fall Final 150, where Coby has been fast, but doesn’t have the race finishes that reflect that speed.

“We’re looking forward to coming back to Stafford,” said Coby. “We’ve won two out of the three poles at Stafford this year and we’ve run really well. We had a part break at the Sizzler when we were running third, we were a little off in the May race, and we were leading the August race until we spun in traffic and we had to fight our way back up to ninth. Usually the track changes in the fall and gets a little faster. We’re coming back with the car we ran in the Sizzler and the May race, so we’re looking forward to another good run. It helps that we won both shows at Thompson and we had a top-5 car at Lime Rock, but I screwed up and crashed while leading.”

Coby won the pole and led 72 of 150 laps in the Whelen Modified Tour’s last stop to Stafford in August, and he has two third place finishes in two Modified Racing Series starts at Stafford to go along with his pole position in the April CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. Coby says that he will have to lean on that qualifying experience, as a good starting position will be a key to winning the CARQUEST Fall Final.

Continue reading ‘Doug Coby Looks to Continue Hot Streak at Stafford Speedway in CARQUEST Fall Final’

Richie Pallai, Jr. Looks to Carry Momentum of Career Best FInish to Stafford for CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend

Stafford Springs, CT — It’s often been seen in racing that if a driver and team have momentum on their side, it can lead to a series of good finishes. After posting only one top-10 finish in the first 9 races of the 2011 season, Richie Pallai, Jr. and his #39 Bosch Spark Plugs team sat out the Bristol, Canada, and Thompson races before making their return to the Whelen Modified Tour at the road course of Lime Rock. Pallai qualified seventh and he finished a career best fourth in the Lime Rock race, and he will look to carry the momentum of that career best finish to Stafford Motor Speedway for the CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend on Oct. 1st and Oct. 2nd.

“We had a great weekend at Lime Rock, we were never slower than 7th in any of the sessions,” said Pallai. “We qualified seventh and we ran in the top-5 all day long. It was a good race, but we were a little disappointed because we felt like we had a second place car, no one had anything for Todd [Szegedy]. It was a blast in the race, Justin [Bonsignore] and I passed each other like 8 times during the race and we never touched. You have to be aggressive at a road course and I think playing hockey helped me with being aggressive on the track. It was terrible to have to miss races, but we needed to take a break and get regrouped. Now we’re looking to keep the momentum going for Stafford and build something for next season.”

Fresh off his career best finish, Pallai will return to Stafford, which is the track that he has the most racing experience at. Pallai began his weekly racing career in the SK Light division in 2006, narrowly missing out on winning the championship. Pallai moved to the SK Modified® division in 2007 and he picked up his first SK Modified® feature victory in 2009 in the Spring Sizzler. Pallai made his Whelen Modified Tour debut at Stafford in the 2009 CARQUEST Fall Final and in 7 career Stafford starts, Pallai has a best finish of 11th in the 2010 Town Fair Tire 150. Pallai will be looking to capture his first career top-10 finish at Stafford and he says it’s all a matter of qualifying well and getting a handle on the car for the race.

Continue reading ‘Richie Pallai, Jr. Looks to Carry Momentum of Career Best FInish to Stafford for CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend’

PRACTICE: Beers Tops At Magic Mile

Paces Whelen Modified session; points leader Szegedy 12th
Loudon, NH — Eric Beers led the way for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Thursday in practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Beers posted a fast lap of 29.294 seconds (130.020 mph) around the 1.058-mile oval in preparation for Saturday’s New Hampshire 100. The race run Saturday and air live on SPEED at 1 p.m.

Ron Silk was second fastest in practice at 29.415 (129.485) and Justin Bonsignore was third at 29.419 (129.467). NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman, who won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this year, was fourth quick. James Civali rounded out the top five during the one-hour session.

Continue reading ‘PRACTICE: Beers Tops At Magic Mile’

Thompson Will Try Again Next Thursday

Thompson, CT — Rainy weather has once again forced the postponement of Thursday Night Thompson Thunder. The final track points race of the season is now scheduled for Thursday, September 29th.

“This has been very difficult on the competitors and fans alike, said track owner Don Hoenig. But, we want to try once again to settle the four outstanding championship battles within our NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing divisions. These competitors have worked very hard all year long. But, we have had seven events rained out this season and we feel it is only fair to try one more time to let racers settle these championships on the track,” Hoenig concluded.

Next Thursday will be the third attempt by the speedway to wrap up its 2011 weekly racing series. It will be the final track points event and division titles will be awarded in the Sunoco Modified, Super Late Model, Late Model and Thompson Modified divisions.

The entire Thompson staff is hard at work in preparation for the 38th annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing presented by Town Fair Tire and XTRA/MART. The three-day racing spectacular is scheduled for October 14th-16th and will feature fifteen different racing divisions.

The complete schedule of events for the September 29th event and for the Sunoco World Series is available on the Thompson web page. www.thompsonspeedway.com.

Sources: Russ Dowd/Thompson International Speedway PR

Thompson Rained Out

Sept. 22nd race event has been postponed to Sept. 29th due to rain.