Archive for April, 2012

Seekonk Speedway Ready to Kick Off 2012 season with the Phil’s Propane 60 & a Full Slate of Weekend Activities

Seekonk, MA — The 67th season of Action is ready to kick into high gear at The Action Track of the East, with 2 days of events. On Saturday, Seekonk Speedway presents the second annual Show and Go, a Classic Car Show and Burn Out Drag Races, presented with Kraze Korlacki Speed Equipment. With over 30 classes of cars scheduled for judging by the Mass Cruisers, hundreds of cars are expected to be on hand. In addition to the show, those that are brave enough will have the chance to compete in the Burn Out Drags, which will be held on the 1/3 mile oval. There is a $10 registration for the cars to compete in the Show and Go. Gates open at 8am, judging starts at 9, and the Burn Out Drags happen at 1pm.

While the Show and Go is happening in the main parking lot, the competitors will be gearing up for Sundays Opening Day with their final pre-season practice session. This is the final opportunity for competitors from Seekonk, and touring divisions that will be competing at Seekonk, to get ready for their season. Pit gates open at 9am for competitors, and rookies hit the track at 10. There is no charge to watch the practice session through the main gate, and to enjoy the Show and Go.

Continue reading ‘Seekonk Speedway Ready to Kick Off 2012 season with the Phil’s Propane 60 & a Full Slate of Weekend Activities’

Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesdays back at ‘Bowl May 2

Popular mid-week race program continues its focus on affordable family fun

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl’s mid-week Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday racing program returns May 2, commencing a 21-week campaign. As it has done since 2001, the popular Wednesday evening program’s focus is on affordable family fun and memorable on-track action.

Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday offers adult grandstands admission of just $8.00 with all youth ages 14 and under receiving free grandstands admission. Another mainstay at the Speedbowl – acres of free event parking – returns for all events in 2012 continuing the track’s reputation as a value-priced, family night out.

Track promoter Terry Eames points to the track’s history in the region as a low-cost entertainment option. “The Speedbowl has offered an incredible amount of entertainment for not a lot of money for 61 years. Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday is all about providing fun family experiences at low prices. A twenty dollar bill goes pretty far on Wednesdays at the ‘Bowl”.

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Coby Sizzles at Stafford

Strong Finish Nets Third Whelen Modified Victory

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 Speedway.

The Milford, 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 .

Pole 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.

[Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Coby Sizzles at Stafford’

Christopher & Rocco Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Feature Victories at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend continued on Sunday with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions. Ted Christopher held off Eric Berndt in a green white checkered finish to capture his 95th career SK Modified® victory and his 115th overall feature victory at Stafford Motor Speedway. Keith Rocco held off Woody Pitkat to capture the checkered flag in the 30-lap Late Model feature event.

In the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Eric Berndt led the first lap, but he was quickly overtaken by both Ryan Preece and Frank Ruocco, who were side by side for the race lead at the conclusion of lap-2. Ted Christopher followed Preece and Ruocco by Berndt into third, while Berndt settled into fourth, just ahead of the side by side duo of Keith Rocco and Dan Avery.

Matt Gallo spun with 6 laps complete to bring out the first caution of the race with Preece leading Ruocco, Christopher, Berndt, and Rocco.

[Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Christopher & Rocco Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Feature Victories at Stafford’

Waterford Speedbowl 4/28 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl provided heated action on the race track to contend with the spring chill in the air Saturday evening, completing a six division program in quick order. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Keith Rocco of Meriden returned to Victory Lane for the third time in five events in SK Modified® action while Dillon Moltz of Waterford made it two wins on the year in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature. Walt Hovey of Chaplin returned to the winner’s circle in the Street Stocks for the first time since 2010 and Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon won the night’s Mini Stock feature, his fourth on the season.

Frank Mucciacciaro Jr. brought the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature to the green flag, however the field was unable to complete a clean lap as Tyler Chadwick and Diego Monahan came to rest against the turn one wall after tangling.

Mucciacciaro took the lead over Al Stone upon the race start with Joe Gada and Ed Puleo behind. Gada cleared Stone for second who dropped back into an early battle for the top five positions. Rocco was looking stout in the opening circuits, advancing from his eighth place starting position into the top three over the opening four laps before a second caution flag slowed his charge.

Continue reading ‘Waterford Speedbowl 4/28 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results’

Kopec, Wood & Casagrande Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway kicked off its 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions as part of the Saturday CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend festivities. There were two first time winners as Dylan Kopec took the checkered flag in the 20-lap SK Light feature and Josh Wood was the winner of the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature for the second year in a row.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dylan Kopec took the lead at the green flag and immediately began to pull away from Harry Wheeler in second. Jay Goff was third, with Zach Aszklar and Dylan Liseo behind him. Kopec was continuing to stretch out his lead over Wheeler in second while Liseo and Aszkler were looking for a way past Goff. Both Aszklar and Liseo both got by Goff on lap-5 and with 5 laps complete, the cars of Dylan Campbell, Payton Henry, Tyler Hines, and 21 all spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out.

On the restart, Kopec maintained the lead while Aszklar and Wheeler were side by side for second. Aszklar got by Wheeler while Liseo was behind Wheeler in fourth place. Tony Santangelo rounded out the top-5 with Ronnie Williams and Tony Membrino, Jr. behind him.

[Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Kopec, Wood & Casagrande Score CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories at Stafford’

Preece Two-For-Two in Mod Qualifying

Earns Second Coors Light Pole Award Of Season

STAFFORD, Conn. – Ryan Preece earned his second Coors Light Pole Award in as many attempts this season when he took the top qualifying spot for the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Preece, from Berlin, Conn., toured the half-mile in Stafford Saturday with a record lap of 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph). It was his eighth career pole overall and second at Stafford. Preece’s first career pole also came in the 2008 Stafford Spring Sizzler.

Corey LaJoie, a full-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver that is making his Whelen Modified Tour debut this weekend at Stafford, was second-fastest with a qualifying lap of 17.936 (100.357).

[Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

 

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PRACTICE: Blewett On Record Pace

Leads Six Under Whelen Modified Tour Mark At Stafford

STAFFORD, Conn. – Jimmy Blewett led the way as the top six drives in Saturday’s practice put up a lap under the Stafford Motor Speedway track record for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Blewett had a lap of 17.888 seconds (100.626 mph) around the half-mile. Ryan Preece and defending tour champion Ron Silk each had a lap of 17.896 (100.581). Preece won Stafford’s SK Modified Division championship last year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Justin Bonsignore and Corey LaJoie – the latter driving a SPEC motor – were fourth and fifth, respectively.

[Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘PRACTICE: Blewett On Record Pace’

Justin Bonsignore Looking to Turn Luck Around in Stafford Speedway’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hits Stafford Speedway this weekend for the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, Justin Bonsignore will be hoping to turn his luck at Stafford around. In 8 previous races at Stafford, Bonsignore’s best finish has been 10th on two occasions and he has an average finish of 17.6 in those eight races. But one of Bonsignore’s top-10 finishes at Stafford came in last year’s CARQUEST Fall Final, where Bonsignore put his #51 M3 Technology car on pole and led 79 laps and he hopes to repeat that performance in order to take home a career best Stafford finish in the Sizzler.

“We sure hope we can have a good finish,” said Bonsignore. “We had some motor issues in the first couple Stafford races last year and we ended up getting caught up in a wreck at the Fall Final, so we’d love to be able to win the Sizzler, that would be a big deal. We’re bringing back the same car we had at the Fall Final last year, so I think we’ll have a good chance. Aaron Clifford, my crew chief, always does a good job preparing our cars and we’re usually fast right off of the truck, so that makes my job a lot easier. I love coming to Stafford, it’s one of my favorite tracks although we haven’t always had the best finishes at Stafford.”

The first step for Bonsignore and his fellow Whelen Modified Tour competitors will be to lay down a good qualifying lap on Saturday in preparation for the 200-lap CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on Sunday. A good qualifying lap can often be the start of a good weekend at Stafford.The first step for Bonsignore and his fellow Whelen Modified Tour competitors will be to lay down a good qualifying lap on Saturday in preparation for the 200-lap CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on Sunday.  A good qualifying lap can often be the start of a good weekend at Stafford.

Continue reading ‘Justin Bonsignore Looking to Turn Luck Around in Stafford Speedway’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler’

Keith Rocco Looking to Make Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Debut One to Remember

Stafford Springs, CT — Over the past three seasons at Stafford Motor Speedway, no driver has won more races than Keith Rocco. While the SK Modified® division has accounted for the majority of Rocco’s 30 victories in that 3-year span, he has also won Late Model races, a Modified Racing Series event, and the CARQUEST Champions For Charities feature event. With the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler taking place next weekend at Stafford, Rocco will try to add another chapter to his wide variety of feature victories at Stafford as he makes his Sizzler debut.

Rocco will be driving the Boehler Racing owned #3 Cape Cod Copper / Silver Dollar Construction Chevrolet, which won the Sizzler in 2004 with Jerry Marquis behind the wheel as well as the very first Spring Sizzler with Fred DeSarro at the controls. Rocco qualified fourth in his first race with the Boehler team, but a multi-car wreck relegated them to a 22nd place finish.

Despite the finish, Rocco is happy with his new team and is looking forward to his first Sizzler. “Everything went well and I’m extremely happy with the team,” said Rocco. “After our first race together it looks like we’re going to have a lot of success this season. I have a real good feeling for my first Sizzler. The guys gave me a great car for Thompson and I think we’ll have just as good a car for Stafford. The team has had a lot of success in the past and that makes my job a lot easier.”

Continue reading ‘Keith Rocco Looking to Make Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Debut One to Remember’

Woody Pitkat Ready for Triple Duty in this Weekend’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — For Stafford native Woody Pitkat, the 41st CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend will be a busy time as Pitkat will perform triple duty, driving in the SK Modified®, Late Model, and Whelen Modified Tour feature events. This year’s Sizzler is the third consecutive Sizzler that Pitkat will have three separate drives during the weekend. Pitkat will pilot the #11Spectro Oils of America Ford in the 200-lap CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, the #89 Hitchcock Pool Water / James Paige Plumbing Chevrolet in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, and the #88 New Haven Truck and Auto Body Chevrolet in the 30-lap Late Model feature.

Pitkat is coming off a 15th place finish in the season opening Whelen Modified Tour event in which he was involved in a multicar incident that relegated him to the 15th place finish, 30 laps down. But overall Pitkat was happy with his car and he is looking forward to racing at Stafford, where Donny Lia finished third in the #11 car that Pitkat will be driving in last year’s CARQUEST Fall Final.

“We struggled a little at Thompson, but we made the best of the weekend that we could,” said Pitkat. “We had a transmission issue on Saturday, so we lost a bit of practice time and then we only had high gear for time trials. We qualified 20th and I was just riding around, trying to get the feel of the car. The car felt pretty good and then we got caught up in that big wreck in turn 1 and we went a couple laps down while I was helping the guys fix the car. After the race was over, we found that we found a motor issue, so all in all it was a good weekend, the team really jelled well together. We feel pretty confident going to Stafford. These guys have a good setup
for Stafford, Donny Lia almost won the Fall Final with this car, and this car used to be a Todd Szegedy car and Lloyd Agor was helping Todd. Between Lloyd’s knowledge of the track and the car, and I know the track pretty well, hopefully we have our motor issue fixed and the guy behind the steering wheel can go out and get it done this weekend. We certainly hope to have a good finish, it seems like Thompson and Stafford are two of my worst tracks with the Tour car.”

Continue reading ‘Woody Pitkat Ready for Triple Duty in this Weekend’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway’

Richie Pallai, Jr. Hoping for Repeat of SK Modified® Success in this Year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — The 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler will kick off the 2012 race season at Stafford Motor Speedway and Richie Pallai, Jr., driver of the #39 CARQUEST Filters / Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet, is hoping for a repeat of the 2009 Sizzler where he collected his first SK Modified® feature victory. Pallai finished 14th in the season opening event at Thompson, and although he was caught up in a multi-car wreck, he has confidence in his car and team with how well they ran as they prepare for the 200-lap test that is the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

“We’re looking forward to the Sizzler more than we have in the past,” said Pallai. “Stafford has kind of been one of our worst tracks. You would think it would be one of our better ones, but it just hasn’t been. We ran really good at Thompson, we were eighth when we pitted and we pitted with all the leaders. We restarted 14th and we were up to 10th right before we wrecked, so realistically we had about a 7th or 8th place car without a problem. We didn’t qualify as good as we wanted to, which hurt us because it’s tough to pass, but we’re looking forward to Stafford. We had a lot of problems with the car last year that we figured out during the winter and we switched to Bruneau engines. We have the best equipment that we’ve had in three years, so it’s nice to know that going into the race.”

With the Whelen Modified Tour field being so close together, Pallai knows that the first step to repeating his SK Modified® victory will be a good qualifying lap. “You think it would be easy, but qualifying is a lot harder than it looks,” said Pallai. “We’ll definitely need to have a good lap because it’s so hard to pass with the cars all being so close together. At Thompson, Ryan [Preece] was dominant in the first half of the race and he was having a hard time getting back to the front after he pitted. We were at Riverhead testing this week and the car is very fast. Everyone on the team is having fun and when everyone is having fun, good things usually happen for us.”

Continue reading ‘Richie Pallai, Jr. Hoping for Repeat of SK Modified® Success in this Year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler’

Doug Coby Sweats Out Subway Wrapper to Victory Lane in CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For Doug Coby and the #52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking / Furnace and Duct team, the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler was a dream race. Coby took over the race lead from Ryan Preece on lap-112 of 200 and he led the rest of the way, beating Preece to the checkered flag by 1.881 seconds. But as calm and smooth as Coby’s ride looked from the outside, Coby and his team were worried for much of the second half of the race that the car might not make it to the finish. Coby’s car picked up a Subway wrapper in his grill area and it shot his water temperature to the virtual point of breaking, but the engine held together and Coby was able to take home his second career Sizzler trophy. Coby’s Sizzler trophy will be joined by another trophy, the Subway wrapper that hitched a ride with Coby for most of the second half of the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

“We had a Subway wrapper on the grill and it shot the water temp up from 200 or 210 to 240, and 240 is when you pull in,” said Coby. “We were actually debating on one of those cautions with 48 to go to come into the pits and pull the wrapper off the grill. It stayed at 240 and then went to 230 and 236 and my crew chief [John McKenna] told me there was a light in there that is gonna tell me and if the light comes on I’ve got to pull in. It never came on and I don’t think I would have told him if it did come on. It was just one of those things that someone got a sandwich from Subway and it almost ruined our race. You’ve seen it happen with Dale Sr. I think at Daytona where he got a wrapper on his grill and it happened to a modified at Stafford Speedway and it almost ruined our day, it was that close. It was after the pitstop so it must have been around lap-110 or lap-120 and my car owner [Wayne Darling] sits in the stands and he came on the radio and told me there was a big piece of debris on the grill and to check my water temp. It was fine for a while then I saw it go from 200 to 220 and that’s ok, and then it went to 230 and I said that wrapper is going to ruin our freaking race. It got to 240 and that’s when I started to panic and I turned it over to my crew chief and I said you tell me when to pull in. I’ve run motors before at 250 and 255 and I’ve blown them up after that. This was a fresh Bob Bruneau motor that we just got back, this is my favorite motor that we won Thompson with and we didn’t have it for the Icebreaker because he had a problem with it on the dyno. I like this motor, its very comfortable to me at both Stafford and Thompson, and it’s a very big thing to have done this for the team. The wrapper is in my helmet and its going on the wall. It ran about 240 for most of the race, it went down to 230 a couple of times. I pulled up to the pace car under caution because I’ve seen Cup guys when they have debris change the airflow and sometimes it will drop, but the cup guys don’t have a big box like we have and I think it was just stuck in there.”

Coby qualified 7th and he spent the first half of the race working his way towards the front and he was up to second when most of the lead cars came to pit road under caution on lap-97. He came out third of the cars that pitted and he was sixth in line for the lap-109 restart. It took Coby only three laps to run down and pass Ryan Preece for the race lead and once Coby got out front, he remained there for the remainder of the race, although he and the team were worried about the wrapper on his grill.

 

 

Continue reading ‘Doug Coby Sweats Out Subway Wrapper to Victory Lane in CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford’

Monadnock: Bond Auto Parts Spring Dash 100 Photos

[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin

The Valenti Modified Racing Series held its second event of the season at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH on Saturday night. Despite starting 18th, Jon McKennedy scored his second consecutive victory of the season in Art Barry's #2 machine.

The next event on the schedule is a 75-lap race at Thompson (CT) International Speedway on Sunday, May 20th.

LKQ/Keystone Lite Modifieds to Debut at Thompson

Thompson, CT — The newest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division at Thompson International Speedway, the LKQ/Keystone Lite Modifieds, will make its debut on Sunday, May 20th. LKQ/Keystone is the nation’s leading supplier of used and after market replacement auto parts.

The lite style of Modified race cars proved to be very popular at Thompson in special events appearances during the last two years and, as a result, have been added as a weekly division in 2012.

In making the announcement of title sponsorship for the Lite Modified division, Mike Dufresne, Regional Vice President of LKQ/Keystone, said that LKQ/Keystone was very pleased to have the opportunity to provide weekly sponsorship in the form of bonus money to the new and exciting racing division. “We know that many of our customers are involved in racing and we wanted to step up and support this program. Our customers know of our love for auto racing and we wanted to show them that we support their dedication to the sport.” said Dufresne. LKQ and Keystone have locations coast to coast in the USA.

Continue reading ‘LKQ/Keystone Lite Modifieds to Debut at Thompson’

Marquis to Return at Monadnock

2000 Champ To Make First Start In Five Years

WINCHESTER, N.H. – When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the high banks of the Monadnock Speedway on May 12, it will also mark the return of eight-time Track Champion Jerry Marquis from Broad Brook, Conn., who will drive the Ralph Solhem owned Modified in the Monadnock 200. Marquis is also the 2000 Whelen Modified Tour Champion.

Marquis has 19 wins and 114 top ten finishes in 204 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. Marquis hasn't competed on the tour since 2007, but he is looking forward to going back to a place that left so many good memories. Marquis recorded titles at the quarter-mile in the Pro Stocks, Late Models and twice in a Modified (1991-92).

"Monadnock is my old stomping ground," Marquis admits. "There and Riverside Park (Agawam, Mass.) are the places I grew up at. It's really where I learned how to drive on the short tracks.

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Lites Play Major Role in NEMA Birthday Party

Brockton, MA — The Northeastern Midget Association has, from its very inception, been one of racing’s most forward-looking sanctioning bodies. Formed in 1953, NEMA has been part of major moves that have changed the sport.

NEMA celebrates its 60th birthday Saturday night, May 12 at Waterford Speedbowl with 60 laps of feature racing – 30 for the full Midgets and 30 for NEMA Lites. Blast Off winners John Zych Jr. (NEMA) and Ryan Bigelow (Lites) lead an expected bumper field back to the Speedbowl.

Randy Cabral, Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne, champions all, head up the NEMA contention seeking the Marvin Rifchin Trophy. “Although it is only three years old, the Rifchin Trophy is one of the coveted prizes in NEMA,” says President Mike Scrivani Jr. “Marvin did so much for so many of us.”

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Statistical Advance: Analyzing the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler weekend at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway for the second race of the 2012 season on Sunday, April 29. Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers on the Tour:

Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 72 top 10s in 171 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Has two poles and 19 top 10s in 37 career starts at Stafford Motor Speedway with a best finish of second in the 2008 Spring Sizzler.
• Had three top fives in four starts at Stafford in 2011.

Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, a pole and 27 top 10s in 86 career NWMT starts.
• Two of his five career wins have come at Stafford, along with nine top 10s in 24 appearances.
• Made three starts at Stafford in 2011 with a best finish of 10th.

Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has a win, three poles and 16 top 10s in 33 career NWMT starts.
• Has two poles and two top 10s in eight races at Stafford.
• Recorded an average finish of 17th at Stafford in 2011.

Continue reading ‘Statistical Advance: Analyzing the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford’

News & Notes: Mods Head To Spring Sizzler

Silk Looks To Stay On A Roll At Stafford

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Heading into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season-opener two weeks ago, storylines were aplenty: Past champions returning to the Tour or changing teams, up-and-comers looking to become contenders, weekly standouts getting a touring series opportunity. And what happened? The defending champ reminded everyone why his trophy has yet to collect any dust.

Much like when he became a championship contender a year ago, Ron Silk entered the Icebreaker at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on April 15 with little limelight. Yet once again, he was standing in Victory Lane with the hardware at the end of the day.

After adding the Icebreaker trophy to his growing collection, the Norwalk, Conn., driver is now focused on winning this week’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Silk has now reached the point in his career where going after premier event wins has become a goal, and the Spring Sizzler is every bit as prestigious as winning the Icebreaker.

Continue reading ‘News & Notes: Mods Head To Spring Sizzler’

Waterford Speedbowl 4/21 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl returned to action Saturday evening, beating Mother Nature to place six winners in Victory Lane and provide some great racing action. The Speedbowl’s very capable outside groove was in effect, playing a part in more than one winner’s path to the win. Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard used the top lane to take a popular victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature. Other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature winners included Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton, checkering an exciting Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Ray Downing Jr. of Westbrook, who was impressive in taking the Street Stock race and Ian Brew of Wood River Junction, RI, who bested a highly competitive Mini Stock field for his first win of the year. In INEX racing, Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY won the 20-lap Legends Cars race and Joey Ternullo of Middletown took over halfway through the 20-lap Bandolero feature to come out on top.

Nichole Morgillo and Joe Gada led the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® field to green for their 35-lap feature event. The pair raced even over the opening circuit before Morgillo edged ahead into the lead on lap-2. Joe Perry raced to Gada’s inside for second, taking that spot on lap-4. Chadwick filled the hole to Gada’s inside next, moving to third position a lap later. Diego Monahan followed suit behind the top-three as Gada was kicked back to fifth position on lap-5. Behind Gada, Jeff Rocco and Rob Janovic Jr. led a pack of cars looking to advance into the upper echelon of the top-ten.

Chadwick and Monahan teamed up in the inside lane to get past Perry, taking over second and third positions. Morgillo continued her lead with the new tandem behind her closing in. Trouble broke out behind the lead trio as the field worked lap-10. Exiting turn four, contact saw Perry spinning around from fourth in front of the field. Several competitors vying for positions inside the top-ten scrambled with many becoming collected. Gada, Janovic, Ed Puleo, Keith Rocco, Frank Mucciacciaro and Perry each had damage when the dust settled. Janovic and Gada drove to the pit area for repairs however were unable to return, while Rocco was towed to the pits and done for the night.

Continue reading ‘Waterford Speedbowl 4/21 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results’

Waterford Speedbowl 4/21 INEX Racing Results

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl returned to action Saturday evening, beating Mother Nature to place six winners in Victory Lane and provide some great racing action. The Speedbowl’s very capable outside groove was in effect, playing a part in more than one winner’s path to the win. Tyler Chadwick of Ledyard used the top lane to take a popular victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature. Other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature winners included Bruce Thomas Jr. of Groton, checkering an exciting Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Ray Downing Jr. of Westbrook, who was impressive in taking the Street Stock race and Ian Brew of Wood River Junction, RI, who bested a highly competitive Mini Stock field for his first win of the year. In INEX racing, Matt Pappa of Nassau, NY won the 20-lap Legends Cars race and Joey Ternullo of Middletown took over halfway through the 20-lap Bandolero feature to come out on top.

Nicholas Sowa had the pole starting position for the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, but it was Michael Blaskey who raced into the lead on lap-1. Paul Kusheba was able to move under Sowa to take second position on lap-2, putting Sowa in the high groove which allowed Pappa, Dave Garbo Jr. and Dylan Izzo to each race by Sowa. Kusheba quickly went after Blaskey, moving to his inside on lap-3 in turn one. Kusheba brought Pappa with him to second, and Garbo up to third as Blaskey lost ground in the outside lane.

Kusheba’s time at the top was short-lived as Pappa found room to the leaders inside in turns three and four on lap-4, sprinting off turn four to become the race’s new leader. Kaz Grala, winner the last time the division raced on April 7, was moving up through the top-ten and found himself inside Blaskey for fifth position. Defending track champion Dana Dimatteo was hot on Grala’s tail, advancing to sixth.

Continue reading ‘Waterford Speedbowl 4/21 INEX Racing Results’

Twice is Nice for McKennedy at Monadnock

Winchester, NH– Jon McKennedy, of Chelmsford, MA., made it two wins in a row Saturday night, winning the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Bond Auto Parts Spring Dash 100, at Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, NH.

McKennedy driving for Hall of Fame car owner Art Barry started 18th in a 24-car field.

The two-time champion, driving the # 2 car won his second race of the season, his second win at Monadnock in only his second time in the Barry car.

McKennedy slowly worked his way through traffic, used good tire management, a McKennedy trademark, passed race leader Les Hinckley, of Windsor Locks, CT, on lap 78 to go on to victory.

Continue reading ‘Twice is Nice for McKennedy at Monadnock’

Defending Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ronnie Silk Looks to Carry Season Opening Win Momentum into CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — After winning the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship, Ronnie Silk and the #6 T.S. Haulers, Inc. began the defense of their title in grand style by winning the season opening race at Thompson. Stafford was a good track for Silk and crew last season, as he scored a win, a third, and two seventh place finishes in the four events held at the Connecticut half-mile. With the momentum of a season opening win on their side, Silk hopes to carry that momentum with him to Stafford Speedway for next weekend’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

“Winning the season opener was obviously great for us,” said Silk. “Momentum means a lot in racing and it felt great to be able to win the first race of the season. I think we can win quite a few more races this year and we hope the next win will be the Sizzler. We feel really good about coming back to Stafford, we ran well and we were able to win once at Stafford last year. Everyone wants to win the Sizzler, it’s a very prestigious race, and I would love to be able to win the Sizzler. I feel pretty good about our chances and we’re definitely going to give it our best shot.”

In six career Sizzler starts, Silk’s third place finish in last year’s Sizzler race represented a career best finish. Had Silk not encountered an engine issue, he might have finished a step or two higher on the podium.

Continue reading ‘Defending Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ronnie Silk Looks to Carry Season Opening Win Momentum into CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler’

Ryan Preece Looking for Repeat of Sizzler Success from One Year Ago in Whelen Modified Tour & SK Modified® Divisions

Stafford Springs, CT — One year ago, a victory in the SK Modified® feature event during CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend sent Ryan Preece on a path that would lead him to his first career championship. Preece hopes to repeat his winning ways of one year ago in this year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend, not only in the SK Modified® division, but in the Whelen Modified Tour behind the wheel of the #16 Diversified Metals Ford.

Preece took over the controls of the #16 car for the final race of the 2011 season, scoring the pole position and leading 36 laps before a late race spin left him 26th in the finishing order. Preece kicked off his 2012 season in grand style by winning the pole again and leading 86 laps before a crash relegated him to a 16th place finish. In 2 starts thusfar with the #16 team, Preece has 2 pole positions and he has led 122 of 327 laps, but those results haven’t translated into good finishes as Preece has an average finish of 21.0 in those two events. Despite his misfortunes, Preece is excited about his prospects for this year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, where he hopes to better his career best finish of third in the Sizzler.

“We’ve had a few seconds and thirds at Stafford, so hopefully a win will be coming our way very soon,” said Preece. “Ever since I started racing on the Whelen Modified Tour, I always wanted to drive the #16 car, so getting into this car has been a dream come true for me. The team is very established, the crew is great, and we’ve jelled together really well and we have a lot of fun together. We have great support from Diversified Metals, Flamingo Motorsports, Sanderson/MacLeod, American Lamp Recycling, and R+B Enterprises, and we everything we need to win the Sizzler, we just have to be in the right position at the end of the race. If we are leading towards the end of the race, we’ll be in a good spot, and if we’re second, we know we have to make a pass on the high side and get the job done.”

Continue reading ‘Ryan Preece Looking for Repeat of Sizzler Success from One Year Ago in Whelen Modified Tour & SK Modified® Divisions’

CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party Ushers In a New Season of Racing at Stafford’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway opens its doors to the racing season with the 41st Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 28-29, with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party again ready to serve a distinguished role in the weekend’s activities. The CARQUEST Belts and Hose Pit Party gives fans the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite drivers and cars on the frontstretch infield prior to racing activities on Sunday, April 29th. Fans will have access to all of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers as well as drivers from Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions. One driver who will have an extra special giveaway during this year’s CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party is Richie Pallai, Jr.

Pallai is the driver of the #39 Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and he is one of the 13 drivers that will be taking part in the CARQUEST Champions For Charities race as part of CARQUEST Super Saturday on June 30. As part of his fundraising duties for the Danbury Animal Welfare Socitey (DAWS), Pallai will be giving away CARQUEST Belts and Hose tee-shirts during the CARQUEST Belts and Hose Pit Party for a $5.00 donation to DAWS.

Pallai’s tee-shrit giveaway will be just one of many items that will be given away by drivers during the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party. Drivers will also be available to sign autographs and pose for pictures, as well as giving race fans unique access to their chariots of speed that they hope will carry them to CARQUEST Victory Lane during this year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Continue reading ‘CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party Ushers In a New Season of Racing at Stafford’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler’

CARQUEST Champions for Charities Driver Spotlight: Todd Szegedy

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has again lined up an impressive field of current and former open wheel champions for its CARQUEST Champions For Charities Event as part of CARQUEST Super Saturday on June 30th. During the coming weeks, SMS will offer a profile on each of its championship winning drivers and the charity they will be racing for. This week's CARQUEST Champions For Charities spotlight falls on 2003 NASCAR Whelen Modified Series Champion Todd Szegedy, who will be racing to help support The Foundation For Life.

The Foundation For Life is an organization that provides funding in Connecticut for underprivileged children. Their motto is to make children’s dreams come true by providing scholarships, bikes, school clothes and supplies, various playgrounds in CT, and provide volunteers to teach Junior Achievement in CT elementary schools. They have also assisted in the ABC Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Bridgeport, CT by paying off the owner’s mortgage. Since 2006, the Foundation for Life has distributed over $350,000 to organizations in Connecticut who are working to better the lives of those in need throughout the community.

“The Foundation for Life is a great organization which gives back to communities who are in need of giving throughout the state of Connecticut,” said Szegedy. “We didn’t raise as much money last year as we would have liked, so hopefully we can get some more people to come on board with us this year. I know the economy is tough, but the money all goes to a very good cause. We have a lot of people around us who like to support The Foundation For Life, so we’re hoping we can pick up some more donations and have a larger total than we did last year.”

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Jim Miller Looks Ahead to NEMA Birthday Race

Brockton, MA – History, especially Northeastern Midget Association history, is not lost on Jim Miller of Weymouth, MA. Indeed, he looks toward NEMA’s Diamond Anniversary celebration Saturday night, May 12 with great anticipation.

In addition to 60 feature laps – 30 apiece for the full Midgets and the Lites, NEMA president Mike Scrivani Jr. is rounding up a strong cast of characters that have helped to make NEMA New England’s oldest sanctioning body. The club began in 1953.

It will also be the Marvin Rifchin Trophy race. “A victory in this one will be huge,” says Miller, a competitor since 1986 when he went into battle with a Chevy II-powered Bob Higman “half bar.” His NEMA history actually goes back to the early 1980s when he “helped out” on his uncle John Lane’s team.

The Speedbowl is a special spot for Miller. He scored his first victory there in 1999, an event that remains vivid for him. “It was one of those nights,” he recalls. “I got out front quickly. I was looking all over for shadows, trying to determine if anybody was around me.” He drove a Gaerte-powered Beast Chassis he had purchased from Russ Stoehr.

Miller joins a sizable number in the Speedbowl NEMA winners club. Randy Cabral and Russ Stoehr have 15 Waterford wins between them. Cabral and Stoehr were second and third behind John Zych Jr. at this year’s Blast Off. Joey Payne, Todd Bertrand, Adam Cantor, Jeff Horn, Barry Kittredge, Chris Leonard and Greg Stoehr, all likely entries, have also won at Waterford.

He joins a chorus that sings praises to the Speedbowl – “one of the best Midget tracks in the East” –and says speeds in the 12 second bracket are “absolutely probable.” Because it’s a difficult place to play catch up, hammer down is the only acceptable strategy. “Lately,” he says, “there’s a surprise every time we go there.”

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Christopher Disqualification Reversed

Thompson, CT — Following a full examination of the mufflers taken from Ted Christopher’s Sunoco Modified race car, Thompson Speedway officials have reversed their earlier decision which had resulted in the car’s disqualification. Christopher will be credited with the fourth place finish he had won in the Sunoco Modified 30-lap feature on Icebreaker weekend.

Officials had originally made the call believing that the mufflers had been altered. However, upon further investigation, it was found that the mufflers had suffered from severe wear and had not been altered. As a result, Christopher’s original finishing position, 4th, has been reinstated.

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Hinckley Set to Defend Spring Dash Title at Monadnock

Windsor Locks, CT. — Windsor Locks, CT., racer Les Hinckley III, knows the way around Monadnock Speedway. 19 pro-stock wins in four seasons and a championship proves it. Add four wins in the potent open-wheel modified race cars and it’s safe to say the second-generation racer is right at home at the Winchester, N.H. racetrack.

“I learned how to go fast at Riverside, I learned how to win races and a championship at Monadnock,” said Hinckley.“I really grew up as a driver there. My career really started to develop there and take me where I am today. Fortunate for me that carried over from Riverside," Hinckley said.

Monadnock is considered a “tough” track to figure out, to get the right set up, a tough track to win at. Hinckley agrees. “The place is unique. Both ends of the track are different. It can be hard on those not familiar with it,” said Hinckley. Guys that run there know the place well. A guy like (Jim) Boniface can run with the top five. He runs real good there.”

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Silk Emerges Victor In Wild Mod Tour Finish; Preece, O’Sullivan, Ramstrom, Boss, Sundeen and Poulin Score Icebreaker Wins

Thompson, Conn. — Ron Silk celebrated his eighth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in an extended 159-lap event after Rowan Pennink was posted for not allowing Silk, who chose to take the inside groove for the final restart, to set the pace. He officially jumped the restart.

“I had a better car than Rowan (Pennink),” said Silk after the race. “Before the last restart, he had me up in the marbles. He didn’t even give me a chance to have a line. You can’t beat the leader to the line. If you do, you have to lift. I’m happy to win and we had a better car than he did. I ran him down and passed him with 15 to go. The rule is in black and white. You can’t beat the leader to the line.”

Silk started the race in eighth and led just one time throughout the race distance taking the lead at lap 138 when he dove underneath Pennink in turn three. The win marked his fourth at Thompson International Speedway, and his first during Icebreaker weekend.

Sat. April 14
[Photo Gallery] by Adam Fohlin
[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Sun. April 15
[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

Continue reading ‘Silk Emerges Victor In Wild Mod Tour Finish; Preece, O’Sullivan, Ramstrom, Boss, Sundeen and Poulin Score Icebreaker Wins’