Archive for the 'NASCAR WMT' Category

Cook Elated With NASCAR Hall Of Fame Selection

Second Modified Driver To Earn NASCAR’s Top Honor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2015) – A contributor to the displays and content of the NASCAR Hall of Fame since before its doors opened, Jerry Cook now has a spot reserved as member.

NASCAR revealed on Wednesday the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. Cook was among the five selected from a pool of 20 nominees to receive the sport’s highest honor. Upon induction next January, he’ll be one of just 35 members of NASCAR’s all-time elite.

“I’ve been involved with the NASCAR Hall of Fame ever since it was a patch of dirt, and I’ve helped with getting a lot of the stuff for the displays inside,” Cook said. “It’s going to feel real good to be a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and not just a visitor or contributor.”

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2016 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced

Cook, Isaac, Labonte, Smith, Turner Comprise Hall’s Seventh Class

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 20, 2015) – NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The five-person group – the seventh in NASCAR Hall of Fame history – consists of Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In addition, NASCAR announced that Harold Brasington won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year’s Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, broadcast on NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, live from Charlotte, N.C.The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award.

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”

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NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 to be Announced at NASCAR Hall Of Fame

The 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Class and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be announced Wednesday at 6P.M. It will be broadcast on NBCSN, RaceHub on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com.

NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Nominees
Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Jerry Cook, six-time NASCAR Modified champion
Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
Ray Fox, legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others
Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
Bobby Isaac, 1970 NASCAR premier series champion
Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
Terry Labonte, Two-time NASCAR premier series champion
Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
O. Bruton Smith, builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc.
Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
Curtis Turner, early personality, called the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing”
Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Harold Brasington, founder of Darlington Raceway
H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

Sources: NASCAR

Barrett Placed On Probation

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Tommy Barrett Jr., a driver in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, has been placed on indefinite probation with conditions for violations of the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book. Barrett Jr. was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4.9A (behavioral penalty). 

Sources: NASCAR PR

Keith Rocco Replaces Tommy Barrett Jr. at Our Motorsports

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (May 2, 2015) – NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series team Our Motorsports announced today that Modified veteran Keith Rocco will assume driving duties of the No. 22 Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2015 season. Rocco replaces Tommy Barrett Jr. who competed on the Tour in 2014 and in this season’s opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

“Based on our goals and objectives for 2015, we felt it was in the best interest of the team to make a driver change early in the season,” said team owner Chris Our. “We appreciate the efforts put worth by Tommy and thank him for his service.”
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No. 88 Whelen Modified Tour Team Penalized

Rules Violations At Stafford Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The No. 88 team that competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during post-race inspection April 26 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

This infraction is a P2 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
20D-4.1: General Engine Eligibility:
B. As an option, Teams may compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour/Whelen Southern Modified Tour with a NASCAR-approved “Spec Engine”. If used, the “Spec Engine” must be completely assembled using only NASCAR-approved “Spec Engine” components without any modifications.
INFRACTION: Non-approved fasteners were used.

The options for a P2 penalty are outlined in the following sections of the NASCAR rule book:

12-4.2: P2 Penalty Options:
A. Minor fasteners, nuts, bolts, etc. of the wrong material, but not of a nature rising to higher numbered Penalties.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Ron Ste-Marie has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.

Continue reading ‘No. 88 Whelen Modified Tour Team Penalized’

Spotter Bites

It’s called The Greatest Race in the History of Spring, the Spring Sizzler from Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. Eight divisions strong, a packed house, and a full pit area, what else could you ask for? Okay, warmer weather. It’s near the month of May and the temperatures are still in the 30s and 40s. Despite Mother Nature, it was a great weekend of racing.

Running through the pits to check-in with the 4 teams I was spotting for was the first order of business.  Could they all park near each other next time? Trucks were way out back and it took me forever to get there and back. That was my exercise for the day. The Late Model team was on the way to the spotter’s area in another section of the pits, so I just waited to check in with them until I headed up there. The SK and the tour mods were near each other, so that made it a little easier, but not much.

DSC_0082Practice was not very good for the Eastport Feeds/Axel Anderson, Inc. #75 Whelen Modified Tour car on Saturday. At about 5 laps or so into practice, it tasted the concrete wall at the exit of turn two. The car was running good and then just stepped out and slammed the right front into the wall. There was a lot of damage: Header, tire, rim, suspension parts, body tin, nerf bar and bumper to name a few parts that sustained damage. We only had a little bit of time to try and get it back together before time trials. In the midst of working on the car (yeah, I’m not just a spotter, I can wrench on them too), I had a mini heart attack when I asked someone who was on the track. They told me the SKs were on their way out there now. I thought I was late for the heat races and ran to get my gear and headed to the spotter’s area. I soon realized it was still practice and calmed down and headed back to continue working on the car. I hate it when that happens.

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Hometown Win Perfect for Pitkat

Stafford Driver Claims Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler Victory

STAFFORD, Conn. (April 26, 2015) — Woody Pitkat completed a picture perfect homecoming Sunday afternoon.

The 35-year-old Stafford, Connecticut, driver powered to the victory in the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200, the traditional season-opening event for Stafford Motor Speedway. In the process, the driver of the No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet became the first hometown driver to win the prestigious NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

It was Pitkat’s third career tour win. He scored his first career win last year in the August event at Stafford before following it up with a win a month later at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

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Burnham, Saunders, Dembek, DiMatteo, & Turbush Score NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories At Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway opened its doors for racing in 2015 with feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and Legend Cars divisions as well as the Mr. Rooter Truck Series as part of the Saturday NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Weekend festivities. D.J. Burnham took the checkered flag in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Al Saunders was the winner of the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Dan Dembek won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, Cory DiMatteo won the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, and Roger Turbush won the 20-lap Mr. Rooter Truck Series feature.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, several cars got out of shape mid-pack and Pete Lopuch ended up spinning in turn 1 to bring the caution out.

DJ Burnham took the lead on the start with Bob Charland side by side Vinny Anglace for second. Anglace got out of shape on lap-2 in the outside groove and he slid back to sixth as Nick Salva took third, Geoff Boisjolie took fourth, and Joey Ferrigno moved up to fifth. Daniel Wesson and Aaron Goff spun in turns 3+4 to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.

Continue reading ‘Burnham, Saunders, Dembek, DiMatteo, & Turbush Score NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Saturday Feature Victories At Stafford’

Preece Sizzles In Stafford Qualifying

On The Pole For Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler 200

STAFFORD, Conn. (April 25, 2015) – Prior to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway, Ryan Preece said simply of his race car, “it’s good.” He spoke the truth.

Preece, of Berlin, Connecticut, laid down a fast lap of 17.960 seconds (100.223 mph) to score his 13th career Coors Light Pole Award. He just missed the tour’s track record – that he owns – by 0.036 seconds.

It was Preece’s fourth career pole at Stafford overall, but third for the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200, Stafford’s traditional season-opening event. He set that track record prior to the 2012 edition. Preece has three career Whelen Modified Tour wins at the historic half-mile, but has not yet captured the Sizzler checkers.

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Preece on NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Pole

STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT won the pole for Sunday’s NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. Preece led Coors Light Pole Award qualifying with a lap of 17.960 seconds/100.223 mph in the No. 6 TS Haulers/East West Marine car. Former track champion Woody Pitkat was second at 18.047/99.740.

Rowan Pennink, former Sizzler winner Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five. Ted Christopher, Bobby Santos III, Timmy Solomito, Todd Szegedy, and Keith Rocco completed the top 10.

“The car just felt really good,” Preece said. “It was easy to drive. My entire team and my crew chief Tom Grasso and my owners Eddie and Connie Partridge and East West Marine and everybody on this car. It’s really good and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s sizzler. We feel like we have a really good car, not only has speed, but it  has longevity and this Troyer TA2 car feels pretty good and I think we’re going to have something for everybody tomorrow.”

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Bock Set for NWMT Debut Sunday

STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT — Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, NY will make his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut tomorrow for BGB Motorsports. Bock was 14th in practice in the Pro-Systems Brakes No. 29 car. Sunday’s NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler is the longest race of his career. The team consists of his uncles Vincent, Paulie, and Glen, Alex, and spotter James Hollywood. Sponsors include  A&S Bagels, Long Island Performance Race Fuels.

“It’s going pretty good,” Bock said. “Right now, we’re focusing on learning the track and getting better. So far pretty happy with the advances we’ve made and see how we do in qualifying.”

“…We got to focus on getting our pit crew down pat. This is basically the first time that they’re going to be out over the wall. We’ll see how we do. We’ll see how much practice we need.”

While Bock won a LegendsCar race at Stafford last year, he has limited Modified experience. Stafford hosts four NWMT races annually and a track hosted the series for many years.

“Seat time is very key here.  A lot of the drivers on the tour have been to these tracks tons of times. All these rookies fresh out of the box are just down compared to all the experience.”

“Expectations are get accustomed with the car in the beginning and just be very competitive towards the middle of the year maybe today. Just work on being competitive and we’ll see how things go.”

Bock chose the NWMT over the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) South series. Stafford is a 2.5 hour drive, compared to longer commutes for races in North Carolina. “It’s only a few times a year. It’s not every week that we’ve got to drive. It’s not terrible, but it’s not around the block.”

Bock had top tens in his two Modified races during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway. The car has changed from red to white and blue, Bock’s traditional colors.

“(New Smyrna) definitely helped a lot with the bigger tracks, getting used to it. Traveling is going to help us a lot this year as opposed to staying at one track the full season, getting different experiences.”

“New Smyrna was a very banked that was probably the most banked track I’ve raced on. I’m used to the flat tracks with the Legend Cars. It’s not too hard to adapt. We’re getting there, just about there.”

The former Riverhead (NY) Raceway Legend Car champion will enter the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season opener May 2, the first of five events there. He will run the first Northeast Race Cars and Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series race at Lee (NH) USA Speedway May 17. His next NWMT race will be June 10 at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. Additional Tri-Track races are possible.

A former champion at Mountain and Riverhead, Bock has competed in the Legend Cars for three seasons with an estimated 27 wins. He won at Bethel, Riverhead, Stafford, Wall, and Waterford last year. He won at Mountain in 2013.

A former national Quarter Midget champion, Bock has titles with the QMRA in Texas and USAC. One of USAC’s biggest events was held in the infield of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Bock raced in the USAC Ford Focus Midgets before moving up to Legend Cars.

Brendon’s father George made five NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts from 1998-2000.

Sources: Nicholas Teto/YankeeRacer.com

Christopher Seeking MRNETS Victory at Stafford

Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT has accomplished virtually everything at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. Christopher won his ninth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® championship last year. He also leads the track with 122 wins across the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Models, Pro Stocks, SK Modifieds, and Valenti Modified Racing Series.

That is why he is driving the No. 13 Mr. Rooter Chevrolet for series promoter Vinny Beedle. The Mr. Rooter New England Truck Series will close NAPA Spring Sizzler Saturday with a 20-lap race.

“I wasn’t aware that it’s the only thing he’s never had a win in (at Stafford) and he’s never driven a truck period,” Beedle said. “So for him he’s excited about it and we’re excited to have him in it.”

Veteran Ed Puleo, who drove the truck at Thompson, is practicing today for Christopher. car. Puleo finished third at the Icebreaker despite an issue discovered post race. Beedle said the fuel cell broke up and the foam got into the carburetor.

Continue reading ‘Christopher Seeking MRNETS Victory at Stafford’

Our Responds to Driver Change

STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT — NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team owner Chris Our said Saturday that his new Troyer TA2 car “shows some serious potential and we’re pretty excited to have this car here and have a seasoned driver like Keith (Rocco) in it.”

Keith Rocco, the  2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion and two Stafford SK Modified® champion, will be driving the No. 22 Canto Paving/Milton Caterpillar Chevrolet in the NAPA Spring Sizzler tomorrow.

“Things happened very fast in the last few days, and this is a decision I made for this weekend, and I’m very excited to have Keith in the car,” Our said. “He’s very capable, and he knows this place, and we’re excited to have Keith as a replacement for this weekend with everything that’s gone on. And next week we’ll sit down and look and see where we are to plan out moving forward.”

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Lia Brings Momentum to Stafford

Donny Lia of Jericho, NY enters the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway Sunday with a new combination. He is driving the No. 8 car for Mark Sypher. The two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) champion finished eighth at Thompson, his first Icebreaker top ten in the last three events. It was the best finish for the team since debuting an LFR Chassis at New Hampshire last September.

Lia has the third-best average finish of active drivers (behind Todd Szegedy and Rowan Pennink). Lia has one win, four top fives, and eight top tens in his last nine Stafford races.

“Stafford is just a place that’s always been good to me,” Lia said. “I guess it kind of fits my driving style well. It’s just a track that I always enjoy going to and when you enjoy going somewhere, going to a specific track, you always seem to do better there. … Stafford’s definitely on that list of tracks that I really like racing at.”

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NWMT: Rocco to Drive Spring Sizzler for Our

Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT will drive the No. 22 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car for Chris Our in the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway this weekend. Driver Tommy Barrett, Jr. was suspended for violating the team’s “Code of Conduct policy.

“I think it should be a  good run,” Rocco said. “Stafford’s definitely one of my better tracks and Brad (Lafontaine) and Northeast Race Cars and Bill Colton at Troyer Chassis, they’ve got the best stuff out there right now and hopefully we can showcase it.”

“I think things will click very well. I get along great with Brad and Chris Our seems like a great guy, easy to talk to and hopefully things work out.” Continue reading ‘NWMT: Rocco to Drive Spring Sizzler for Our’

Our Motorsport Suspends Barrett

Barrett Arrested for DUI April 17

Our Motorsport owner Chris Our has suspended driver Tommy Barrett, Jr. of Millis, MA for breaching the team’s “Code of Conduct policy.” 

“Our Motorsports has a strict set of standards which lend themselves to professionalism and accountability,” Our said in a press release from  140 BUZZ, the team’s public relations firm.

The 19-year-old NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver was arrested by the Willimantic (CT) Police Department on April 17 for traveling unreasonably fast, improper turn/stop-no signal, operating under the influence of alcohol/drugs. His court date is Monday, April 27 at 10AM in Danielson (CT) Superior Court. 

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Monadnock Speedway Season Preview

VMRS Season Opener May 2

Winchester, NH — Nine divisions will participate in the Monadnock Speedway season opener on May 2. The 100 lap Valenti Modified Racing Series race is the first time since 2006 that the quarter-mile oval opened their season. Rowan Pennink is the defending race winner. Kirk Alexander, the all-time winningest VMRS driver and a fan favorite, will return full-time to the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

The Valenti Modifieds will visit Monadnock two more times. The series will be back on July 4 for Fireworks night featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and a huge fireworks display. The final appearance is Saturday August 22 for the Victor Johnson Memorial presented by Swanzey Oil.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make their annual appearance on Saturday July 25. Justin Bonsignore led the final 26 laps of last year’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 to score back to back wins. The tour returned since July 2010. The program will begin at 4:00 PM.

Continue reading ‘Monadnock Speedway Season Preview’

Timmy Solomito Excited for NAPA Spring Sizzler with New Team

Stafford Springs, CT — After qualifying 15th and finishing 8th in his very first NAPA Spring Sizzler start last season, Islip, NY native Timmy Solomito is looking forward to returning to Stafford with a new team. Solomito takes over the driving duties of the #16 Diversified Metals / R. B. Enterprises car that Ryan Preece drove to two Stafford wins as well as the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour Championship.

“This is huge for me,” said Solomito, “The guys working on the car are great, and everything else is the same with the exception of me as the driver. So far the team has been great, the guys are helping me through things that are new to me, and we’re taking things one step at a time. I come from the quarter mile at Riverhead so I’m still new to the bigger tracks. That makes things a little tougher for us with my learning curve, but they have great setups for the car and great advice for me, that’s all helping to speed up the learning curve. We had a strong finish at the Icebreaker and hopefully we can carry that over to the Sizzler. ”

Last year was Solomito’s first NAPA Spring Sizzler start, driving the #75 car owned by Wayne Anderson. Solomito qualified mid-pack with a 15th place effort, but he drove his way up to 8th at the checkered flag. Timmy is hoping to build on that experience and continue to develop behind the wheel of the #16 car in this year’s Sizzler.

Continue reading ‘Timmy Solomito Excited for NAPA Spring Sizzler with New Team’

Jamie Tomaino Ready to Add to Record Number of Career Starts in NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway

 

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, Sunday, April 26, Howell, NJ native and 1990 Whelen Modified Tour Champion Jamie Tomaino will extend his record for career Sizzler starts to 32. Tomaino made his first Sizzler start in 1980 and he has since appeared in the Sizzler starting field every year since 1984 with the exception of 1985, when he failed to advance through a qualifying race, and 1988, when the SK Modifieds® were the featured division. Tomaino says that he sees no immediate end to his longevity in the Sizzler or behind the wheel of a modified.

“No this won’t be my last Sizzler,” said Tomaino. “I have 2 grandsons, one is five, and one is six, and whoever says first that they want to race, that’s when I’ll step away. Back in 1985 we ran heat races to qualify and I was leading the points heading into the Sizzler and got a flat in the heat race. We had 40 cars in the consi and I needed to finish second to make the show and I finished third. But I’ve been in every Sizzler since then and I’ve had a lot of good people behind me helping out. It takes a lot of help to go racing and just like this year, I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing. Chase Dowling and his father Mark approached me about teaming up and things are working out super. Just when it seems like I think I don’t have anything going on, something good happens. ”

Along with teaming up with Chase Dowling, Tomaino acquired some new sponsorship from Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Repair, which Tomaino says came about from a chance meeting in Daytona.

Continue reading ‘Jamie Tomaino Ready to Add to Record Number of Career Starts in NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway’

Rowan Pennink Ready to Contend for First NAPA Spring Sizzler Victory at Stafford with Backup Car

Stafford Springs, CT — For Rowan Pennink and the #93 Van Wickle NAPA Auto Supply team, the 44th Annual edition of the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway will see the team chase the checkered flag with altered plans. A practice crash in the season opening race at Thompson Motorsports Park eliminated their primary car and left Pennink and team scrambling to get their backup car together. Without practice, Pennink was still able to qualify 18th out of 35 cars and came home with a respectable 13th place finish. While Pennink is bringing the same car to Stafford for the Sizzler, he is confident that he can have a good run.

“The car we wrecked is pretty much toast and ready for the junkyard,” said Pennink. “We won’t be able to get another new car put together in time for the Sizzler so we’ll be bringing the backup car to Stafford. We put a lot of time and effort into the car that we wrecked and we were really happy with how it was handling. We weren’t able to get any practice time with it so it wasn’t where we needed it to be for the race, but we were able to salvage what we could out of the weekend and we’ll move on to the Sizzler. ”

Pennink has put together a strong career record at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. In 7 career starts, Pennink has posted 4 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes with a career best finish of second coming back in 2011. Pennink has recorded top-5 finishes in four of the last five Sizzlers and although he will be racing his backup car, he is confident that he can once again be among the contenders for the Sizzler checkered flag.

Continue reading ‘Rowan Pennink Ready to Contend for First NAPA Spring Sizzler Victory at Stafford with Backup Car’

Family of Frank Ferrara to Serve as 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Grand Marshal at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — The family of the late Frank Ferrara have been named by Stafford Motor Speedway as Grand Marshals for the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler set to open Stafford’s 2015 racing campaign April 25th and 26th.

Ferrara spent a lifetime involved in New England motorsports. He was a car owner at Riverside Park in the early 1950’s, a flagman, a successful Mini Sprint driver and a track owner. His support of Modified racing and Stafford stretches across more than 30 years and is best known for his Ferrara 100 events at the Connecticut half-mile.

In 2010, Frank was honored by being inducted in to the NEAR Hall of Fame. The Ferrara 100’s were also Stafford’s first involvement with NAPA.

Continue reading ‘Family of Frank Ferrara to Serve as 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Grand Marshal at Stafford Motor Speedway’

NBC Sports Adds Evernham, Sheheen for Whelen Modified Coverage

Legendary Crew Chief Teams with Veteran Motorsports Broadcaster for All 14 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. — April 15, 2015 — NBC Sports today welcomed three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief Ray Evernham and seasoned broadcaster Ralph Sheheen to its growing lineup of motorsports experts. Evernham and Sheheen will handle coverage of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Events on NBCSN. The announcement was made today by Jeff Behnke, Vice President of NASCAR Production for NBC Sports and NBCSN.

2015 marks the 30th Anniversary season for the northeast-based NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, which traces its roots back to the very first NASCAR-sanctioned race on the beach and road course at Daytona Beach, Fla. in 1948. Evernham, who began his remarkable career in motorsports working on short track race cars at age 15, will first team with Sheheen to cover the 41st running of the Icebreaker from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Conn., airing on Saturday, April 18 at 12:30 a.m. ET (late Friday night). The complete NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour telecast schedule on NBCSN is listed below.

“We’re are thrilled to continue our 2015 NASCAR Touring Series with the knowledge and experience of Ray Evernham and Ralph Sheheen behind the microphone,” said Behnke. “This is a win for all race fans and the enthusiastic followers of the Whelen Modified Tours.”

Continue reading ‘NBC Sports Adds Evernham, Sheheen for Whelen Modified Coverage’

Spotter Bites

It’s here! The 2015 racing season has begun. The winter season was long and I’m not so sure it’s really done with us either, but the sun’s shining and there’s no more snow left on the track. Time to trade in snow plows and shovels for radios and steering wheels, it’s race season! 

Over the offseason I was busy working to find spotting deals with teams for the upcoming 2015 season and I was pretty happy with what I had lined up, but then some uncontrollable things changed one race team’s plans and it meant I needed to scramble to find another ‘gig’ for the Whelen Modified Tour. As luck, no, fate would have it, Shawn Solomito was looking for a spotter and when he asked me, I jumped at the chance. After all, I couldn’t turn down the guy who I started my spotting career with, now could I?

At the track for three days now and it’s time to run around to all the teams (5) that I was spotting for this weekend to make sure all the radios were working properly. I put some mileage on my shoes doing so, Thompson is a huge place and the pit area is the size of a small city. Everything was fine with who I was able to check with. The one I could not check ended up having a bad radio in the car for practice and he couldn’t hear me. Once that radio was changed, all was right in my world of spotting.

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LFR Chassis Scores First Win in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Doug Coby Dominates Thompson Speedway in LFR Chassis Equipment

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 13, 2015) – LFR Chassis earned its first win in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) after dominating the field this past weekend at Thompson Speedway. Between Doug Coby and Ron Silk, LFR Chassis was fastest in practice, won the pole, and led every lap of the Icebreaker 150.

“All of the LFR teams worked great together and we’re trying to build one big team,” said Rob Fuller, LFR Chassis owner. “We’re collecting as much data to help everyone. Everyone had the same setup package and just fine-tuned it to their driver. It was a basic shock package and spring package and each team tuned their set-up.”

Race winner Doug Coby, running in an LFR Chassis, was the class of the field at the Icebreaker 150. The driver of the No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance Chevrolet was the fastest in practice with a lap time of 18.470 seconds at 120.064 mph. Coby went on to win the pole and lead 127 of 150 before taking home the win.

Continue reading ‘LFR Chassis Scores First Win in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’

Coby Cracks Icebreaker Victory Lane

Opens Whelen Modified Title Defense With Win At Thompson

THOMPSON, Conn. (April 12, 2015) – After a bitter winter marked by record-setting snowfall, the sunny skies and near-70 degree temperatures at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday were celebrated by fans in the packed grandstands.

The only thing better than the weather in northeastern Connecticut was the racing.

Reigning tour champion Doug Coby displayed the consistent dominance that led to last season’s title, leading 127 of 150 laps in the 41st Annual Icebreaker 150 to capture the checkered flag in the season-opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event.

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Coby Starts Title Defense with Icebreaker Win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Preece Wins Sunoco Modified Feature Using Late Race Pass

Thompson, CT — A full house of fans was on hand to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for Icebreaker weekend, and the racing couldn’t have been better. Doug Coby swept the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action by winning the pole and backing it up with a dominating win in the Icebreaker 150. Celebrating victories in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series were Ryan Preece in the Sunoco Modified Series, Marc Curtis in the Late Model division, Scott Sundeen in the Limited Sportsman, and Eric Bourgeois in the Mini Stocks. Other winners included Dillon Moltz in the Granite State Pro Stock Series and Scott Quinn in the Vintage Outlaws.

Returning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Doug Coby earned another notch in his belt when he earned his 11thcareer victory – his second at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and his first ever win in the Icebreaker.

Coby, who also set fast time in qualifying the day before, took the early lead and proved from the start he was going to be the man to beat. A few early race cautions stopped him from pulling out to a commanding lead, but after a lap 36 restart, that’s exactly what he did.

Not even a red flag could stop him. Once racing resumed, Coby was back out to a ten car length lead over Bobby Santos and Ted Christopher.

Continue reading ‘Coby Starts Title Defense with Icebreaker Win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Preece Wins Sunoco Modified Feature Using Late Race Pass’

Timmy Solomito Up to Speed at Thompson

First Ride for ‘The Natural’ in Flamingo Motorsports Car

THOMPSON, CT — Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY has been comfortable in his new car Saturday at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. Solomito was fourth quickest in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice at 18.833/119.471, behind defending champion Doug Coby. The 23-year-old will be driving the Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises No. 16.

“The car felt pretty good underneath me and I was really happy with it,” Solomito said. “… (We) made a couple of adjustments, it’s just getting our communication down being with a new team and a bunch of new guys. They’re not used to me. I’m not used to them, so we’re just working through that right now and learning each other and what each other like as far as handling from me and what Sly likes to hear is communication and what the car’s doing.

“So far w’ere doing pretty well, and just hope we can continue that throughout the year and can’t thank Eric and the whole gang, Sly and the entire crew for all they’ve given us for this year and great equipment, and great team, and a lot of good guys to learn from, so really looking forward to it and really thankful for the opportunity and just hope we can give them the best finishes possible.”

Car Owner Eric Sanderson is pleased with the decision to bring the sophomore on board. Sanderson enjoys working with another young driver to bring them to the next level. He made the decision after 2013 champion Ryan Preece moved to Eddie Partridge’s No. 6 car. The team ended on a high note winning the final two races and finished second in points.

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Troy Talman Looking Forward to Making NAPA Spring Sizzler Debut with Legendary #3 ‘Ole Blue’ Team

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 44th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler this season, Oxford, MA native Troy Talman will find himself making his Sizzler debut in one of the most recognizable rides on the Whelen Modified Tour. Talman teamed up with the #3 Boehler Family team for the 2014 season ending race and that relationship has blossomed into a full-time ride for the 2015 season with sponsorship from Cape Cod Copper, Riverview Industries, and NAPA Ayer Auto Parts.

“The plan is to run the whole season,” said Talman. “Last year I gave the Boehler’s a call because the car wasn’t running to see if we could work out a deal. I got along really well with the crew guys, especially Greg Fournier and Scott Richards. We didn’t really have any time to shake the car down beforehand and the first practice session was my first time driving a Modified Tour car. I think we were around 19th in practice, we qualified 23rd, and the race went pretty well. I got a lot of experience and I’m ready for the season. It’s really cool to be driving for the Boehler family in such a legendary car and I’m very thankful for the opportunity. The Boehler team has a really good system of how they do things at the shop and my dad and I have been helping them at the shop doing what they tell us we need to do.”

Although Talman is still new to the world of Whelen Modified Tour competition, his track experience at Stafford should be a big help. Talman came to Stafford for the first time in 2013 where he ran in the SK Light division. In only his second race at Stafford, Talman piloted his family owned car to victory lane and he ended the season third in the points standings. Talman’s ability to quickly adapt to new situations and surroundings will be an asset to him as he will see some of the tracks on the NWMT schedule for the very first time.

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Justin Bonsignore Ready to Kick Off Season of Double Duty Racing at Stafford with 44th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season was a breakthrough year for Justin Bonsignore. The West Islip, NY native doubled his career win total from 3 to 6 and was in the championship race with Doug Coby until several mechanical issues late in the season relegated him third in the final standings. Fast forward to the 2015 season and Bonsignore is ready to once again be a championship contender. To add to his busy schedule he will be pulling double duty at Stafford during Whelen Modified Tour events as he will pilot an Art Barry owned SK Modified® for the entire 2015 season.

“We definitely ran better at Stafford last year and I think the seat time in the SK this season will really help me,” said Bonsignore. “I always like coming to Stafford but don’t run as good as I like. I’m really optimistic for this season. We had a really good year last season and on paper we should be better this year, especially with the chemistry of me and my crew chief Bill Michael being together for a year.”

One area that might work out to Bonsignore’s advantage this season, and during the 200-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford, is the increase in NWMT teams utilizing the NASCAR Spec Engine. Last year, Bonsignore and Woody Pitkat were the only 2 cars in the field using the spec engine and they both made 2 pit stops during the race while most other competitors only had to pit once. Bonsignore and Pitkat both finished in the top-5 last year, but with more teams using the spec engine, they won’t be the only cars having to make two pit-stops during the race.

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