Archive for the 'NASCAR WMT' Category

Dreams Realized for Champions from Across the Globe

NASCAR Home Tracks Awards Spotlights Accomplishments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For a 17-year-old, Todd Gilliland was in a familiar situation when he took the stage at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Friday night.

He had, after all, done this all before. Just one year ago.

“Ever since I was little, all I wanted to do was drive a race car,” said Gilliland. “When I got that chance to do that for Bill McAnally Racing, I really wanted to win him a championship. And now I’m here giving my speech for my second year in a row; 2017 has been a dream season.”

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NASCAR, Whelen Announce Multi-Year Extensions

Will Sponsor Whelen Mod Tour, Whelen Euro Series Through 2024

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR and Whelen Engineering, Inc. announced today multi-year extensions to continue its entitlement sponsorship of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series through 2024. Additionally, Whelen will also extend its designation as the “Official Warning Lights of NASCAR.”

“More than a decade of successful partnership has resulted in Whelen Engineering being deeply connected to many levels of our sport,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series are critical to reaching fans, developing talent and delivering great racing both domestically and abroad.” 

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR’s oldest division of racecars, is the premiere asphalt modified circuit in the nation. With a history dating back to Daytona Beach in 1948, the tour features a mix of passionate, veteran drivers with emerging young talent and includes races from New England to South Carolina. 

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2018 Schedule Announced for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Season Opener Returns To Myrtle Beach; New Hampshire Extra-Distance Event On Tap

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will take the green flag on the 2018 season at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway in March, and the schedule will feature 16 championship points races at nine different venues.

The champion will once again be crowned at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as the .625-mile hosts the 56th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The calendar spotlight’s some of the northeast’s iconic short tracks, includes three fast southern venues and features the longest distance race in tour history as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes center stage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September for a 250-lap showdown.

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Stafford Speedway Releases 2018 Schedule of Events

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway is proud to announce the 60th season of NASCAR weekly racing in Northeast Connecticut with a 22-race schedule.  The 2018 season will kick-off on April 28 & 29 with arguably the biggest Modified race in the country, the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler dubbed “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring”.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will run 200 laps and will be joined by Stafford’s 5 weekly divisions, the New England Truck Series, and new for 2018, the Vintage All Stars Race.

Stafford’s signature Friday night program kicks off May 4th and continues with the 5-star program weekly throughout the season with special events for all divisions dotted across the schedule.  The Street Stocks will kick-off the extra distance racing on May 11 with a 25-lap feature and will back that up with a second special event on September 7, a 30-lap extra distance event.

“Strong weekly racing has always been our focus,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “We’re continuing to put our efforts into supporting our weekly competitors with extra distance events for all divisions.  Stafford is a track focused on the weekly competitor and we take great pride in supporting those teams in any way we can.”

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We Crown Champions at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, 14 Division Champions to be exact

Inside look at who is in contention for these divisions!
The most anticipated event of the year is upon us. The award-winning 55th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing presented by King Cadillac GMC will be here in only hours! 18 Divisions will be taking on the 5/8 mile high banked oval competing for the greatest treasure of them all. 14 of those divisions will also be crowning their 2017 champions after. These drivers have been neck and neck all season keeping that championship dream close. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Thompson Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series, American Canadian Tour, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Northeastern Midget Association, Northeastern Midget Association Lites, New England Pro 4 Modifieds, Mr Rooter Pro Truck Series, Northeast Mini Stock Tour, The Street Stock Showdown Series, and International Supermodified Association, will all be crowning a division champion this year. Let’s break down each division on who is in contention for the title!
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has a total of 5 drivers who are in points contention for the championship: Doug Coby (563 Points), Justin Bonsignore (553 Points), Timmy Solomito (551 Points), Ryan Preece (544 Points), and Eric Goodale (538 Points).
NASCAR Whelen All American Series has a total of 12 drivers who are in points contention for the championship in their respected divisions. For the Sunoco Modified Division: Keith Rocco (314 Points), Todd Owen (302 Points) and Ryan Preece (294 Points). For the Late Model Divison: Ray Parent (286 Points), William Wall (257 Points) and Woody Pitkat (231 Points). For the Limited Sportsman Division: Shawn Monahan (300 Points), Scott Sundeen (271 Points) and Brent Gleason (252 Points). Finally for the Mini Stock Division: Wayne Burroughs Jr. (307 Points), Eric Bourgeois (282 Points) and Jacob Perry (249 Points).

Continue reading ‘We Crown Champions at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, 14 Division Champions to be exact’

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Thompson

Coby Has Five Challengers As He Chases Fifth Title

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enters Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 with six drivers in mathematical contention to capture the 2017 driver’s championship. Entering as the points leader, four-time champion Doug Coby has the chance to add to his already impressive resume by capturing a fifth career title.

Coby has five career Thompson wins, including the 2015 Sunoco World Series, where he celebrated the victory and the championship all in one. A fourth straight title and fifth overall would make Coby the only driver in the modern era to capture four straight titles. Only Jerry Cook (4, 1974-77) and Richie Evans (8, 1978-85) have accomplished that feat in NASCAR Modified history.

Behind Coby, Justin Bonsignore’s impressive summer stretch places him just 10 points back heading for the finale. Although Bonsignore has never won the title before, Thompson has been of his best tracks. He has five career wins on the high-banks and is the defending winner of the Sunoco World Series 150.

Timmy Solomito enters the finale 12 points back, with four wins on the season. Ryan Preece is 19 points behind, even though he missed two races. Eric Goodale is 25 points back and Rowan Pennink is 33 off the lead. Although Pennink and Goodale still have a mathematical shot at the title, they are going to need some luck to leapfrog to the front.

Below is a statistical look at the six drivers still in contention for the title, including their 2017 overall and Thompson statistics and their career on the 0.625-mile Connecticut oval.

Doug Coby 15 1 2 622 7.5 12.3 10.7
Justin Bonsignore 15 0 0 3 7.3 11.3 11.9
Timmy Solomito 15 4 3 408 8.7 4.6 8.8
Ryan Preece 13 5 1 471 4.4 10 10.1
Eric Goodale 15 1 0 34 8.5 3.6 12.5
Rowan Pennink 15 1 1 179 9.2 3.3 11.4










Although the driver’s championship is still plenty up for grabs, the owner’s championship chase is nearly all but wrapped up. Car owner Ed Partridge has put three different drivers behind the wheel this season: George Brunnhoelzl III, Jon McKennedy, and Preece. Even though Preece missed two races, the car still has received points and sits 40 points ahead going for the finale. Nearly all Preece needs to do is start the race on Sunday and the No. 6 and Partridge will win the owner’s title.



Race: Sunoco World Series 150
Place: Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park
When: Sunday, October 15
2016 Winner: Justin Bonsignore
2016 Polesitter: Timmy Solomito
Event Schedule: Saturday Oct. 14: Practice: 11:15-12 p.m., 12:30-1:15 p.m., Qualifying: 3:15 p.m. Sunday Oct. 15: Sunoco World Series 150: 3:30 p.m.
Track Twitter: @ThompsonSpdwy
Event Hashtag: #SunocoWorldSeries
Track Contact: Taylor Therrien, (860)
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley, (386)



The Race: Sunday’s season-finale is the 16th and final points championship race of the 2017 season for the unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. This will be the fourth and final appearance of the season on the high-banks of Thompson.

The Procedure: The starting field is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 30 cars will qualify through the group qualifying process with the remaining six spots being awarded through the provisional process. The race is schedule for 150 laps covering 93.75 miles.

The Track:  The 0.625-mile banked asphalt oval opened back in 1940 as the only asphalt track in the country. The track has held 137 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races in its history – the most of any facility on the current schedule.

Race Winners: There have been 35 different tour drivers that have rolled into Thompson’s Victory Lane. Mike Stefanik leads all drivers with 15 career wins on the high-banks. Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore and Bobby Santos III each have five wins and lead all active drivers.

Pole Winners: There are 47 drivers who have a Coors Light Pole Award at Thompson. Doug Coby leads all active drivers with five poles at Thompson.

Sunoco World Series 150 Notes:

Carroll Chasing Sunoco Rookie Honors: Entering the last race of the 2017 season, the battles for the driver’s and owner’s championship is not the only points title that will be locked up on Sunday. Andover, New Jersey, native Calvin Carroll has competed in all 15 races so far this season and has a best finish of 13th at Langley in the points events. Carroll finished on the podium in the non-points special at Charlotte last Friday night. The 17-year-old driver is hoping to lock up the Sunoco Rookie of the Year chase. Walter Sutcliffe Jr. enters the race trailing him, in second.

Blewett Back; Cugini Debuts: Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 will bring Jimmy Blewett back to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition for just the second time this season. The Howell, New Jersey, driver finished 24th after crashing out of the Icebreaker in April, but has six wins in his 122 career Whelen Modified Tour starts. The last of those came at Stafford in August of 2016. On the other end of the spectrum, Dan Cugini will make his debut on Sunday driving the No. 20 in place of Max Zachem, who continues to recover from an injury. Cugini has competed on the NEMA Midgets in New England and been successful for many years.

Myers & Harvey Return: Two former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champions return to competition on the same team at Thompson. Former championship driver Burt Myers has teamed with owner Eddie Harvey to make a run at the victory in the Sunoco World Series 150. Myers has just two career Thompson starts and he finished 14th in both of those races. However, the Walnet Cove, North Carolina, driver has 19 career Whelen Southern Mod Tour wins to his credit as well as two championships. In April, Harvey put Andy Seuss behind the wheel at the Icebreaker, but Seuss finished 17th after being involved in a wreck.

Goodale Brings Momentum: Eric Goodale is rolling into the season-finale with some momentum off his victory in the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford two weeks ago. Even though Goodale has never won a race at Thompson, the Riverhead, New York, driver has inside the top eight in all three races at the 0.625-mile oval so far this year. Goodale has shown speed all season and finished inside the top 10 in the last four series events.

Long Shot For Pennink: Even though Rowan Pennink enters Sunday’s race with a mathematical shot at the championship, it’s a long shot that he will end up the champion. However, that doesn’t mean the 2017 season wasn’t a success. Pennink returned Boehler Racing to Victory Lane in the Icebreaker at Thompson as they celebrate their 60th season of competition. Pennink has 11 top 10s in 15 races with an average finish of 9.2. He captured his first career pole in August on the high-banks of Thompson.

HOME TRACKS: Rocco Leads SK Modified Field

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will also include their NASCAR Whelen All American Series championship battles on Sunday afternoon. In the Division I SK Modifieds, Keith Rocco enters with a 12 point lead over Todd Owen. Ryan Preece enters third, 20 points back. In the Division II Late Models, Ray Parent enters the Sunoco World Series up by 29 points over William Wall.

Sources: Jason Christley/NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

NWMT Thompson 10/15/17 Schedule
Whelen Modified Tour
Saturday, October 14 8:00 a.m. Garage Opens.
11:15 a.m. to Noon Practice.
12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Final Practice.
3:15 p.m. Qualifying.
5:00 p.m. Garage Closes.
Sunday, October 15 10:00 a.m. Garage Opens.
11:00 a.m. Driver/Crew Chief Meeting.
12:35 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies.
2:15 to 2:45 p.m. Driver Autograph Session. (Behind Grandstands)
All times local; subject to change

NWMT Thompson 10/15/17 Entry List
Whelen Modified Tour
Whelen Modified Tour

0 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H. Brady Bunch Racing/Copeland Toyota & Chevy Chevrolet Brian Brady Scott Anderson
1 Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H. Eastern Propane & Oil Chevrolet Kenneth Fifield Glen Billings
2 Doug Coby, Milford, Conn. Mayhew Tools/Dunleavy/AJ Romano Const. Chevrolet Mike Smeriglio III Phil Moran
3 Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Cape Cod Copper/JDL/USNE Chevrolet Jan Boehler Greg Fournier
6 Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn. TS Hauler/Hoosier Tire of Calverton Chevrolet Ed Partridge Jeff Preece
11 Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C. Dunleavy Truck & Repairs/LFR/Citrusafe Chevrolet Eddie Harvey Eddie Harvey
14 Cory Oslund, East Hampton, N.Y.* Keith Grimes Excavating Chevrolet Brian Midgett TBA
15 Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn. 15-40 Connection Chevrolet Rob Fuller Steve Garrepy
16 Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y. Starrett Tools Ford Eric Sanderson Stanley Szaban
18 Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y. Buoyone Chevrolet Greg Gorman Greg Gorman
20 Danny Cugini,Marshfield, Mass.* Anytime Rental/Lu-Macs Chevrolet Ken Zachem Max Zachem
21 Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn. * Gershow Recycling Chevrolet Joseph Bertuccio Stash Butova
24 Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J. Supreme MFG Co. Chevrolet Clifford Krause John Cooke
26 Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y. Lakeland Landscaping Supply/TRC Electric Chevrolet Sean McDonald Gary McDonald
33 Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn. Performance Engines/Kendal Oil Ford Wade Cole Richard Rodenbaugh
36 Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y. Sapienza Enterprise Chevrolet Judy Thilberg Tommy Grasso
38 Manuel Dias, South Attleboro, Mass.* Performance Engines/Kendall Oil Chevrolet Linda Rodenbaugh Robert Bourne
39 Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J.* Power With Prestige/Cruising With Betty Chevrolet Joe Carroll Geary Rinehimer
44 Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass. Sully Tinio/Olivas Market Chevrolet Sully Tinio Bob Santos
46 Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y.. Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet Russell Goodale Doug Ogiejko
48 Kyle Soper, Manorville, N.Y.* Eastport Feeds Chevrolet Wayne Anderson Tom Soper
51 Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y. Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet Kenneth Massa William Michael
58 Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y. GAF Roofing Chevrolet Edgar Goodale Jason Shephard
63 Austin Pickens, Orlando, Fla.* West Orange Nurseries Chevrolet Steve Pickens Rob Fuller
64 Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn. Hoosier Tire East/Fastrock Electric/Hughes Motors Chevrolet Mike Murphy Ron Yuhas Jr.
76 Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J. Jimmy Blewett Inc./Starrett Tools Chevrolet John Blewett Sr. Rob Ormsbee
77 Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn. Curb Records Chevrolet Mike Curb Theodore Musgrave Jr.
78 Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn.* Last Minute Racing Chevrolet Steven Sutcliffe Kevin Anderson
82 Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn. Horton Ave. Materials Chevrolet Danny Watts Jr. Aaron Clifford
85 Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn. Stuarts Automotive/J&R Pre-Cast Chevrolet Robert Katon Kenny Stuart
89 Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass. Starrett Tools Ford John Swanson John Swanson
92 Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass. Nocella Paving/Airgas Ford Anthony Nocella Jason Decambra
99 Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J. Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler Chevrolet Cheryl Tomaino Trey Tomaino
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate

Doug Coby Hopeful for Another Stafford Victory in NAPA Fall Final

Stafford Springs, CT — With 8 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories at Stafford Speedway since 2012, Doug Coby and the #2 Mayhew Tools team have become synonymous with success at the Connecticut half-mile facility.  Coby has continued his good fortunes at Stafford with second place finishes in both the NAPA Spring Sizzler® in April and the Stafford 150 in August.  While the 2017 season didn’t get off to the best of starts for Coby and the #2 team they find themselves leading the points standings coming to Stafford for the first time this season and what better track for Coby to try to extend his point lead than Stafford.

“This year has been a weird season,” said Coby.  “We haven’t won as much as we have in the past couple years but we’ve had some really consistent finishes.  We’re coming off a 14th place finish at Loudon, which was pretty disappointing.  We led most of the race and then kind of got knocked around at the end.  We’re coming to Stafford hoping to win and at the very least hoping to extend the point lead heading into Thompson in a couple of weeks.  We’re excited it’s Stafford and we’ve been so good there the last 4 years or so.  It’s a great spot for us to come back to having just got the point lead.  I’d like to say I like our chances but I liked our chances last week at Loudon and everywhere else we’ve gone this year.  It really hasn’t been our year to go out and dominate with wins like we have in the past.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we went out and had a good run, led a lot of laps and won, or if Ryan or someone else wins the race. Anything can happen and I’m just hoping to get out of Stafford with the point lead and go to Thompson with another shot at winning the championship.”

Coby began the 2017 season with 3 finishes of 13th or worse in the first 4 events and he was 51 points out of the lead after the Langley race.  From there, Coby and the #2 team have slowly but steadily climbed their way back into championship contention with a 6-race string that saw them post a win, 4 second place finishes, and a fourth.  Coby says that this streak has him and the team hungry for a win at Stafford in the NAPA Fall Final.

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Season Sweep for Santos at NHMS

Bobby Santos wins July and September Whelen Modified Tour races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to close out emotional week

LOUDON, N.H. – During a Friday press conference to announce next year’s historic short track extravaganza at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Doug Coby called Whelen Modified Tour racing at NHMS the ultimate chess match. That was evident on Saturday, as the four-time modified king was shuffled from first to 15th over the final 20 laps and it was a Bobby Santos checkmate in the F.W. Webb 100.

The win was the second straight for Santos, who became the first driver to sweep both Whelen Modified Tour races at NHMS since Ryan Newman in 2010. It was an emotional win for Santos, a close friend of modified legend Ted Christopher, who died tragically in a plane accident on Sept. 16.

“I was his biggest fan, so I think maybe he helped me win this one today,” said Santos, who now has three career wins in his last eight starts at NHMS. “This is where you want to win. It is what everybody shoots for. This is our Super Bowl. It means everything to win here.”

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Largest-Ever Touring Series Event Planned for September 2018

Three-race weekend to include longest-ever Whelen Modified Tour race, K&N Pro Series East global event, and the first-ever Pinty’s Series race in the U.S.

LOUDON, N.H. – History will be made next September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 1.058-mile speedway is set to host a three-race weekend that will feature the longest NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race in history, a global cast of drivers from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, PEAK Mexico, and Whelen Euro series, and for the first time ever, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, which has never previously held a race outside of Canada. The weekend is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 21-22 of 2018.

“This is going to be the ultimate short track showdown with regional and global stars from NASCAR’s touring series,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. “We could not be more thrilled to once again host a major September NASCAR weekend, while making a little history at the same time. This is going to be an absolutely awesome world-class event for our fans.”

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East have long been an integral part of New Hampshire Motor Speedway lore, combining for more than 135 races since the track’s inaugural year in 1990.

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Gary Barnes of NAPA Canton to Serve as NAPA Fall Final Grand Marshal

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that NAPA Canton store owner Gary Barnes will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend.  Barnes will send the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the green flag for their 150-lap race with the most famous words in motorsports.

“I’m really thrilled to be the Grand Marshal,” said Barnes.  “It’s something that I never expected and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.  It’s a huge honor.  We’ve been in business for 27 years and we’ve been with NAPA for almost the entire 27 years.  It’s been a great relationship with NAPA and we’re proud to be NAPA Store owners and also to be part of Stafford Speedway along with NAPA.  Partnering with the track is something that we could never do on our own but to be part of the NAPA group and to be able to have such a presence at Stafford, it’s been great and Stafford does a really great job of promoting NAPA.  From the announcers with Ben Dodge and Matt Bucker to all the drivers who go to victory lane, they all thank NAPA for participating at Stafford and that is a big thing for us as store owners.”

Barnes has owned and operated the NAPA Canton location for the past 27 years and he has sponsored the SK Modified® teams of Curt Brainard and Ryan Preece and more recently he has been helping the SK Light teams of Cory DiMatteo and Glenn Korner.

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PJ1 Adhesive Compound to be Applied Again on Thursday and Sunday

Track Bite to be Reapplied for Upcoming NASCAR Race Weekend

Following positive feedback in July, PJ1 adhesive compound will be reapplied to first and third grooves in all four turns at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

The PJ1 application in July’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race allowed for a rare sight at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, three-wide racing through the turns.

LOUDON, N.H. – With the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs ramping up and the Camping World Truck Series Playoffs set to begin, the pressure to win is sure to be intensified this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. To help amplify that excitement even more, speedway officials have announced that they will apply the same PJ1 compound that produced thrilling side-by-side racing in July.

“There’s no question that the track bite compound we laid down in July allowed for some awesome racing around the entire racetrack,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. “We received some very positive feedback from the drivers, teams and, most importantly, the fans. The support to do it again in September was overwhelming.”

The PJ1 adhesive compound will be added to the first and third grooves in all four turns on Thursday night and again on Saturday night.

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Solomito Scores Crucial Win at Riverhead

Fourth Win of 2017 Keeps Him in Whelen Modified Title Hunt

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Timmy Solomito needed a win to keep pace in the frantic NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship race. He got it at his home track.

The 25-year-old from Islip, New York, powered by Doug Coby with four laps left to take the Miller Lite 200 checkered flag Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway.

Solomito, dominant for the first two-thirds of the event in the No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford, was outmaneuvered by Coby in lap traffic for the lead on Lap 155. The four-time tour titlists Coby was poised for his first career win at Riverhead, but Solomito recaptured the lead on the frontstretch on Lap 196 and drove to the checkers.

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Champion Christopher Passes Away

Connecticut Driver Involved In Plane Crash

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR champion Ted Christopher passed away Saturday after being involved in a plane crash in Connecticut. He was 59.

Christopher is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-Amercian Series national title and a touring series championship. The Plainville, Connecticut, driver won the short-track national title in 2001 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crown in 2008. He was the winningest driver at a pair of Connecticut’s historic tracks: Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

He was one of two people on board a plane that went down in Guilford, Connecticut, Saturday afternoon. The crash claimed the life of both.
Continue reading ‘Champion Christopher Passes Away’

Statement from NHMS GM David McGrath on the Passing of Ted Christopher

Statement from David McGrath, Executive Vice President and General Manager at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, on Ted Christopher, who died today in a plane crash in Guilford, Conn.:
“The short track community is one of the tightest-knit groups in motorsports, and today it lost one of its most passionate, talented and well-respected members. Ted Christopher was the gold standard when it came to short track racing, specifically the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. With 10 career victories, Teddy is one of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s most prolific drivers. I know that I can speak for everyone here, as well as our entire Speedway Motorsports, Inc. family, when I say that while Teddy may be gone, his legacy will carry on for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow competitors at this very difficult time.”

Continue reading ‘Statement from NHMS GM David McGrath on the Passing of Ted Christopher’

QUALIFYING: Solomito Right at Home

Earns Top Spot for Tonight’s Miller Lite 200

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Timmy Solomito kept his Riverhead Raceway roll going Saturday evening in qualifying for the Miller Lite 200.

Solomito piloted his No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford to a fast lap of 12.017 seconds around the Long Island quarter-mile for his sixth career Coors Light Pole Award. It marked his third at Riverhead, his home track.

Rookie Kyle Soper – who paced afternoon practice – laid down a lap of 12.154 and will start alongside Solomito in the front row for tonight’s tussle, slated to go green at 8 p.m.
Continue reading ‘QUALIFYING: Solomito Right at Home’

Stafford Speedway NAPA Fall Final Weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway will host the 45th Annual NAPA Fall Final Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 30 and October 1 to close out the 2017 NASCAR season of racing.  The NAPA Fall Final will host the penultimate race of the 2017 season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as well as determining the 2017 Whelen All-American Series Track Champions.  The NAPA Fall Final will also play host to the Mr. Rooter Truck Series.

The NAPA Fall Final Weekend will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 30 with practice sessions for the Whelen Modified Tour, Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and the Mr. Rooter Truck Series from 10 am to 2:15 pm.  The Whelen Modified Tour cars will take the track for time trials to set the field for the NAPA Fall Final 150 at 2:30 pm.  Stafford’s NWAAS divisions and the Mr. Rooter Truck Series will qualify for their features at the conclusion of NWMT time trials.  Feature events for the SK Lights, Limited Late Models, DARE Stocks, and Mr. Rooter Truck Series will conclude Saturday’s festivities.

The NAPA Fall Final Weekend continues on Sunday with the famous NAPA Pit Party, a meet and greet with drivers and teams, taking place from 11:00 am to noon on Sunday, Oct. 1.  Feature racing will begin at 1 pm with the SK Modifieds® first on track followed by the Late Models and the Whelen Modified Tour.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway NAPA Fall Final Weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 1’

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Seekonk

Coby Hitting His Stride At The Right Time

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enters the final six races of the 2017 season, four-time champion Doug Coby has yet to visit Victory Lane. And that would come as a surprise to most.

The Milford, Connecticut, driver had three finishes outside the top 10 in the first four races and dug himself a deep hole in the championship standings in his search for a fourth consecutive championship. However, as the tour rolls into Massachusetts’ only oval, Seekonk Speedway, Coby could be hitting his stride at exactly the right time. The 38-year-old has finished second in the last three races and has been inside the top five in five of the last six. The runs inside the podium have allowed Coby to crawl his way back to just 19 points from the championship lead in fourth place.

“It’s game on, these guys are letting us back into it,” Coby said following his podium run at Bristol. “I’m just chipping away and trying to win races. We have three second places in a row and we have been in contention to win every week since the Icebreaker and that’s really all you can ask for.”

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Seekonk’

Whelen Modified News & Notes: Bristol

Preece Enters “Thunder Valley” Looking To Continue Hot Streak

bushs_150DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Over the last six NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, no one has been able to post better results than Ryan Preece. The Berlin, Connecticut, driver has four wins, a runner-up and a fourth and it has allowed him to claw his way right back into the fight for the championship. Even though he missed a race at Virginia’s Langley Speedway in May to get married, Preece sits only 19 points from the points lead with seven championship races left on the 2017 schedule.

His recent run of success in NASCAR also included his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing at Iowa Speedway on July 29. As Preece enters the third Whelen Modified Tour race in 12 days, he is hoping to continue his recent success on the tricky high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. In his career at “Thunder Valley,” Preece has six top 10 finishes in seven starts, including a victory in the rain-shortened race in 2015. 

Series points leader Timmy Solomito enters the race with a 10-point advantage on Rowan Pennink, but if he wants to maintain the top spot, he will need to come away from Bristol in one piece. His best career finish at the track is eighth, but last season, he was involved in a wreck and finished 26 laps down in 18th. He joins Preece as the only multiple-time winners so far this season on the Tour. 

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Preece Continues to Roll at Stafford

Late Pass Of Coby Nets Third NASCAR Whelen Modified Win of Season

STAFFORD, Conn. (Aug. 4, 2017) – Ryan Preece has been nearly unbeatable of late when he straps behind the wheel of a race car.

Last weekend, Preece scored his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Iowa Speedway. He marked his return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Friday at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway with another trip to Victory Lane in the Stafford 150. 

The Berlin, Connecticut, driver took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn’t look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30.

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Rowan Pennink Leading NWMT Points Heading into Stafford 150

Stafford Springs, CT — When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Stafford Speedway on August 4th for the Stafford 150, Stafford SK Modified® regular Rowan Pennink finds himself at the top of the NWMT points standings.  Pennink’s ninth place finish this past weekend at New Hampshire was good enough to move him to the top of the standings as Timmy Solomito got caught up in a wreck and finished 29th.  Pennink has occupied the top spot of the NWMT standings once before at the midway point of the 2011 season and his points position has both himself and the #3 Cape Cod Copper / Boehler Racing Enterprises team excited.

“It’s definitely good to have the points lead halfway through the season and we want to end up with the points lead after the last races at Stafford and Thompson,” said Pennink.  “Hopefully we’ll be bringing another solid car to Stafford and we’ll be trying to win and if we can’t win then get a solid top-5 finish.  You’ve always got your eyes on the points but we just want to worry about putting together solid finishes and keep on chugging along here midway through the season.  It’s definitely awesome to be part of the 3 team and to be leading the points with them.  They’ve been leading the points and won plenty of championships before but I don’t think they’ve been in this position in a long time so everyone on the team is excited and I’m excited as well.  Hopefully, we can keep on having a strong season like we’ve had in the first half.”

During Pennink’s short time as the driver of the #3 Cape Cod Copper machine, in 5 starts at Stafford, he has recorded 4 top-6 finishes, with the only blemish a 25th place finish last August when an engine issue forced an early retirement.  With his past success in both the Whelen Modified Tour and the SK Modified® division at Stafford, Pennink is looking forward to another top-6 finish and a victory would not only be a career first at Stafford for Pennink, but would serve as a launching point for their pursuit of the championship in the second half of the NWMT season.

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Top 5 Effort for Bock

Brendon Bock charged from 18th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday to recorded his first top five of the season. Bock was mad because qualifying was canceled. His car was first and third in the two scuff sessions run prior to the Eastern Propane and Oil 100.

Bock was battling a loose car in the center and off the corners. Changes at halfway made the car better and allowed the Franklin Square, NY driver to return to the top five.

Bock was following the battle for the lead in the closing laps. Contact between Doug Coby and Ryan Newman brought out the caution with two laps remaining.

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Coby Awaiting First Win of 2017

Doug Coby of Milford, CT was leading Saturday’s Eastern Propane and Oil 100 with four laps to go before a late spin relegated him to an 11th place finish in overtime. Contact with Ryan Newman’s right front sent Coby spinning in turn 3.

“He (Newman) tried to split the difference of the cars, split the gap, and just clobbered me. He came over and apologized and I told him we’re just we’re all trying to win Loudon and you’re gonna put your car places where maybe it shouldn’t go and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”

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Chase Dowling Taking Win Streak to New Hampshire with LFR Team

No. 15 NWMT Team Will Feature 15-40 Connection At Loudon Race

SHREWSBURY, Mass. (July 13, 2017) – Rob Fuller and his LFR team will be back in action at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Saturday for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) race with recent two-time modified race winner Chase Dowling behind the wheel of the No. 15 15-40 Connection race car.

Dowling recently won in the EXIT Realty Modified Tour Series at Monadnock Speedway and the NAPA 5K SK modified race at Stafford Speedway and is looking forward to taking on Loudon in the premier NWMT race following his recent on-track success.

“We are coming off back-to-back wins, so it’s great to be on a roll heading into a big event such as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Loudon,” said Dowling. “I’m really looking forward to racing the Tour car again. We are fast every week in that car and we just need to put all the pieces together to finally get into Victory Lane.”
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Preece Joins Joe Gibbs Racing for 2 Races

XFINITY Series Return Leads Busy Weekend

Ryan Preece has been on a  roll since getting married on May 13. He has 3 wins at Riverhead (Modified Touring Series), Riverhead (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series), and Thompson (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) with a 3.4 average finish in 13 starts.

“We’ve been pretty good,” Preece said. “I think consistency is really just the key to running well. Everything’s just kind of been going my way. I’ve definitely been lucky at the same time but I feel like every time we show up to the racetrack I’m really happy with the car and not really changing too much so that’s always a good sign.”

The former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion has 2 wins and 4 top fives in 5 starts. His bid for a second title will include making up points from missing the Langley race. A discussion with team owners Eddie and Connie Partridge about his future set the foundation for Preece working on racecars.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

Bonsignore Looking To Gain Ground At Home Track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — As Justin Bonsignore continues the search for his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship this season, Saturday’s Buzz Chew Chevrolet-Cadillac 200 at Riverhead Raceway has been circled on the calendar as the one track where he is one of the clear favorites to visit Victory Lane. Bonsignore has finished inside the top five in nine of his 12 career series starts at the quarter-mile, including winning four times and sweeping both races at the track back in 2015. 

In fact, Bonsignore has a current streak going of four consecutive top two finishes behind the wheel of his No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet at Riverhead.

In his career, Bonsignore has been out front for 580 laps, including leading 117 of the 200 laps in route to victory at the oval last August. He sits fifth in the championship standings, 29 points from the top. The home track advantage could help him close that gap. 

Bonsignore’s list of challengers heading into Riverhead is led by current series points leader Timmy Solomito, who is the defending winner of this event and already has two victories on this young season. Solomito finished second in last year’s August stop at Riverhead, coming up just short of completing the season sweep behind the wheel of his No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford. Solomito enters Saturday’s 200-lap main event leading the championship standings by a margin of just two points over Boehler Racing driver Rowan Pennink, while Eric Goodale, Max Zachem and Bonsignore complete the top five. 

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Preece Rockets To Thompson Victory

Rolls to Second NASCAR Whelen Modified Win After Late Pit Stop

THOMPSON, Conn. (June 14, 2017) – Ryan Preece’s pit stop strategy pushed him back in the field. But the Berlin, Connecticut, driver wasted no time in driving to the front en route to Wednesday night’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the Thompson 125 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The win was the second of the season for Preece and 17th of his career.

Preece pitted with many of his lead challengers on lap 70. The No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet was forced to restart outside the top 10 behind a number of cars including Rowan Pennink and Bobby Santos, who pitted earlier. A late charge through the field by Preece culminated with a move to the inside of Pennink for the lead with just 18 laps to go.

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Eric Goodale Focused on Race Wins Entering Thompson 125

THOMPSON, CT – NASCAR’s oldest division, the Whelen Modified Tour, is set to return to America’s original paved oval, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, for the third running of the Thompson 125 on Wednesday, June 14. Unlike any other race on the schedule, this race is only 125-laps, creating an element of pit strategy that doesn’t exist in some of the longer races. This is something that veteran driver, Eric Goodale, is well aware of. 

The driver of the No. 58 GAF Construction Chevrolet explained, “[I’ll] just be a little more aggressive due to it being 125 laps, instead of 150. Qualify well and maintain track position and try to not makeup opportunities lost early and compete early.”

Goodale, who currently is third in the championship point standings, hasn’t finished outside of the top five since a disappointing 18th place finish to start the season at Myrtle Beach Speedway. The New York native is giving chase to fellow Long Islander, Timmy Solomito, and Rowan Pennink, who won the 43rd Annual Icebreaker at Thompson.  These two drivers are not the only ones to watch, however, according to Goodale. 

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Solomito Muscles Way to Langley Victory

Reclaims Whelen Modified Tour Points Lead with Second Win of 2017

HAMPTON, Va. — Timmy Solomito muscled his way past Doug Coby with seven laps to go to score the victory in Saturday night’s City of Hampton 150 at Langley Speedway – his second victory of the season in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Coby had dominated much of the event, leading all but six laps, but Solomito closed in on him in the closing stages of the 150 lap race at the .396-mile oval in Hampton, Virginia. When Solomito finally got to Coby’s rear bumper, he began to press the issue, looking to the inside and the outside and repeatedly giving shots to Coby.  With seven laps to go, and the third and fourth place cars of Max Zachem and Eric Goodale joining the battle for the win, Solomito executed the bump-and-run, which resulted in Coby spinning.

Solomito then survived a restart with two laps to go and survived overtime to clinch the win.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stat Advance: Langley

Analyzing The Langley 150 at Langley Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue the 2017 season at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia on Saturday with a 150-lap event. Below is a statistical look at the Langley 150.

Langley 150 Setup:
• This marks the fourth race of the season and the only appearance at Langley Speedway for 2017. 
• Rowan Pennink holds a one-point advantage over Timmy Solomito in the championship standings coming into the race. 
• Spring Sizzler winner Ryan Preece has two career starts at Langley, coming home with a best finish of fifth. 
• Andy Seuss has finished inside the top 10 in seven of his eight starts at Langley. 

At Langley Speedway:
• The track is a .4-mile slightly-banked asphalt oval located in Hampton, Virginia. 
• The facility will hold NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events in 2017 throughout the summer months. 
• The track opened in 1950 and has hosted nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events in its history. It also hosted 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series events. 
• Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competitor Denny Hamlin was the Mini Stock champion at the track in 1997. 

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stat Advance: Langley

Brunnhoelzl Back at Langley; Replaces Preece in No. 6 for Race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After years of trying, Ryan Preece finally captured his first career NAPA Spring Sizzler win at Stafford Motor Speedway. It was an emotional win for Preece, who called it bigger than his first career tour win.

Heading to the fourth race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, Preece will not make it two straight. Preece will vacate the cockpit of his No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet for the Langley 150 to get marry to his longtime girlfriend. Needing a replacement driver, car owner Ed Partridge tabbed two-time Langley winner and four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion George Brunnhoelzl III.

Brunnhoelzl won the last time the Whelen Modifieds visited the track in 2015 and also has two career Coors Light Pole Awards at the .4-mile oval. After a seventh- and a 10th-place finish in his first two starts at Langley, Brunnhoelzl has an average finish of 1.8 over his last five races there. 

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December 2017
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