Saturday, May 26, 2018

Rowan Pennink scores 20th career win in SK Modified action at Stafford Speedway

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

Rowan Pennink scores his 20th career victory in the SK Modified division  to go along with two weekly SK track championships, ( 2015,2016) in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Vassar took the early lead with Tyler Hines in second.  Matt Galko was third with Todd Owen fourth and Chase Dowling fifth.  Hines took the lead from Vassar on lap-3 with Galko moving ot the lead on lap-5.  Owen was on the inside of Galko and as he was making a pass for the lead on lap-6, a melee broke out behind the two leaders that involved several cars including Keith Rocco, David Arute, Vassar, Michael Christopher, Jr., Cory DiMatteo, and Dan Wesson to bring the caution out. 
Owen and Galko ran side by side for a lap before Owen got clear to the lead on lap-7.  Galko was now side by side with Joey Cipriano for second with Dowling in fourth and Rowan Pennink in fifth.  Cipriano began to slide backwards after several laps of side by side racing with Galko as Dowling took third and Pennink was fourth.  Cipriano spun in turn 2 after contact with Nick Salva to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.  Salva was sent to the rear of the field for the contact.
Owen took the lead back under green with Dowling applying heavy pressure from second.  Dowling was able to get alongside Owen on lap-13 and they crossed the line side by side.  Dowling got clear to the lead on lap-15 while Pennink was now side by side with Owen for second.  Pennink took that position and now Galko was on the inside of Owen for third with Ronnie Williams right behind him.  Galko took third on lap-17 with Williams now side by side with Owen while Rocco was recovered from his earlier misfortune as was right on Williams’ bumper.  Williams was able to finally take the spot on lap-19 and he took third from Galko on lap-21 as Pennink continued to lead a hard charging Dowling.
Rocco took fourth from Galko on lap-23 and Williams got around Dowling to move into second on lap-30 as Pennink was still in command of the race.  Williams was slowly closing the gap to Pennink for the lead when the caution came out with 34 laps complete for Doug Meservey, Jr., who spun in turn 2.
Pennink took the lead with Williams, Dowling, Rocco, and Michael Gervais, Jr. quickly getting into a single file line.  Williams made one final charge in turns 3+4 on the final lap, but Pennink held him off to become the first driver other than Keith Rocco to win an SK Modified® feature this season.  Following post-race inspection, Dowling’s car was found to be 10 pounds underweight and he was penalized 10 positions, one position for each pound his car was underweight, moving him to 13th in the finishing order.  The new remainder of the top-5 was  Rocco, Gervais, and Stephen Kopcik. Source: Scott Running Stafford Speedway Media Press Release.


1) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa  2018  (1)
2) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
3) Keith Rocco, Berlin    2018  (4)
4) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
5) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
6) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
7) Matt Galko, Meriden
8) Dan Wesson, Monson, Ma
9) John Studley, Framingham, Ma
10) Tyler Hines, North Haven
11) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
12) Tom Bolles, Ellington
13) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
14) David Arute, Stafford Springs
15) John Catania, Agawam, Ma
16) Todd Owen, Somers
17) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, Ma
18) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
19) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
20) Nick Salva, Cheshire
21) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
22) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
23) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
24) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
25) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
26) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thompson Speedway Announces June 7 Oval Event: Rescheduled Event to Honor Military, Showcase Limited Sportsman

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

Thompson Speedway Announces June 7 Oval Event

Rescheduled Event to Honor Military, Showcase Limited Sportsman


THOMPSON, CT – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Officials announced that the May 20 event, which was originally cancelled due to the pending weather forecast, will now be rescheduled. The Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Pepsi, is now scheduled for Thursday, June 7. 

“We love the passion and enthusiasm that our race fans, car owners, drivers, and teams have for our events. We heard loud and clear from them that they wanted to ensure we got this event in, as many had special plans to honor our military,” Thompson Speedway General Manager, Josh Vanada, explained.

The race program is headlined by the ultra-competitive Limited Sportsman Division, who will compete in their longest race of the year. The Sunoco Modified, Late Model, and Mini Stock Divisions will all be on the card, as well, competing in regular distance events.

Sunoco Modified Car Owner, Stan Mertz, was happy to hear that another attempt will be made at the event. “The Mertz racing team is pleased that the staff at Thompson Speedway has been responsive to our feedback regarding a possible rescheduling of the recent rained out date. They listened to my concerns as a team owner and others and put together a plan to reschedule the race, rather than cancelling it. This will allow everyone the opportunity to honor those in the Military and to see some great racing! Thanks, Josh and team.”

A full field of Limited Sportsman cars are expected to enter. A star-studded field of Sunoco Modified drivers will be joined by a deep entry list of Late Model competitors. Many of the front-running Mini Stock drivers had a tough opening event, and will be looking to rebound. 

Tickets for this event are only $12, with Active Duty Military, Veterans, and kids under 12 being free.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Keith Rocco sets Stafford SK Modified® record with 6th consecutive win;

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Kid Rock came into the race with a three way tie for 5 consecutive wins with Ted Christopher 2004 and the most recent Woody Pitkat in 2017. Now the certain New England Hall of Fame first round of eligibility member sits alone at 6 and can add to his record next Friday. The victory puts Rocco in second in career SK wins at Stafford with 49 and Teddy at the top with 109. Rocco has three SK weekly NASCAR track championships, 2007,2010,2017 In tonight's 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Chase Dowling led the first lap of the race but Joey Cipriano took the lead on lap-2 but the caution came out for spins on the backstretch by several cars, putting Dowling back up front for the restart.
Cipriano stayed even with Dowling on the restart and he got clear into the lead on lap-3.  Tom Bolles and Michael Gervais, Jr. were side by side for third with Eric Berndt in fifth.  Gervias went by both Bolles and Dowling on lap-5 to move into second while Bolles took third from Dowling.  Berndt was now side by side with Dowling for fourth after nearly going 3-wide with Dowling and Bolles and he took that spot and then took third from Bolles on lap-8. 
Keith Rocco was on the charge since the green flag and he moved into fifth on lap-10 and then took fourth from Bolles on lap-11.  Todd Owen tried to follow Rocco by Bolles, but Bolles was able to hold him off.  Owen made a pass on Bolles stick on lap-14 and he moved up to fifth as Cipriano continued to lead.  Bolles and Zach Leone came together in turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete.
Gervais briefly took the lead from Cipriano but Cipriano  came back strong and got clear into the lead on lap-17.  Ronnie Williams and Rocco were now side by side for third before the caution came out for Cory DiMatteo, who came to a stop sideways in the middle of turns 1+2.
Gervais took the lead on the restart with Cipriano and Rocco side by side for second.  Cipriano got clear to second on lap-19 and he took the lead from Gervais on lap-20.  Rocco was side by side Owen for third but he moved into second behind Cipriano and Gervais was back to third.  Owen was in fourth with Williams right behind him in fifth.  The top-5 got into single file on lap-24 with Rocco taking the lead from Cipriano while Gervais was leading Williams and Berndt in the chase for third. 
Williams got by Gervais for third on lap-26 and Berndt pulled alongside Gervais in a fight for fourth as Cipriano was still glued to the back bumper of Rocco for the lead.  Gervais and Berndt ran side by side until lap-30 when Berndt got clear into fourth behind Williams.  Cipriano took a look to the inside of Rocco in turn 4 on lap-31 but fell back into line in second. 
With 5 laps to go, Rocco, Cipriano, and Berndt were running nose to tail in a 3-car train for the lead with Williams, Gervais, and Rowan Pennink in a 3-car train for fourth behind the lead trio.  Rocco took the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win in four starts this season and his sixth consecutive SK Modified® win dating back to the end of the 2017 season, setting a Stafford Speedway SK Modified® record for consecutive wins.  Cipriano finished second with Berndt, Williams, and Gervais making up the top-5.Source: Stafford Speedway Scott Running Media Press Release and Wayne G.Barber Library Files


1) Keith Rocco, Berlin 2018 (4) wins (49) career at Stafford Speedway
2) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
3) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
4) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
5) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
6) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
7) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
8) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
9) Todd Owen, Somers
10) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
11) Tyler Hines, North Haven
12) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
13) David Arute, Stafford Springs
14) Tom Bolles, Ellington
15) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
16) Dan Wesson, Monson, Ma
17) Matt Galko, Meriden
18) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
19) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
20) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
21) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
22) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
23) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, Ma
24) Zach Leone, Shrewsbury, Ma
25) Tyler Jones, New Milford

MacDonald Wins $5,000 “Showdown” with Hebert at Oxford Plains, ME.

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Rowley, MA's Eddie MacDonald celebrates his victory in the Summer Showdown Series opener at Maine's Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, May 20. (Travis Ingerson/ photo)
Oxford, ME – Rowley, MA’s Eddie MacDonald held off Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert in the closing laps to take the Summer Showdown Series opener at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday, May 20. The win made MacDonald $5,000 richer and also makes him eligible for an additional $5,000 bonus should he go on sweep the 3-race series.

MacDonald seemed to have the race in hand after taking the lead from Barre, VT’s Nick Sweet using a 3-wide move in lapped traffic just past the halfway point of the 150-lap event. But a pair of lap-132 cautions allowed both Sweet and Hebert to close back in.

Hebert got underneath Sweet for second with just over 10 laps to go and had MacDonald in his sights. But Hebert slipped just a little bit in turn 1 with five laps remaining, allowing “The Outlaw” to scoot away just enough for the win.

Sweet ran away with the lead in the early going and looked strong in his own bid to capture the $5,000 top prize. But racing was tight throughout the 30-car field, creating huge packs putting up spirited fights for position. Those packs enabled MacDonald to close back to Sweet’s bumper on multiple occasions.

Sweet was able to get away from MacDonald the first two times they had cleared traffic. When Sweet went to the outside of Matt White on the backstretch on lap 77, MacDonald made his move. He dove to the inside of White and made it 3-deep entering turn 3, emerging with the lead at the line.

Despite a return bid from Sweet several laps later, MacDonald began pulling away until Christopher Pelkey spun in turn 2 to bring out the first caution on lap 132. Defending ACT Champion Scott Payea went for his own turn-2 spin on the restart, bringing out the yellow again and setting up the final sprint to the checkered flag.

Hebert ended up second with Sweet third. Corey Mason took fourth. Payea recovered from his spin to finish fifth, the final car on the lead lap. Bobby Therrien, Miles Chipman, Mike Ziter, Rich Dubeau, and Chip Grenier rounded out the top-10.

The American-Canadian Tour will next be in action at Groveton, NH’s Speedway 51 on Saturday, June 2 for the Caron Fabrication 151. Post time is 6:00pm.

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963


Pos, Start Pos, Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps

1. ( 2 ) Eddie MacDonald ( 17MA ) , Rowley, MA , 150 Laps

2. ( 4 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 150 Laps

3. ( 1 ) Nicholas Sweet ( 88VT ) , Barre, VT , 150 Laps

4. ( 8 ) Corey Mason ( 1NH ) , Groveton, NH , 150 Laps

5. ( 10 ) Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Colchester, VT , 149 Laps

6. ( 17 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 149 Laps

7. ( 12 ) Miles Chipman ( 0NH ) , Nottingham, NH , 149 Laps

8. ( 9 ) Mike Ziter ( 54VT ) , Barre, VT , 149 Laps

9. ( 5 ) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Lebanon, NH , 149 Laps

10. ( 15 ) Chip Grenier ( 9VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 149 Laps

11. ( 6 ) Rowland Robinson Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 149 Laps

12. ( 3 ) Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , East Bridgewater, MA , 149 Laps

13. ( 14 ) #Evan Hallstrom ( 1VT ) , Northfield, VT , 149 Laps

14. ( 16 ) Quinten Welch ( 78NH ) , Groveton, NH , 148 Laps

15. ( 7 ) Ryan Olsen ( 61NH ) , Woodsville, NH , 148 Laps

16. ( 18 ) Brian Tagg ( 9MA ) , Oxford, MA , 148 Laps

17. ( 24 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Stark, NH , 148 Laps

18. ( 13 ) Joey Laquerre ( 15VT ) , E. Montpelier, VT , 148 Laps

19. ( 26 ) Adam Gray ( 97MA ) , Granby, MA , 148 Laps

20. ( 11 ) Claude Leclerc ( 11QC ) , Lanoraie, QC , 148 Laps

21. ( 21 ) Matt White ( 42VT ) , Northfield, VT , 148 Laps

22. ( 19 ) Jean-Francois Dery ( 21QC ) , Quebec, QC , 148 Laps

23. ( 28 ) #Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 147 Laps

24. ( 22 ) Mike Kension ( 3NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 147 Laps

25. ( 20 ) #Christopher Pelkey ( 41VT ) , South Barre, VT , 147 Laps

26. ( 25 ) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 147 Laps

27. ( 23 ) Matt Anderson ( 49NH ) , Franklin, NH , 146 Laps

28. ( 27 ) #T.J. Moreshead ( 00MA ) , Seekonk, MA , 146 Laps

29. ( 30 ) #Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Duxbury, VT , 16 Laps

30. ( 29 ) #Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Duxbury, VT , 9 Laps

Lap Leaders: Nick Sweet 1-76, Eddie MacDonald (1 lead changes among 2 drivers)

Time of Race: 54:17                           Margin of Victory: 0.320 seconds

Cautions: 2 (laps 132, 132)

Heat Winners: Corey Mason, Mike Ziter, Claude Leclerc

Consi Winner: Ryan Olsen  Source: ACT Tour Media Press Release