next weekend. Second-generation pilots Pat Ward and Ronnie Johnson and Bert Hard Charger Frank Cozze filled out the final front-five under the checkered flag. “This ’07 Troyer car almost drove itself out there day. After the track locked down I just put it on cruise control out there. The good starting spot certainly helped out the cause today,” Phelps said.
Alan Johnson won the first of four heat races that included 37 open-wheel entries while Phelps chased winner Billy Decker in the second qualifier. Yet when it came time for the customary pre-race draw among the top dozen heat finishers, the pair grabbed front row starting positions and never gave them up once the feature race began. And it took three tries to get the 3rd Annual Central Penn 100 underway as Tom Sears Jr. stopped in turn two on the final pace lap while sixth-place starter Matt Sheppard looped his Ross Motorsports mount between turns one and two on the second attempt. The third time was a charm for Johnson as he out-dragged pole-sitter Phelps to take an early lead.
It took only 11 laps for the third yellow flag to unfurl as Jeff Isabell looped his JIR Motorsports Modified rounding turn one, with Johnson, Phelps, Decker, Steve Paine and Ward showing at the front of the class as the 30-car field began to spread out around the historic half-mile Mechanicsburg oval. Driving his son’s re-numbered 65 entry, Ohio invader Rex King had his front end go down to require another slowdown and keep the lead pack in line. Just as Rick Laubach fell off the pace to bring a fifth caution period, Johnson drifted high in turn four and Phelps pulled under to force what would be the only lead change during the afternoon special on lap 25.
With yellow flag laps counting a quarter of the way through, the ensuing lap 29 restart began clean although just one circuit later a front straighatway mishap involving Kevin Bolland, Jim Witko Jr. and King forced the field to slow once more. Phelps continued to fend off Johnson and Decker while Ward and Tim Fuller battled for top-five slots. Del Rougeux Jr. and Witko added further to the caution-infested affair as their Bicknell rides tangled down the homestretch on lap 40 putting Pennsylvanian Rougeux behind pit wall for the rest of the event. At the halfway mark 20 cars remained trackside with Fuller’s move to third the only shake up in the top-five running order as Phelps increased his lead to 15 cars during the continuous green flag conditions.
51's MODIFIED MADNESS Presented by Advance Auto PartsCompiled by Mike Twist
News From Throughout The Mod-ern World - North and South, Asphalt and Dirt
WMT: TWO DRIVERS DISIPLINED AFTER WORLD SERIES
NASCAR has penalized two Whelen Modified Tour drivers following the Oct. 15 World Series event at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
Carl Pasteryak, driver of the No. 75 car, was suspended from the next Whelen Modified Tour event and suspended from NASCAR until Oct. 30. Pasteryak was penalized for violating section 12-4-A of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book: actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in an altercation with another competitor on the track; verbal abuse to a NASCAR official and failure to follow a directive from a NASCAR official.
Pasteryak was one of 17 drivers involved in a lap 48 wreck that took place in between turns one and two. He reportedly had an altercation with Renee Dupuis, the driver of the #90 Modified, after the dust settled.
Matt Hirschman, driver of the No. 59 car, was also penalized for an incident after the race. Hirschman has been placed on probation until Dec. 31 for violating section 12-4-A: actions detrimental to stock car racing; failure to follow a directive from a NASCAR official; of the 2006 NASCAR Rule Book.
Hirschman was involved in a wreck with Richard Savary on the final lap of the event.
DIRT: PHELPS WINS AT WILLIAMS GROVE, AJ CLINCHES TITLE
A month and a half earlier Jimmy Phelps was an up-and-coming driver in the 2006 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series, chasing that elusive victory in his first full season following DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s premier Modified tour and loaded with potential. With just one race now remaining in the season-long trail, Phelps has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight and regarded among the favorites to win as soon as he buckles into the H&H Motorsports no. 98H Troyer after scoring his second Advance Auto Parts SDS victory Sunday afternoon in at Williams Grove Speedway.
Carl Pasteryak's NASCAR season will now end with a wreck at Thompson. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Breaking from its usual two day format, this weekend’s program will find practice time available from 3PM to 7PM for all divisions competing on Friday afternoon. The speedway, in an effort to create some fun for those staying at the speedway in its free camping area, has organized a “Pit Stop” competition with cash prizes being awarded to the winning team. It is hoped to have 20 teams compete. The competition will begin at 7:30 PM in the Checkered Flag midway area. Those wishing to participate are requested to contact the speedway office.
On Saturday, practices will be run from 12 noon to 1:45 PM followed by all heat races for all divisions at 2PM. The highlight of the day will be the 100 lap “Nationals” late model race, the rain postponed event from Sept 24. That race and the TVMRS heat and consolation races will draw the interest of fans. A total of 26 point’s separate point leaders, Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, VT., and Jimmy Kuhn.Jr, W.Bridgewater,MA.,with the tour championship up for grabs. The two started and finished one behind the other last Sunday at Seekonk, MA, often racing side by side with both showing each other a great deal of respect. At the conclusion of the preliminary events, a pub party complete with a DJ will be held until closing.
Sunday will find races starting at 12 noon. (No practice session). In an effort to move the program along, speedway management has established a schedule that will in addition to the race distance, have a matching time allotment to prevent the program from becoming lengthy. For example, a 15 lap feature will carry a must complete time of 15 minutes, a 25 lap race, 25 minutes. and so on. The only races that will not carry the rule will be the modifieds. The late model 50 lap race on Sunday will carry a 25 minute time frame to complete the event. It is hoped that the program will be completed by 6pm
IMCA: 2007 RULES COMING SOON
2007 rules for all divisions sanctioned by IMCA will be announced Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Rules will be published in the monthly Inside IMCA newsletter and posted on the IMCA website that day.
In quest of his fourth straight major victory on the DIRT NE circuit, Danny Johnson had worked his way into sixth after starting 13th on the grid. Brett Hearn had his sights on the same spot and on lap 61 contact between the two rivals low in turn two forced both to the pits; Johnson for good with a broken rear radius rod and Hearn for three laps to replace a flat right rear tire before returning to competition. Just two laps later Paine pulled pitside with a flat tire --- and that became the focal point during the last 15 miles as tire wear became an issue of concern for every frontrunner.
Justin Haers ran 14th and was the last car scored on the lead lap when he retired for good on lap 70 with a flat right-rear. Seventh-place runner Dale Planck also suffered a flat right-rear tire and stopped on lap 81 to incur the eighth caution period of the race, one which quickly erased a 2.2-second advantage built by leader Phelps. Gary Tomkins (10th) followed suit as a right-rear shoe went soft on lap 88 before Decker (4th) and Vic Coffey (10th) went into the pits to replace flats on lap 92. Recent Eckerd 200
runner-up Jimmy Horton (5th) joined the pair just one circuit later as he steered his owner Rick Grosso’s no. R24 entry following a dead battery in his primary no. 42 Bicknell ride. Fuller suffered the same fate to incur the final yellow flag with just two laps to go, yet with the race extended to 101 laps Phelps remained air-tight with Johnson settling for runner-up laurels as the checkered flags waved.
“The car has been right on the money lately and the biggest difference is we’ve been good right off the bat,” added Phelps, who followed up the Brewerton win by leading the initial 100 laps of the Lebanon Valley 200 on his way to second, placed fifth at Canandaigua and third in the rain-shortened Rolling Wheels 200 before capturing a Triple 20 during Super DIRT Week and pacing the field for 19 laps in the Eckerd 200 on the Syracuse Mile. “We had a good idea that the track would rubber up today and I think Alan was a little tight when we got under him. I knew our car was pretty square all race but I was definitely nervous the last few laps when there was rubber flying all over the track with a lot of guys getting flats. Fortunately, we had enough until the end and it’s just a credit to this team. All the preparation put in is finally paying off.”
Although DIRT NorthEast’s all-time big-block Modified winner was unable to increase his count, Johnson was ultimately content with his runner-up tally that bolstered his top-five tally to 19 in the 24 point races run to date in the ’06 Advance Auto Parts Series. “You always race to win but second’s the next best and next week will certainly be a little easier not having to worry about points,” said Johnson, 49, who remains the DIRT big-block feature win leader with 15 scored this season to improve his career total to 344. His first four Mr. DIRT titles were claimed in 1981, ’83, 2002 and ’03. “We had an excellent car but I was still concerned about the set up and more afraid of getting a flat tire before the end. I misread the communication with my spotter and ran a little too conservative when I got out front. Once Jimmy passed me I knew it was all over, after that I just tried to save tires the rest of the way. With the points out of the way now we can put a more aggressive set-up in the car for Orange County, ending the season with a big win is a good way to go out.”
Fifth-place starter Ward held that spot much of the race and moved up to third as attrition took its toll on the frontrunners during the closing stages. “We had a pretty good car all day and I wanted to clear Billy (Decker) as I think I could’ve given the leaders a run,” said Ward, following his second top-three finish of the ’06 tour campaign. “At the end I don’t think we had much more than another couple laps on the tires. The leaders were able to save theirs as they could pretty much run their own line and not use them up.”
Alan Johnson (DIRT Photo)
“Our team is really starting to gel right now and we’re building up more confidence with every race,” said Phelps, 31, who picked up his first career Series win in dramatic fashion at Brewerton Speedway on Aug. 30, charging from 26th starting position to overtake Alan Johnson with just 6 laps left in the century grind. Starting from the pole at The Grove, this time the Baldwinsville, N.Y. driver ducked under Johnson on lap 25 and held steady the rest of the way to score the convincing $6,000 win by a comfortable eight car-lengths. Johnson followed Phelps across the stripe to clinch his fifth overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Modified Championship as he holds an insurmountable lead of 159 points heading into the big Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway
Phelps in victory lane at Williams Grove. (DIRT Photo)
The True Value Modifieds will end their season on Sunday at Lee. (Jamie Williams Photo)
TVMRS: LEE’S OKTOBERFEST TO
CLOSE OUT ’06 SEASON
With the final checkered flag ready to fly this weekend, Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH., will close out it’s season with it’s traditional finale featuring 10 divisions of competition with everything from late models, to mini-cup cars, to the ground pounding 600 horse powered True Value Modified Racing Series that will compete in a championship deciding 100 lap race, their final event of 2006. The annual race program, dubbed “Oktoberfest Weekend” will find action at the 3/8 mile facility Friday
Saturday, Sunday, Oct 20, 21, and 22. ,
“There will be no major changes in the rules for any class. Most of the changes will be clarifications to existing rules,” explained IMCA Vice President of Operations Brett Root. “There are always gray areas that need to be cleared up and we will do that again for next year. Because we’re announcing the rules so much sooner than we have previously, most weekly racers will have five months to get their car ready for next season.”
Rules for the new Crate Model class will be published and posted on Oct. 25, as will the Modified, Late Model, Sprint Car, Northern and Southern SportMod, Stock Car, Hobby Stock and Sport Compact rules.
Rulebooks will be included in the decal packet drivers receive after their license applications are received and processed at the IMCA home office.
PASS MODS: TITLE TO BE DECIDED AT UNITY
After last weekend's long haul to Nova Scotia for the Fall Foliage 250, all that remains on the 2006 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North schedule is Championship Weekend, Oct. 21-22, at the historic Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine.
Titles will be decided this weekend in three divisions;
the ultra-fast PASS North Super Late Model/Pro Stocks,
the Outlaw Late Models and the Modifieds, where a third
new champion will be crowned in the third year for the
exciting open-wheel division.
In the ground-pounding Modified division, Chris Staples
could lock up the championship with a solid run. The
Brunswick, Maine driver has a 39-point advantage over
Troy Morse and Jason Taylor, who are tied for second
while Dana Grover and Richie Morse are fourth and fifth.
Only 56 points separate the top five drivers, adding
drama to their finale come Sunday afternoon.
Racing will get under way at 1 p.m.
DIRT: EASTERN STATES SET
The 2006 season of racing on the DIRT MotorSports NorthEast circuit comes to a close this weekend in downstate New York with one of the most popular short-track events on the seven month schedule. Eastern States Weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, NY remains the biggest, richest and oldest consecutively run championship race for DIRT Modifieds in the country. The ‘06 edition marks the 45th straight year for this nationally recognized event, which includes a full weekend of motorsports excitement encompassing three major open-wheel feature races complete with time trials and qualifying events plus full-fender satellite races.
Trackside activity begins at 12noon on Fri., Oct. 20 with DIRT Modified practice followed by WLR Construction time trials for both the DIRT big-block Modifieds (top-12 qualify) and 358-Modifieds (top-6 qualify). Small-block qualifying heats are up next with 24 more drivers advancing to Saturday's Eastern States150 Mr. DIRT 358-Modified Series Championship. Pit gates unlock at 8 a.m. and grandstands open at 10 o’clock.
The Saturday, Oct. 21 program opens with Modified practice scheduled at 9:30am followed by big-block heats (24 qualify) and 358-Modified consolation races before the E-S 358-Modified 150 Championship finale for the 40 qualified small-block stars. Saturday evening the DIRT Sportsman division takes center with Dr. RV Time Trials (top-6 qualify), qualifying heats and consolation rounds leading up to the 50-lap Mr. DIRT Sportsman Series Lee’s Quality Tire Championship. The Racinvideos.com Pure Stock Championship fills the card. Pit gates again unlock at 8 a.m. and grandstands open at 9 o’clock.
The 45th Eastern States 200 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series finale for DIRT Modifieds is the headline attraction on Sunday, Oct. 22 with 44 of the best big-block drivers in the country set to square off at 2:00pm. The popular frontstretch Pit Party (10-11am) kicks off the Sunday show while big-block consis and EMS Race Cars Pro Stock Championship set the stage for the season-ending 125-mile Modified main. Pit gates swing open at 8 a.m. and grandstand seating starts at 9 o’clock.
Next year's IMCA rules will be released by the end of the month. (IMCA Photo)
Chris Staples could wrap up the 2006 championship at Unity. (PASS Photo)