RPW Column: The Champ Trail: NASCAR Mods At Langley, SK’s At Stafford, MRS At Oxford Plains & More…

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Stafford Speedway had a big night planned under the stars.

With nasty thunderstorms expected on Friday afternoon and evening, Stafford Speedway officials pulled the plug at !0:00am to cancel the Friday’s racing card. The Kid’s Night activities that had been scheduled will be moved to the Friday September 2 card, which also includes the Paradiso Insurance Late Model 50.

In the SK Modified run for the championship Todd Owen has a commanding 94 point lead over Marcello Rufrano. Ronnie Williams is 96 points back. David Arute and Bryan Narducci round out the top five. In the SK Lights its real tight as Tyler Chapman holds a four point lead over Alexander Pearl and Tyler Barry. Twenty points back in fourth spot is Amanda West. Bob Charland rounds out the top five. Adam Gray has a 28 point edge over Tom Fearn in the Late Models, Rick Hammann leads Jeremy Lavoie by 10 in the Limited Late Models and Travis Hydar leads Bert Oullette by 54 in the Street Stocks.

The Stafford Speedway will run each and every Friday night thru Sept 30. The weekend of Sept 23 and 24th will also include the 49th annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final on the 24th. The Fall Final will include the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (80 laps), SK Modified® (40 laps), SK Light Invitational (non-points, 20 laps) and Vintage All-Stars (15 laps)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series traveled to Hampton Virginia for a 150 lap event at the Langley Speedway. Only 19 cars were pre-entered. Doug Coby, back in the Tommy Baldwin 7ny took the Meyhew pole award. Justin Bonsignore was second fastest with Austin Beers, third. Jon McKennedy and Ron Silk rounded out the top five. The car that Coby drove was the one that went in the wall at Thompson. PSR products put a new front clip on this car.

Doug Coby jumped out to the lead at the start and never looked back as he went pole to pole at Langley. Coby survived four restarts following cautions which occurred for minor spins. The most dangerous situation of the night came on lap 105.

Coby missed Melissa Fifield who was running at a slower pace in the racing groove.  However, Eric Goodale didn’t as he tagged her as he was attempting to get by. The incident cost Goodale a good finish!

With a 12th place finish, he dropped to 24 points off the point lead in third place. Ron Silk finished second but was no match for Coby. Rookie Austin Beers racked up a career-best third place finish with Jon McKennedy and Justin Bonsignore completing the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Tommy Catalano, Kyle Ebersole, Jake Johnson, Craig Lutz and Ken Heagy.

Among those who were missing at Langley was Dave Sapienza who has decided to take a step back for a while. In eleven events the personable Long Islander has had miserable luck. His average finish has been 17.5 with no top tens. Speaking of Long Island, it has been announced the Sept 17 Modified tour event will allow infield pit stops. It makes one wonder who was the Rocket Scientist who came up with this idea. The wreckers and infield personnel could very well be put at risk! It also been announced that the October 8 World Series Mod Tour event has been moved to Sunday, Oct 9.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action this coming Saturday with a trip to Oswego Speedway in upstate New York. The race will be streamed live on FloRacing.

Jimmy Broderick will be making his return to Stafford Motor Speedway on Sept 24 for Fall Final Saturday. Broderick, who will drive an SK Modified, has 54 career wins and is the 1995 and 1996 Waterford Speedbowl Champion, the 1997 Stafford Speedway Champion, the 1997 New England Regional Champion and the 1998 Riverside Park Speedway Champion.

Congratulations to Jacob Perry who recorded his first win of the season in the 75-lap Modified Racing Series feature at Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine on Saturday. In his own words, “Started 13th and worked our way forward throughout the race, took the lead multiple times, but had to give it back due to cautions on the same lap, then got our shot out front and held off some strong charges at the end.”

Matt Swanson finished second with Rusty Poland, third. There were 21 cars on hand.

Down on the Connecticut shoreline at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl Todd Owen raced to his fourth victory of the season in the 35-lap SK Modified feature on Saturday night. Anthony Flannery was second and Andrew Molleur, third. First year driver Zack Sangermano got his second win of the season in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature. While Dylan Cote of Griswold won the 25-lap Legends feature.

Across the big pond at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, Justin Brown went from zero to hero in just a week after being the first car out of The Bubba 150. Brown rebounded Saturday night scoring his first career NASCAR Modified victory in a 50-lap, non stop event before a standing room only crowd at the Eastern Long Island Raceway. Brown earned the win the old fashioned way by going to the outside to execute the winning pass. Brown took the lead on lap 34 from Jack Handley giving the new leader plenty of room on the high side. Handley was able to tuck in behind Brown for second with Timmy Solomito in third. John Beatty Jr finished fourth while championship leader Kyle Soper crossed the line fifth.

Down in the southland all was quiet as Bowman Gray competitors take a break before the SMART season resumes on Sept 3 with RACE #7 at the CARTERET COUNTY SPEEDWAY (NC)

In lieu of traditional services, and in honoring Art Barry’s wishes, please join the family at Thompson Motor Speedway, 205 E Thompson Rd, Thompson, CT, on September 7, 2022 for a gathering and a celebration of life honoring Arthur. There will be time for telling and sharing stories. Please join the family anytime between 4pm and 8pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arthur’s memory. The Gagne Piechowski Funeral Home 490 Voluntown Road Jewett City, CT has been entrusted with the arrangements. For online condolences please go to www.gagnefuneralhome.com

With the cooperation of the Arute family a book has been published with pictures and biographies of the 50 Greatest Drivers at Stafford.

The Stafford Motor Speedway had become the epicenter of NASCAR Modified racing in the northeast by the late 1980’s. From its dirt beginnings to its lightning-fast asphalt, Stafford had become the toughest and most gratifying track to score a victory. The Arute family which has owned and guided the destiny of the facility commissioned their thousands of loyal fans to name their favorite drivers. In alphabetical order so as not to offend anyone.

Tom Baldwin, Gene Bergin, Brett Bodine, Geoff Bodine, Ken Bouchard, Ron Bouchard, Mario “Fats” Caruso, Rene Charland, Ted Christopher, Leo Cleary, Tim Connolly, Jerry Cook, Corky Cookman, Pete Corey, Fred DeSarro, Richie Evans, Mike Ewanitsko, Ed Flemke, Sr., Jeff Fuller, Rick Fuller, Ernie Gahan, Bill Greco, Bo Gunning, Ray Hendrick, George “Moose” Hewitt, Tony Hirschman, George Janoski, Charlie Jarzombek, George Kent, Buddy Krebs, Randy LaJoie, Jan Leaty, Jerry Marquis, Mike McLaughlin, Ray Miller, Steve Park, Bob Polverari, Bob Potter, Brian Ross, John “Reggie” Ruggiero, Greg Sacks, Ollie Silva, “Wild” Bill Slater, Jimmy Spencer, Mike Stefanik, Carl “Bugsy” Stevens, George Summers, Jamie “The Jet” Tomaino, Maynard Troyer and Satch Worley.

Books are priced at $17.95 each and be purchased at the track at the Novelty Booth or at the Stafford Motor Speedway on line store.

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