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
SKs: SHOWTIME SUSPENDED AT STAFFORD
Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) has suspended Jimmy "Showtime" Blewett for the remainder of the 2006 racing season because of what the track deemed as actions detrimental to auto racing.
Blewett, who drove the #12 SK at Stafford on a weekly basis when his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule allowed, got into on on-track altercation with Frank Ruocco during Friday night’s race. The result of the altercation was that Ruocco’s #91 car ended up hard into the wall.
Ruocco was fined $100 by the track for not reporting to the track ambulance as instructed after the wreck.
TVMRS: CONNECTICUT BOUND
The True Value Modified Racing Series will get ready for their first trip to the state of Connecticut, to the Nutmeg
State’s historic Waterford Speedbowl, Saturday night June 17, for a 100 lap race that will have lots of interest from tour fans and local race followers. Modified fans throughout New England have been anxiously waiting for the event since it was announced in November that the tour would be on the Waterford schedule plus the added excitement it brings in that for the first time in the tours three year history, local racers will compete against the traveling tour giving competitors from the tracks popular SK modified division the opportunity to race the visiting series, in the feature event.
Jack Bateman, tour founder, is “looking forward” to the Waterford race and is happy that the event will have a different twist in that 26 cars, including at least two Waterford SK regulars, will take the green flag from tour flagman John Spence Jr. The TVMRS generally starts 24 cars at their venues. When the event was announced, Bateman said, “We don’t have a problem with it. We welcome the concept. We welcome anything that creates more interest for our series.” The Speedbowl visit he added, “opens up additional markets for our sponsor.”
Veteran modified standout Dwight Jarvis, Ascutney, Vt., fresh off a win at Monadnock Speedway in New Hampshire May 27, brings a 12 point lead to Waterford over Danbury Connecticut driver Ed Dachenhausen, second, and a 16 point advantage over W. Bridgewater, Ma, racer Jimmy Kuhn Jr. who sits third in the standings. Two time champion and defending titlist Kirk Alexander, W.Swanzey, N.H., ranks fourth and Bateman, Canaan, N.H., is fifth going into the sixth event of the season. Alexander, Hinckley, and Jarvis have been the winners to date. Two races have been lost to rain.
In addition to Dachenhausen and Windsor Locks, Ct., ace Les Hinckley, other Connecticut drivers expected are TVMRS regulars Jimmy Dolan, Bethel, Ct, a winner last
year at Lee, N.H., Norwich, Ct., second year driver Tom Abele, Jr. who is sponsored by the Connecticut Defenders pro baseball team, E.Harland’s Dale Evonsion, Meriden’s Kevin Konopka, veteran Harry Wheeler, Stafford Springs, Woodstock’s Jimmy Smith, and Danbury’s Mike Keeler.
The True Value Modified Racing Series, sponsored by regional True Value stores throughout New England, qualifies racers through the traditional short track racing process of 12 lap heat races and a 15 lap last chance consolation race to determine the starting lineup. With the special provision of two Waterford racers permitted to compete, 26 cars will start the first ever TVMRS race in Southeastern Ct. Grandstands open at 3pm.
In another development, TVMRS officials announced that the rained out race on Saturday June 3 at Seekonk Speedway will not be rescheduled. The tour will next visit "The Konk" on Wednesday night July 26 as part of the Modified Madness event, a non points race for the tour.
NASCAR WHELEN MOD TOUR: STEFANIK READY FOR J’TOWN
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make its only appearance in the state of Pennsylvania on Saturday, June 17 at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway. The Wheeler Brothers 100 will be the third race of the 2006 campaign. Mike Stefanik, a two time winner at Jennerstown and six time series champion, leads the point standings heading into the event.
“I’m looking forward to racing again at Jennerstown”, said Stefanik. “It’s a great race track, it has multiple grooves and there is always a lot of passing.”
Jimmy Blewett is out at Stafford for the rest of the year.
Stefanik returned to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on a full time basis in 2006 seeking his seventh Series Championship and ninth overall NASCAR Touring Championship.
“I really am most comfortable in a modified,” said Stefanik. “I enjoy driving one as much now as I did 25 years ago.”
Although the majority of the 2006 schedule lies ahead, Stefanik began the season in championship form by winning the opener at Thompson, Conn. and finishing fourth three weeks later at Stafford Springs, Conn. in the Diversified Metals Chevrolet.
Jeff Baral in victory lane at Stafford. (Stafford Motor Speedway Photo)
Mike Stefanik started out the year by winning at Thompson. (Hodge Photo)
“We just did some testing and I’m very enthusiastic with the way the car is running,” said Stefanik. “We’ve put together a great team and with the help we’re getting from our sponsors, Sanderson-Macleod, Inc, Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside and Ace Moulding. I’m looking forward not only to Jennerstown but the rest of the season.”
Stefanik will be trying to become the first three-time series winner at Jennerstown. Tony Hirschman, Steve Park and Reggie Ruggiero are all two time series winners at Jennerstown.
TRACKS: BARAL AND PERRY WIN AT STAFFORD
Friday night, June 9th was the Summer Blast-Off Night at Stafford Motor Speedway. Jeff Baral racked up his second consecutive SK Modified® feature win. Shelly Perry was the winner of the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Jeff Baral, of Enfield, survived a crash marred feature event to take his second consecutive win of the 2006 season. Baral and Bo Gunning were dueling for the lead in a nose to tail battle when a caution came out with 32 laps complete. Baral got around Gunning on the ensuing restart, and he outlasted Gunning to the checkered flag. Woody Pitkat took third, with Jeff Malave fourth and Chuck Docherty fifth.
n the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Shelly Perry, of Ashaway, RI, became the third different SK Light winner in as many races at Stafford this season. Perry also is the first woman to win an open wheeled modified feature event at Stafford. Anthony Burr took the early race lead,
and he held the lead until lap-15, when Perry made her pass for the lead. For several laps preceeding the lead change, Perry was working the high groove, while Burr ran the low groove. After several laps of nearly making the pass, Perry was finally able to make the winning move on lap-15. Burr finished second, with Duke Place, Richie Pallai, Jr., and Phil Balmer rounding out the top-5 behind Perry.
DIRT: MIDWEEK SHOWS ON TAP
The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series travels to Pennsylvania for its first big-block Modified doubleheader of the 2006 season, opening up with the 4th Annual Keystone Klassic 100 on June 14 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver and following up with the Palmer Candy School’s Out 100 on June 15 at Susquehanna Speedway Park in Newberrytown, each paying $6,000-to-win.
BG MODS: CLIFTON AND MYERS WIN TWIN FEATURES
The night started off with a clean-sweep victory for Michael Clifton, but the night ended with the track crew sweeping all the scraps of sheet metal off of the asphalt.
Ed Dachenhausen is a Connecticut driver who is a regular in TVMRS. (51 Photo)
The “Madhouse Scramble” had Tim Brown of Cana, VA starting on the pole with Earl Baker of Winston-Salem on the outside front-row. In the first turn of the first lap, the two drivers bumped and collided as they battled for the lead. Although Tim Brown’s car was damaged and began to shoot out sparks from the undercarriage, the two continued to race. Baker and Brown once again collided in turn one of the very next lap – this time sending the car of Brown hard into the guard rail.
It will be the Monahan Brothers, two regulars in the SK-Modified division, representing Waterford Speedbowl automatically in the race. Shawn Monahan lead every lap of the SK Modified feature at Waterford last Saturday night, survived seven restarts and earned one of two qualifying spots to gain entry into next weeks race. His brother, a winner earlier this season, earned the other spot when second place finisher Rob Summers declared he has another commitment to race elsewhere next weekend thus the second spot goes to Diego Monahan who checkered third fighting off Rob Janovic and Dennis Gada over the final seven laps.
Qualifying on the pole with a time of 13.447, Michael Clifton of Walkertown was in a promising position to take his second victory of 2006 in the GMAC Insurance Personal Pit Crew Modified Series. But before he could get too comfortable, he would have to contend with second-place starter Junior Miller.
Clifton shot into the lead as the green fell and was able to stay there for the remaining 25 laps. “This car is really awesome,” said Michael Clifton. “When you beat Junior Miller, you’ve beat the best.”
The True Value Mods have never raced in Connecticut before. (Jim DuPont Photo)
The crowd cheered when Brown emerged uninjured from the wreckage, but many started to boo as Brown and his crew shook fists at the car of Earl Baker. “If you’re on the front row, it’s fair game,” said an unapologetic Baker. “When I put that helmet on and go racing, I have no friends. I race,” said Baker.
Earl Baker then started on the outside front row again, but this time he had to contend with Bobby Hutchens of Lexington on the pole. As the green flag waved, Baker became entangled with Hutchens in turn one. The two drove each other into the guard-rail, and the cars behind them were unable to avoid the incident. The car of Brent Elliott became airborne, flying over the tops of Jeremy Stoltz and Brad Robbins and landing on the car of Alfred Hill. After the dust cleared, only 16 of the initial 23 cars were in racing condition.
It was then John Smith of Mount Airy who moved up to the pole position with Burt Myers of Walnut Cove on the outside front row with two laps on the scoreboard. Smith beat Myers
to claim the lead after racing resumed. Myers began to deliver some nudges to the rear of the “Mayberry Bullet” on lap 15. Smith got a little loose as he came out of turn four after one of the taps from Myers, but Smith was able to regain control and maintain the lead.
But with two laps to go in the race, the taps of Myers caused Smith to lose control and spin. Myers took the lead and then the win. “I don’t think anything really happened. I bumped him in the middle of the corner,” said Myers. “I can’t drive it for him.”
IMCA: EMPIRE STATE MODS TO UTICA-ROME
The Empire State Series for IMCA Modifieds gets back on track with a Sunday, June 25 at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon.
Pit gates for the third of nine tour events open at 3 p.m. Hot laps are at approximately 4:30 p.m., with racing set to start at 5:30 p.m.
TVMRS: THERE’S A NEW TIRE PLAN
The True Value Modified Racing Series will now be the supplier of Hoosier Race Tires on race day. Most generally everything will remain the same on race day for tires with the exception of two things. The tire check must be made payable to Modified Racing Series Inc. and if you would like to reserve tires prior to race day you must call the office at 800-924-2594. All requests for reserved tires must be made prior to Thursday at 12:00. Anyone who has questions should contact the Modified Racing Series office.
DIRT: COMING SOON TO A TV NEAR YOU…
The Empire DIRT Series featuring live television coverage from Cayuga County Fair Speedway is on the air on Sunday nights at the home of DIRT MotorSports NorthEast in Weedsport, N.Y. The partnership with Time Warner Syracuse calls for TWC to become a corporate partner of the seven Empire DIRT Series broadcasts while broadcasting a total of 18 shows.
“We are thrilled about the return of the Empire DIRT Series to Time Warner Cable,” said DIRT NorthEast General Manager Tonya Moschell. “The Series Challenge that starts July 16 and goes LIVE every Sunday night through Labor Day adds an exciting new dimension to the weekly racing at Cayuga County Fair Speedway. We look forward to seeing the fans and encourage them to come join us.”
DIRT MotorSports CEO Tom Deery knows the value of television exposure for the drivers and teams racing in the DIRT NorthEast region is unparalleled.
“Showcasing Live the DIRT Modifieds to more than a
million households every week, plus the exposure of the Classics programs, will draw in new fans, provide broader exposure for corporate partners and for all DIRT tracks and race teams,” Deery said.
"Time Warner Sports is very pleased to bring our subscribers coverage of the most exciting form of racing in the Northeast," said Time Warner Sports 26 General Manager Doug Logan. "These highly skilled DIRT drivers have become household names to many of us across the state, and we love providing our race fans the opportunity of watching them compete LIVE on a weekly basis during the Empire DIRT Series."
The 2006 edition of the Empire DIRT Series begins Sunday, July 16 and continues through September 3 at Cayuga County Fair Speedway. With broadcasts beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern, the hour-and-a-half program features a 'This Week On DIRT' recap style show before the action heats up with flag-to-flag coverage of each 35-lap DIRT big-block main event.
Each Empire DIRT Series show will be carried live by Time Warner Cable, with the feed expected to reach more than 1.2 million homes throughout New York State. TWC will also air each program twice more during the week. In addition, motorsports fans across the country will be able to tune into DIRTvision.com to watch the live broadcasts.
A bonus of 11 more weeks of open-wheel action will sandwich the seven live shows with seven ‘Classic Empire DIRT Series’ programs, the first of which aired Memorial Day Weekend and four Super DIRT Week Classics leading into the 2006 Super DIRT Week.
In two previous made-for-television mini-series staged at the historic Weedsport oval, north country standouts Tim Fuller and Tim McCreadie claimed high-point honors. Reigning overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRT Champion Fuller opened the 2004 summer shootout with a convincing victory then outlasted overall Hoosier-Sunoco Mr. DIRT champion Gary Tomkins to wear the coveted crown.
Second-generation superstar McCreadie, now a hot commodity in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, thrilled the national audience with four feature victories to edge 2003 Mr. DIRT champion Alan Johnson in the final Empire DIRT Series point standings that first season.
2006 Empire DIRT Series/Time Warner Cable Program Schedule
Classic Empire DIRT Series Show Schedule
May 28 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
June 4 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
June 11 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
June 18 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
June 25 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
July 2 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
July 9 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Classic Empire DIRT Series show
LIVE Empire DIRT Series Schedule
July 16 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
July 23 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
July 30 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
August 13 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
August 20 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
August 27 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
September 3 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. LIVE Empire DIRT Series event
Super DIRT Week Classic Schedule
September 10 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Super DIRT Week Classic show
September 17 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Super DIRT Week Classic show
September 24 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Super DIRT Week Classic show
October 1 – 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Super DIRT Week Classic show
The Mods line up at the Stadium. (Bowman Gray Photos)
The Mods line up at the Stadium. (Bowman Gray Photos)
Clifton in victory lane.
DIRT Modifieds will be coming at some TV viewers this year.