Thursday, September 21, 2017

ACT Tour News....

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

LOUDON, NH – American Canadian Tour (ACT) regular Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vt. is looking to improve upon his 2016 finish by one spot in the Ninth Annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday.

Hebert was leading last year’s event when a caution with five laps remaining brought Eddie MacDonald into contention. MacDonald snatched the lead when the race went green and drove off to his third straight Invitational win.

“It took a couple of laps for me to get back up to speed and then time ran out,” Hebert said. “I think I could have won if it weren’t for the restart.”

Hebert is a regular on the ACT circuit. He has driven the Hebert Excavation/Lowery’s Auto No. 58VT to a pair of 3rd-place finishes and is tied for fourth place in the championship point standings.

Hebert finished 6th in the 2014 Invitational and was 5th in 2015.

“We’re headed in the right direction,” Hebert said. “There were seven timesheets posted during the practice sessions a few weeks ago and we were the fastest on every one of them.”

“There are lot of other cars capable of winning the race,” Hebert said. “The motors are the same and there’s a lot of drafting. You have to be careful about where you are in traffic. You can get bogged down. You have to pick your move at the right time.”

Forty Late Models from New England and Quebec are scheduled to take the ACT Invitational 50 green Saturday, September 23 at 5 p.m. following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 175.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Modified driver Ted Christopher killed in plane crash

NBC Connecticut reported that both people on the plane were killed. NASCAR confirmed that Christopher was one of those killed in the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.
Christopher was selected as one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history in 2006. Fans voted him as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s most popular driver three times.
Christopher captured 13 track championships and competed at every level of NASCAR. He made six Cup starts (the last in 2009), 21 Xfinity starts (the last in 2001) and two Camping World Truck Series starts (the last in 1999).
He won nine track championships (1987, ’96, 2000, ’01, 04, ’07, ’09, ’12 and ’14) at Stafford (Connecticut) Motor Speedway
Christopher’s death reverberated throughout NASCAR and the racing community.
 I am so honored to have known Ted Christopher with photos, interviews and radio appearance's Posted by Wayne G.Barber & Photo by Wayne G.
9-10-17 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 99th Career Victory

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Matt Galko nips points leader Chase Darling at the finish...

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

 Matt Galko scores his second victory in the highly competitive SK Mod division at Stafford Speedway on Friday Sept. 15, 2017. Galko duplicated his first win ever in the SK'S on June 2 again by out- racing Chase Dowling the current points leader. Dowling maintains his points lead 620 to Teddy Christopher's 594 with Keith Rocco holding third at 586 after 15 of 17 races.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Cam McDermott and Tyler Hines were side by side for the first lap dueling for the lead and on lap-2 Glen Reen nearly went 3-wide for the lead but backed out of the move.  With 4 laps complete it was still Hines and McDermott side by side for the lead with Reen in third.  Matt Galko and Keith Rocco were side by side for fourth behind them.
The order continued to shuffle as Hines got clear to the lead with Reen behind him in second.  Galko was by himself in third with Chase Dowling and McDermott side by side for fourth with Tom Bolles in sixth.  Reen moved to the front on lap-9 with a move in turns 1+2 and Galko came with him into second.  Dowling also followed the two leaders by Hines as he moved into third with Hines slotting into line in fourth with Bolles fifth and Eric Berndt in sixth. 
Dowling got by Galko on lap-12 to move into second and Ryan Preece moved into sixth after starting in the back of the pack.  With 15 laps complete the order was Dowling out front with Reen, Galko, and Hines behind him.  Preece got by Bolles for fifth just as the caution came out for a multi-car spin behind him that involved Joey Mucciacciaro, Jr., Payton Henry, Dan Avery, and D.J. Burnham.
Dowling took the lead back under green with Galko in second.  The field stacked up a bit in turn 4 but everyone was able to gather their cars up and it was Preece emerging in third with Bolles in fourth and Berndt fifth before the caution came out with 17 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch involving Tony Membrino, Jr. and Rocco.
Stephen Kopcik got loose on the restart and came to a stop in turn 2 to bring the caution right back out.  Dowling took the lead on the restart but only one lap could be completed before a melee broke out coming out of turn 4 with Nick Salva, Josh Wood, Mike Christopher, Jr., Todd Owen, and Tommy Membrino, Jr., all involved to bring the caution back out.
Galko got a good run in the outside lane and took the lead from Dowling on the restart.  Dowling and Reen were side by side for second with Preece and Berndt side by side for fourth.  With 20 laps complete, Berndt’s car got turned into the front stretch wall to bring the caution out. 
Galko and Dowling were side by side for the lead back under green with Reen and Preece side by side for third with Ted Christopher up to fifth.  The two lead duos were still side by side until lap-25 when Preece got clear of Reen and took third.  Christopher was now on the outside of Reen in a fight for fourth as Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the lead. 
With 28 laps complete, Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the lead but it was now single file behind the two leaders with Preece, Christopher, and Reen making up the top-5 with Bolles still hanging strong in sixth. 
With 5 laps to go, Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the race lead with Preece, Christopher, and Reen lined up behind them.  As they completed lap-36 it was now two by two as Galko and Dowling were out front with Preece and Christopher and lined up behind them. 
As they took the white flag, it was a 5-car train for the lead.  Galko was able to get a good run coming out of turn 4 to beat Dowling and Preece to the line by a car length.  Dowling took second by inches over Preece with Christopher beating Reen to the line by inches for fourth place.


1) Matt Galko, Meriden
2) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
3) Ryan Preece, Broad Book
4) Ted Christopher, Plainville
5) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
6) Tom Bolles, Ellington
7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
8) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
9) Keith Rocco, Berlin
10) Mike Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
11) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
12) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
13) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
14) Cam McDermott, Canterbury
15) Dan Avery, Somers
16) Tyler Hines, North Haven
17) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
18) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
19) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
20) Nick Salva, Cheshire
21) Todd Owen, Somers
22) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
23) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
24) Joey Mucciacciaro, Jr., Wolcott
25) Payton Henry, Willington
26) John Catania, Agawam, Ma

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thompson Speedway Sunoco SK Mod. 20/20/10 Results from 9-10-17 Segment Two

Posted by Wayne G. Barber & Photos by Wayne G. Barber

The second segment of the fan friendly event had the top teams in electronic timing for the day inverting to form the 26 race team field for race number two of three on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Could Teddy Christopher repeat and obtain the elusive 100th career Sunoco SK Mod win at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the same day ?
 If he did it would have to be from the rear of the fastest cars in race one.
The race started with a blistering pace and hot rod Stephen Masse and two other cars tangled up in turn two to bring out the first caution on lap 13. On lap 16 Troy Tolman went to the rear went to the rear after some contact. On that restart the Matt Gallo #77ran over Teddy Christopher who had hit the back stretch wall and saved the car but lost a lot of speed doing so and I think lack of sending a spotters message to Gallo created the wreck to end Teddy's day and Gallo bailed out quick with a fire from the hard hit.
44th Career Sunoco SK Mod victory at Thompson
. “It’s tough. It’s pretty much impossible to drive away unless you’ve got a car that’s about a half second faster,” Rocco said. “On old tires for these races it’s pretty exciting for the fans.” 
  Keith Rocco needing some points after the 9th place showing in the first segment and had his hands full with Todd Owen and Ryan Preece and very quiet John Studley in the #27 who also joined this division from Stafford Speedway in 2017. Pitkat was in the 5 hole to jump in the fray if the leaders tangled. Rocco slipped and slided his way to victory lane in segment two and Owen had a very nice day with 2nd and a third to be low points man entering the third segment. All he had to do was finish third or better to claim the big money prize and again no points. Troy Tolman redeemed his second race mishap and was not going to passed for the third segment and showed a lot of maturity in bring the Rocco prepared black Dale Earnhardt Sr. #3  home in first. One race to go at the October World Series and Rocco finds himself in first place in the point standings with 314. Last year 2016 he entered the last race with a 23 point lead and held on for the track championship.The sleeper Todd Owen with the great afternoon holds sole procession of second with 302 points. Ryan Preece who races for the third time in the XFINITY series at Kentucky speedway can come back and claim this championship sitting at 294 points and Woody Pitkat may just have another Stan Mertz horseshoe in his car to steal his second championship sitting at 290. Very good competition with the 5 regular new additions this year at Thompson.

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT TWO TOP-10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 3. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 4. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 5. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 6. Joey Gada (Uncasville, CT); 7. Andrew Krause (East Brunswick, NJ); 8. Marcello Rufrano (North Haven, CT); 9. Stephan Masse (Bellingham, MA); 10. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA)
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT OVERALL FINISH TOP-10: 1. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 3. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 4. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 5. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 6. Stephan Masse (Bellingham, MA); 7. Nick Salva (Prospect, CT); 8. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 9. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 10. Joey Gada (Uncasville, CT)

Thompson Speedway 20/20/10 Sunoco Sk Results 9-10-17 Segment One

Posted by Wayne G. Barber & Photos by Wayne G. Barber

 This type of Sunoco SK mod. racing is really gaining in fan popularity in it's third year. With the short seven event schedule it surely decides who has a chance at a track championship. In 2017 it's been Keith Rocco or Ryan Preece in the points lead and dominating victory lane. Troy Talman and Todd Owen also have a victory in 2017. Teddy Christopher rejoined the competitive division full time in 2017 after cutting down his schedule in 2015 & 2016. The weather was perfect and the practice times and heat races provided some real good track times to go along with a nice 26 race teams making the rare Sunday event in Connecticut. A little extra moolah dos it every time and a chance for race teams to compete at the larger racing surface.
 Christopher has been the wheelman in a few different color schemes and car numbers in 2017 and today selected the black #79 for the second time. The two time national points champion and current all-time track win leader at 98 had to wonder at 59 years old will I get to the century mark ( 108 SK ) like I have accomplished at Stafford Speedway.
 Race fans were about to see two completely different races, then a 10 lap shoot out for cash and a overall champion of the event. The first segment had a few cautions on Lap 7 and again at lap 9. A third caution came out for a spin on the homestretch by Andrew Charron #7 The Talman prepared #3 and Todd Owen kept doing text book restarts with the Stan Mertz # 6 piloted by the former 2015 division champion Woody Pitkat and one of the most under rated modified drivers in New England ,Stephen Masse #87 who hails out of Bellingham, Mass. in the 3 and 4 holes lurking for a victory. On lap 16 with another caution flag for the  Marcello Rufrano #68 coming down from Stafford and trimming the infield grass after a few slightly bent nerf bars the race quickly developed between Christopher and Owen who never backed down to the certain first round Hall of Famer to the delight of the crowd. I was on the track for photos and a interview and the crowd has clearly divided in the win between loyal race fans and the " Anybody but Teddy again" minority. The twist for this event is that the race teams now go to the infield track pit area while a different division competes, then invert with a certain time under your clock to determine the next race starting field. Each 20 lapper earns a win and the 50 points for each segment and heat points but No win credit or points for the 10 lap shootout.
   Christopher said he was proud of the achievement, but admitted he forgot how competitive Thompson Speedway can be. “It’s like the WWF out there,” Christopher said in victory lane. “It was fun. It’s been a while since we’ve had a Sunoco Sk win here. We had a really good car today. It’s only the second time I’ve driven it.” This scribe and the race fans could not wait for the next twenty laps to deliver live racing drama.

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT ONE TOP-10: 1. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 2. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 3. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 4. Steve Masse (Bellingham, MA); 5. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 6. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 7. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 8. Nick Salva ( Prospect, CT); 9. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 10. Timmy Jordan (Brooklyn, CT)

Sportsman Results from Lebanon Valley 9-9-17

Posted by Wayne G. Barber  Photo by Wayne G. Barber

Race Chatter started following Nikki at Thompson, then Monadnock and now a solid 3rd place finish on Dirt at the Valley. Congratulations from the entire "Woman in Racing" segment of the Race Chatter Nation.

In Sportsman, Michael Sabia simply had to finish sixth or better to claim the championship.  For much of the race, that looked like it was going to happen.

Lem Atkins started on pole, but quickly lost the advantage to Cody Ochs, who had dominated his heat race earlier in the evening.

Pro Stock veteran Jon Routhier made a rare Sportsman start in a car normally campaigned by Chris Curtis.  However, Routhier’s appearance did not last long as he got wrapped up in a crash with Mike Gramolini, Carmon Carnibucci and Gerard LeClair.

On lap 12, the whole season got turned upside down.  Rob Maxon was able to run down Ochs and take the lead.  Ochs, trying to get the lead back, dove hard to Maxon’s inside in turn 3.  Contact was made and Maxon spun in front of the field.  Everyone scattered and one driver made contact with Maxon.  That driver was Sabia, who was running fifth and was on the move.  Sabia would finish a lap down in 14th.

Ochs was sent to the rear for causing the crash.  As a result, John Virgilio assumed the lead with Atkins back up to second and Whitey Slavin, who entered the night 16 points behind Sabia, in third.
From here, Virgilio was able to pull away from the pack to take the win on-track.  However, Virgilio’s No. 14 came up underweight at the scales.  As a result, he was disqualified and Atkins claimed his first win in quite a few years.

Slavin finished and unofficially claimed the Sportsman title.  However, his engine was protested.  The title will not be official until the engine is independently inspected, which has not happened as of press time.

Nikki Ouellette finished third, followed by Frank Hoard Jr.  Chris Lynch was fifth.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Whelen Modified News & Notes: Riverhead Solomito Heading Home Looking To Get Back On Track

Posted by Wayne G. Barber  Photo by Wayne G. Barber

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enters the final four races of the season, Timmy Solomito needs to gain ground in the championship standings if he wants capture his first title. And he couldn't be heading to a better track as he looks to get that job done.
The Islip, New York, driver is heading for his home track of Riverhead Raceway for the Riverhead 200 on Saturday just 17 points from the lead, with three wins already under his belt in 2017. The driver of the No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford won the first race at Riverhead on June 24, starting from the pole and leading 151 laps en route to the victory. But he hasn't won a race on the Tour since. Three finishes outside the top 10 in the last six races, including two accidents, have put Solomito behind some of his closest challengers in the championship chase. He enters the race fourth, chasing Ryan Preece, Doug Coby and Rowan Pennink.
Solomito's success at Riverhead surely will give him confidence heading back to the quarter-mile bullring. In his last three races there, he has two wins and a runner-up finish.
Race:Riverhead 200
Place:Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, New York
When:8 p.m. ET
Track Layout:.25-mile asphalt oval
2016 Polesitter:Shawn Solomito
2016 Winner:Justin Bonsignore
Event Schedule:Garage Opens: 12:45 p.m., Practice: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Qualifying: 6 p.m., Miller Lite 200: 8 p.m.
Track Contact:Bob Finan, 1-631-842-7723
Track Twitter:@RiverheadRacewa
Event Hashtag:#Riverhead200
NASCAR IMC Contact:Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469,
The Race: The Riverhead 200 is the 13th of 16 championship events on the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points schedule. This is the second and final appearance at Riverhead Raceway this season. Timmy Solomito won the race back on June 24.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the entry blank is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 22 positions for the race will be determined through the qualifying process, while there will also be six provisionals available. The race is scheduled for 150 laps.
The Track: A quarter-mile slightly banked asphalt oval, Riverhead Raceway opened in 1949. The track has held a total of 59 races since the Whelen Modified Tour began in 1985, and is only one of two venues to play host to the Tour in each of its 31 seasons.
Race Winners: There have been 25 different drivers that have reached Victory Lane at Riverhead, led by Mike Ewanitsko's 11 wins. Timmy Solomito has won two of the last three races at the track. Justin Bonsignore is the defending race winner.
Pole Winners: Thirty-five different drivers have won a Coors Light Pole award at Riverhead, led by Ewanitsko's eight. Chuck Steuer set the one-lap qualifying record with a time of 11.546 seconds (77.949 mph) back in 2000. Timmy Solomito sat on the pole when the Whelen Modified Tour visited Riverhead earlier this season.
Riverhead 200 Notes:
Crucial Race For Preece: Over the last three months, it's been tough for anyone to beat Berlin, Connecticut, driver Ryan Preece. And that doesn't only include races on the Whelen Modified Tour. In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts over that time, Preece finished second at New Hampshire and scored his first win at Iowa Speedway. On the Whelen Modified Tour, Preece has top five finishes in all of his last nine starts, dating all the way back to the end of April. In that time, Preece has visited Victory Lane five times behind the wheel of his No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet. Although he currently leads the championship standings by nine points, the Riverhead race will be a crucial one for the 26-year-old. He is slated to miss the next series event at New Hampshire on Sept. 23 to run the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa, which means he needs to lead Riverhead with maximum points in order to still have a shot at the driver's championship.
Time For Bonsignore To Score: The start to the 2017 season has been solid for Justin Bonsignore, but he is craving more. The Holtsville, New York, driver hasn't been able to visit Victory Lane yet, but does have nine top 10 finishes in the first 12 races, including four top five runs. He has been consistent enough to keep himself in the championship fight heading for the stretch run. However, if he wants to make a move towards the top of the standings from his fifth-place position, he will need to use his home track to his advantage. Bonsignore finished fifth at Riverhead in June and has four of his 12 career wins at the quarter-mile oval. In his last five starts there, Bonsignore has three wins, a second and the fifth. A victory on Saturday would certainly help in his quest to capture his first career championship.
Riverhead Regulars: Each time the Whelen Modified Tour visits Riverhead, the weekly stars take their shot at battling some of NASCAR's best. And Saturday's Riverhead 200 will be no different. Riverhead Crate Modified regular CJ Lehmann will make his fourth start of the year behind the wheel of the No. 74. Lehmann has a best finish of 18th so far, which came in the June race at Riverhead. Other drivers planning to take the green include Dillon Steuer, who won the Islip 300 at Riverhead back in May. Steuer made his first career Whelen Modified Tour start at Riverhead in June and finished ninth. Kyle Soper, another New York driver, is always slated to take the green.
Winning: Through the first 12 races of the season, Preece and Solomito continue to be the only drivers to have more than one victory. Preece has five wins, while Solomito has three. Doug Coby, Patrick Emerling, Bobby Santos and Rowan Pennink have each visited Victory Lane once so far.
NASCAR Home Tracks: Whelen All American Series On Racing Card
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will not be the only division on track Saturday at the .25-mile oval in New York. The Late Models will return to the track with the Riverhead Crate Modifieds and Legends Cars also set for feature action. Source: PRESS RELEASE NASCAR HOME TRACKS KYLE SOUZA