RPW Exclusive: The Champ Trail; Modified Racing, Passing Of A NASCAR Legend & More

Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – As of this Friday, January 25, two short weeks remain before the start of Speedweeks in Florida. New Smyrna Speedway already has twenty five Tour type Modified entries for their upcoming World Series which gets the green on Friday night, February 8. The Tour type Modified opener will be on Monday night, Feb 11.

Doug Coby and Timmy Solomito were not happy with their results on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2018. They hope to get a leg up for the 2019 season as they will use the World Series as a test and tune session. Justin Bonsignore and his team cleaned house last year as he won eight of the sixteen events run.

In addition to Coby and Solomito the following have filed entry blanks;1NY Chris Ridsdale. Rochester, NY, Bertuccio Racing (Driver TBA), Jeffrey Gallup. Feeding Hills, MA, 6 Ryan Preece. Berlin, CT, 2 Andy Jankowiak. Buffalo, NY, 17 Bobby Measmer. Concord, NC, 21 Jimmy Blewett. Howell Township, NJ, 22 Chuck Hossfeld. Ransomville, NY, 25C Calvin Carroll. Johnsonburg, NJ, 25N Nikki Carroll. Johnsonburg, NJ, 33 Gary Fountain. Wesley Chapel, FL, 36 Dave Sapienza Riverhead, NY, 45 Timmy Catalano. Ontario, NY, 46 Jeff Goodale. Riverhead, NY, 54 Tommy Catalano. Ontario, NY, 55 Jeremy Gerstner. Wesley Chapel, FL, 60 Matt Hirschman. Northampton, PA, 64 Amy Catalano. Ontario, NY, 71 Jimmy Zacharias. Candor, NY, 83 Mike Willis Jr. Grantham, NH, 92 Anthony Nocella. Woburn, MA, 05 TBA Bullet Racing Entry and 07 Patrick Emerling. Williamson, NY.

Bob Finan, PR director at the Riverhead Raceway advises that Two contingency awards for the race winner of the 4th annual Kickoff To Speedweek Powered by Sunoco will return for the 2019 race on Feb 9. At the Bronson Speedway. A set of Hoosier Racing Tires await the winner of the Kickoff race along with 10 gallons of Sunoco 112 Race Fuel.

Chuck Hossfeld the 2018 Race of Champions Asphalt Series champion will make his second start in the Kick Off To Speedweek Powered By Sunoco 50. Hossfeld will be a threat for the 5th starting spot for the Richie Evans Memorial 100 Friday February 15th, 2019 at the New Smyrna Speedway.

The New London-Waterford Speedbowl will honor their 2018 division champions plus the CT Pro 4 Unlimiteds and Limiteds at the annual “Stars of the Speedbowl” banquet Feb. 9 at the Mystic (CT) Marriott. The seven champions from the weekly divisions are Kyle James in the SK Modifieds, Anthony Flannery in the Late Models, Shawn Gaedeke in the Sportsman, Charles Canfield in the Mini Stocks, Jon Puleo in the SK Lites, Peter Bennett in the Legends and Duane Noll in the Speedbowl Trucks. The Pro 4 Unlimited champion is Randy Cabral and Pro 4 Limited champion is P.J. Peters.

In addition, the Rookie of the Year, Most Improved driver, Pit Crew of the Year and Sportsman of the Year also will be named in all the Speedbowl divisions.

The Speedbowl has announced a 22-event weekly racing schedule for their Saturday night weekly divisions for the 2019 season. The track is scheduled to open with its Blast Off Weekend May 11-12.

The track also has scheduled a 14-event Wacky Wednesday schedule, which will kick off May 22 and run through Sept. 4.

On a sad note, Glen Wood, a founding member of Wood Brothers Racing in Stuart, Va., and an inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has died. He was 93 years old. Wood started his career in NASCAR has a driver. Between 1953 and 1964 he made 62 starts in what would eventually become the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, winning four times at North Carolina’s Bowman-Gray Stadium.

He eventually hung up his helmet and alongside his brother, Leonard, would go on to field race cars for some of NASCAR’s most legendary drivers.

The Wood Brothers have won the Daytona 500 five times. In addition to Pearson, Tiny Lund won the race in 1963, Cale Yarborough won in ’68, A.J. Foyt drove to victory lane for the team in ’72 and Trevor Bayne won for the team in 2011.

On the tube this week:

THURSDAY, January 24
2 p.m., IMSA Preview Show, NBC Sports Net/NBC Sports App
3 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App

SATURDAY, January 26
1 p.m., IMSA Preview Show, NBCSN/NBC Sports App (re-air)
2 p.m., Rolex 24 start at Daytona, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
5 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, NBC Sports App
9 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, NBCSN/NBC Sports App

SUNDAY, January 27
Midnight, Rolex 24 at Daytona, NBCSN/NBC Sports App
3 a.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, NBC Sports App
6 a.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, NBCSN/NBC Sports App

On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were up for the week. The International Speedway Corporation went up 0.76 to 44.41 and Dover Entertainment went up 0.02 to 2.05 while Speedway Motorsports dropped 0.57 to 16.27. NASCAR cup sponsor Monster Beverage went up 1.51 to 55.58 while NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) dropped 0.47 to 14.57 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear dropped 0.69 to 20.58. Two of the three auto makers were positive for the week. General Motors went up 1.43 to 38.61 and Toyota went up 0.28 to 125.35 while Ford dropped 0.24 to 8,58, In the home improvement sector, Lowes dropped 2.42 to 94.88 while Home Depot went up 0.17 to 179.58. In big team sponsors stocks McDonalds went up 0.20 to 182.57, Target Department Stores went up 1.07 to 70.68, Dow-Dupont went up 5.48 to 58.06, Fedex went up 5.92 to 176.91 and Porter Cable Stanley Works went up 4.17 to 136.88 while Coca-Cola dropped 1.21 to 207.45.