RPW Column: Champ Trail: Tracks Still Shifting Schedules; More Virtual Racing On The Way; Some Sad News

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY,RI – The latest word from Daytona Beach is that NASCAR is postponing the scheduled events on May 8-9 at the Martinsville Speedway. Their intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined. That also means that the Whelen Modified Tour event scheduled for May 8 at the southern Virginia tack is also cancelled and may or may not be rescheduled.

The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park announced on Friday, Apr 17, that the 46th annual Liquid Death Icebreaker, originally rescheduled for May 15-16, will not happen during that weekend as it has been postponed to a yet to be announced later date.

Scheduled racing at Stafford is on track. Opening night will be on Friday, May 22 with a full card of live racing. One week later, Friday, May 29, will see the Call before You Dig Pro Late Model Special event followed on Saturday and Sunday with the Annual Spring Sizzler.

In the meantime, new events have been added to both Stafford Speedway’s driver and fan iRacing leagues including a new invite only Tour Type Modified Invitational set for Friday, May 15th. All Phases Renovations has stepped up as the presenting sponsor of the four event series that will include three different types of cars as well as weekly payouts for the top-3 finishers.

The 4-race schedule is set to include a Street Stock race, Late Model race, and two Tour-Type Modified races. The first 3 events will pay a weekly $250 purse across the top-3, including $150 to win, $75 for 2nd and $25 for 3rd. The Modified Invitational scheduled for Friday, May 15th will pay $350 to win, $200 for 2nd, and $150 for 3rd. The 80-lap Tour-Type Modified event will be invitation only. Winners from Friday’s events will have a guaranteed entry in the Invitational. Additional criteria to enter the race will be announced in the coming weeks.

The complete schedule of iRacing events at Stafford is as follows:

Stafford Speedway eSeries presented by All Phases Renovations

Race #1 – Street Stocks 50 Laps

Friday, April 24th

Live Stream – 7pm Stafford Speedway YouTube



Race #2 – Late Models 60 Laps

Friday, May 1st

Live Stream – 7pm Stafford Speedway YouTube



Race #3 – Tour-Type Modifieds 80 Laps

Friday, May 8th

Live Stream – 7pm Stafford Speedway YouTube



Race #4 – Tour-Type Modified Invitational 80 Laps

Friday, May 15th

Live Stream – 7pm Stafford Speedway YouTube



Prelim Night presented by Horton Group

Race #1 – Street Stocks 50 Laps

Wednesday, April 22nd



Race #2 – Late Models 60 Laps

Wednesday, April 29th



Race #3 – Tour-Type Modifieds 80 Laps

Wednesday, May 6th

Live Stream – 7pm Stafford Speedway YouTube


The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to (virtual) action Monday as the NASCAR Roots iRacing Series is set to take the green flag in a four race event.

The tour will start at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway on Monday, April 20. It will race at Southern National Raceway Park in North Carolina on Monday, April 27; at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut on Monday, May 4; and at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Monday, May 11.

The races will be streamed live on NASCAR Roots’ channels on Facebook, Twitter and Twitch. Entrance into the series is limited to invitation only, and will feature drivers from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and is open to drivers from the ARCA Menards Series as well as NASCAR’s international series.

Heat races and a Last Chance Qualifier race will help set the field for the feature race, which will be 50-100 laps, depending on the venue.

On a sad note noted race tire man Bobby Summers passed away at the age of 83. Summers began his 60-year career in the tire business in 1955 working for the Firestone Tire Company in Indianapolis. While with Firestone, Bob worked with some of the legends of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway such as; Mario Andretti, the Unser family, A.J. Foyt, as well as many NASCAR Grand National drivers. When Bob left Firestone in 1981, he got a phone call from Bob Newton, Hoosier Tire’s founder. Shortly thereafter, he got into the business as a Hoosier Tire distributor.

For over 30 years, Bob has built his business and enjoyed success by surrounding himself with a team of knowledgeable, hardworking people including his son Rob. High-performing Hoosier tires are products that provide customers with maximum performance at affordable prices. His family-oriented business model and personal philosophy have launched him into long-term success selling “Tires Designed for Champions.”

Hoosier Tire East currently services local tracks at Stafford, Thompson, and Waterford Connecticut. Additionally, they service the Whelen Modified Tour and the Super Modifieds at Star Speedway.

On another sad note, Supermodified legend Eddie West has passed away. Chatting with Westy at the annual New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame dinners always made that great day even better. He was an inductee, part of the NEAR HoF Class of 1999. Some called him “the Golden Bear,” but his coolest nickname was “Goin’ West,” and if he was on the track he was generally goin’ toward the front.

Eddie is second on the New England Supermodified Racing Association (NESMRA) all-time win list, with 106 victories from northern New England to Vero Beach, Florida. He was also a six-time track champion at New Hampshire’s Star Speedway, where he won New England’s biggest Supermodified race, the Star Classic, three times. Before Star Speedway existed, Eddie won the Can-Am Classic at nearby Lee Raceway.



That’s about it for this week from 1024 Manatee Road C-303. Ring my chimes at 401-248-1307.

  •  
  •