Archive for the 'NASCAR WMT' Category

Cleary and Hodge to be Honored at Thompson’s Icebreaker

THOMPSON, CT – This January, within four days the Northeast Modified racing community lost two pioneers.  Photographer, Howie Hodge, and Modified legend, Leo “The Lion” Cleary, both passed away. At this weekend’s Icebreaker, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Officials have announced that they will honor the memory of both men, inviting their families’ as honored guests. 

Howie Hodge, who has been a photographer on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, as well as other NASCAR regional touring series, has also frequented the infields of short tracks throughout the country, but most consistently in his home state of Connecticut. For nearly 50 years, Howie shared his passion for motorsports photography with his wife, Mary.  The two were married for 53 years, and spent 50 of those years providing the motorsports community with many memories, memorializing – through photo – some of the sport’s iconic events and moments. 

Mary, along with her son, Kevin, will be on hand to honor Howie’s late memory during pre-race ceremonies on Sunday afternoon, April 2. Also, Kevin Hodge will act as the Honorary Starter for the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. 

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Blewett Refocuses on Home for 2017

Veteran to Compete Parttime on NASCAR WMT

Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ will make his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start of the season this weekend. He will drive the No. 76 John Blewett Inc./TS Haulers/Starrett Tools Chevrolet for the Icebreaker at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. Blewett expects to run 4-6 events this season thatdo not conflict with his commitment at Wall (NJ) Stadium Speedway.

“I would love to support the Thompson, Stafford schedule,” Blewett said. “That’s always been my favorite because of the history of Thompson and Stafford and their dedication to the tour. Hopefully, we can maybe hit a Loudon race or two but it’s all kind of up in the air.”

Blewett’s focus is competing for the Wall Modified championship in his No. 19. There are benefits for Blewett’s return to Wall. The track five minutes from home is easier to find sponsors. Family and friends want to follow him at Wall when they cannot attend a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Thompson

Zachem Heads Home Looking for First Tour Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 28, 2017) — Last year, Timmy Solomito used his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to launch a breakout season.

To find this year’s candidate to follow in Solomito’s tracks, you don’t have to look far.

Max Zachem made his debut on the tour at Thompson in 2013, and the now 24-year-old Preston, Connecticut, driver cut his teeth racing at his home state’s short tracks. And he heads back to New England for the 43rd annual Icebreaker weekend after a fifth-place run in the newly unified tour’s season opener at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway last week.

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Max Zachem Looking to Drink the Milk at NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season kicked off in Myrtle Beach and Preston, CT native and driver of the #20 Lu-Mac’s Package Store Chevrolet Max Zachem, opened with a fifth-place finish.  Zachem is looking to continue his momentum at the 46th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on Sunday, April 30.  Stafford has not been one of Zachem’s best tracks in his short career, but with a top-10 finish in all four Stafford races last season, Zachem is confident that he can get a top-5 finish or even a win in the prestigious Sizzler®.

“Stafford is one of my hardest tracks,” said Zachem.  “I think we can improve on our finishes at Stafford this season and be in the top-5 in each race.  Steve Lemay, who was Bobby Santos’ crew chief, has come on board with us and he’s been a great help with my driving and the car setups.   Everything as a whole package has made the race team that much better.  I think we can get a top-5 finish or even drink some milk in victory lane.  We have a shot for it, I believe our team is the best it’s ever been, and we’ll have something to show to everyone this year.”

Zachem began last season with a pair of career-best second place finishes and he parlayed that early season momentum into a 5th place finish in the points standings in only his second full season on the Modified Tour.  Zachem is looking to replicate that early season momentum this season while being more consistent with his race finishes to make a run at the championship.

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Rowan Pennink in Search of History, 3rd Consecutive SK Modified® Championship at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 2017 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Huntingdon Valley, PA native, Rowan Pennink, will be looking to make history behind the wheel of the Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson owned #99 Independent Wheel machine.  Pennink is the two-time defending SK Modified® track champion at Stafford, no modified driver has ever won three consecutive track titles.  Before Pennink, there have been 7 back to back champions: Bill Wimble (’64-’65), Geoff Bodine (’77-’78), Richie Evans (’80-’81), Jerry Pearl (’84-’85), Mike Christopher (’89-’90), Bob Potter (’91-92, ’94-95) and Ted Christopher (’00-’01).  Only three drivers in the history of Stafford have ever won three consecutive track titles; Late Model drivers Phil Rondeau (’87-’89) and Ryan Posocco (’03-’05) and DARE Stock driver Norm Sears (’06-’08).

“We haven’t talked about it yet,” said Pennink.  “Obviously that’s what we’re coming back to do this year and it would be awesome if we could win the championship again this year.  It would mean a ton for us.  It would be a huge honor to have that happen and Stafford is my favorite place to go racing every Friday night.  I started off a long time ago racing modifieds at Stafford and not only myself as a driver but the 99 team also, we’ve both come a long way and the goal is another championship.  This will be my fifth year running for Bob and Kelly and it’s been four years and two championships together.”

Pennink began driving for the #99 team back in 2013 and the combination looked to be destined for great things as they won in only their third race together.  In racing, sometimes as quickly as you get to the top you can be relegated right back down and that’s what happened to Pennink and the #99 team as they went 22 races between the 2013 and 2014 seasons before finding themselves back in NAPA Victory Lane for a second time by taking the checkered flag in the inaugural NAPA SK 5k race.  Things have really taken off since that second win, with the Pennink/99 team combination recording an astounding 18 wins in 49 starts, which works out to a winning percentage of 37%, and back to back championships.

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NWMT: Guerin Excited by Team’s Performance

BJ Guerin’s goals are off to a good start. Guerin is the Product Specialist and Education in Motorsports at Starrett. Starrett’s cars finished first and eleventh at the season opener at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway Saturday night. Guerin noted the additional cars in the field after NASCAR merged the Whelen Modified Tours.

The Flamingo Motorsports team coached Solomito on lap times to save tires on the abrasive half mile. Teams were limited to 4 tires. Crashes on a pair of late race restarts eliminated a number of cars. Mitee-Bite Products is an associate sponsor on Solomito’s No. 16. The Roush Yates Engines partner makes clamps.

“A lot of people had great game plans last night and we were fortunate the 16 car had a better game plan than everybody else,” Guerin said.

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LFR Northeast Becomes Part of LFR Enterprises

Rob Fuller Acquires Business from Bob Charland

SHREWSBURY, Mass. (March 22, 2017) – LFR Enterprises, owned by Rob Fuller, has acquired LFR Northeast which was previously operated by Bob Charland.

Fuller will take over the Northeast region for modified distribution and sales for LFR Enterprises.  Charland will no longer be selling parts to the racing industry.

“Rob and I had an agreement that if I ever wanted to change direction that he would step up and take over,” said Charland. “Rob has a very unique product line that really requires a vast knowledge of this industry which he has, so this really makes sense not only for me, but the customers as well.”

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Solomito Charges Late for Myrtle Beach Win

First Winner For Newly Unified Whelen Modified Tour

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – One year ago, Timmy Solomito captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the season-opening Icebreaker at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

Fast-forward a year later, the Islip, New York, driver was celebrating a victory in the season-opening race once again.

Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on Saturday at another historic venue, the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, and became the first winner on the newly formed unified Whelen Modified Tour. 

[Photo Gallery] by Debbie Horn

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QUALIFYING: Summers Takes Top Spot

Whelen Modified Pole at Myrtle Beach, His First Since 2001

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Rob Summers captured the Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season-opening Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

The pole was the seventh career for the Manchester, Conn. driver and the first for him since 2001 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Summers put down a fast time of 20.028 seconds (96.705 mph) late in the session behind the wheel of his No. 64 Fastrock Electric Chevrolet for Mike Murphy. He will lead the field to the green flag later this evening.

Donny Lia, making his first start for Tommy Baldwin Racing, was second in the qualifying session. Lia posted a fast time of 20.044 seconds (96.627 mph) behind the wheel of the No. 7 Bardahl Chevrolet.

[Photo Gallery] by Debbie Horn

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PRACTICE: Solomito Sets Myrtle Beach Pace

Fastest in Only Whelen Modified Tour Session for Opener

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Shawn Solomito opened the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season at the top of the speed charts in the only practice session at the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday.

Solomito was the only driver to break the 19-second bracket in the hour and 15-minute session for the season-opening Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen. He posted a fast time of 19.956 seconds (97.054 mph) behind the wheel of his No. 75 Eastport Feeds on the 25th of his 51 laps. The defending Riverhead Raceway modified division champion will search his first career tour victory in the Performance Plus 150 later this evening.

Matt Hirschman followed in second spot with a time of 20.014 seconds (96.772 mph), while Shawn’s brother Timmy Solomito was third with a lap of 20.057 seconds (96.565 mph).

[Photo Gallery] by Debbie Horn

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Statistical Advance: Myrtle Beach

Analyzing the Performance Plus 150 at Myrtle Beach Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 15, 2017) — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will open the 2017 season on Saturday at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina. Below is a statistical look at the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen, including selected driver notes:

Performance Plus 150 Setup:

  • This marks the second ever visit in NASCAR Modified history to the track, with the only other race won by Andy Seuss in 2009.
  • Defending NWMT champion Doug Coby begins his quest for a fourth consecutive championship at the half-mile on Saturday.
  • This marks the first race in the new modified era as a unified tour.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Myrtle Beach

Coby’s Quest for Fifth Title Faces Host of Challengers with Unified Tour

performance-plus_150DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2016) – Doug Coby’s quest for a fourth consecutive championship will include some familiar faces as well as some new challengers as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour begins a new era on Saturday.

The 2017 season gets rolling with the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen at South Carolina’s historic Myrtle Beach Speedway, marking a southern kickoff for the newly unified tour. The changes in the tour harken back to the days of NASCAR Hall of Famers Richie Evans and Jerry Cook, when the NASCAR Modified title was contested up and down the Atlantic coast. It’s fitting that Coby is looking to join the pair as just the third driver to win four straight crowns.

Coby enters the season looking to add to historic run. The 37-year-old from Milford, Connecticut, has put together an impressive five-year stretch: 20 wins and 15 poles, while either finishing first (four times) or second (once) in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings. The last three title runs have come with car owner Mike Smeriglio III and crew chief Phil Moran, and they’ve brought Mayhew Tools on board as their new primary sponsor of the No. 2.

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Hirschman Looks to Continue Myrtle Beach Success

Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA discounts his experience at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway ahead of Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour opener. He cited teams that privately tested or competed in a 50-lap Modified race last month, where he finished third. Hirschman has three consecutive podiums at Myrtle Beach.

“It’s not gonna be totally foreign to them,” Hirschman said. “But it’s a unique place and having raced there now a few times over the last year and a half certainly helps and we have won a race there which is always a boost of confidence.”

The tire wear at the half-mile oval is well known. Last month’s Modified race demonstrated conservation’s role with part of the field dropping back to preserve tires.

“There are abrasive tracks and then there’s Myrtle Beach. It’s hard to explain but it’s definitely the extreme on that end. It’s really unlike any other track I’ve run at.”

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NWMT: Rob Fuller Motorsports Adds Chase Dowling

Rob Fuller Motorsports of Shrewsbury, MA brings a new driver for next season. Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT joins the team with 4 top fives and 15 top 10s in 32 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts. He was the youngest Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner when he ran in 2015. Fuller and Dowling spoke at the World Series last year regarding 2017.

“Rob was one of the first people that approached me about driving a racecar for him,” Dowling said. “…I just want to win races and Rob Fuller’s going to give me the opportunity to provide me a car where I can be up front.”

Rob Fuller of Boylston, MA sees positives in his new driver. The No. 15 car is the house car for LFR Chassis, which won the last two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships with Doug Coby. The adjustments on the car are different and Fuller wants a driver to provide the best feedback.

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NASCAR Announces Nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018, Landmark Award

Allison, Farmer, Gibbs, Labonte, Penske New to Ballot; France, Hawkins Join Landmark List

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 8, 2017) — NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Each name made an indelible mark on the sport, whether from behind the wheel or atop a pit box … or even from inside a broadcast booth. After long careers that have helped shape NASCAR, all are now one step closer to its highest honor – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all racing heroes who earned race wins, championships … and millions of fans.

Among them are two owners who have each eclipsed the 100-win mark (Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske), a driver who combined for four championships in NASCAR’s Modified and Late Model Sportsman division (Red Farmer), an extreme talent who collected 19 wins before his too-soon passing (Davey Allison) and the 2000 premier series champion (Bobby Labonte). For a full list of nominees, please see below.

Click for bios of the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class nominees

Click for bios of the 2018 Landmark Award nominees

Photo gallery

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Danny Bohn Set for Doubleheader

Danny Bohn of Freehold, NJ has a doubleheader weekend in front of him after the Southern Modified Racing Series (SMRS) season opener was postponed. Saturday is the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway and Sunday the SMRS runs at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, NC.

Bohn has never been to Myrtle Beach. He has heard of the need to “be conservative” to save tires. His only experience of the track came from the online broadcast last month. Bohn believes his seat time on dirt tracks will help make him a contender.

Bohn plans to run the SMRS full time after the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour ended last year. He also plans to run a partial NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule for Fleming Family Racing. It may include a couple of northern races and all of the southern races at Myrtle Beach, Langley, Bristol and a non-points event at Charlotte.

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Balancing Act for Lutz

Ryan Lutz of Miller Place, NY plans to run 5 Legends Car races at Riverhead (NY) Raceway and defend his win from last year.

“(I am) incredibly thankful for the parents I have that let me pursue my dream I have in life,” Lutz said. “… My dad and Renee, they sacrifice a lot for me and let me do what I love and I cannot thank them enough.”

Lutz also thanked his brother Craig, Kyle Ellwood, 600 Racing, and engine builder Chad Honeycut.

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Langley to Host NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series in 2017

Newly Re-opened Virginia Track Adds NASCAR K&N Pro East and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2017) – Bill Mullis made the big news announcement Friday: He had purchased Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, and the historic track will re-open in 2017 to racing.

Sunday afternoon, Mullis continued the good news for racers and race fans. He announced the .4-mile oval will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and newly unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season. In addition, the track will return to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with its weekly racing program.

“It’s been a long process,” said Mullis. “But I grew up racing at Langley and know the value of the track to the community, so it’s been a very worthwhile process. Once we got the paperwork finalized for the sale, we worked very quickly with NASCAR to assure our fans and drivers that we remain committed to bringing NASCAR racing back to Hampton in a big way.”

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Safety-Kleen Sponsors NASCAR Whelen Modified Opener

Myrtle Beach Speedway to Kick Off Season with Performance Plus 150

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (Feb. 7, 2017) – The 2017 season for the unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will kick off in a big way with its March 18 event at Myrtle Beach Speedway, as the legacy of NASCAR’s top Modified drivers racing up and down the Atlantic coast continues at the historic venue.

Adding to the significance of the event, the track announced today that Safety-Kleen will be the entitlement sponsor for the kickoff. The race event, which will also feature NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, will be the Performance Plus 300 presented by Safety-Kleen.

Safety-Kleen has been an official partner of NASCAR since 2004. The Richardson, Texas-based Safety-Kleen is owned by Norwell, Massachusetts-based Clean Harbors, Inc., and is the Official Environmental Services Supplier of NASCAR.

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New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Leo Cleary Passes

Word arrived from Florida today that 1999 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Leo Cleary has passed away at age-88.

Upon hearing of the news, award-winning Hall of Fame auto racing journalist Pete Zanardi stated the following; “Leo, from Massachusetts, was truly one of New England’s short track pioneers with a career stretching all the way back to the days of early tracks such as Dracut, Groveland, Topsfield, West Peabody, Medford Bowl, Norwood Arena, and Westboro. He raced and won all over the region, and was always in high-demand with the best teams. His era included some of the greatest names in the history of modified racing.”

Arrangements are incomplete at this time. The entire NEAR family extends its sincere condolences to Leo’s family & many friends.

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Seekonk Mourns the Loss of Legendary Driver Leo Cleary

SEEKONK, Mass. — The entire New England racing community lost another icon on Tuesday morning. Leo “The Lion” Cleary, who is a New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member and a Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame member, passed away at the age of 88.

In his over 40 years time in racing, Cleary won multiple races and championships at various different tracks in New England. He started his career at Seekonk in 1955 and it continued all the way through the late 1980s, when he won his final championships at the third-mile oval.

Cleary scored the Pro Stock championship in 1986, then was able to capture the title in the Mini Modifieds division a year later in 1987. Not only was Cleary was a four-time champion (also won a title in 1972 & 1979) at Seekonk, but he won a total of 14 championships in his racing career in New England, according to the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame website.

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Starrett Joining Swanson for 2017

Matt Swanson will return to drive the No. 89 SPAFCO this season with new sponsorship from the L. S. Starrett Company. Starrett is a tool manufacturer of micrometers, saws, and measuring equipment based in Athol, MA.  Swanson is looking forward to the 2,000 employees joining his fan base.

The Acton, MA driver and Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY will be sponsored by Starrett this year. Jimmy Blewett won at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway last year driving the Starrett No. 4 for Bob Garbarino.

“I met Jim (Taylor) and BJ (Guerin) during the middle of the season and we’ve been talking,” Swanson said. “The deal’s really coming together these last couple of weeks here. They wanted to put a deal together with two guys, so they decided to put me and Timmy (Solomito) with Starrett behind us.”

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Krause Making Gains Indoors

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — Andrew Krause of Holmdel, NJ won his B-Main to earn a starting spot into the Gambler’s Classic.

Krause admittedly had “quite a bit of work” since finishing 17th in Allentown, PA last month.

The asphalt Modified driver is adjusting to the tight confines of historic Boardwalk Hall.

“This is nothing like anything you could really get any experience from other than just coming here and turning some laps. The way the car handles, the way you have to drive the car, the racing attitude that other drivers have. It’s just a whole different world.”

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Woody Pitkat to Run Double Duty at TSMP in 2017

The 2017 season is shaping up to be a busy one for Woody Pitkat. Already committed to a new NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ride with Goodie Motorsports, and returning to his Stan Mertz owned No. 6 Sunoco Modified at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Pitkat will also be driving Jeff Hartwell’s No. 91 Late Model entry.  Returning to the Late Model Division is a homecoming for Pitkat, whose roots are in a full-fendered race car.

Pitkat raced against Hartwell at Stafford Motor Speedway previously, and the two developed a mutual respect for each other. One of Hartwell’s crew members had always pushed him to explore the option of having Pitkat drive one of his cars. Hartwell finally took his advice and made the call just recently. Pitkat was surprised as he originally thought he was joking. He talked details over and went to take a look at the car where an agreement was ultimately made. While Pitkat looks forward to being back behind the wheel of a full-fendered car he also looks to deepen his relationship with the Hartwell Motorsports team by being present at the team’s shop.

“It’s tough to do when there are other commitments and priorities. But with his shop being so close to Thompson and close to me I can make an effort to be there and get involved. The more time we spend together the better it will get. That’s how we’ll build this,” the 2015 Sunoco Modified Champion explained.

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NASCAR Star Ryan Preece Seeks to Reverse Bad Three Quarter Midget Indoor Racing Luck in Atlantic City’s Gamblers Classic this Weekend, January 27-28

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ January 24, 2017 . . . NASCAR driving talent Ryan Preece will be heading to Atlantic City this week on a mission. After being fast in practice the last three years for the NAPA Know How race weekend held inside famous Boardwalk Hall, Preece has had problems that have kept him from the starting line-up of the Gambler’s Classic. This year, the Berlin, Conn. driver who competed full-time on NASCAR’s Xfinity series in 2016, hopes to not only be part of the 24 car starting field but win the 15th running of the race.

Preece will be among more than 80 drivers competing in TQ Midgets this weekend, Friday and Saturday, January 27th and 28th.

“I’ve never had any luck at Atlantic City with the Three Quarter Midgets (TQs),” Preece said. “I’m looking to turn it around this year.”

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Star Ryan Preece Seeks to Reverse Bad Three Quarter Midget Indoor Racing Luck in Atlantic City’s Gamblers Classic this Weekend, January 27-28’

Lia to Drive TBR 7NY on NWMT

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (January 11, 2017) – Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today their plans to compete on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) with driver Donny Lia in 2017. Returning to his roots, Tommy Baldwin will bring back the iconic No. 7NY as seen below.

The car number has a rich history in the NASCAR touring series and the local tracks on Long Island, New York, amassing a combined total 54 wins with the late “Tiger” Tom Baldwin, Sr.

Lia, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion (2007 and 2009) and Long Island native, brings a wealth of experience to the team. With a career dating back to 2001, Lia raced Baldwin on the Tour.

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Chase Dowling Announced as Driver of #15 NWMT Car in 2017

15-40 Connection to Continue Partnership with Rob Fuller for Fourth Year

SHREWSBURY, Mass. (January 11, 2017) – Rob Fuller has announced that 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) Rookie of the Year Chase Dowling has signed on to pilot the No. 15 Chevrolet in select races in 2017 for the team.

“I have been watching Chase out of the corner of my eye for the past couple seasons and I’ve been extremely impressed with what I’ve seen,” said Rob Fuller. “Having worked with the young drivers at the LFR driver development group I believe this would be a great match for us both. This is a high-profile ride and will be a great opportunity for him as well. I think he will also be a great advocate for 15-40 Connection, which is a huge part of this race team. I am highly confident we will continue to be a threat at every race we attend with Chase behind the wheel.”

“LFR will continue to develop and evolve in the NASCAR Modified division,” continued Fuller. “We will shift our focus to customer support and service while staying on top of the cars and accessories we design and distribute.”

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Ted Christopher to Drive for Keith Rocco Racing at Thompson

Two of the Connecticut’s most successful drivers will be joining forces for the upcoming season at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT will drive for Keith Rocco Racing in the Sunoco Modifieds. Both drivers hold 5 track titles at the 77-year-old facility operated by the Hoenig family.

“I worked with Ted (Christopher) for a long time back before I started my racing career and he made a joke towards me at Waterford one week,” Rocco said. “He said ‘Before I retire, I’m gonna drive for you,’ so (Ronnie) Williams had other plans this year and I called Ted up and I said here’s your opportunity and we sat down and came up with a plan and that’s what it is.”

Rocco was a crew member on Christopher’s team from 2001 to c.2004-05. Christopher recorded 14 wins at Thompson in 2001 and claimed the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship.

“To jump on a team and be involved and to learn a little bit and win as much as we did, it was awesome. What else would anybody ask for that just joined a team other than winning races and contend for a national championship?”

Continue reading ‘Ted Christopher to Drive for Keith Rocco Racing at Thompson’

Pallai Returns to Modified Competition

Richie Pallai, Jr. of Yorktown Heights, NY will compete in Tour-Type Modifieds this season for New Jersey native Phil Stefanelli. Pallai will drive Stefanelli’s home-built car at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway’s IceBreaker February 12 and the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway. The home-built car will also compete in the Southern Modified Racing Series.

Stefanelli will also field a new Fury racecar for Pallai in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opener at Myrtle Beach March 18 and possibly the May 13 event. Pallai may enter additional races up north. Pallai expects to run 10-12 races, including 3 nights of Speedweeks at New Smyrna.

“Me personally selfishly I’d like to run Loudon again,” Pallai said. “I love Loudon and deep down inside if I can run one more race anywhere I’d like to race Stafford just ’cause that’s my home and I do miss running Stafford.”

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Stafford Motor Speedway 2017 Season Kicks off with 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 29-30

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway will kick off its 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season on April 28-30 with the 46thAnnual running of the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.”  The 2017 season will mark the 59th consecutive season of NASCAR racing at the half-mile and the 4th season of NAPA Auto Parts serving as the Elite Corporate Sponsor of Stafford Motor Speedway.  NAPA Auto Parts will also serve as the title sponsor of Stafford’s NAPA SK 5k on July 7 as well as the season-ending NAPA Fall Final Weekend on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

“We’re proud to once again be partnered with NAPA Auto Parts and we are looking forward to another exciting season together,” said Mark Arute, Stafford Speedway President/COO.  “NAPA has been an outstanding group to have associated with the three premier events on our 2017 schedule.  NAPA has cultivated a unique connection with our race fans during the first three seasons of our partnership.  Together NAPA and team Stafford have raised over $15,000 for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through the annual Track Walk and sale of NAPA swag throughout the past two seasons. We’re looking forward to another big contribution to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund with NAPA at the conclusion of the 2017 season.”

Last year’s NAPA Spring Sizzler saw former Stafford Speedway track champion Doug Coby join Richie Evans, Maynard Troyer, Rick Fuller, and Bobby Santos, III as three-time Sizzler winners.  Coby will make a bid for the history books at the 46th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler as he attempts to join Mike Stefanik as a 4-time Sizzler winner.  A 4th NAPA Spring Sizzler win would put Coby just 2 wins behind Ted Christopher as the winningest driver in Sizzler history.  Coby dominated Stafford this past season notching a win at the NAPA Fall Final on his pursuit to his third NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.  In similar style, Rowan Pennink driver of the #99 SK Modified® and Tony Membrino, Jr. driver of the #44 SK Light were both victorious at the NAPA Spring Sizzler and they went on to win championships in their respective divisions.  Last year’s NAPA SK 5k saw Ted Christopher extend his record number of feature wins at Stafford to 125 with a victory that was worth an $11,175 payday for the Plainville driver.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Motor Speedway 2017 Season Kicks off with 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 29-30’

May 2017
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