Archive for the 'Riverhead' Category

2 Brunnhoelzls at Riverhead Opening Day

IMG_8917Bill Park stepped out of the driver’s seat of his always beautiful No. 20 NASCAR Modified, he has filled that seat with several talented drivers. Park will have a trio of drivers this year. Last year’s regular driver Ryan Preece will be back for 8 races and Ron Silk will be in the car for about 5 races plus the 2 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races.

A familiar face will drive the car on opening night at Riverhead (NY) Raceway. Former Long Islander George Brunnhoelzl, III will venture north from North Carolina to pilot the East West Marine/Elite Towing and Transport/Meade’s Welding & Fabricating car. He will be returning to Riverhead for the first time since 2011, when he drove a NASCAR WMT race.

I talked to George Monday about coming back to Riverhead, coming back to Long Island to drive for Bill Park and his season in general.

Continue reading ‘2 Brunnhoelzls at Riverhead Opening Day’

Schneider to Pursue VMRS, Riverhead Events

Dave Schneider is planning to compete on the Valenti Modified Racing Series (VMRS) full-time and the Tour-Type Modifieds at Riverhead (NY) Raceway as his schedule allows. Schneider acquired a brand new 2008 Troyer at the end of last year and will use it as his an VMRS car. His old car will be used at Riverhead.

He is also looking at the Northeast Auto Car and Parts Tri-Track Open Modified Series depending on how the season is going. “It’s a great series (Tri Track),” Schneider said. “They have a great selection of tracks and the promoters are awesome people.”

Schneider will also have a new paint scheme. The car will still be red, but have other colors added.

Schneider had a tough season last year. He blew a motor at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway. He crashed in his first race back at New London-Waterford (CT) Speedbowl and clipped the car. Schneider came down with mono. He had his ups though at the end of year. A fifth at Seekonk (MA) Speedway, seventh at Lee (NH) USA Speedway and Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park were among his best finishes. “I’m looking to improve exponentially on that.”

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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.”

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NWMT: Nocella to Compete for Sunoco ROY

Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA will move to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour full-time in the KLM Motorsports No. 64. 

“(I) want to thank Mike Murphy and Ron both for offering me the ride and having the confidence in me,” Nocella said. “So hopefully we’ll run good with them and it’s definitely a big opportunity for me. … It’s something that we can go out and have some good strong runs and get top tens and fives and hopefully better than that. Maybe get the Rookie of the Year, which would be a big deal.”

“I was pretty excited when I got the call to be able to go and try to run that. Pretty tough competition I’d say and I was excited that they thought that I’d be able to do it and giving me the opportunity. … Mike Murphy there and Ron both seem pretty excited and I thought it was a real great opportunity to be able to go out try to run.”

Mike Murphy’s car has been driven by Ron Yuhas, Jr. recently. He was injured last September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Yuhas posted on Facebook that he is still recovering from his injuries and thankful for the support. The Groton, CT driver has raced for Murphy since 2011 in the Fast Track Electric/Hughes Motors car.

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Goodale Bound for New Smyrna

Eric Goodale of Riverhead, NY will enter at least three nights of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna (FL) Speedway. His brother Kevin may enter three races, while the car will be there for the duration.

“We’re going down there with the intention of trying out a bunch of new things, hopefully being able to gain some speed this year,” Goodale said. “The last couple of years we’ve been there, it’s been very beneficial to us during the season. We’ve been able to try some things that we wouldn’t have the time to normally in the course of a day at the racetrack with the tour schedule, so it’s nice to go down there pick everybody’s brain about what they want to do and find some things that work, and some things that don’t work, and then you don’t have to waste your time with them during the season.”

Goodale will be focusing on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with his father Edgar’s No. 58 Troyer. The Goodie Motorsports crew will return along with the support of the family business, Riverhead Building Supply.

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Ellwood to Split Time on NWMT, Riverhead

Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, NY will enter several NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races this season. He plans four races at Thompson (Icebreaker and World Series) and both races at his home track, Riverhead (NY) Raceway. Ellwood is looking for more races if financing is available, especially the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford (CT) Motor Speedway.

“That’s going to be the biggest part this year is running these couple of tour races that we’re going to run and finding enough people do to it,” Ellwood said. “It all depends on how funding goes, and how our team is, and how Jeff’s (Goodale) doing. … on how the cards fall, and how the first couple weeks at Riverhead go.”

Ellwood made his initial foray into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last year at Riverhead in June and the World Series at Thompson.

“It was a great experience. I got to learn a lot, a lot of seat time and you get to learn a lot about the car too in the longer races.”

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Brode Records Riverhead Repeat

Third Career Title At Long Island Bullring

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Howie Brode may not have had as many friends on or off the track in 2014 as he did the previous season, but that didn’t impede his pursuit and procurement a second-consecutive championship at Riverhead Raceway.

Most title defenses don’t go unchallenged. There’s an inherent elevated level of competitiveness, and even jealousy, when challengers size up the crown bearer. Brode, of East Islip, New York, experienced this first-hand.


So what was the difference for Brode in 2014 as the reigning Riverhead NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champ?

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Bock Moving to NASCAR WMT

Legend Car Grad to Compete in Modifieds and Super LM

Brendon Bock of Franklin Square, NY will pursue a limited NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule driving the No. 29 car. Bock will be trading the No. 33 that came with his Legend Car for the one his father used. He plans to enter five races at Riverhead Raceway (1), Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (2 each).

“Modifieds have always been around me,” Bock said. “I’m very close to those, all my guys knows those well. It just makes sense to run a Modified for us.”

An expanded schedule is dependent on sponsorship. Bock wants to add Bristol after attending last year’s race. ” I really want to try Bristol, but I don’t know how that might shape out in the future. I went to watch it last year, I just loved it so much.”

Bock will enter selected NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races at Riverhead. He will use the events for additional seat time at the quarter mile oval. Bock enjoys the fact that he will be able to continue to race with some of his friends who are moving up to the Modifieds.

“The Modifieds are so special. They’re so sick, they’re so powerful and they look so badass. It’s just hard to find something that compares to them on the big asphalt tracks.”

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Moran Enjoying Second Title, Looking Forward to 2015

Phil Moran of Naugatuck, CT has spent his life in racing. For Moran, the second championship is “a little more special,” Moran said. “…This is our team as far as me concerned I’m the team manager, truck driver, the whole nine yards.”

11 years ago, Moran won his first championship with Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT driving for Don Barker. The team had a lot of technical support from Chassis Dynamics.

Moran did not get to celebrate as much as he wanted at Thompson since he had to drive the transporter. Besides getting ready for the World Series, he has been busy building new cars for next season and NASCAR’s commitments as the championship team. He expects it to hit him during the celebration in Charlotte Saturday. The NASCAR Night of Champions honors the regional touring series. He especially wants to bring the championship trophy back to the shop.

It is first championship for Mike Smeriglio, III, owner of the Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance No. 2 on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Driver Doug Coby of Milford, CT claimed his second title in the last three years.

“It was a well thought out move when we did it last year and it worked out for the good. It was a really good year.”

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Eye on Riverhead: November 2014

NASCAR WMT Visits Riverhead Twice in 2015

Great news to start off our first off season Eye On Riverhead comes from promoters Barbara & Jim Cromarty who disclosed today that the 2015 Opening Weekend at Riverhead Raceway Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd. Of course it will be the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series stock cars kicking off their season on Saturday May 2nd while the Enduro season will go green the next afternoon May 3rd. The two pre-season practice days will take place on Saturday April 18th and again the following week April 25th.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will once again make two visits with the first race set for the tradition last Saturday in June that being June 27th in 2015. The second WMT event will unfold a tad earlier this year as the Saturday August 29th has been tabbed as the date for the second 200-lapper for the popular series. The entire 2015 schedule is still in the works as Barbara Cromarty works her magic and will be released in the weeks to come.

A quick reminder that your truly will be once again hosting the Long Island Automotive Swap Shop on Sunday December 7th in the pit area of the track. It’s time to clean out the garage and turn all that stuff you been tripping over into cold hard cash. Robert Clock will be on hand once again with his huge photo album collection for those who like to take a look back to the golden era of racing. Last year was indeed a very successful Swap Shop and from all indications this year will be bigger and better. The biggest item moved last year was when Gary Fritz Sr. bought Chris Young’s enclosed ramp truck. Don’t miss out on either selling or buying this year. It is just $20 per vendor spot and a $5 general admission, so come on out!

Continue reading ‘Eye on Riverhead: November 2014′

New Ride for Timmy Solomito

‘The Natural’ in Flamingo Motorsports Car for 2015

Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY will drive the No. 16 Modified for Eric Sanderson on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour next season. The rumor mill has been churning since Ryan Preece announced his departure from Flamingo Motorsports on October 20, one day after winning the Sunoco World Series. One year removed from winning a championship, Preece is moving to Eddie Partridge’s No. 6 TS Haulers Motorsports car.

Solomito did not have anything set going into the season finale at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. He expected to return to Anderson’s No. 75 car or at least run part time.

Flamingo Motorsports Crew Chief Sly Szaban asked Solomito’s car owner Wayne Anderson within days of the season finale about their plans for 2015. Szaban expressed interest in Solomito driving for Flamingo Motorsports. Anderson, the 1994 series champion, was supportive of the 22-year-old driver’s opportunity.

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Riverhead 200 Photos

Photos by Michael Jaworecki

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Whelen Modified Tour Rained Out At Riverhead

Riverhead 200 Cancelled; Tour Returns To Action Sept. 20 At New Hampshire

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (Sept. 13, 2014) – Due to inclement weather Saturday at Riverhead Raceway, the Riverhead 200 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race has been cancelled.

Rain moved over the track during afternoon practice and persisted into the evening, forcing the cancellation of the event by NASCAR and track officials.

Due to local regulations that prohibit Riverhead Raceway from running events after the month of September, no make-up date is available to reschedule the Riverhead 200. The Whelen Modified Tour has scheduled events the next two weekends to close out the month.

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PRACTICE: Bonsignore Leads At Riverhead

Fastest In Rain-Shortened Riverhead 200 Session

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Justin Bonsignore led the way in an abbreviated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice session Saturday afternoon at Riverhead Raceway.

Bonsignore, from Holtsville, New York, posted a fast lap of 12.088 seconds (74.454 mph) around the Long Island bullring before rain moved into the area.

The season-high 31-car field had approximately 35 minutes on the track in preparation for Saturday’s scheduled Riverhead 200 before the rain came.

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Whelen Modified Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Riverhead 200 At Riverhead Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Riverhead 200 on Saturday at Riverhead Raceway on New York’s Long Island. Below is a statistical look at the performance of tour and selected drivers at the track:

Riverhead 200 Setup:
• Championship points leader Doug Coby is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events this year. A winner of 10 races at four different tracks during his career, Coby will vie for his first Riverhead Raceway victory this week.

• Defending Riverhead 200 victor Ryan Preece has four wins and has averaged a podium finish across his nine career starts at the Long Island bullring.
• The first 10 events this year have featured three first-time winners, including Eric Goodale’s June triumph at Riverhead. A fourth first-timer would be the most the Whelen Modified Tour has seen since there were five in 2002.

At Riverhead Raceway:
• Opened in 1951 as a dirt track and converted to asphalt in 1955.

• Held its first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 10, 1985 during the NWMT’s first season. The inaugural race was won by Jimmy Spencer.
• Has held 54 NWMT races all-time, fourth-most among all venues.
• Is one of two tracks to play host to the NWMT in each of its now 30 seasons of competition, along with Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Continue reading ‘Whelen Modified Stat Advance: Riverhead’

Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

First-Time Winners Abound In 2014

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has long been constituted of accomplished veterans who regularly reach Victory Lane. First-time winners are more of the exception than the rule, but the 2014 season is bucking that trend.

Three of the 10 races this year have featured first-time winners, including the June event at Riverhead Raceway, where the Whelen Modified Tour will return to for Saturday’s Riverhead 200. A fourth in any one of the four remaining dates would be the most since there were five in 2002.

Eric Goodale was the first breakthrough winner this year when he earned a hometown victory at Riverhead in June. Woody Pitkat reached Victory Lane at his home track Stafford Motor Speedway in early August, then last time out at Bristol Motor Speedway rookie Tommy Barrett Jr. captured his first win.

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Goodale Gets First Win at Home

Long Island Driver Scores Whelen Modified Victory At Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — It was happy homecoming for Eric Goodale.

The 28-year-old from Riverhead scored his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win Saturday night in the Hoosier Tire 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

Goodale powered the No. 58 GAF Roofing/ Chevrolet past Ted Christopher shortly after a Lap 170 restart and led the final 25 laps en route to the victory.

Goodale’s previous best finish in 77 starts was second at Riverhead last June. He also finished runner-up in the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway.

[Photo Galleryby Paul Fohlin

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QUALIFYING: Beatty Takes Top Spot

Earns First Whelen Modified Coors Light Pole At Riverhead

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — John Beatty Jr. earned his first Coors Light Pole Award Saturday in just his fifth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start.

The 38-year-old from Merrick, New York, posted a lap of 11.959 seconds (75.257 mph) around the quarter-mile in qualifying for Saturday night’s Hoosier Tire 200.

Beatty ran the Whelen Modified Tour race twice at Riverhead last year, qualifying in the top five both times, and finished third at his home track in the June race.

[Photo Galleryby Paul Fohlin

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PRACTICE: Preece Heating Up at Riverhead

Tops Hoosier Tire 200 Practice Session

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – Ryan Preece led the way in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice Saturday afternoon in preparation for the Hoosier Tire 200 at Riverhead Raceway.

Preece toured the .25-mile oval on New York’s Long Island with a fast lap of 11.982 seconds (75.113 mph), recorded late in the 90-minute afternoon session.

Winner of three consecutive Modified Tour wins at Riverhead, Preece will look for his fourth consecutive and fifth out of nine career starts this evening. He has an average finish of 3.1 at the track.

[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin

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Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Hoosier Tire 200 At Riverhead Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to action with the Hoosier Tire 200 on Saturday at Riverhead Raceway on New York’s Long Island. Below is a statistical look at the performance of tour and selected drivers at the track:

Hoosier Tire 200 Setup:
• Season points leader Justin Bonsignore earned his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory at Riverhead Raceway in 2011, the same season he also captured the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title.
• Ryan Preece has won four of his eight career NWMT starts at Riverhead, including the last three races in a row. The defending tour titlist will look at the Hoosier Tire 200 as an opportunity to gain his first win of 2014.
• In addition to Bonsignore, Donny Lia and Rowan Pennink also earned their first career victories at Riverhead. Lia is tied with Preece for the most wins among active drivers at the quarter-mile with four.

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Whelen Mod Tour News & Notes: Riverhead

Top Rookie Solomito Right At Home At Riverhead

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Timmy Solomito hopes that returning home to New York’s Riverhead Raceway for Saturday’s Hoosier Tire 200 will be the perfect opportunity to capture his first tour checkered flag.

Solomito, a 22-year-old from Islip, grew up racing at the famed Long Island bullring. Although he’s a true rookie at most all of the venues the Whelen Modified Tour visits, Solomito was asked if his experience at Riverhead will prove to be an equalizer this week.

“Without a doubt,” Solomito said. “Having so many laps there – I’ve been racing go-karts since I was eight there and stock cars since I was 16 – so I have a lot of laps there, which definitely helps me I feel.

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Dual Threat: Bonsignore Takes on NASCAR WMT & VMRS Competition

High Expectations for Icebreaker Winner

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

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

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

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Jimmy Zacharias to Drive BRE #3 at Spring Sizzler

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

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

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

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

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

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Tommy Baldwin Racing Signs Ryan Preece to Drive No. 36 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series

Mooresville, N.C., — Tommy Baldwin Racing has hired Ryan Preece, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, to run two races in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 2014 in the No. 36 Chevrolet. Preece will make starts at Richmond International Raceway as well as returning to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Preece, a member of the prestigious NASCAR Next program, has a decorated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career under his belt. He made his career debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Tommy Baldwin Racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In seven years in the NWMT Preece has made 95 career starts including nine wins, 42 top five finishes, 54 top 10 finishes and 11 pole position starts.

East West Marine, based out of Manorville, N.Y., will adorn Preece’s No. 36 Chevrolet for both races.

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2014 Whelen Modified Schedule Announced

Fourteen Race Schedule Covers Seven Tracks

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule features a strong lineup of traditional dates along with a pair of marquee non-points events.

The Whelen Modified Tour’s 29th season will see 14 championship points events spread across four states. Added to the season-opening non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway is another special event paired with the June visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

When the tour makes its summer visit to New Hampshire, the points race on Saturday, July 12, will be preceded by a unique, invitation-only 25-lap shootout the day before. The race will feature a limited field and is only open to past NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tour champions and race winners, along with 2013 Sunoco Rookies of the Year for both tours.
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Timmy Solomito Returning to Riverhead, NASCAR WMT in 2014

Timmy Solomito of Islip, NY will return to Modified racing full-time at Riverhead Raceway driving for Wayne Anderson next season. 

Solomito replaced Ted Christopher in the #15 Eastport Feeds car at the start of 2013. He finished the season at Riverhead with five wins and a second place points finish. He won three times in Legend Cars and was second in points again.

“Riverhead always has some real tough competition to race against. (Its) always a big accomplishment winning a race against Ryan Preece or Howie Brode. Racing at Riverhead sometimes can be a survival deal and being consistent. Sometimes you don’t have to win all the races to win the championship. Some nights you have to look at the big picture.”

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Whelen All-American Changes Announced

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced several new initiatives for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Thursday at the annual Track Operators Meeting.

The competition changes, which go into effect in 2014, are designed to spotlight the sport’s young stars and reward the achievements of drivers at every level of the series. They were announced at the meeting, which was held in conjunction with the touring and weekly series awards ceremonies in Charlotte, N.C.

Starting next season, a national champion will be crowned in all five divisions of the series. In recent seasons, the Finalist Program honored top competitors in Div. II-V.

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Champion Profile: Ryan Preece

Earns Mod Tour Title After Two Runner-Up Finishes

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The disappointment was written all over Ryan Preece’s face following the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway, where he had just finished as the championship runner-up finish for a second time. But there was also a hint of defiance from Preece that – looking back – may well have been the first step toward attaining the tour title in 2013.

“To finish second just makes you want it that much more,” Preece said. “After finishing second twice, you start to wonder about will you ever get one. It’s such a great feeling to be able to finally get it this year.”


Preece, from Berlin, Conn., joined the Whelen Modified Tour full-time in 2007 as the first driver to take advantage when the minimum age for competitors was lowered to 16 for competitors. He won for the first time in his second season, and in his third campaign in 2009 Preece finished second in the final standings to Donny Lia by just 16 points. Three more years would pass before Preece had another shot at the title.

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Champion Car Owner: Eric Sanderson

Second Mod Tour Title For Veteran Team Owner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Eric Sanderson has been having fun as a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner for nearly two decades, so the 2013 season must have been a blast.

Sanderson’s No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports team registered four wins and 10 top-10 finishes in 14 races with Ryan Preece behind the wheel to take home a second Whelen Modified Tour title for the organization.

Sanderson, originally from Monson, Mass., got his first taste of auto racing as a teenager going to watch the races at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. It wasn’t long before Sanderson and a few friends decided to build a car and he entered Stafford’s All-American Sportsman division as a driver/owner in 1969.

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Champion Crew Chief: Sly Szaban

Fourth Tour Title Was A Unique Experience

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Stanley “Sly” Szaban earned his fourth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in 2013, but this one was a different experience for the veteran crew chief.

Szaban was the crew chief for first two, and the most recent, of Mike Stefanik’s seven tour titles. With Stefanik’s extensive résumé behind the wheel, Szaban often deferred to the driver’s experience when calling the shots. But Szaban’s fourth title came in his second season working with the now 23-year-old Ryan Preece. The difference in eras meant Szaban needed to take a different approach to reach the same goal.

“After working with Mike Stefanik – with 30 years of racing and all of the success he had – to be a part of all of that and then to take on a new and younger driver, you pretty much have to change your way of thinking and the way you do things,” said Szaban, who has now been with the No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports team for 10 years.

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July 2015
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