RPW Column: The Champ Trail: Thompson’s IceBreaker, SMART Mods In VA, Mad House On Flo & More…

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – It took two separate weekends to get it in and despite a long day of rain, thunder and hail IceBreaker 22 at the Thompson Speedway is now in the record books. A somewhat slim field of 23 tour type modifieds were on hand for the $10,000 to win-125 lap feature event.

Second generation driver Mike Christopher Jr started 13th and was running second, a full straightaway behind Jon McKennedy when a caution flew for Keith Rocco and Artie Pederson who tangled. The caution closed up the field and on the restart Christopher took the lead and went on to lead the final 26 laps. McKennedy finished second and was followed by Eric Goodale, Anthony Nocella with Bobby Santos rounding out the top five. Sixth thru tenth included Chris Pasteryak, Teddy Hodgdon, JB Fortin, Todd Owen, and Buddy Charette.

Other Feature winners were Corey Fanning who took the win in the Limited Sportsman feature over Aaron Plemons and Larry Barnett, Kevin Moore took the Mini Stock feature over Steve Michalski and Scott Michalski, Steven Chapman won the SK Light feature over George Bessette Jr. and Tyler Chapman and the Late Model feature was won by Derek Gluchacki over Brian Tagg and Nick Johnson.

In SMART tour action at the Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, Va, Jonathan(John Boy) Brown scored a convincing win on the ultra fast high banked 3/8 mile speedway. Jeremy Gerstner finished second with Bobby Measmer, third. Burt Myers and Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.

The SMART Tour goes on Summer break so as not to interfere with racing at the Bowman Gray Stadium which starts on April 23.

Just announced, The Mad House goes FloRacing. Bowman Gray Stadium’s 73rd racing season, one of the longest NASCAR-sanctioned series, will offer live streaming for the first time. Thanks to FloRacing, fans can get the Saturday night races for $150 for the entire season. The subscription, however, will also give fans access to other tracks and tours, such as the SMART Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and numerous weekly tracks, both asphalt and dirt.

Gray Garrison, the promoter of the series, said this platform will give drivers more of a chance to increase sponsorship because more fans will see their cars.

As for possibly hurting the attendance at Bowman Gray Stadium, Garrison doesn’t see think that it will take a big hit. On the average, attendance is between 10,000 and 13,000 for each Saturday night.

Scott Running, PR Director at the Stafford Motor Speedway advises that Matt Hirschman is coming to the Spring Sizzler with hopes of cashing in on some of the Big Bucks that have been posted. Hirschman is off to a hot start with 7 wins already in 2022. Matt kicked off the season in February winning 4 of 6 events at New Smyrna Speedway’s (FL) Speedweeks and carried that momentum into March by winning 3 of the first 4 Southern Modified Auto Racing Tour (SMART) events. Continuing that 2022 success might be a challenge when he arrives in Stafford at the end of April for the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler® with 42 teams already registered for the April 23rd & 24th event. Though limited in recent years, Hirschman will look to draw on his last start at Stafford in a 2020 Monaco Modified Tri-Track race where he finished second after a hard battle with Chase Dowling.

The money keeps rolling in for the weekly racing program at Stafford. Paul Arute advises that another new partner is set to join the Stafford Speedway contingency program for the 2022 season. McKinney Construction will provide both a weekly $150 bonus to the winner of the SK Modified® feature and a $125 weekly bonus to the winner of the Late Model feature. The bonuses boost the winner’s weekly payout to $1,975 for the SK Modifieds® and $1,075 for the Late Models.

Owned and operated by Larry McKinney, McKinney Construction is located on Main Street in Stafford Springs, CT. Specializing in a variety of projects for municipalities, hospitals, chain stores, supermarkets, and more, McKinney can tackle your construction needs.

June 14, 1968 Bugsy Stevens put the mighty No.3 of Len Boehler in victory lane at Stafford. Don MacTavish finished second with Eddie Flemke, Holly Wilder and Mario Fats Caruso rounding out the top five. 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. The book documents Modified Racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway from 1967 to 1986. 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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