Archive for December, 2012

New England’s Largest Indoor All-Automotive Swap Meet Returns to Eastern States

 Autoparts Swap ‘n Sell Set for January 19 & 20

Vernon, CT — This winter, Start/Finish Productions will once again present Auto Parts Swap ‘n Sell,New England’s largest INDOOR all-automotive flea market and swap meet. For over 30 years, Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA-Home of the Big “E”-has been the site of Autoparts Swap ‘n Sell. On Saturday and Sunday, January 19&20, 2013, the125,000-square foot Better Living Center will feature wholesalers, retailers, and individuals offering virtually everything for any automotive application.

The event is an off-season tradition for racers of all types, hot rodders, car buffs, and diehard bargain hunters due to its size and variety. Hundreds of vendors offer everything from affordable tools, to automotive essentials, to state-of-the-art safety equipment and cutting edge racing technology, to unique auto and memorabilia, to hard-to-find parts and rare originals.

Autoparts Swap ‘n Sell offers the affordability of a traditional flea market, the comfort of a heated venue and showcase lighting. It also delivers
some decided advantages over e-commerce and online auction sites by providing the opportunity for on-sight inspection and the gratification of
interpersonal haggling.

Continue reading ‘New England’s Largest Indoor All-Automotive Swap Meet Returns to Eastern States’

CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler & CARQUEST Fall Final Event Tickets Available Now at Stafford Speedway Box Office

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s Box Office has tickets available now for the two marquee events on its 2013 schedule, the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, and the 41st Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. Fans can purchase reserved seat tickets in either the top row or the Gold Stadium Chairback section, general admission tickets, or child general admission tickets for both the Sizzler and Fall Final.

The 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler will kick off the 2013 season at Stafford Motor Speedway in grand style. Stafford’s five weekly divisions will all be in action along with the 200-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event and the debut of the North East Mini Stock Tour. The 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is scheduled for Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28.

Last year’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler was the launching point for Doug Coby and Ted Christopher to make 2012 a championship season. Coby was victorious in the 200-lap Tech-Net Spring Sizzler, the first of three Stafford wins and five for the season on his way to his very first Whelen Modified Tour Championship. Christopher was victorious in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the first of four SK Modified® feature victories in what would turn out to be his record 8th SK Modified® track championship at Stafford. Other winners from last year’s Sizzler include Keith Rocco in the Late Models, Dylan Kopec in the SK Lights, Josh Wood in the Limited Late Models, and Kyle Casagrande in the DARE Stocks.

Continue reading ‘CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler & CARQUEST Fall Final Event Tickets Available Now at Stafford Speedway Box Office’

Tim Rowe Racing Joining Forces with Silberman Racing for Championship Run with Driver Matt Galko in 2013 at SMS

 

Stafford Springs, CT — After winning the SK Light championship at Stafford in 2010 and 2011, Meriden native Matt Galko made the transition into the SK Modified® division for the 2012 season. Galko ended up taking home SPAFCO Rookie of the Year Honors with 1 top-5 and 8 top-10 finishes and a 9th place finish in the points standings. With the 2013 season on the horizon, Galko’s car owner Tim Rowe has joined forces with Donald Silberman to make a run at the championship. 

“I’m pretty excited about 2013, I thought maybe I wasn’t going to have a full ride for the year,” said Galko. “I got to know Don during last season and I told him that I didn’t have any solid plans for the 2013 season. He got in touch with Tim and asked if we wanted to team up with him for the 2013 season.”

“I’ve been watching Matt since the SK Light days and he knows what it takes to go for points,” said Silberman. “Right now, we’re putting a new body on the car and we’re all real excited and looking forward to the season.”

Continue reading ‘Tim Rowe Racing Joining Forces with Silberman Racing for Championship Run with Driver Matt Galko in 2013 at SMS’

G2G Racing Offering Simulation Racing In Eastfield Mall

Stafford Springs, CT — If you've ever wanted to feel what it's like behind the wheel of a racecar and speeding around the track, but you don't quite have the money to build a racecar, G2G Racing in the Eastfield Mall has a solution for you. G2G Racing has two full motion simulators with plans to add two more in their store location in the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.

G2G Racing has F1 2012, Grid, and iRacing as the three race options that users can choose from. Drivers can go around the track solo, or they can race against a friend.

"We currently have 2 full motion simulators and we have two more coming," said Mary McGrath, co-owner of G2G Racing. "We can set up a solo run, or we can set two people up to race against one another. One of our plans over the winter is to start up a simulated racing series once our other two simulators arrive. We have three games that we can offer, and the thing we have to keep reminding everyone is that is a simulation and not a video game."

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Stacey Botticello Making Return to Dare Stock Division at Stafford Motor Speedway for 2013 Season

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag comes out for the 2013 DARE Stock season at Stafford, there will be a very familiar face in the starting field. Manchester native Stacey Botticello will return to the DARE Stock division, where she raced from 1996 through 2006. Botticello was the first female feature winner in Stafford Motor Speedway history when she won her first race in 1999. After her first win, she won 9 more times and she was the winningest driver in DARE Stock history until Norm Sears tied her mark in 2008. Don Wood and Kyle Casagrande have since surpassed Botticello on the all-time win list, but she is eager to get back to the track and continue her winning ways.

"I'm very excited about coming back, I can't wait to get back out there," said Botticello. "I've always loved the DARE Stock division. I drove a Limited Late Model for a few races in 2008, but there's just something about driving a DARE Stock car that when you hit the setup just right, you can really fly around the track. I know a lot of people look at the DARE division as a beginner division, but I've always had a blast racing in the DARE Stocks. I know we won't get there this season, but I would love to have that win record back one day."

With Botticello looking to get right back to her winning ways upon her return to the DARE Stock division, she has the perfect opportunity to do just that. Botticello has acquired the former #7 DARE Stock that was driven by Kyle Casagrande, a car that has won 11 races in the past two seasons.

Continue reading ‘Stacey Botticello Making Return to Dare Stock Division at Stafford Motor Speedway for 2013 Season’

Reigning VMRS Modified Champion Jon McKennedy is Late Dunkin’ Donuts Center TQ Midget Entry

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR INDOOR RACING SERIES PRESENTED BY PRECISE RACING

PROVIDENCE, RI — Jon McKennedy, the reigning Valenti Modified Racing Series champion and past ISMA Supermodified king, is the latest entry for the Indoor TQ Midget races at Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. R.I. on December 31.

The 25 year old Chelmsford, Mass., competitor will be driving one of the potent cars owned and prepared by Lou Cicconi, Jr. Cicconi built and maintained cars have won have won three of the seven Indoor races run in Dunkin’ Donuts Center including the last two main events. Talented McKennedy has won three of the last four VMRS Modified circuit championships, an unprecedented achievement.
McKennedy is one of nearly four dozen TQ Midget drivers who will compete for the coveted Dunkin’ Donuts Center ‘Coffee Cup’ trophy and the lion’s share of the payoff.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Touring Series drivers head the all star list, including 2012 championship runner-up Ryan Preece, Berlin, Ct., talented Rowan Pennink, New Egypt, N.J.; past champion Ted Christopher, Plainville, Ct. and past Rookie Of The Year Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y. Other standout asphalt Modified drivers entered the Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Racing Series event is NASCAR Modified SK Modified racer Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass.; versatile Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y.; and Wall (NJ) Stadium track Modified champion Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J.

Continue reading ‘Reigning VMRS Modified Champion Jon McKennedy is Late Dunkin’ Donuts Center TQ Midget Entry’

Year In Review: Whelen Modified Tour

Another First-Time Champ, Plenty Of Exciting Finishes

The 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship was once again decided in the closing laps of the season as Doug Coby held off Ryan Preece and Ron Silk in the season finale, but there was plenty of action throughout the season.

Let’s take one final look back at some of the top stories of the 2012 campaign, the 28th in Whelen Modified Tour history.

Coby another first-timer: For the fifth time in the last six years, the Whelen Modified Tour crowned a first-time champion. Doug Coby became the 16th different driver to hoist the tour trophy with his breakthrough performance this season. With just two wins and a best points finish of fifth in nine previous seasons, Coby exploded for five victories en route to the 2012 title. A streak of seven-consecutive podium finishes – including four wins – during the first half of the season set Wayne Darling’s No. 52 team on course for the championship and Coby closed the deal for the team’s first crown with a strong performance down the stretch.

Continue reading ‘Year In Review: Whelen Modified Tour’

Tentative 2013 NEMA Lites Schedule Released

Tentative 2013 NEMA Lites Schedule
Date, Track
Sat., April 6 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Fri., May 31 Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH
Sat., June 29 Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
Fri., July 12 Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH
Fri., Aug. 9 Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH
Sat., Aug. 10 Riverside Speedway, Groveton, NH
Sat., Aug. 17 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat., Sept. 14 Oswego Speedway, Oswego, NY
Sat., Oct. 5 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat-Sun., Oct. 12-13 Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH

NEMA is in discussion with promoters at several other tracks for additional races.

Continue reading ‘Tentative 2013 NEMA Lites Schedule Released’

Tentative 2013 NEMA Schedule Released

Tentative 2013 NEMA Schedule
Date, Track
Sat.-Sun., April 6-7 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat., June 29 Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT
Fri., July 12 Lee USA Speedway, Lee, NH
Wed., July 17 Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, MA
Sat., July 27 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat., Aug. 10 Riverside Speedway, Groveton, NH
Sat., Aug. 17 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat., Sep. 14 Oswego Speedway, Oswego, NY
Sat.-Sun., Oct. 5-6 Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, CT
Sat.-Sun., Oct. 19-20 Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, CT

NEMA is in discussion with promoters at several other tracks for additional races.

Continue reading ‘Tentative 2013 NEMA Schedule Released’

Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik Passes at 69

Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik

Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik, 69, of Enfield, beloved widow of Robert S. Stefanik, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at her home.

A daughter of the late Dominick and Angelina (Tamaro) Cimino, she was born Aug. 24, 1943, on the family farm. Barbara was a lifetime resident of the community and a communicant of St. Patrick Church. She was employed by The Viking Co. before retiring several years ago.

Barbara is survived by her son, Robert "Rob" Stefanik of Melrose, Mass.; a daughter, Cynthia Naavaro Carmickle of Tampa, Fla.; her siblings, Joseph Cimino, Eleanor Maniscalchi, Adeline Cusimano, and Rosemarie Olschafskie all of Enfield; sister-in-law, Mildred Cimino; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a brother, John Cimino. She will be greatly missed by Rob's pet dog, Big Ed.

Continue reading ‘Barbara (Cimino) Stefanik Passes at 69′

Management Changes Made at Thompson

THOMPSON, CT — After 21 years of exemplary service, Ben Dodge Jr has left the Thompson International Speedway. Track management confirmed today that Dodge, a long-time leader in race track innovation, first worked at Thompson in the 1970s and returned in the late 1990s after nearly thirty years of running Riverside Park Speedway. During his tenure, Dodge led the track in a new direction and is credited with much of the success of the historic speedway during the last decade.

Dodge worked as a Special Advisor to track owner, Don Hoenig. In making today’s announcement, Hoenig said, “I personally want to thank Ben for his many years of dedicated service and for all of the positive contributions he made to this track. Ben and I have had a great working relationship for well over 30 years and I know that he will be missed by our staff, sponsors, competitors and the entire racing fraternity. I want to wish only the best for Ben in his future endeavors,” Hoenig concluded.

Jonathan Hoenig who is leading the next generation management at Thompson said.”We are looking to enhance and expand the facilities and over all motorsports operations here at Thompson Speedway. With these programs, we are all looking forward to many new changes, advancements in the operations and product offerings to the motorsports community.

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Proctor Repeats 2 Titles In Vermont

Devil’s Bowl Champ Hasn’t Missed A Lap Since Joining NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Ron Proctor raced twice as much this year than last. The competition is closing the gap. He still stands at the top of his career in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Proctor, 58, of Charlton, N.Y., won his second straight NASCAR track and Vermont state championships at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., this year.

Good weather allowed Proctor to make 18 starts at the half-mile paved oval, doubling the nine starts he made in 2011. His overall 2012 racing record includes three wins, 12 top fives and 18 top 10s. Over the past two seasons, Proctor finished every lap of every Devil’s Bowl feature and finished no lower than seventh place.

“We attack our racing program the same way every year,” Proctor said. “Preparation in the shop lets the driver compete for wins at the track.”

Continue reading ‘Proctor Repeats 2 Titles In Vermont’

R.J. Surdell Ready to Go From Pits to the Track in 2013 at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s Limited Late Model division has added its newest member of the 2013 driver roster with Manchester native R.J. Surdell. Surdell has worked for the past 10 years in Stafford’s paddock area and he is now ready to move from the pits onto the racetrack. Surdell has teamed up with Joey Ferrigno to campaign Ferrigno’s former #87 Limited Late Model car with some updates.

“I got into racing with Jeff Malave, and I first met Joey 8 years ago at Stafford,” said Surdell. “Joey had a car that was just sitting around, so we worked out a deal where we’re both part owners in the car. I’m working with Rob Russell right now on putting the car together and updating it. There’s been a few rule changes for the Limited Late Model division since Joey last had the car on the track, so we’re changing some things over and the car needed a new front clip. We’re still looking for an engine and transmission, but our hope is to be on the track for the Spring Sizzler.”

Surdell’s 2013 season is going to be an abbreviated season in preparation for a full effort in 2014 that will see him run for SPAFCO Rookie of the Year honors. But Surdell says that if his team can find sponsorship, that they will run the entire 2013 season.

Continue reading ‘R.J. Surdell Ready to Go From Pits to the Track in 2013 at Stafford Speedway’

David Comeau Ready to Fulfill Racing Dream By Joining DARE Stock Class at Stafford Speedway in 2013

Stafford Springs, CT — For Palmer, MA native David Comeau, the urge to race in stock car competition has been a lifelong dream. Comeau was unable to fulfill that dream due to his travel commitments for work. But that has all changed for the 2013 season and Comeau will finally be able to realize his dream as he will join the DARE Stock ranks at Stafford Motor Speedway for the 2013 season.

“I work in water treatment and I travel a lot for my job,” said Comeau. “2013 will be the first time in 11 years that I’m local for work and Stafford is close to home for me. I have a couple of friends that race at Stafford and I’ve raced with Ernie from Josh Wood’s crew and I first got the itch to go racing from going to the track with Ernie. I’ve been saving my money and doing a lot of research on cars that were available. I wanted to race in an entry level division so that’s why I chose the DARE Stock division at Stafford.”

When Comeau takes to the track for the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler this coming April, he will be a rookie in almost every sense of the word.

Continue reading ‘David Comeau Ready to Fulfill Racing Dream By Joining DARE Stock Class at Stafford Speedway in 2013′

NEMA Tidbits

Milestones in 2012: Jim Miller

Brockton, MA – When Jim Miller won at Oswego Speedway this summer, he not only joined a list of Northeastern Midget Association competitors to win in three different decades, he ended one of the longest waits between victories in club history.

Prior to Oswego, Miller’s previous victory came at Oxford Plains Speedway on Aug. 18, 2001 – six days short of 11 years. The longest time between victories belongs to Greg Stoehr – 13 years (1994-2007) although in all fairness Stoehr spent much of those years voluntarily inactive. Keith Botelho waited a dozen years between a 1998 win at Seekonk and a checkered at Seekonk in 2010. Infrequent NEMA competitor Lou Ciccioni Jr. also waited 11 years between wins at Flemington in 1996 and at Waterford in 2007.

Over sixty years, NEMA has operated in seven decades. Russ Stoehr is by himself in the “four-decade” category.

Despite those long waits, Cicconi and Greg Stoehr join Miller in the “three decade club.” Howie Bumpus, Joey and Johnny Coy, Bill Eldridge, Ronnie Evans, Drew and Nokie Fornoro, Jeff Horn, Dave Humphrey, Bobby Seymour, Lee Smith and Len Thrall are other three decade winners.

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Monster Trucker Scott Allen Looking Forward to Joining Stafford Speedway SK Light Rookie Class in 2013

Stafford Springs, CT — For Springfield, MA native Scott Allen, the road he is taking to Stafford’s SK Light Modified division for the 2013 season is a unique path. Allen has worked for years in the pits as a crew member for various teams at both Stafford and Thompson, but his driving background differs greatly from that of most rookie competitors. Allen has some background in Late Model racing, and has even driven in several World of Outlaws Sprint Car events, but for the past 10 years, Allen has spent the majority of his racing time behind the wheel of USHRA Monster Trucks.

“I grew up at Stafford and Thompson working on cars, mostly with Tom Fearn’s Late Model team at Stafford,” said Allen. “I’ve worked with the Pasteryak’s on their modifieds and with Peyton Sellers on his K&N Pro East Series team, and I’ve raced monster Trucks for the past 10 years. I’ve driven Mardi Gras Monster, Gina Lynn, Monster Mutt, which was the most famous truck I’ve driven, and now I’m driving Monster Mayhem, which is owned by Steven Baron. This year will be a limited schedule with the truck since the focus will be on the SK Light.”

Allen will have one of the more noticeable cars on track during the 2013 season, with sponsorship from Rockstar Energy Drink, a relationship that dates back to Allen’s Monster Truck days.

Continue reading ‘Monster Trucker Scott Allen Looking Forward to Joining Stafford Speedway SK Light Rookie Class in 2013′

New England Truck Series Crowns New 2012 Truck Champion

Danielson CT–The New England Truck Series held its first ever awards banquet this past Saturday night as they honored there 2012 champion and runner-ups at the Imperial Room in Danielson Connecticut.

The evening started out with a buffet dinner and desert that was enjoyed by all. Once dinner was completed, it was time to start the award presentations. Banquet host Harold Burdick opened the award ceremony by asking for a moment of silence in remembrance of the 27 people killed tragically at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook Ct. Series president Lorraine Pard then spoke to the crowd, thanking them for their continued support as well as announcing that the 2013 schedule would be out soon. Race director Mark Woodcock also spoke to the gathering thanking them for a great 2012 season.

The series officials were then recognized and given thank you plaques for their hard work. Race Director – Mark Woodcock, Official/Assistant Tech – Chris Austil, Official – Ann Marie Pard, Official – Michelle Pard, Administrated Assistant – Doris Frizzell, Chief Stewart – James Warner and Head of Tech – Todd Stiles.

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3-Time NASCAR Champion Exploring Options for 2013 Season

Three-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion George Brunnhoelzl III regrets to announce his split from Ideal Racing and is currently exploring and entertaining options for the 2013 race season. George has been driving for Ideal Racing and Howard Harvey since the 2011 season and has been very successful with the team. However, Howard Harvey’s plans to retire following the 2012 season have lead to a change for Brunnhoelzl and a mutual decision by both parties to go their separate ways.

“My time with Ideal Racing has been great. I have enjoyed the relationships that were fostered with Howard and the Harvey family and wish them luck with their future endeavors, both in and out of racing. At this time, with Howard’s retirement, it was mutually decided that Ideal Racing was no longer the right path for my career,” said Brunnhoelzl.

Brunnhoelzl has a guaranteed starting spot in the Inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach in Daytona in February 2013. On his way to securing his spot in the Battle of the Beach and his third Championship title in 4 years, Brunnhoelzl has amassed a loyal following of fans and some impressive stats. Some of those stats are Tour leading: 17 wins, 17 poles, 39 top 5s, and 53 top 10s. Along with those statistics, George also has the most laps lead, most wins, and is the only 3-time champion of the NWSMT. Those stats come from only 5 full seasons in the Tour.

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NASCAR Makes Revisions To Its Competition Personnel Structure

Moves Designed To Strengthen Overall Scope of NASCAR’s Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In an effort to strengthen and grow its racing series for 2013 and beyond, NASCAR announced Tuesday several revisions to its Competition personnel structure. The following changes will take effect in 2013:

• Joe Balash, who has served as the NASCAR Nationwide Series director since 2004, will be assuming a new role as International Competition Liaison. This position will be the NASCAR point of contact for competition-related matters relative to the NASCAR Toyota (Mexico) Series, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, the Euro Racecar, NASCAR Touring Series and other international competitions and series in which NASCAR may be involved and/or considering involvement. Balash now will report to Richard Buck, who has been promoted to managing director, Competition GRAND-AM and managing director, Touring Series NASCAR.

• Wayne Auton, who has served as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director since 1995, will assume the role of NASCAR Nationwide Series director. Auton will continue to report to John Darby, managing director, competition and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director.

• Chad Little, currently NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series director and director of Racing Development, Mexico, will serve in the role of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director. Little also will report to Darby.

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Thompson Honors Track Champions In Two-Night Extravaganza

Thompson, Conn — Thompson International Speedway celebrated the 2012 season this weekend with two ceremonies honoring seven division champions in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn. took center stage and was honored as the Sunoco Modified Champion on Saturday night while Late Model Champion Tommy O'Sullivan of Wilbraham, Mass. took top honors on Friday night.

Other champions honored Friday night included Limited Sportsman Champion Scott Sundeen of Douglas, Mass. and Mini Stock Champion Chad Baxter of Pascoag, RI. On Saturday night, Super Late Model Champion Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, Mass., Lite Modified Champion Cam McDermott of Scituate, RI, and Thompson Modified Champion John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. of Milford, Mass joined in celebrating their division titles.

Preece led a talented pool of drivers in one of the most competitive divisions in New England racing to win the Sunoco Modified championship. Preece's season included an astonishing 10 victories, a record that is only matched by Ted Christopher in 2010, and he finished in the top-five in all 19 starts. The effort was headed by car owners Al and Cathy Moniz of North Falmouth, Mass. Preece accomplished the championship while running weekly at two other tracks and full-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Preece bested runner-up Kerry Malone for championship honors with Dennis Perry, Ted Christopher, and Woody Pitkat rounding out the top-five in points.

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Peter Portante Wins the 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout

Peter Portante Wins the 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout Wins a MAZDASPEED USF2000 Scholarship, $20,000 from California Scents and IndyLights Test

Braselton, Ga. — Skip Barber Racing School continues to develop the next generation of professional racers through this outstanding opportunity for aspiring formula racers. The champion of the 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout is Peter Portante. Portante edged runner-up Jake Eidson by .25 points. Only 3.3 points separated the top-4 finishers.

"This is just an unbelievable weekend, good drivers, so many close races," said Portante, who now has his sights set firmly on the 2013 USF2000 season. "First and second were separated by four points. Top top four were all between four points. So it's an unbelievable weekend. It's just a testament to what Skip Barber can do to young drivers." The Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout is an event that rewards drivers from the Skip Barber Winter and Summer Race Series the opportunity to compete for more than $300,000 in racing scholarships. The top racers from the 2011-2012 Winter and Summer Race Series competed in the grueling three day process where they were evaluated on their overall performance in 5 race events, media evaluation, fitness test and a business proposal.

Portante will receive a scholarship from Mazda toward the 2013 USF2000 race season, an IndyLights Test with Bryan Herta Autosport, and a $20,000 cash prize from California Scents. The second through fifth place finshers will receive scholarships to compete in 2013 Skip Barber Race Series events. This year's Championship Shootout took place December 14 – December 16, 2012 at Road Atlanta. This event is the pinnacle of the Skip Barber Racing School Scholarship Ladder, rewarding young racers who are dedicated to their craft and successfully work their way through the proven Skip Barber system. No other developmental race series offers as much expert coaching both on and off the track, media exposure, scholarship opportunities and vital track time.

Continue reading ‘Peter Portante Wins the 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Championship Shootout’

Aggressive Schedule Nets Helliwell Third Title

Two Tracks, Different Divisions Result In New Hampshire Crown

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —Wayne Helliwell Jr. and his two race teams pursued an aggressive 2012 race schedule in New Hampshire. They competed at two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks with different top divisions.

Helliwell captured his third consecutive NASCAR state championship and first track championship at Canaan (N.H.) Fair Speedway out of the Late Model division. Although he placed second in the small block Supermodified point race at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway, the result of the two-track campaign elevated his position in the series national standings to 14th from 153rd in 2011. Helliwell’s overall racing record for the season included 16 wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s in 31 starts.

At Canaan, Helliwell was dominant with 13 wins in 17 starts. Tommy Tombarello Jr. won the Lee championship by 25 points over Helliwell. Tombarello, who also won the track title in 2010, recorded three wins, 12 top fives and 14 top 10s. Helliwell’s Lee record was three wins, 10 top fives and 13 top 10s.

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2-Time Wild Thing Kart Senior Outlaw Champion Frank L’Etoile, Jr. Moving to Stafford’s DARE Stock Division for 2013

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag is displayed to kick off the 2013 DARE Stock season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Wethersfield native Frank L’Etoile, Jr. will realize a vision that has been three years in the making. L’Etoile is a veteran of the Wild Thing Kart ranks, winning the Senior Outlaw championship in 2008 and 2009. L’Etoile finished second in the 2012 Senior Outlaw points standings as well as making his DARE Stock debut at the CARQUEST Fall Final in preparation for his first full season of DARE Stock competition in 2013.

“Joey Ferrigno had an old Monte Carlo laying around, so we got the car from him and my Dad and me spent 3 years going through the car putting a DARE Stock together,” said L’Etoile. “We did everything ourselves, we built the motor and the rear end, and we’ve had a lot of parts that were pitched in by other guys. The Casagrande’s have helped us a lot and Gil Grismale from GRP Services helped me build the engine and we had help from Dave Miller from Auto Machine in East Windsor with the engine. I’m trying to learn everything I can along the way. If you know how something works, then you can easily fix it if it breaks.”

L’Etoile debuted his #33 sponsored by Zeke’s Pump Service in the 2012 CARQUEST Fall Final and he finished 14th after starting 20th. L’Etoile learned a lot in his first race and he says that a brake issue prevented them from getting a top-10 finish in that race.

Continue reading ’2-Time Wild Thing Kart Senior Outlaw Champion Frank L’Etoile, Jr. Moving to Stafford’s DARE Stock Division for 2013′

Allison Coelho Ready to Join Her Father Gus in DARE Stock Competition at Stafford Speedway in 2013

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2013 DARE Stock season will see the addition of a father/daughter combination as 15-year old Allison Coelho will join her father Gus on the track. Allison Coelho moves into the DARE Stock division with an extensive background to her credit. Coelho began her racing career at the age of 9 in the Wild Thing Karts, and she progressed to the Young Guns 4-cylinder division at Monadnock. After recording several podium finishes this past season, Coelho is ready to make the move into the DARE Stock division and join her father on the track.

“I’m really excited about racing with my Dad, it should be a lot of fun,” said Coelho. “I’ve been racing since I was 9 and I have a couple of wins in the Wild Thing Karts. Right now, we’re putting a new body on the car and working on the motor. I’ve raced against Austin Bessette and Alex Fearn in the Wild Thing Karts, so that will give me some extra confidence this year, but I know it’s going to be a learning experience for me as well.”

While Allison is excited to be racing at Stafford this season, her father Gus is just as excited to be racing against his daughter as well as the rest of the DARE Stock field. But there is one member of the Coelho family who isn’t all that excited about the new team combination.

Continue reading ‘Allison Coelho Ready to Join Her Father Gus in DARE Stock Competition at Stafford Speedway in 2013′

Jason Lafayette Moving from N.E. Truck Series To Stafford’s SK Light Modified Division for 2013 Season

Stafford Springs, CT — After finishing second in the 2012 New England Truck Series points standings, Somers native Jason Lafayette is ready to make the transition into Stafford Speedway’s SK Light Modified division for the 2013 season. Lafayette began his racing career at Riverside Park Speedway in the Mini Stock division before moving up to the Strictly Stock ranks, where he was the 1998 Rookie of the Year. After a Late Model effort at Stafford in 2000 didn’t quite pan out, Lafayette took some time away from racing before buying a truck in 2010 and racing in the N.E. Truck Series for the past two seasons.

“We tried a Late Model at Stafford in 2000, and is just wasn’t a good mix for us,” said Lafayette. “Growing up in the area, I’ve always wanted to race a modified and I love coming to Stafford. The track is literally 10 minutes down the road from me and I’m looking forward to racing at Stafford this coming season.”

As cars go, Lafayette and his #7 Connecticut Hometown Realty team have a good foundation to start with. The car that Lafayette will drive this season was formerly the #29 that was driven by Chris Matthews and then it was the #89 that was driven by Cody Gneiting in 2011. The car won 17 races and the 2007 SK Light championship with Matthews behind the wheel, and it helped Gneiting win Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. Lafayette began his preparation for the 2013 season with an appearance at the 2012 Fall Final, where he started at the back of the pack in 23rd and worked his way through the field to finish in 7th.

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Langley Repaving Project Underway

Continuous Improvements Keep Historic Virginia Track A Leader

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — One of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series’ most historic tracks is undergoing an ambitious renovation.

Langley Speedway, a .396-mile paved oval in Hampton, Va., is undergoing a complete repaving this offseason. The worn surface and nuanced configuration have long made the speedway an equalizer among drivers. The surface will be new in 2013, but the track’s configuration will remain the same.

The old surface – only about 15 years old – had more issues than just routine wear and tear. Cracks developed that allowed water under the surface into the base in the turns and as the base deteriorated the asphalt surface cracked into chunks.

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Rocco Overcomes Adversity For Top Finish

2010 National Champion Finishes Among Leaders Despite Injury

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In the 31-year history of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series only two drivers — five-time series champion Larry Phillips and four-time series champion Philip Morris — have been more consistently successful in national ranking than Keith Rocco.

Rocco, 27, of Wallingford, Conn., the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, finished second to Lee Pulliam in the 2012 national point race. It marked the fourth consecutive year Rocco placed first or second in national standings. Since the current series format was introduced in 2007, Rocco stands alone in never finishing outside the top four in national ranking.

Even during a season that included some adversity, Rocco had staying power to contend for the national championship.

“The goals are to run as many races as we can and win as many races as we can every week,” Rocco said. “Every year now we’ve always been around the national point leaders at the end of the season.”

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Former Midget Car Owner Tony Yacovone Passes at 93

Tony Yacovone was a midget car owner with ARDC and NEMA spanning the 1940s through the 1960s, winning at Candlelite, Plainville and Stafford. His drivers included NEAR Hall of Famer Sparky Belmont, Buddy Chase, Bill Dils, and NEMA champion Bill Eldridge.

Anthony J. Yacovone

Anthony J. Yacovone 1919 – 2012

EAST LONGMEADOW – Anthony "Tony" Joseph Yacovone, 93, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on December 8, 2012. Born in Springfield, he was the son of the late Enrico and Rachel (Carosella) Yacovone. Tony proudly served as a Motor Machinist's Mate, First Class in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the European and Pacific Theaters. He also took part in the Normandy Invasion. In 1956-1964 he was the owner/operator of Yacovone Auto Body. After which he worked for Springfield Lincoln until he retired in 1977. He was a member of the Springfield American Legion and a communicant of St. Paul's Church in Springfield.

Tony loved building midget race cars and was involved in racing all over the North East. He also was an avid golfer and a fan of the New York Giants. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his 2 children, Juliana Arietta and her husband, Ralph of South Salem, NY and Paul L. Yacovone and his wife, Nancy of Springfield; 4 grandchildren, Susan and Paula Arietta, Paul Yacovone and his wife, Lindsay and Dianne Yacovone; a great grand-daughter, Eleanor Yacovone Wilson; a sister, Philomena James of Agawam; a brother-in-law, Ralph Laino and his wife, Joyce of Lakeland, FL. Tony's funeral Mass will be held on Friday, December 14th at 11AM in St. Paul's Church, 235 Dwight Rd., Springfield. A committal service with military honors will follow in St. Michael's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to , P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. Arrangements are entrusted to Hafey Funeral Service. www.hafeyfuneralservice.com.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Talents Preece, Pennink Ready for Indoor Three Quarter Midget Race New Years Eve in Providence

  

PROVIDENCE, RI — A pair of NASCAR Modified driving stars who have made their marks in New England racing circles are among the entries for the December 31 ‘Coffee Cup;’ Indoor auto racing program set for Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Ryan Preece, a five time career winner on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and runner-up in the 2012 Series point standings, will be a first time entry indoors. Preece, 22, of Berlin, Ct., who also won the 2012 Thompson, Ct. Speedway Modified track championship, has made a deal with Lou Cicconi to drive his famed No. 75 that he competed in just this past weekend in Baltimore, MD. It’s the same TQ that won both races held in Providence in March.

The top prize to the race winner is the coveted Dunkin’ Donuts Center ‘Coffee Cup’ trophy and the lion’s share of the payoff. The recent experience of Rowan Pennink, New Egypt, N.J., Modified standout, in the December 8 TQ Indoor race in Baltimore, Md., should prove encouraging to Preece – and Pennink.
Pennink, 27, had never driven a TQ midget and never raced indoors. Yet the Modified talent won his heat race and was contending for the victory before tangling with the leaders.

The Dunkin’ Donuts Center Coffee Cup race is second of three events that make up the Fatheadz Eyewear Indoor Racing Series. The Indoor auto racing events are produced by Len Sammons Motorsports Productions. A two-race weekend finale is scheduled for February 1-2, 2013 in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

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Nelcar Announces 2013 Schedule

The 2013 Nelcar schedule has been released. The 20th season for the popular North East Legends Tour consists of a 27 race schedule across six race tracks, as once again the Nelcar Tour holds one of the most diverse schedules in the area. Once again, all races will hold INEX sanctioning and count towards the US Legends Cars national point standings.

The highlights of the new schedule include a larger presence with the Pro All Stars Series, as the Tour will be running companion events five times over the course of the season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and Oxford Plains Speedway. Included in that is the Tour running on one of the biggest stages in all of short track racing, the Oxford 250 weekend on July 20-21. Also included are the season opener and finales for the PASS North Tour.

The schedule however, will start up with the re-opening of Wiscasset Raceway, which was purchased last season by Richard Jordan as he looks to bring the track back to life. The Tour was always a mainstay at the facility and will race at the high banked 3/8th mile four times during the 2013 season.

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