RPW Column: The Champ Trail: Mother Nature Sucks, But still Lots Of Racing News…

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – The Tri-Track Modified Series descended upon the Seekonk Speedway, in 95-degree heat, last Wednesday. Forty-four cars were on hand for the $10,000 to win.

A big thunder storm and a power outage caused by a power line down in the Seekonk area forced race officials to pull the plug on the event and re-schedule it to Wednesday, August 25.

The Tri Track Open Modified Series returns to the track for what will now be race three of the season on Saturday, July 24, at Star Speedway for the 10th annual SBM event.

Congratulations to George Murray, Joe Rosenfield and Wally Saleeba for being inducted to the Seekonk Speedway Wall of Fame.

Based on a forecast for heavy rain and thunder the Stafford Speedway postponed its Midstate Site Development Street Stock 30 Weekly Racing event scheduled for this past Friday, July 2. The entire race program, as well as the fireworks that were scheduled, will all move to Friday, July 16. Any tickets sold for the July 2 event will be honored on July 16. The Kids Night event with the Big Wheel race originally scheduled for July 16 will move to July 30.

Stafford Speedway will return to racing action next Friday night, July 9 with the Bud Light Open 80 program featuring Open Modifieds as well as Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions. Keith Rocco and Ronnie Williams, currently under a one-week suspension, will be allowed to compete in the Open Modified 80 on July 9 but will not be allowed to compete in the SK Modified feature.

Stephen Kopcik and the #21 team continues to impress week after week. 1 win on the season but 7 top 5’s has the 2015 SK Light Modified champion sitting atop the SK Modified point standings heading into July. Following Kopcik are Tod Owen, Tyler Hines, Mike Christopher Jr, Ronnie Williams, Chase Dowling, Keith Rocco, Michael Gervais Jr, David Arute and Andrew Molleur.

In action along the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl The SK Modified® Fast 5 Race honoring Ed Flemke Sr and Ed Flemke Jr was cancelled. No make up date was announced.

The Bowman Gray Stadium in North Carolina was silent to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Southern Modified action moved to the Caraway Speedway for a SMART event. Gary Putnam scored his first Modified win since 2015 on Saturday night, taking the checkered flag with the SMART Modified Tour at Caraway Speedway. Putnam set fast time in qualifying but started sixth due to a redraw. The Concord, NC native methodically worked his way through the field, taking the lead just before a caution on lap 72 of the 99 lap event. Caleb Heady, who won the tour’s second race of the season at Florence Motor Speedway, finished second. Joey Coulter completed the top three, while Brian Loftin and Jimmy Wallace completed the top five.

Sixth thru eleventh included James Civali, Danny Bohn, Jeremy Gerstner, Dennis Holdren, Jason Myers and Burt Myers.

Racing resumes at Bowman Gray this week. The SMART Modified Tour returns to action August 28 at the Dillon Motor Speedway.

Riverhead Raceway on Long Island also fell victim to rain.

The Sam Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park takes place this Wednesday, July 7. American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) officials announced on June 30 that they have made the difficult decision to remove the standalone Sunoco Modified feature from the July 7 program. The decision is the result of an SK Modified® tire shortage, which has left an extremely limited number of tires available for teams in the region.

Instead of a separate feature, Sunoco Modified drivers now have the option to compete in the Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. ACT and PASS are offering bonus awards to the top-five finishers in the $5,000-to-win main event who are running a legal Sunoco Modified car. These cars can use any carburetor when running with the Outlaw Open Modifieds.

The next shipment of SK Modified tires for Northeast teams is expected to arrive in August. The Sunoco Modifieds will return to the Thompson schedule as soon as the tire situation is resolved.

June 17, 1972 Ray Miller in the Meyers-Sweatland Mustang took Stafford by storm on Saturday night. Following Miller at the finish were Fred DeSarro, Billy Harman, Bob Santos and Eddie Flemke. Del Cushing was the All-American Sportsman winner. Read all about it in the all-new book, The Modified Years At Stafford, by the Grace of God and 600 hp, which 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! 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 gift!

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