Archive for the 'NASCAR WMT' Category

4th Annual Champions for Charities Race Returns to Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s Champions for Charities race will return for a 4th consecutive season on Friday, June 27th. The event has collectively raised over $150,000 throughout the past 3 seasons for numerous charities. This year’s 15-lap feature will have a total of 11 open-wheeled championship drivers competing to raise money for the charity of their choice in Wild Thing Senior Outlaw Karts.

Each driver will be competing on and off the track in attempts to raise the most money for their charity. The driver who raises the highest amount will start on the pole, and the rest of the lineup will fall in descending order according to the total drivers have raised for their charity. Over the past 3 years, drivers have utilized different fund raising opportunities that have included an annual golf tournament, bowling events, track walk, auction items, and other challenges to increase their bottom line and give them a better starting position for the 15-lap feature event.

Last year’s pole sitter, David Arute, raised an impressive total of $7,205 for the Lustgarten Foundation while last year’s feature winner, Richie Pallai, Jr., started 6th after raising a total of $4,246 for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. These drivers will be returning for the popular race event and to bring awareness to their respective charities.

Continue reading ’4th Annual Champions for Charities Race Returns to Stafford’

New England Modified Legend Billy Greco to Serve as Grand Marshal of 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that New England modified racing legend Billy Greco will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Greco began his career in the early 1950′s driving the #44 for Sharkey Gaudiosi and he made a name for himself by teaming up with his brother George and racing the #43. Greco recorded over 300 feature wins in his career with wins at West Haven, Riverside, Plainville Stadium, Rhinebeck, Lonsdale, Menands, Stafford, Waterford, Freeport, Eastern States, Islip, and the Pine Bowl. Greco claimed track championships at West Haven, Riverside, and Albany Saratoga.

“I had good times and bad times, but it was mostly good times as far as racing went,” said Greco. “My big track was Riverside. I did a lot of racing at Stafford too but I couldn’t keep up with guys like Troyer, Bodine, and Bugsy because I didn’t have the money and the equipment that they did. I wish I had been able to do a little better at Stafford than I did. It’s a great honor for me to be the Grand Marshal of the Spring Sizzler, I’ve never been asked to do something like this before. I’ll certainly treasure the opportunity.”

With all of Greco’s racing accomplishments, he is perhaps most known for his exploits at Riverside Park Speedway, which include 7 Riverside 500 Team Race victories. Greco teamed with names like Bob Stefanik, Danny Galullo, and Jocco Maggiacamo for his 500 team wins, but he says his victory with Maggiacamo was one of his favorites.

Continue reading ‘New England Modified Legend Billy Greco to Serve as Grand Marshal of 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler’

NASCAR, FOX Sports Announce TV Schedule

K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tours Set For FOX Sports 1

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced today the broadcast schedule for the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours Championship events on FOX Sports 1.

The schedule includes 28 events for NASCAR’s touring series including previously aired races from Bristol Motor Speedway, Greenville Pickens Speedway, and Irwindale Speedway.

“The NASCAR K&N Pro Series features the next generation of top-level NASCAR stars competing alongside accomplished veterans and FOX Sports’ coverage of the series provides a great platform to showcase these drivers,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “The select NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events are always exciting shows and shouldn’t be missed.”
Continue reading ‘NASCAR, FOX Sports Announce TV Schedule’

Justin Bonsignore Looking to Continue 2014 Winning Ways in NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Fresh off of his win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opening race, Justin Bonsignore heads to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler with a ton of momentum on his side. In the season opener at Thompson, Bonsignore and his #51 M3 Technology team qualified second and ran in the top-3 for the entire race before Bonsignore made the winning pass around Woody Pitkat with 9 laps to go.

“That win was huge for our team,” said Bonsignore. “Any time you can start the season off with a real good finish it just gets everything started off on the right foot and to be able to do that with a win is that much better. We’re looking forward to Stafford, we had a real good run there last year in the Sizzler and it would be nice to continue the streak we’ve been on lately and get another win.”

Over the winter, Bonsignore and the #51 M3 Technology team made several changes. They acquired a SPAFCO chassis, a NASCAR Spec Engine, and they have a new crew chief in Billy Michael. The new combination got off to a slow start in Daytona with mechanical issues relegating them to a 18th place finish, but that all got turned around in the season opening event and Bonsignore’s win has him looking forward to the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford.

Continue reading ‘Justin Bonsignore Looking to Continue 2014 Winning Ways in NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway’

Jimmy Zacharias to Pilot “Ole Blue” #3 at NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, there will be a familiar car in the lineup with a new driver behind the wheel. Jimmy Zacharias, the Candor, NY native and 3-time Chemung Speedrome Modified Track Champion, will take over the driving duties of one of the most famous modified cars in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring”. The #3 “Ole Blue” owned by the Boehler family, will have Zacharias as the newest driver to handle the reins of the famous ride.

“I’m pretty excited to be able to drive a famous car that’s had so much success in previous years in modified racing,” said Zacharias. “My dad had called them and they were talking about Thompson and we were going to use their number 3 for points. They got to talking a bit and we put a deal together for me to get behind the wheel of the car.”

The Boehler “Ole Blue” #3 has been to victory lane at the Spring Sizzler in 1972 with Fred DeSarro and then again in 2004 with Jerry Marquis behind the wheel. Zacharias is relatively new to both the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Stafford, but he is hopeful that he will have a solid run in the #3 Cape Cod Copper machine.

Continue reading ‘Jimmy Zacharias to Pilot “Ole Blue” #3 at NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler’

Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition

High Expectations for Icebreaker Winner

Change is good for Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY, who began the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in victory lane. The Icebreaker was his second victory at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Ken Massa’s M3 Technology team. Bonsignore led three times for 14 laps, including the final eight circuits. He bested Coors Light Pole Award winner Woody Pitkat and former champion Doug Coby for the victory. Long Islanders Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale rounded out the top five.

“That was wild,” Bonsignore said. “I hope everybody enjoyed it. If they didn’t enjoy that I don’t know what they’re going to post on Facebook but great car. Oh my God. I was hoping I wasn’t going to be the guy to mess it up the last 25 laps. I knew I had a little bit better car.”

“He’s (Pitkat) going to win his fair share of them,” Bonsignore said. “Hopefully we go back and forth this year … He had a great car. I knew he was going to be the guy we had to beat. They tested here last week. Everybody said they were real quick. They showed it all weekend that they were real quick. They were a tick off on their pit stop and we were just a tick better and that’s all it took. The competition is so close you guys can see it. Just drove my butt off and was able to get it done.”

Continue reading ‘Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition’

Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler

One of the most successful cars in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour history will return for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Rookie Jimmy Zacharias of Candor, NY will pilot the Boehler Racing Enterprises (BRE) #3 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 26-27.

“ My dad and Michael (Boehler) just started talking and put the deal together,” Zacharias said. “… Hopefully all goes well and we can continue out the season on the tour and run for Rookie of the Year. I’ll also be at Chemung Speedrome on Friday nights defending my NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified championship.”

Zacharias will be driving for one of the most storied team’s in local Modified racing. The Boehler family has fielded a race car since 1957. Bugs Stevens became the first driver to win three consecutive national Modified championships in Lenny Boehler’s Ole Blue. Wayne Anderson captured the 1994 crown, while Tony Hirschman, Jr. captured back to back championships in 1995 and 1996. The inaugural Spring Sizzler was won by the late Fred DeSarro in 1972.

“It’s awesome ,” Zacharias said. “I’m so thankful that they allowed me an opportunity. The car and team have been around Modified racing for a very long time. And the car has a great deal of success over the years with some great Modified drivers behind the wheel.”

Zacharias is hopeful that his sponsors will provide financial support to the BRE team. The BRE crew will work on the car, with possibly some of Zacharias’ crew members assisting. 

Continue reading ‘Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler’

Racing Community Rallies for Tyler

The local racing season began this weekend, but Sunday was an important day beyond competition. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park hosted a special guest for Fan Appreciation Day. Tyler Seddon, a seven-year-old racing fan battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, attended the driver’s meeting as a guest of General Manager Josh Vanada. The Fan Appreciation Party was dedicated to him and teams put a special decal on their cars.

A crew member with Jeff Malave for many years, Dan Grenier of Pascoag, RI created Tyler’s Racing Troops in the wake of a good deed. Tyler received national attention last month when over 1,000 emergency personnel responded to a birthday request by visiting him in Burrillville, RI.

“I am very ignorant when it comes to my community,” Grenier said. “I do not watch television. I do not read the papers. One day I just happened to hear about Tyler. … I read his story, what firefighters, police (officers), and EMTs did for him across the country on his birthday. It opened up my eyes to my community. I only live five houses away from Tyler and I never knew about (it). His story broke my heart. I wanted to help out. That’s why I communicated with the staff members at Thompson and ask(ed) them if we could do something for Tyler at the Icebreaker. By then, (I) started Tyler’s Racing Troops, invited all my friends to join the page and show Tyler support. My slogan for the page is building a smile turn by turn track to track.”

Continue reading ‘Racing Community Rallies for Tyler’

Rowan Pennink Seeking First NAPA Spring Sizzler Victory at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — In the 8 NAPA Spring Sizzlers run since 2006, only 4 drivers, Doug Coby, Donny Lia, Ted Christopher, and Doug Coby, have visited victory lane. But one driver who has quietly put in some great Sizzler performances and is on the verge of breaking into that Sizzler winners club is Huntingdon Valley, PA native Rowan Pennink. In only 6 career Sizzler starts, Pennink has accumulated 3 top-5 and 4 top-10 finishes with a career best finish of second in 2011. Coming off a win in the 2013 season ending race, Pennink is feeling good about his chances of putting his #93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet into NAPA Victory Lane.

“I think we’re looking real good,” said Pennink. “We have 2 cars together and we’re working on a third car. I’m excited for the season after we ended last season the way we did. We had some real strong runs in the last couple races and I’m looking to continue on that note and see if we can’t bang out some more good races at the start of the year. Last time at Stafford we had a real strong car but it wasn’t quite as strong as a couple other guys. I think we’ve hit on a couple of things with the car and I hope we can go to Stafford and win. I’ve been real close before and hopefully this will be the year we nail a win down. The Sizzler is one race that everyone wants to win and winning that race would mean a lot to me. I always wanted to win the World Series at Thompson and we got that out of the way last year and I can’t wait to get to Stafford to see what we can do.”

While some drivers made the trip to Florida in February to race at Daytona or New Smyrna, Pennink kept his skills sharp by participating in a pair of Indoor TQ Midget races in Atlantic City and Trenton.

Continue reading ‘Rowan Pennink Seeking First NAPA Spring Sizzler Victory at Stafford Motor Speedway’

NWMT Opener Not Happening for the Powell Race Team


During our February race schedule in New Smyrna and Daytona Florida my dad received devastating news about his sister Kathy. She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma. This is the most aggressive and hardest to fight brain cancer that you can get. Racing took a back seat during February with both of my parents focusing on any and all treatments, and options that they could find for my aunt. Upon returning home our entire family has banded together to help with Kathys at home care and trying desperately to get treatments from around the world sent to her and administered in Canada.

Since my dad is my crew chief , drives the hauler with the race equipment to and from the races, orders parts and together we fix the cars , I totally respect and support his decision to sit out the Thompson Speedway season opener. Kathy is one of my biggest fans. She has traveled all over the country on numerous occasions to support my career. She even flew to Pensacola Florida for the Snowball Durby this year even after she heard that our car arrangement was not working out and after alot of business consideration we pulled the plug on the race. She still came to cheer me up and tell me not to give up ! It is truly my time to take a back seat and support my family. Of course this is not a great way to start the season off especially coming off being the rookie of the year last year, and this may throw us right out of the points race for the year…..but family comes first.

I would like to thank all of the people who have sent positive thoughts to us and also those who have been asking why I am not on the roaster for this weekends race. Also to my crew who have waited patiently through that terrible winter for the race season to start, only to have to wait a little while longer, thanks for your patience.

Continue reading ‘NWMT Opener Not Happening for the Powell Race Team’

Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Thompson

Analyzing The Icebreaker 150 Presented By Town Fair Tire

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 30th season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition is set to take the green flag with the Icebreaker 150 presented by Town Fair Tire on Sunday, April 6 at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the tour and selected drivers at the track:

Thompson Race Setup:
• Mike Stefanik is the defending winner of the Icebreaker 150 presented by Town Fair Tire and has a record 15 triumphs at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

• Ted Christopher holds the record for most Icebreaker victories with four. He is also looking to end the second-longest winless drought of his career.
• Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ryan Preece is still in search of his first Thompson victory. He has finished second four times in 25 career starts.
• The Icebreaker will feature eight past NWMT champions and nine previous Thompson winners.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Thompson’

Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Thompson

Silly Season Brings Sea Of Change To 2014 Opener

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Each offseason brings change on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but when the 2014 campaign begins with this week’s Icebreaker 150 presented by Town Fair Tire, there will be a host of newcomers and familiar faces in different places at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park.

Leading the sea of change are three past champions that are now with different teams than when we last saw them in last year’s Thompson World Series. The headlining transaction saw 2012 champ Doug Coby move to the No. 2 of Mike Smeriglio III Racing while 2008 titlist Ted Christopher has combined his own resources with those of Berkley Racing to return the No. 13 to the tour. Seven-time champ Mike Stefanik has reunitd with car owner Ed Marceau and will pilot a Chevrolet numbered 1 on a part-time basis.

In complementary moves, Matt Hirschman has returned to the tour for the first time since 2011 to replace Coby in the Darling Racing No. 52, and rookie Tommy Barrett Jr. supplanted Stefanik in the Our Racing No. 22. Bryon Chew also stepped out of his family’s No. 88 and tabbed Woody Pitkat to fill the seat for the coming season. Consequently, the Hillbilly Racing No. 79 that Pitkat left will have rookie Spencer Davis behind the wheel for a part-time northern slate while competing full-time with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Thompson’

5 NASCAR WMT Teams Test Ahead of Icebreaker


Five NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams tested at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Friday in advance of the Icebreaker on April 5-6. Defending champion Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat and Rob Fuller.

Preece and Fuller are the only drivers returning with the same teams as last season. Daytona winner Doug Coby is driving the #2 car for Mike Smeriglio Racing. Christopher is driving the #13. Woody Pitkat is driving the #88 car for Buzz Chew.

Sources : Nicholas Teto/

Woody Pitkat Shuffles Four Team Lineup

Two New Modified Rides for Stafford And Tour

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Woody Pitkat begins 2014 with two new teams in his four-team collaboration.

Pitkat, 34, of Stafford, Conn., won his long-sought first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified track championship at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2013. He won the title by just two points over Ryan Preece. Preece, 23, of Berlin, Conn., won the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

This year Pitkat hopes to take his two new teams to their first victories in NASCAR competition.

Pitkat joined the Skowyra family’s Stafford SK Modified team for 2014.

Continue reading ‘Woody Pitkat Shuffles Four Team Lineup’

Woody Pitkat Looking Forward to NAPA Spring Sizzler and New Beginnings With #88 Buzz Chew Team on Whelen Modified Tour

Stafford Springs, CT — As the sun is ready to rise and shine over another NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway, one driver that is looking forward to the race is Woody Pitkat. In the off-season, Pitkat moved from the #79 team to the #88 Buzz Chew Auto team and he will take over the driving duties from Bryon Chew. While the #88 team is based in Old Forge, NY, Pitkat has already been to their shop several times in preparation for the 2014 season and he is excited about what he has seen at the shop.

“I brought a couple of seats up to them around Christmas time and we mounted one seat in the new car and put a seat in one of the old cars,” said Pitkat. “I’ve been back to the shop a couple more times since then. Spot, the crew chief, has been unbelievable and this is the best deal I’ve ever had. I’m so appreciative of what they’ve done for me so far, they’ve given me snowmobiles to ride, we’ve stayed at their house, it’s been pretty cool. It’s been great to get up there and see how they maintain the cars and what they do to prep the cars and try to gel as a team early on. I’ve been so looking forward to the season, I’ve told them to send me a selfie of the racecar because I haven’t seen the complete car yet. We’re supposed to practice at Thompson this weekend and I feel like this is my best opportunity yet on the Tour. They have great equipment, the cars are prepped awesome, and everything is there so it’s up to me now to show what I have in a Tour car. If I can’t run up front or win now with this equipment, I probably shouldn’t be on the Tour. They have Troyer cars with Billy the Kid engines so I’ll have the same combination of chassis and engine as the SK car. I really have to thank Billy because he put in a good word for me with Bryon to get me that ride this season and I have to thank Buzz and Bryon for giving me the opportunity to drive their car. They’re a great bunch of guys and I can’t thank them enough. We have great sponsors with Buzz Chew Chevrolet, Elbow East Restaurant, NAPA Tolland, Goodridge Hoses, and Billy the Kid and hopefully I can get the job done for them.”

In three seasons of competition, Chew has a career best finish of fourth at Monadnock this past season and a career best finish of 17th in the points standings. Pitkat is coming off of his best season on the Whelen Modified Tour with a 9th place finish in the points and he is confident that teaming up with the Chew team will lead to great things this season.

Continue reading ‘Woody Pitkat Looking Forward to NAPA Spring Sizzler and New Beginnings With #88 Buzz Chew Team on Whelen Modified Tour’

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) Kicks Off 74th Season with Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire

Thompson, CT — The Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire, will mark the beginning of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s 74th season of operation. The 2014 running of the event will mark the 40th time it has been held. The traditional season-opening event will feature nine divisions, headlined by the first championship race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT).

Defending NWMT Champion, Ryan Preece, will begin his title defense behind the wheel of the Eric Sanderson-owned No. 16, but it won’t be without some stiff competition. Doug Coby headlines an impressive list of drivers who will be behind the wheel of another car this season. Coby teamed up with Mike Smeriglio, III to drive the Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Chevrolet. Another driver on the move this year was nine-time NASCAR regional touring series champion, and defending Icebreaker race winner, Mike Stefanik. The Coventry, RI-native has teamed up with car owner Ed Marceau to drive the No. 1 entry. Tommy Barrett, a standout on the Valenti Modified Racing Series, replaced Stefanik in Chris Our’s No. 22 Chevrolet. The young driver will look to make his third start on the NWMT. Defending TSMP Sunoco Modified Champion, Keith Rocco, has entered the No. 48 car, which he will be driving for John Rufrano.

The New Hampshire-based Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) will also begin their season at the Icebreaker. Going into their third season, the GSPSS first visited TSMP for the first time in 2013. George Bessette, who is entered for this year’s event, was the inaugural race winner at Icebreaker 2013. Defending, and two-time American-Canadian Tour Champion, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. has entered, as well as defending GSPSS Champion, Mike O’Sullivan. Young guns Derek Griffith, Brad Babb, and Dillon Moltz also have indicated their intentions to compete in the 50-lap main event. The Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire, will kick off a 10-race campaign for GSPSS, which will end with the championship-crowing event at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, presented by Xtra Mart.

Continue reading ‘Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) Kicks Off 74th Season with Icebreaker, presented by Town Fair Tire’

New England Native & Teen Cancer Survivor Featured on #15 NASCAR WMT Race Car for Season-Opener

15-40 Connection Teams Up with Rob Fuller Motorsports to Honor Dave McGrath at Thompson Speedway

RobFullerDaveMcGrathWESTBOROUGH, Mass. (March 27, 2014) — While he may not get to drive the race car, cancer survivor Dave McGrath’s role on the #15 Rob Fuller Motorsports team at the Thompson Icebreaker race on April 6 will be no less important.

Each year 77,000 teens and young adults between the ages of 15 – 40 are diagnosed with cancer.* Yet, since 1975, improvements in cancer survival rates have not kept pace with other age groups. Delayed diagnosis is an import culprit of this problem.

Rob Fuller Motorsports and 15-40 Connection have teamed up to feature young cancer survivors during the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in an effort to raise awareness of cancer symptoms and the obstacles teens and young adults face to diagnose cancer at earlier stages. McGrath will attend the Thompson Icebreaker race as a honorary crew member for RFM and his picture will be featured on the race car.

Continue reading ‘New England Native & Teen Cancer Survivor Featured on #15 NASCAR WMT Race Car for Season-Opener’

NHMS Working on Night Race for 2015

Since joining Twitter in late February, Jerry Gappens has received multiple inquiries about a night race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Executive Vice President & General Manager of NHMS tweeted today that he is working with NASCAR and broadcaster partner NBC about a night race at the 1.058 mile oval. He elaborated in an earlier post that he would seek approval from the town of Loudon, once he received approval from both parties.

Continue reading ‘NHMS Working on Night Race for 2015′

Third Annual Occupy the Oval/#44 Challenge Race Report

Charity Race Raises $1,500 for Racing4Vets


The third annual Occupy the Oval at R/C Madness in Enfield, CT was held on March 8. Valenti Modified Racing Series driver Dylan Kopec won over 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece. Racing4Vets president Lawrence  Klamecki was third with Tommy Barrett, Jr. in fourth.

Barrett had a very fast car, but crashed hard in the first corner of the main event and broke his front end. “Preece and Kopec put on a  great show in the main, battling for the lead until Preece went wide in a corner, smacked the wall and sheared a kingpin,” event organizer Dean Berry said. Despite a broken front end, Preece came home second.

Donations are still coming in for the event. “We raised well over $1,500,” Berry said. … “Big thanks to Mario Fiore, all the racers, Cliff Nelson, Dale Cote and many more. Special thanks to Joe Papa for taking so many great pics.  … Very special thanks to all those that helped Occupy The Oval/44 Challenge be so successful in raising money for Racing4Vets. Mario Fiore, Dale Cote’, Romano Conti, Kenneth Boehm, Christopher Marcy, Lawrence Klamecki.

Continue reading ‘Third Annual Occupy the Oval/#44 Challenge Race Report’

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and Victory Lane Radio to Partner in 2014

Thompson, CT — The historic Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park has announced that Spencer, MA based Victory Lane Radio will embark on a first-of-its-kind program which will allow fans to listen to live lap-by-lap coverage, from the drop of the first green flag to the waving of the last checker flag, free of charge.

Never before has a NASCAR sanctioned track provided live, free coverage, which is available world-wide. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park General Manager, Josh Vanada had this to say, “We are excited about this partnership with Victory Lane Radio. Since we started discussing it, they have gone at it with a great deal of enthusiasm and professionalism. I am confident that this will be a high quality product, and a great opportunity for our fans to listen in on their smart phones while they are here, or from anywhere worldwide if they cannot make it to one of our events. All of us at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park look forward to offering this added coverage with Victory Lane Radio, beginning in a few weeks at the Icebreaker presented by Town Fair Tire.”

To listen to the live broadcast, simply go to and click the ‘listen live’ button at the top of the page, or go to www.thompsonspeedway and click the link. All of these broadcasts will also be available, free of charge as a podcast, if you cannot listen live. The podcasts will be located on and

Continue reading ‘Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and Victory Lane Radio to Partner in 2014′

Bobby Santos, III Feeling Positive About Chances at Victory in 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler just over a month away from taking the green flag, one driver who is looking forward to the race is Bobby Santos, III. In just a short amount of time, Santos is working his way towards becoming a Sizzler legend. In only five starts in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring”, Santos has 2 wins and a second place finish to go along with 2 DNF’s. The DNF’s came in Santos’ first two Sizzler starts in 2004 and 2007 and he has been absolutely magical since then with his Sizzler performance.

Driving for the Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile team, Santos won the pole in 2010 and he led the first 54 laps of the race before contact with a lapped car sent him into a spin and he had to restart at the rear of the field. Santos charged his way back through the field but couldn’t get by Ted Christopher in the final laps and had to settle for second place. In Santos’s first Sizzler victory in 2011, he started third and led a race high 152 laps and after missing the 2012 Sizzler, Santos returned with the Sully Tino #44 team in 2013 and won the pole and led 197 of the 200 laps for his second career Sizzler victory.

“Definitely a big part of it is driving for good teams with good cars,” said Santos. “But something about Stafford agrees with me really well. I do like the longer distance races, I think it suits my driving style a little more. The big races always get you a little more excited and the Sizzler is a race that everybody wants to win and win it as many times as you can.”

Continue reading ‘Bobby Santos, III Feeling Positive About Chances at Victory in 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler’

NASCAR Media Guides Released





Continue reading ‘NASCAR Media Guides Released’ Brings Race Track to the Fans

AMA Pro, IMSA & NASCAR Team To Launch Live Streaming Site

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Motorcycle races at Daytona. Sports cars at Watkins Glen. Modifieds at Langley.

For race fans, if they couldn’t make it to the track and the event didn’t have television coverage, there hasn’t been an option to watch all the action. Until now.

AMA Pro Racing, IMSA and NASCAR announced today the launch of, a ground-breaking collaborative digital platform that will live stream various races not covered by broadcast television, giving fans new opportunities to follow their favorite series. It also will enhance fans viewing experience at the track with the ability to watch multiple cameras on their tablet or mobile device, and access archived broadcasts on demand.
Continue reading ‘ Brings Race Track to the Fans’

TSI Harley-Davidson Renews Title Sponsorship of Memorial Day Weekend Whelen Modified Tour Event at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that for the seventh consecutive season, the track’s Memorial Day Weekend NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event will be sponsored by TSI Harley-Davidson, the oldest Harley-Davidson dealer in the state of Connecticut. The 24th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will mark the 10th consecutive season that TSI Harley-Davidson has been a race title sponsor at Stafford and the race will be held on Friday, May 23.

TSI first partnered with Stafford Motor Speedway as a race sponsor in 2005 when they sponsored a NASCAR K & N Pro Series East event. TSI sponsored an East Series race from 2005-2007 and then transferred that sponsorship to the Memorial Day Weekend Whelen Modified Tour beginning in 2008. TSI Harley-Davidson has been the presenting sponsor of that race each year since.

“We’re looking forward to another great year at Stafford,” said Harry Levesque, Owner of TSI. “Stafford Speedway has been and continues to be a great place for us to be able to reach out to our target audience and it has been a great place for us to be able to showcase our line of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Last year we were able to debut our jumpstart, which allows riders to get on a bike and actually give it some throttle and go through the gears. A lot of Stafford race fans are also Harley-Davidson fans, and we have a lot of fun being able to interact with the fans on race night.”

Continue reading ‘TSI Harley-Davidson Renews Title Sponsorship of Memorial Day Weekend Whelen Modified Tour Event at Stafford Speedway’

Doug Coby Heading into NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway with High Confidence

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler less than two months away from taking the green flag, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams are busy gearing up for “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.” One team that will have a definite spring to their step in preparation for the Sizzler is the new owner-driver combination of Mike Smeriglio, III and Doug Coby, who will move over to the #2 Dunleavy Truck Truck and Trailer Repair team after driving the last several seasons for Wayne Darling’s #52 team. The Coby/Smeriglio combination got their relationship off to a great start with a victory in the Battle at the Beach in Daytona last month and Coby is hoping to carry that momentum over to the Sizzler.

“I hope it goes well,” said Coby. “Daytona was a great start for team morale and it was a good starting point for us. We were missing a few guys who couldn’t make it down there, but we got to work together for a couple of days and we ran the 100-lapper at New Smyrna, so it was a good experience for us getting the new team jitters out of the way.”

If past performance is any indication, then the new combination should be a formidable force at Stafford. Coby has won 5 of his 9 career NWMT races at Stafford and Smeriglio’s team recorded 2 wins, 14 top-5, and 18 top-10 finishes from 2006-2013 with Todd Szegedy behind the wheel of the #2 car.

Continue reading ‘Doug Coby Heading into NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway with High Confidence’

Occupy the Oval & #44 Challenge Saturday at RC Madness

The third annual Occupy the Oval is at RC Madness on Saturday March 8. All oval racing classes are welcome including SK, F1, 17.5 Pan Car, 13.5 Pan Car, Legends, 1/12 Truck. Entries are $25 per class to race. Qualifying begins at 1PM. Admission is free for spectators.

All proceeds benefit Racing4Vets, an organization that gets service disabled veterans involved in motorsports. Mario Fiore said that he hopes Saturday’s event bests last year’s event, which raised almost $2,500.

Once again, the #44 Challenge will have support from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers. Defending champion Ryan Preece, 1993 champion Rick Fuller and rookie Tommy Barrett, Jr. will be competing in the #44 Challenge. The inaugural race was won by Justin Bonsignore, while Mike Stefanik won last year.
Continue reading ‘Occupy the Oval & #44 Challenge Saturday at RC Madness’

Hoosier’s Eastern State Race Tire Seminar Tour 2014

To help to keep racing fun and affordable, to discuss many changes, introduce some new ideas and to help everyone get off to a great racing season, Irish Saunders from Hoosier Racing Tire, will be making the Eastern state tour with a tire seminar.

Topics include: Tire management, performance tips, tire sizing, tire break-in, how tires are made, quality control and explaining making tires repeat.

Time and location:
Saturday March 15th
Stafford Speedway Clubhouse
Noon – 2 pm
Continue reading ‘Hoosier’s Eastern State Race Tire Seminar Tour 2014′

Stefanik Joins Cook, Phillips as Finalists

9-Time Modified Champ Named To 2015 NASCAR Hall List

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Following the first in-person meeting among the NASCAR Hall of Fame nominating committee in the hall’s history, NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame’s sixth induction class, as well as the five nominees for the inaugural Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

Mike Stefanik, one of two drivers in NASCAR history to earn nine championships, made the cut in his first year of eligibility. The Coventry, R.I., driver won seven championships in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and two in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He won the 1997 and 1998 NASCAR championships in the Whelen Modified Tour and K&N Pro East (then the Busch North Tour), while running both series simultaneously.

He is joined on the list by six-time NASCAR Modified national champion Jerry Cook and five-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Larry Phillips, as well as trail blazer and 1959 NASCAR Virginia Sportsman champion Wendell Scott.
Continue reading ‘Stefanik Joins Cook, Phillips as Finalists’

Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Speeds American Winter Olympic Effort in Sochi

Whelen Engineering, NASCAR Racing Keys To Progress

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR racing imprints are abound on the equipment used by the United States Olympic four-man bobsled team.

The XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia began Feb. 7, but the four-man bobsled competition is set for Feb. 22-23 at the Sliding Center Sanki, located 37 miles from Sochi in Rzhanaya Polyana.

The two four-man U.S. Olympic bobsleds, dubbed Night Train and the new Night Train 2, were developed, built and refined by the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. The bobsleds arrived in Russia from the 2013-14 World Cup circuit where they achieved gold medal results in four of eight events between November 30 and January 26.

The journey to competition on the world stage began in Huntersville, N.C., in an otherwise inactive race shop owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Joey Logano. There, up to 18 bobsleds were once built, maintained and prepared for competition. Now, it is the exclusive home to four-man bobsleds used in World Cup and Olympic competition. The Joey Logano Foundation is also a supporter of the United States Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was founded in 1992 by now-retired NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Geoff Bodine and Bob Cuneo of Bethany, Conn., former owner of Chassis Dynamics, a manufacturer of race car chassis. Bodine and Cuneo are still hands-on in their leadership of the bobsled program. In addition, Cuneo said he stays in touch with NASCAR Modified racing as consultant to several drivers including 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece, 2008 tour champion Ted Christopher and rising tour driver Rowan Pennink.

Whelen Engineering of Chester, Conn., one of the most familiar brands in NASCAR racing, was one of the earliest supporters of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project. The company sponsors four NASCAR series including the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. Whelen is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting.

“Whelen Engineering has been a big part of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled’s development,” Caligiore said. “They are a key player in building the program.”

Whelen’s support grew into a primary sponsorship 14 years ago. The company’s vice president for motorsports Phil Kurze is also president of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc., which funds the bobsled mission. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation and is classified as a public charity under the IRS Codes.

“This is Geoff Bodine’s dream… Americans racing American-made bobsleds at no cost to the athletes,” Kurze said. “Geoff is the inspiration for all of this.”

The Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was inspired by Bodine’s desire to see U.S. Olympic athletes compete in American-made bobsleds. The teams had been using hand-me-down bobsleds — known as “bobsleighs” in international vernacular — from European teams. The Bo-Dyn name is a derivative of the first two letters of Bodine’s last name and the first three letters of “Dynamics” from Cuneo’s chassis brand.

Bo-Dyn bobsleds first appeared in the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and the four-man U.S. Bobsled team won Olympic gold for the first time in 62 years at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. After the Vancouver games, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project moved their base of operations from Colchester, Conn., to Harrisburg, N.C.

“We wanted to be closer to the hub of NASCAR technology,” Bo-Dyn project spokesman Sandy Caligiore said of the move to North Carolina.

Kurze and Bodine became acquainted when Whelen was an associate sponsor on Bodine’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars in the mid-1990s and the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project was still in its infancy.

“There are a lot of comparisons between stock car racing and bobsled racing,” Kurze said. “There are different runners for different bobsled tracks just like race cars have different tires for different tracks; bobsled tracks come in different configurations like NASCAR tracks; bobsled aerodynamics are wind tunnel-tested just like stock cars.

“They do wind tunnel testing with the athletes in the bobsled. They put the athletes in different positions in the sled to find the best alignment and get the best aero flow. That’s really important,” Kurze said. “Medals can be decided by a fraction of a second. A team can go from gold to zero faster than the blink of an eye.”

Whelen Engineering’s machine shop in New Hampshire developed the D-shaped steering rings being used by the drivers of Night Train and Night Train 2. The rings are attached to a mechanism that connects to the runners and steers the bobsled. The bobsleds have no seats and no suspension, Kurze noted.

Cuneo pointed out the similarities between top-level Olympic competition and top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.

“There is a cultural crossover between bobsled racing and NASCAR racing. The Cup series has a rule book and bobsleds have a rule book. We use the same approach to prepare for competition,” Cuneo said. “The engineering problems are different, but we approach them the same way. We have to find speed within the limitations of the rule book.

“Our bobsled team’s ability to respond quickly to challenges at the track – that really sets us apart from the competition,” Cuneo added.

Cuneo and Jim Garde have both been primary engineers, builders and “crew chiefs” for the Bo-Dyn bobsleds. Garde, once head fabricator for Hendrick Motorsports, is on site in Rzhanaya Polyana serving in all those capacities. He started working for Cuneo at Chassis Dynamics when he was just 11 years of age.

“Being a bobsled crew chief is the same as being a NASCAR crew chief,” Cuneo said. “There is a tremendous amount of work.

“Every time a sled runs it takes a beating like someone pounded it with a sledge hammer. The sleds require a lot of tuning day-to-day. Just like in NASCAR, track conditions change and the driver has to communicate those changes to the crew chief.

“A bobsled track is a living thing,” Cuneo said, “and the driver has to tell the crew chief what the sled is doing in what location on the track. The surface can depend on minerals in the water. A surface can be hard on top and soft underneath or visa-versa. The track is hand sculpted so the contours change every day. One guy may prepare a section of the track differently than the next. The crew chief has to take the driver’s input and make things happen. There are many adjustable points on a sled.”

At the Sliding Center Sanki, the hardness of the racing surface can be controlled by a refrigeration system beneath the ice. Olympic bobsled track infrastructure has included refrigeration since 1972.

“One turn of a knob can release a chemistry mix into the ice to help maintain its hardness,” Kurze said of the technology. “The hardest ice creates the fastest track.”

While the bobsleds are built for speed, the track in Russia is unique to the sport because it has three uphill sections. Those sections were designed to reduce top speeds by up to 10 mph for the sake of safety. Top speeds in next week’s competition are expected to be around 85 mph.

Through the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, technology within U.S. Olympic bobsled construction has advanced. In the design phase, three–dimensional digital mock-ups were created by Dassault Systems’’ SolidWorks division to enhance weight distribution in construction. Exa Corp. used computer-generated simulation to optimize air flow over the body of the sleds and deBotech Inc. manufactured lighter carbon fiber and advanced composite parts used in bobsled bodywork.

Team members in Night Train 2 include driver Steven Holcomb, Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt. Team members in the original Night Train include driver Nick Cunningham, Justin Olsen, Johnny Quinn and Dallas Robinson.

The Olympic bobsled events will be held in a four-heat format over two days of racing for each division. The men’s two-man bobsled competition took place Feb. 16-17, followed by women’s bobsled Feb. 18-19. The men’s four-man bobsled competition will be one of the last events of the Olympic Games.

Sources: Paul Schaefer/NASCAR PR

Opportunity Knocks, Coby Answers

Former Whelen Mod Champ Grabs UNOH Battle At The Beach Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Doug Coby was in the right place at the right time and came home with the big prize Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway.

Coby took advantage of a late-race incident involving a dominant Ryan Preece and drove to victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified-Whelen Southern Modified Tour portion of the UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at “The World Center of Racing.”

Daytona was Coby’s first start in the No. 2 of Mike Smeriglio III Racing. The team won the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach a year ago with Steve Park behind the wheel.
Continue reading ‘Opportunity Knocks, Coby Answers’