RPW Column: Looking Back A Bit: Fourth Week Of September

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Seventy years ago in 1952 Joe McNulty won the final Wednesday night Sportsman feature of the year at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Bud Matter made it three in a row in Claiming Car action. The shoreline oval shifted to Sundays with twin 25 lap Sportsman features which were won by Ray Delisle and Fred Luchesi. Bert Brooks was the Midget division winner at Seekonk. Dave Humphrey was the Stock Car division winner.

Sixty-five years ago in 1957, the New London-Waterford shifted to Sunday afternoon programs. George Lombardo, who normally raced at the Plainville Stadium was up for the occasion as he took the win in the 25 lap Sportsman feature at the shoreline oval. Arnie Harris was the non-Ford winner. Dirt tracker Bob Malzahn took the win at Old Bridge over Al DeAngelo. With nothing to do on Saturday night Moe Gherzi traveled to Seekonk where he won the Sportsman division feature. Dave Cortez was the B division winner.

Sixty years ago, in 1962, Dick Beauregard won the 25 lap Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl. Bobby Santos Sr won the 35 lap Connecticut State Bomber Championship. At Seekonk, Fred Astle Sr was the Class A winner.

Fifty- five years ago in 1967, the season was slowly but surely winding down. The only action was at Stafford where Gene Bergin made it three in a row and locked up the first asphalt modified championship by taking a hard- fought win over Dick Watson and Bob Melnick. Rounding out the top five were Fred Harbach and Jerry Wheeler. Bill Slater was crowned the Sportsman Champion. The midgets also ran at Stafford that weekend with Lou Fray taking the win over George Monson. Dick Dunn recorded a Modified win at Waterford. Pete Hamilton closed out the Norwood Arena season with a win. Red Barbeau was the Class A winner at Seekonk.The only other action was the All-Star League which ran on the dirt at the 1-1/8 mile Nazareth Speedway. Frankie Schenieder took the win over Will Cagle, Dick Havens, Sonny Hutchins and Lee Hendrickson.

Fifty years ago in 1972, many of the modified teams in he northeast were making preparations for the following week’s Race of Champions at the Trenton Fairgrounds in New Jersey. Waterford ran their season ending 50 lapper which was won by Dick Dunn in Budda’s Bullet owned by Al Gaudreau. Dick Dunn was declared the Modified Champion and Ron Cote, the Daredevil Champion at Waterford for the 1972 season.

Forty five years ago in 1977, for the second week in a row, rain washed out the 300 lap All Star event at Islip as well as a scheduled 100 lapper at Seekonk and a 30 lap event at Thompson.

Forty years ago in 1982, the NASCAR Modifieds visited the Oxford Plains Speedway in Maine for a 100-lap event. The third mile oval provided some hot competition but when all was said and done, Richie Evans sat in victory lane. George Kent finished second and was followed by Dave Thomas, Bob Park, Jerry Cook, Brian Ross, George Murray and Mike McLaughlin. Waterford ran a 50 lapper for the Modifieds, which saw Glynn Shafer take the top spot over Dickie Doo Ceravolo and Randy LaJoie. Brian McCarthy won the Super Stock event. On Saturday night at the Shangri-La Speedway, Jim Spencer took the win with Richie Evans, second and Jerry Cook, third. In Winston Cup action at North Wilkesboro, N.C., Darrell Waltrip won both the pole and the race

Thirty five years ago in 1987, Mike McLaughlin scored a convincing win as he won the Annual Thompson 300. Doug Hevron finished second with Brian Ross, George Kent and Dave Reszendes rounding out the top five. Ted Christopher won the 50 lap SK-Modified event over Ronnie Rocco and Bob Potter. In Winston Cup action at Martinsville, Darrell Waltrip took the win with Dale Earnhardt finishing in second spot.

Thirty years ago in 1992, rain again washed out the entire weekend of racing.

Twenty five years ago in 1997, Jim Broderick won his fourth of the season at Waterford on Saturday night. Don Fowler finished second with Mark LaJunesse, third. At the Fall Final 300 at Stafford, Tim Connolly took the lead on the final lap and scored a popular win. Jerry Marquis finished second and was followed by Rick Fuller, Tony Hirshman and Ed Flemke jr. Ricky Fuller drew the pole and led the first 149 laps. Reggie Ruggiero led from lap 150 to173 before giving way to Jan Leaty who led from lap 174 to 186.Fuller led again from 187 to 235 when he pitted for tires. Connolly assumed the point and led the way until lap 237 when he gave way to Marquis. During the last five laps, Connolly charged to the front from fourth spot. In SK modified action, Bill Sharp went pole to pole, crossed the line first and was disqualified because of illegal cylinder heads Mike Christopher was awarded the win with Bob Potter, second. Winston Cup action at Martinsville was rained out and the event was run on Monday. Rusty Wallace was leading with 20 laps to go when NASCAR said he jumped a restart and black-flagged him in for a stop and go which handed the win to Jeff Burton. Dale Earnhardt finished second. Wallace was later fined for swearing on TV and was fined $5,000 which he paid in pennies (500,000).

Twenty years ago in 2002 The NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour Series and the Busch North Series were at Stafford for the Fall Final-Twin 150s. Both Touring series were well represented with 48 Featherlite Modifieds and 34 Busch North cars in the pit area. Chuck Hossfeld, fresh of his recent win at Loudon was the Busch Pole Sitter as he toured the half-mile oval in 18.369 seconds. Mike Johnson was the Busch North Series pole sitter. His time was 20.004. The big surprise of the day was the fact that Ted Christopher failed to qualify his Busch North Series entry. A capacity crowd was on hand. Chuck Hossfeld and car owner Bob Garbarino made the decision to go non-stop. Mike Stefanik and car owner Art Barry decided to do it with one stop with the hopes of fresh rubber giving them the edge at the finish. Needless to say, Stefanik and Barry made the right call, as they were able to over power Hossfeld on lap 91. Stefanik pitted relatively early on lap 59 and passed many of those ahead of him when they pitted on lap 84. With the exception of a brief moment when Hossfeld took the lead back from lap 126 to 128 Stefanik remained in control. Stefanik’s win coupled with Ed Flemke’s misfortune; put the defending Featherlite Modified Tour Series champion in the point lead. David Berghman had the big steam at the end but had to settle for second spot in the final order. Hossfeld held on to finish third with Jerry Marquis and Ted Christopher rounding out the top five. Flemke had his hopes dashed on lap 92 when his car suffered terminal damage after a confrontation with Joey Caraccia. Flemke was very upset over the fact that he was taken out of the event and possibly out of the championship picture.

The series point standings showed Mike Stefanik in the lead by 8 points over Jerry Marquis. Chuck Hossfeld sat in third spot, 44 points behind the leader. Rounding out the top five were Ted Christopher and Ed Flemke. Sixth through tenth were Rick Fuller, Todd Szegedy, Nevin George, David Berghman and Jamie Tomaino.

Fifteen years ago in 2007, the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour converged on the Stafford Motor Speedway for the annual Fall Final. There were 39 Modifieds on hand for qualifying. Eric Beers who has not been a tour regular this year was the Busch Pole sitter as he toured the half-mile oval in 18.267 second fastest. Second fastest was Doug Coby who was pinch-hitting for Dick Houlihan. Current point leader Donny Lia was third fastest. Rounding out the top five in time trials were Todd Szegedy and Ronnie Silk. The re-draw for starting positions for the 150 lap Fall Final saw Szegedy picking the pole with Lia picking the outside pole. Lia knew he needed to finish ninth or better to wrap up the championship for himself and car owner Bob Garbarino. He did it with two positions to spare as he finished seventh. Lia led only one lap and was content to pace himself and stay out of trouble as Mike Stefanik went on to take the win. Stefanik passed Matt Hirschman on lap 91 to take the lead. Ted Christopher followed but was shuffled back to third spot on lap 115 after a bump and grind with Tony Hirschman. Hirschman held off Christopher to finish second. Matt Hirschman finished fourth with Ronnie Silk, fifth. Eight caution periods for 42 laps kept Stefanik’s average speed at 63.395 mph. Carl Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, Jerry Marquis and Billy Pauch JR were eliminated in wrecks. Jamie Tomaino lost an engine and Woody Pitkat retired with suspension problems.

There was joy in Mystic CT and joy on Long Island at Jericho. For Bob Garbarino, winning the Whelen Modified Tour Series Championship was a life long dream. Garbarino has built and owned NASCAR Modifieds since the early 1960s and has raced them from Maine to North Carolina. From humble beginnings at the Waterford Speedbowl Garbarino has become one of the most professional and well respected car owners in the Modified division. Before the days of the Troyer chassis and the Hutter engines Garbarino fabricated his own chassis and built his own engines in a single one car garage that is attached to his home. Many top named drivers have sat in the seat of Garbarino Modifieds known as the Mystic Missile Don Bachand, Dick Watson, Joe Kelly, Leo Cleary, Gene Bergin, SJ Evonsion, Eddie Flemke, Geoff Bodine, Brian Ross, Bugsy Stevens, Jerry Marquis and Tim Connelly are a few that come to mind. All of his many years of hard work came to bare last Sunday night as the impact of winning the championship settled in. Through it all and equally deserving is Joan Garbarino who has served as scorer, trip planner, lots of patience and moral support. For Lia it was also a first for him. Lia cut his racing teeth at the Riverhead Raceway on Long Island and honed is skills on bigger tracks from Connecticut to Florida. Lia’s record for the season includes six wins and 11 top fives in 15 races.

The Stafford Motor Speedway closed out its 2007 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with the 35th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. Woody Pitkat capped a spectacular 2007 SK Modified season by capturing his 8th feature victory of the year, but it was Ted Christopher who locked up the championship by 34 points over Pitkat with a second place finish. In the 40-lap Late Model feature, it was 16-year old Dillon Moltz driving to his second feature win of the season with Corey Hutchings taking the Late Model title in his rookie season at Stafford with a third place finish. The 50-lap SK Modified® feature took the green flag with Wade Mattesen taking the lead from John Cleary on the opening lap of the race. Mattesen held the race lead until lap-3 when Woody Pitkat made a hard charge to move from third place to the lead. Once Pitkat was out front, he put on a dominating drive to score his eighth feature victory of the 2007 season. Pitkat had Ted Christopher chasing him for much of the race and several caution periods kept the two cars in close proximity. But the final 22 laps of the race ran green and Pitkat was never seriously challenged by Christopher as he slowly extended his lead lap by lap. Christopher finished second with Ken Barry, Brad Hietala, and Bo Gunning rounding out the top-5.

A penalty for speeding on pit road sent Kyle Busch to the back of the pack. All he did after that, with the help of a lot of yellow flags, was pass everyone else on the track. Busch slipped inside of Matt Kenseth with just over 17 laps to go, then held off Kenseth’s challenges after a late restart to win Saturday’s Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. Busch’s car failed the post-race inspection because the intake manifold did not meet NASCAR specifications. Kenseth dove inside the white line just before the finish of the Yellow Transportation 300, but couldn’t slip past Busch’s No. 5 Chevrolet. Busch won by .085 of a second on the 1.5-mile tri-oval, his third victory in his last six races and the 10th of his career. In Nextel Cup racing, darkness finally ended the disaster at Kansas Speedway, where the Chase for the championship field imploded and the finish of Sunday’s event was in question long after winner Greg Biffle crossed the finish line. Biffle scored his first win of the season by winning a race that was stopped twice for rain delays, was shortened 85 miles because of darkness, ended under caution and saw six Chase drivers finish 29th or worse. And when Biffle’s sputtering car slowed before the finish line, title contenders Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson passed him and both believed they finished ahead of him. Johnson, who finished third to reclaim the points lead, said Biffle wasn’t the winner. “NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Biffle was the winner because the race ended under caution, the field was frozen and passing is not allowed under caution.

Five years ago in 2017, In NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series racing at the Stafford Motor Speedway Ryan Preece scored his 15th career pole as he bested the 27 cars on hand for the Fall Final. Preece toured the half mile oval in 18.513 seconds. Doug Coby was second fastest with an 18.520 sec run with Ron Silk at 18.536.

Prior to the start of the festivities the Stafford Motor Speedway and the Arute family officially retired Ted Christopher’s No. 13. A moving jesture to say the least.

Eric Goodale established himself as a legitimate member of the Long Island gang as he won the Fall Final at Stafford last Sunday. Coming from the 18th position, Goodale knew it would take a stout car for him to travel to the front in Sunday’s NAPA Fall Final 150. When it came down to the final laps, Goodale had the car he needed to get the job done. The Riverhead, New York, driver scored his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win by passing Ryan Preece with just three laps remaining. The victory was his first at the half-mile oval.

“Stafford is one of those places that you dream of winning at when you’re a little kid,” Goodale said. “I came up here and watched races when I was a kid. To be here and finally win a race, we have so many races under our belt here and we have come close here so many times. It feels good to finally seal the deal.”

Goodale’s run to the front of the field after his qualifying effort was not an easy one. He maneuvered his way to the front and was working the back bumper of Preece for the race lead in lapped traffic when a caution at Lap 111 set up the final pit stops of the day. Goodale’s team went to work to help get him out at the front.

He took the lead from Lap 120-125, but then lost it and had to follow Preece in the final circuits. A late move to the bottom of Turn Four got him the lead with just three laps to g and he never looked back.

Goodale beat Preece to the line by 0.389 seconds. Preece came up one spot short of sweeping the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford. He led a race-high 115 laps. Ron Silk finished third, while Chase Dowling and Timmy Solomito rounded out the top five.

Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Doug Coby, Bobby Santos, Craig Lutz and Kyle Bonsignore. Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap as a near full house crowd looked on.

With just one race left on the schedule, four-time champion Coby has a 10 point lead over Justin Bonsingore in the championship standings. Solomito is third, 12 markers back, while Preece is fourth, 19 back from the lead.

In other racing at Stafford on the weekend, Taking down feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature and Tyler Leary in the Late Model feature. Rocco’s victory clinched the 2017 SK Modified® track championship while Glen Reen became the Late Model champion with a 5th place finish in the Late Model feature. For Rocco it was win No.45 at Stafford which brought his lifetime career total to 249. It was his third SK Modified championship at the track.

Rocco led Chase Dowling to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive win of the 2017 season. Todd Owen finished third with Matt Galko and Dave Gervais rounding out the top-5.

There were also feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions, as well as a feature event for the Mr. Rooter Truck Series as part of the Saturday NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend festivities. Taking feature wins were Marcello Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Cliff Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature, and Gerald Giordano, Jr. in the Mr. Rooter Truck Series feature.

Heavy rain washed out all racing last Saturday night at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway, Tom Rogers Jr was the 40 lap NASCAR Modified winner. He also sewed up the track championship.

The 67th annual Race of Champions weekend took place at the Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania as part of Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend. The race, which was advertised to pay $12,500 to the winner, was changed to pay $13,013.13-to-win in honor of Ted Christopher, who suddenly passed away recently, with 26 starting position paying $1,000-to-start.

Matt Hirschman made it three straight Race of Champions victories at three different tracks. Hirschman tied Dutch Hoag with his fifth career RoC event win. Mike Leaty finished second and was followed by Austin Kochenash, Eric Beers and Daren Scherer. Chris Pasteryak, the lone New Englander in the event finished eighth.

In Monster Cup racing at Dover Deleware, after leading a race-high 138 laps, 59 of the final 61 in the Apache Warrior 400, 2015 series champion Kyle Busch ran Chase Elliott down to win for the second time in the playoffs’ three-race first round. Elliott had surrendered what would have been a first victory at NASCAR’s highest level yet again.

Ryan Blaney won the Use Yor Melon. Drive Sober 200. at Dover International Speedway. It is his 6th XFINITY Series win and 2nd of the year. #7-Justin Allgaier finished second,

Last year, 2021, Going into the Whelen Modified Tour season ending event, the Fall Final at Stafford, Justin Bonsignore held a 16 point edge over Patrick Emerling. Ron Silk sat third, some 68 points back. Kyle Bonsignore had moved into fourth spot and was 74 points down while Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five, 77 points down from the leader. Doug Coby had slipped to sixth and Jon McKennedy, who missed Riverhead to compete in the SuperModified Classic at Star Speedway which he won, slipped to eighth while Eric Goodale had moved into seventh. The top 15 spots pay point money. Melissa Fifield did her usual start and park at Riverhead, completing only seven laps before giving up. She had, however, moved into 15th spot, leading Ryan Preece by five points and Craig Lutz by 17 points. As luck would have it, Lutz teamed up with Dave Sapienza to compete in the Fall Final.

Heavy rain dumped over an inch of rain on the Stafford Speedway on Friday afternoon. By race time the rain had stopped, the track dried and the Friday night racing program went off as planned.

In what had to be one of the most exciting finishes in SK Modified racing ever at Stafford, Stephen Kopcik made a last lap, last corner pass of Todd Owen and Keith Rocco to make it four wins in a row. In a green-white-checkered finish, Owen and Rocco ran wheel to wheel until the final lap when Owen inched ahead. Going into turn three Rocco executed a bottom shot under Owen which ultimately moved both up a lane as they were in turn four. Kopcik took advantage of the situation and went under both to take the lead as the starter waved the checkered flag. Owen recovered to finish second. Jonathon Puleo, Rocco, and David Arute rounded out the top-5. In a post race interview Owen expressed his displeasure with Rocco’s driving. Rocco felt he did nothing wrong as he never left the racing surface when he did the bottom shot.

Following the post-race inspection of the Friday, September 24, 2021 SK Modified® feature Owen’s scowl turned to a smile when he learned the winner and third place finisher were disqualified. Stephen Kopcik and Jon Puleo due to not meeting rule 20E – 12.3 Coil Over Shocks.

Keith Rocco was elevated to the second spot, David Arute to third, Mike Christopher Jr to fourth and Noah Korner to fifth. With that win Owen locked up the 2021 SK Modified championship.

In other Friday night action, Al Saunders was a first time 2021 winner in the Late Model feature, Brian Sullivan took down his fourth win of 2021 in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn came home a winner for the 7th time in the Limited Late Model feature, and Bert Ouellette was a career first time winner in the Street Stock feature.

In the Whelen Modified Tour season ending Fall Final Justin Bonsignore ended a long dry spell at Stafford as he won the 150 lap contest and wrapped up the season championship. Starting on the outside pole Bonsignore chased pole sitter Anthony Nocella for 77 laps before taking the lead in the event that almost went non-stop. Two cautions slowed the event. The first won flew on lap 128 for liquid in turn three and the second one on lap 146 when Matt Swanson spun in turn two. Doug Coby led briefly following the final caution. In a race ending green-white-checker situation Bonsignore shot by Coby to secure the win. Coby ended up second. Patrick Emerling who was in contention for the title came from a 14th starting spot to finish third. His bid for the title fell short by 22 points.

Anthony Nocella took the early race lead from pole position while Justin Bonsignore slid from second at the start back to fifth place as Jon McKennedy took second, Doug Coby third, and Craig Lutz fourth. With 20 laps complete, the top-3 remained the same while Bonsignore worked his way around Lutz to take over fourth place and drop Lutz back to fifth.

By lap-35 Coby was starting to apply heavy pressure to McKennedy in a fight for second place. Coby took several looks to the inside of McKennedy, but McKennedy was able to hold Coby off and maintain second place. Coby was finally able to make a passing move on McKennedy on lap-54 to move into second as Nocella continued to lead the race. Bonsignore followed Coby past McKennedy to move into third place and drop McKennedy back to fourth with Woody Pitkat now in fifth just behind McKennedy.

Eric Goodale got by McKennedy to take over fifth place on lap-64, several laps after Pitkat had taken fourth from McKennedy as Nocella was still in the lead, but he now had Coby and Bonsignore right behind him in a 3-car train for the lead.

Bonsignore worked his way to the inside of Coby for second lnlap-69 but a lapped car prevented him from completing the pass. Bonsignore again got to the inside of Coby on lap-70 and this time he was able to complete the pass for second. Pitkat and Goodale were both closing in on the lead trio to make it a 5-way fight for the race lead. Bonsignore was now applying heavy pressure to Nocella on lap-74 and he was able to make a pass to take the lead from Nocella on lap-78. Pitkat took third from Coby on lap-79 with Goodale still in fifth.

With 90 laps complete the running order was Bonsignore followed by Pitkat, Coby, Lutz, and Goodale. Rounding out the top-10 was Nocella, Ronnie Silk, Matt Swanson, Joey Cipriano, and Ronnie Williams.

The first caution flew on lap-130 for debris on the track with Bonsignore still in the lead with Pitkat, Coby, Lutz, and Goodale making up the top-5. Bonsignore led the field on to pit road on lap-132 and he won the race off of pit road followed by Swanson, Coby, Goodale, Pitkat, Lutz, Patrick Emerling, Williams, Kyle Bonsignore, and Tyler Rypkema.

The race went back to green on lap-137 with Bonsignore taking the lead followed by Coby and Swanson. Nocella was back up to fourth and Emerling was fifth. Nocella went by Swanson on lap-138 to take third and Emerling followed him through to take fourth and drop Swanson back to fifth. Swanson spun in turn 2 with several other cars collected on lap-146 to bring the caution back out and set up a green white checkered finish.

The lap-151 restart saw Coby briefly edge in front for the lead but Bonsignore was back in the lead to take the white flag. Bonsignore led Coby to the checkered flag to end an 0 for 40 streak at Stafford and clinch the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour championship in grand style. Emerling finished third with Kyle Bonsignore and Lutz rounding out the top-5.

It was an extremely gratifying day for Craig Lutz who raced his way into fifth spot which placed him 15th in the final standings. Melissa Fifield did her usual start and park which placed her 26th, last, in the final rundown. Fifteenth is the last spot that pays point money.

Following the Championship awards banquet this fall the Whelen Modified Tour Series will begin their 2022 season at the New Smyrna Speedway in Florida in February.

In other Saturday afternoon action at Stafford, the SK Lights, Limited Late Models, and Vintage All-Stars were in feature action. Derek Debbis scored his 7th win of the 2021 season in the SK Light feature, Mike Hopkins took down his second win of the 2021 season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Ben Levangie won the Vintage All-Stars feature with a last lap pass.

At the New London-Waterford Speedbowl the Modifieds were off.

What started as a long night for Jacob Burns ended with his biggest payday. After being involved in a lap 3 accident and being forced to make two pit stops for repairs, Burns came back stronger than ever.He thundered his way through the field and then made a daring three-wide move to take the lead with five laps to go.Then he was forced to hold off four-time champ Jason Palmer and current point leader John O’Sullivan to win the 35-lap Fall Legends Classic and the $2,500 first-place check that went with it to highlight Saturday’s action at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

In other racing, Jason Palmer chalked up his ninth Late Model win of the year, Charles Canfield rolled to his second Mini Stock win, Ken Cassidy won for the fifth time in the Speedbowl Trucks, Ed Ryan and Devin Tate took Super-X car wins and Milania Shilosky collected an impressive win in the Bandoleros. Bo Norman, the apparent Street Sock winner, was disqualified after the race, giving the win to Jason Chicolas.

Congratulations to Andy Jankowiak on his victory in the 71st Race of Champions at the Lake Erie Speedway. Pre-race favorite Matt Hirschman encountered motor problems and retired on lap182 of the 250 lap event. A big shout out to Mike Christopher Jr who finished second in the Tommy Baldwin 7NY. Patrick Emerling finished third, Zane Zeiner, fourth and Daryl Lewis rounded out the top five.

Out on the east end of Long Island at the Riverhead Raceway Kyle Soper celebrated his third Buzz Chew Chevrolet NASCAR Modified title in the past four seasons at Riverhead Raceway the only way he knows how, with a victory in the regular season finale. Soper, 25, driving the Wayne Anderson 15, came to the 50-lap event not only having secured the Riverhead title but also on Friday he was announced as the New York State champion in Division 1 of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series. In his best performance of 2021 Eddie Brunnhoelzl III was a solid runner-up in the North Fork Sanitation Chevy, Dylan Slepian soldered home third in his Eastport Feeds Chevy. Michael Rutkoski and Chris Young of were fourth and fifth.

Tri Track Open Modified Series officials announced that the series will be adjusting starting lineup procedures for qualifying heats beginning with the final event of the season at Seekonk Speedway on October 23. Tri Track will eliminate the blind draw that drivers have been doing to set the lineup — and instead will base qualifying starting spots off a final scuff session that will occur on race day. In between practice and heat races, all cars will be required to go over the scales in the reserve order of practice speeds, with the slowest cars first. This means that all cars must be heat race legal — including having their heat race tires marked, and on the car. Following this final scuff session, cars will have to run that same set of tires in the heat races.

Teams will be grouped by practice speed and sent out on the track during the scuff session in groups of five. They will then be part of a four-lap green flag session, with the fastest individual lap time from the four-lap session for each car determining the heat race lineup. Once the lineups are set, the top-four from each heat will be inverted to make the starting grid.

Exact breakdowns are dependent on the number of cars entered to race. The below document will provide specifics.

“We’re making this adjustment in an effort to remove the element of luck involved with the blind draws we have been doing,” Ed Bennett, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Open Modified Series, said. “We’re looking forward to seeing how this change works out and we think it will be beneficial for all involved.”. Bennett’s intentions are good but very confusing. After the heat races are lined up and complete, consi race lineups will be straight-up off the heat finishes, as usual. The feature lineup will be inverted. Just before the start of the race, a wheel will be spun at the start/finish line to determine the number of cars that will be inverted for the start of the race. The number will range from zero through 12. It could be a straight-up start, a 12-car invert, or anything in between. Why not go to a Money won last three times out. Those who were not there in prior events go in the rear.

In NASCAR cup racing, Denny Hamlin led a race-best 137 of the 267 laps to earn his first Las Vegas victory in 20 starts and take an automatic bid into the next round of the NASCAR Playoffs. The 40-year-old Virginian edged reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott by 0.442 seconds. Elliott cut into Hamlin’s lead on every one of the closing 10 laps, taking full advantage of traffic, but was ultimately unable to catch Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Hamlin’s JGR teammates, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., finished third and fourth, respectively, with Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five. Ryan Preece finished 28th.

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