RPW Exclusive: The Champ Trail: TC13 At Stafford, Racing At Riverhead & Thompson & Much More

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – John Fortin Sr. became the first Wednesday night Riverhead Raceway winner since Mike Stefanik won a WMT race on June 24th, 1992. It was John’s 32nd career win and ties him for 5th on the all time win list with Wayne Anderson and Bill Park. CJ Lehmann of Shirley turned his best performance of the year with a solid runner-up tally in the Sypher Industries Chevy keeping the pressure on the eventual race winner until the conclusion of the race. Championship leader Kyle Soper would come out on top in the race for third in the Eastport Feeds Chevy. John Beatty Jr. and Eddie Brunnhoelzl III of completed the top five.

Off the success of Wednesday night’s event Riverhead Raceway has announced the Wednesday Night NASCAR Special II. On Wednesday night August 22nd the NASCAR Modifieds will go to post in Twin 50 feature events that were originally set for Saturday August 25th. The Mods will now have the 25th off. Joining them on the mid week special will be the Blunderbusts, INEX Legend Race Cars,Street Stocks and a 4-Cylinder Demolition Derby!

Open Modified competition returned to Stafford for the Bud Light 80. Stafford’s five NWAAS divisions were also be in action with the SK Modifieds® running the regularly scheduled 40-lap feature as well as the TC 13 Shoot Out in memory of Ted Christopher.

Eric Berndt won a thriller in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, outdueling Ronnie Williams for his first win of the 2018 season. Glen Reen came up the big winner of the TC 13 Shoot Out and he took home the winner’s check of $1,313 along with a $113 bonus. Other feature winners included Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Bryan Narducci in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Tess Beyer was a career first time winner in the Street Stock feature. Eric Goodale won the open competition Modified event.

In the SK Modified feature, Berndt and Ron Williams came to the white flag side by side. They were still side by side down the backstretch with Williams backing off going into turn 3 to make a move to the inside of Berndt in turn 4. Berndt was able to hold off the challenge of Williams to take his first win of the 2018 season. Todd Owen came home third with Troy Talman fourth and Keith Rocco fifth.

Eric Goodale used a great pit stop to climb from seventh to second after a round of pit stops and he led the final 41 laps to win the Bud Light 80. Chase Dowling finished second with Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink, and Joey Cipriano rounding out the top-5.

While Stafford was running their open competition Modified event which consisted of mostly Valenti Modified Racing Series cars (17), the VMRS was actually at the Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire for twin 50 lap events. With 22 cars on hand Samuel Rameau won the opening 50 lap event over Brian Robie, Todd Patnode, Tony Ricci and Andy Shaw. Rameau started on the pole. Anthony Nocella who finished last in the first one took the victory in the nite-cap. Nocella, after starting last, took the lead on lap-32 when he passed the events only other leader, Dan Meservey Jr. Todd Patnoad finished second and was followed by Meservy Jr, Russ Hersey and Rameau.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action this coming weekend at the New Hampshire International Speedway.

On the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, all was quiet on Saturday night as SailFest and Fireworks prevailed in New London.

The Thompson Motorsports Speedway came alive last Saturday night. The speedway hosted its second annual King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 featuring the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Based on a turnout of a paltry 13 field, it may be their last. Tyler Ankrum was the winner.

In other action at Thompson, Ryan Preece broke the stranglehold grip on victory lane in the Sunoco (SK type) Modifieds that was formerly held by Keith Rocco. Preece passed for the lead as he and Rocco exited out of turn four on lap 23. Woody Pitkat ended up in third spot and was followed by John Studley and Troy Talman. Sixth thru tenth were Todd Owen, Marcello Rufrano, Joey Gada, Kyle James and Kyler Cafro.

Ryan Morgan dusted the Late Model field while Bryan Narducci made it three in a row in the Lite Modifieds. Shawn Monihan was the Limited Sportsman winner and Wayne Burroughs was the Mini Stock winner.

Down in the southland at the Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina James Civali, who hadn’t raced at Bowman Gray in eleven months, held off Jonathan Brown Saturday night to win the 100-lap Modified race. Bobby Measmer Jr. was third and Burt Myers was fourth. In 100-lap races, Bowman Gray implements a redraw for all drivers who qualified. Civali, in the Hill’s Enterprises entry, qualified 10th, but he drew second just behind Zach Brewer, who drew the pole. It didn’t take long for Civali to shake off some of the rust after not racing at Bowman Gray for 11 months. He dominated for much of the race, and he was able to withstand 12 cautions to fend off the hard-charging Brown, who started ninth.

Everyone’s talking about the Monadnock Speedway’s pending sale to Norman Wrenn Jr., a 58-year-old retired Pro Stock driver and New Hampshire businessman who owns two propane gas companies in Greater Nashua. Monadnock is a ¼ mile high-banked oval located in Winchester, NH.

Wrenn bought Lee USA Speedway in February, and Star Speedway in Epping after longtime owner Bob Webber Sr. passed away in January. Both are near the New Hampshire seacoast, about 75 miles from Winchester.

Wrenn’s intention is to establish a tri-track series with motor racing at Lee on Friday nights, Monadnock on Saturday nights and Star on Sunday afternoons.
The Monadnock sale won’t be finalized until November to avoid disrupting current licensing agreements.

On a sad note, former NASCAR Chief Steward at the Stafford Speedway and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Dick Grote passed away on June 15, 2018 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

On the speedway stock market scene this week, all three speedway stocks had negative results. Dover Entertainment dropped 0.15 to 1.95 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.11 to 17.89 and the International Speedway Corporation dropped 1.85 to 45.00. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 2.77 to 61.21 and NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 0.13 to 19.24 while NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 1.12 to 22.68. Two of the three car manufacturers finished the week on the minus side. Ford dropped 0.08 to 10.98 and Toyota dropped 0.05 to 129.51 while General Motors went up 0.20 to 39.36. In the home improvement sector, Home Depot went up 4.21 to 198.69 and Lowes went up 3.44 to 99.58. In the area of big team sponsor’s stocks, Coca-Cola dropped 2.55 to 135.48 and McDonalds dropped 0.91 to 158.51 while Target went up 0.93 to 77.12, Dow-Dupont went up 0.43 to 66.36 and Fedex went up 5.48 to 233.75.

On the tube this week:

Wednesday, July 18
4:30 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora qualifying, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
7:00 PM, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora qualifying races, Fox Sports 1
8:30 PM, NASCAR RaceDay: NCWTS, FS1
9:00 PM, NCWTS Eldora race, FS1
10:30 PM, NCWTS Post Race, FS1

Thursday, July 19
3:30 AM, Classic NASCAR – 1988 Daytona 500, FS1
4:00 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1

Friday, July 20
2:30 AM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1
3:30 AM, Classic NASCAR – 1994 Coke 600, FS1
12:00 PM, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series New Hampshire practice, NBCSN
1:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series New Hampshire practice, NBCSN
3:00 PM, NXS New Hampshire final practice, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
4:30 PM, MENCS New Hampshire qualifying, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN

Saturday, July 21
6:30 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS1
10:00 AM, MENCS New Hampshire practice, CNBC
11:00 AM, NXS New Hampshire qualifying, CNBC
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
12:30 PM, MENCS New Hampshire final practice, NBCSN
3:30 PM, NXS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
4:00 PM, NXS New Hampshire race, NBCSN

Sunday, July 22
10:00 AM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS1
12:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
1:30 PM, MENCS Countdown to Green, NBCSN
2:00 PM, MENCS New Hampshire race, NBCSN
5:30 PM, MENCS Post Race, NBCSN
6:00 PM, Victory Lap, NBCSN

Monday, July 23
4:00 AM, NCWTS Eldora race re-air, FS1
2:30 PM, NASCAR 120: MENCS Kentucky race re-air, NBCSN
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FS1