RPW Exclusive: The Champ Trail; Time To Go NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Racing…

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – A week from this coming Saturday on March 16 will see the green flag wave to officially start the 2019 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series at the Myrtle Beach South Carolina Speedway.

With the season just over two weeks away, Timmy Solomito is ready to get the ball rolling as he hopes to chase his first championship. The season will be a tough test for the New York native, but, he’s ready for the challenge. It begins at Myrtle Beach Speedway, a place where Solomito went to Victory Lane in 2017.

Last years race drew 30 NASCAR Modifieds. Jon McKennedy is the defending race winner. Jimmy Blewett, pinch hitting for Ryan Preece finished second with Matt Hirschman, third. Chase Dowling and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will have an extra incentive in their search of pole awards during the 2019 season. Mayhew Tools, a Massachusetts-based company that produces tools that serve the industrial, automotive and hardware industries across the globe, will sponsor the pole award in 2019 for the Whelen Modified Tour.

Drivers will chase the top qualifying spot in 17 championship points events, but the drivers won’t be the only ones to benefit from winning a pole award. Mayhew is bringing the crew chiefs into the fray by announcing they will produce a “Big Stick” to each crew chief who turns the wrenches on a pole winning car. The “Big Stick” is the largest pry bar that Mayhew has ever created.

FansChoice.TV will live stream this event as well as the entire NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series schedule. The Myrtle Beach WMT event will also be shown taped-delay on the NBC Sports Net at 6:00pm on Thursday, March 21.

In four short weeks the hills of northeastern Connecticut come alive with the sounds of racing engines at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway as IceBreaker 2019 gets the green on Sunday, April 7.With the sun getting higher every day and daylight saving kicking in next week on March 10 this entire event should be run in the daylight hours.

One of many substantial changes at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in 2019 is the addition of the Lite Modified division to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule.

A division Thompson has welcomed to the facility on select occasions in the past, including on the Icebreaker and Sunoco World Series weekends, the Lite Modifieds now have become the Division III class at the Connecticut oval. This means the Limited Sportsman will drop to Division IV and the Mini Stock drivers will have a chance to chase the Division V title.

With a minimum weight of nearly 2,700 pounds, the Lite Modifieds nearly mirror the appearance of the Sunoco Modifieds, but have a few technical differences.

With a newly revamped 10-race NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule also added to the equation this season, Lite Modified drivers will have to find Victory Lane, but also put together some consistency if they want to go down as Thompson’s first-ever Lite Modified champion. Drivers will compete in 20-lap events throughout the duration of the season.

The Stafford Motor Speedway opens following a two week break for Palm Sunday and Easter on April 28 with the annual Spring Sizzler.

NASCAR’s top division traveled to Las Vegas this past weekend. In a battle of Team Penske teammates on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Joey Logano came out on top over Brad Keselowski to win his sponsor’s race, the Pennzoil 400. Logano and Keselowski traded the lead twice between one another inside the final 30 laps at the 1.5-mile Sin City oval, but it was the driver of the No. 22 Ford who made the winning move with 24 to go.

After entering the day seeking his third-career tripleheader sweep, a lap-129 speeding penalty derailed Kyle Busch’s Sunday efforts and left him third at the checkered flag. Kevin Harvick, who led the most laps, and Kurt Busch completed the top five. Ryan Preece finished 25th.

On the speedway stock market scene last week, all three speedway stocks ended the week on the positive side. Leading the way was the International Speedway Corporation which went up 0.41 to 41.41. Speedway Motorsports went up 0.22 to 18.05 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.05 to 2.06. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 6.30 to 64.74 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.40 to 19.75 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.39 to 14.98. Two of the three car manufacturers were down for the week. General Motors dropped 0.46 to 39.53 and Toyota dropped 1.47 to 120.35. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot dropped 7.22 to 185.17 and Lowes dropped 2.31 to 103.96. In big team sponsor’s stocks, Dupont/Dow dropped 1.63 to 53.34 and Porter Cable Stanley Works dropped 6.29 to 132.63 while McDonalds went up 1.88 to 185.05, Coca-Cola went up 21.36 to 248.20, Target Department Stores went up 0.69 to 72.94 and Fedex went up 2.31 to 182.80.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, March 6
2:30 a.m., Glory Road: NASCAR Goes Road Racing, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1/FOX Sports App

Thursday, March 7
5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1/FOX Sports App

Friday, March 8
3 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series practice, FS1/FOX Sports App
4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1/FOX Sports App
5 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice, FS1/FOX Sports App
6 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Qualifying, FS1/FOX Sports App

Saturday, March 9
7:30 a.m., NASCAR Presents: The Adventures of Janet Guthrie (re-air), FS1/FOX Sports App
8 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Qualifying (re-air), FS1/FOX Sports App
11:30 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, FS1/FOX Sports App
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying, FS1/FOX Sports App
1:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1/FOX Sports App
2 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, FS1/FOX Sports App
3 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1/FOX Sports App
3:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Xfinity Series at ISM Raceway, FS1/FOX Sports App
4 p.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway, FS1/FOX Sports App

Sunday, March 10
8 a.m., NASCAR Presents: The Adventures of Janet Guthrie (re-air), FS1/FOX Sports App
8:30 a.m., Unrivaled: Earnhardt vs. Gordon (re-air), FS1/FOX Sports App
9:30 a.m., NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway (re-air), FS1/FOX Sports App
2 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at ISM Raceway, FS1/FOX Sports App
3 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay Pre-Race Show, FOX/FOX Sports App
3:30 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500, FOX/FOX Sports App

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