RPW Column: The Champ Trail; No Turkey Derby, Other News & Notes…

RPW Column By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Thanks to regulations in the state of New Jersey, the Northeast Racing Season came to a halt without the Turkey Day Classic at the Wall Stadium.

While people are staying safe due to the pandemic, several individuals lose when things like this happen.

The promoter loses money as the Krause family had previously bought supplies for their concessions at the track plus money spent on advertising for the event. Many competitors have bought tires and fuel that they will have to sit on until next spring. Wall Stadium had over 90 race teams on hand for Turkey Derby practice which was held on Nov 14.

With the season now over, Area Auto Racing News, the nations leading Auto Racing Trade paper has compiled a list of the leading feature winners. To no one’s surprise Matt Hirschman is the leading Asphalt Modified feature winner with 16 victories to his credit. Keith Rocco has the second largest win total with 11 with New York racer Ed Dachenhausen with 10 wins. In the New York DIRT Modified circuit Stewart Friesen is the big winner with 26 victories. Friesen also competes in NASCAR’s Truck Series. The second highest DIRT Modified Series winner is Matt Sheppard with 20 wins. Third is Eric Rudolph with 16 wins.

Racetrack promoters and sanctioning bodies have been busy since the season has ended with numerous events scheduled for 2021. In addition to the New Smyrna World Series which will run in conjunction with Speedweek in Daytona during February the following events have been penciled in for 2021:

  • Thurs 4/08 Martinsville Va NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
  • Sun 4/11 Thompson Ct Ice Breaker Open Comp Modified
  • Sun 4/24 Stafford Ct NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler
  • Sat 5/1 Winchester, NH Tri Track Open Modified Series
  • Fri 5/14 Stafford Ct Open Modified

Prior to the recent Islip 300 by East West Marine Supply Riverhead Raceway owners Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz honored their 7 champions from the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series along with the Street Stock & Mini Stock champions during a track side ceremony. Tom Rogers Jr. of Riverhead led the 2020 “parade of champions” after earning a record tying fifth NASCAR Modified championship.

The 2020 track champions lined up by the winners circle for the pre-race festivities with Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz presenting all nine titlists with their championship plaque. Additionally the NASCAR Modified, Late Model, Crate Modified, Figure Eight, Blunderbust, Super Pro Truck and INEX Legend Race Car champions were all presented with the traditional championship ring as well their 2020 point fund check.

When Tom Rogers Jr. clinched his fifth NASCAR Modified title on the final night of racing steering the Denise & Ken Darch owned entry he stepped into impressive company tying the late “Charging” Charlie Jarzombek, Don Howe and Wayne Anderson as the only four drivers to capture five titles. Rogers who started his career in the Figure Eights at the urging of “Downtown” George Brown has earned an amazing 12 Riverhead Raceway championships along the way. Rogers is a six time Figure Eight kingpin and also has a Late Model title to his credit.

Kyle James will be driving the 51CT full time at The New London-Waterford Speedbowl for 2021 and some select races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

September 1, 1967 Stafford ran a 100 lapper on Friday night to start off the Labor Day weekend with Sal Dee taking the win over Smokey Boutwell, Bill Slater, Don Flynn and Bobby Santos. Read all about it in the new book that tells all.

The all new book, The Modified Years At Stafford, is gaining interest and has become a must have in race fans and competitors library. Race by Race, Year by Year, it’s all there. Read all about it in the all new book. Books are now available on Amazon.com and Coastal 181 (877-907-8181 toll free) and are available thru Stafford’s web site in their store. Order yours now. Makes a great Christmas gift!

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