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
HIRSCHMAN HAS UNFINISHED BUSINESS AT NHIS
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make its first appearance of the 2006 season at New Hampshire International Speedway on July 15. Tony Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., the Tour’s all-time win leader at the “Magic Mile”, is hoping to improve on last years finish in the New England 100 by one position.
“We lost the race by about three feet,” said Hirschman referring to the dramatic finish with race winner Ted Christopher. “We usually run well at New Hampshire and hopefully we’ll get back to victory lane.”
The races at New Hampshire International Speedway are always one of the highlights of the season for the drivers of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
“Since this track opened it has been a special place,” said Hirschman. “The racing is always close and every driver wants to win at New Hampshire.”
With seven wins Hirschman is the all time winner on the series and is also a former NHIS Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Champion.
“I really enjoy racing here,” said Hirschman. “This is the only track we race at which has the draft and the constant dicing for position makes it exciting for the fans and the drivers.”
Hirschman, who drives the Kamco Supply Chevrolet owned by Bob and Tom Kehley, is the defending champion of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and currently sits second in the series standings. He is trying to win his sixth series title which would tie him with Mike Stefanik. Stefanik currently leads the standings by 11 points.
“We’ve run well this year although we haven’t won,” said Hirschman. “This Tour continues to get stronger and stronger. There are so many drivers and teams who can win a race you have to at your very best at every race.”
The New England 100 will precede the New England 200 for the NASCAR Busch Series on July 15. The 100 lap event is scheduled to start at 1:10pm.
TVMRS HOSTS OPEN SHOW FRIDAY AT CANAAN
Just a short drive away from New Hampshire International Speedway, there will be some Modified action on tap for Friday night at Canaan Fair Speedway.
True Value Modified Racing Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Legal cars are welcome for the $5,000 to win event along with Thompson, Stafford, Waterford legal SK Modifieds/Sunoco Modifieds with Holley two barrel carburetor set-ups.
Racing will start at 7pm. Adults are $15, Juniors $10,
Kids $5, and age five and under are free. For this July 14th event, a special Family Five-PAK is now available, two adults and three kids up to age 11 for $35, If you don't have three kids, bring the neighbor's kid, the price is the same.
MYERS POSTERS AVAILABLE AT ADVANCE
Stop by participating Winston-Salem (NC) area Advance Auto Parts stores to pick up your FREE limited-edition ”Legends of the 199”, Bowman Gray Stadium posters. The six poster set will feature the all-time winners of the Advance Auto Parts 199, John Smith, Frank Fleming, Ralph Brinkley, Gary Myers, Burt Myers, and Junior Miller.
Poster #1 - John Smith - Available Now.
Poster #2 - Frank Fleming – Available Now.
Poster #3 - Ralph Brinkley - Available Now.
Poster #4 - Gary Myers - Available July 9th.
Poster #5 - Burt Myers - Available July 23rd
Poster #6 - Junior Miller - Available August 6th
Posters available while supplies last at all Advance Auto Parts stores in the Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy areas.
Tony Hirschman (51 Photo)
PITKAT DOUBLES UP AT STAFFORD
Woody Pitkat celebrated his 27th birthday in grand style by doubling up and winning both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events at Stafford Motor Speedway this past Friday night, July 7th. It was the first time that a driver has swept both of the top divisions in one night at the track.
HOSSFELD WINS AT SPENCER IN TECH LINE
Long after the last fans left the Spencer Speedway (NY), in the wee hours of the long night, the tech inspectors declared the night’s NASCAR Cornerstone Reality 100,
Tim McMullen’s car illegal and handed the 100 lap win over to the second place finisher Chuck Hossfeld. Ironically this will be Hossfeld’s ninth Spencer Speedway career win, tying him with McMullen in Spencer victories.
Also found illegal was the third place finisher Bill Hebing, driving Kenny Troyer's number 66x.
The 100-lap NASCAR Modified race followed an extremely drawn out SST Modified event and never got the green flag until nearly 10:30 p.m. When the green dropped it was pole sitter, by virtue of a driver redraw, Buck Catalano, who grabbed the front spot. But before the tires could even get warmed up, Tim McMullen looped his car in the fourth turn to bring out the first of eight yellow flags.
Woddy Pitkat shows off the hardware after winning the SK Modiied race Friday night at Stafford. (SMS Photo)
Patsy Catalano took the lead on the restart from his father Buck, with Chuck Hossfeld running third followed by Chris Finocchario and Jan Leaty. On the move was the 66x of Bill Hebing, who worked his way up into the top five. On lap 14, the seventh place runner Dave Catalano slowed on the backstretch grass and fell in near the end of the field, but kept the green flag flying.
On lap 28, it was McMullen spinning again in the fourth turn to bring out the yellow for the second time. During this yellow, two cars, Mark Tychoniewicz and Dave Korleski decided to pit.
After the race resumed only one lap went into the record books under green, but Chuck Hossfeld was able to grab the lead from Patsy Catalano during this lap. Lap 35 saw heavy contact in the fourth turn by Tony Hanbury causing the race to be red flagged. Also involved in this melee were Daryl Lewis Jr., Tom Kinsella and Dean DeMarree. Neither Hanbury nor DeMarree were able to continue.
Hossfeld continues on the point for just one lap before Patsy
regained the lead on lap 40. Jan Leaty also was able to take third from Hebing with Todd Smith now running in fifth. Patsy was then able to draw away from the rest of the cars. Then on lap 53, the yellow flew when Tom Kinsella slowed on the front stretch with a flat left front tire. During this yellow both Jan and Mike Leaty pitted, as did Hebing, Tom Keyes and Scott Bleskoski. Bleskoski was able to cross the start-finish line in the pits and tag on at the back of the field as it went green on lap 58.
Patsy Catalano then lost the lead back to Hossfeld, with Todd Smith also passing Patsy and taking second. The fifth, and last yellow when laps were counting, came on lap 62 when Korleski looped his number 4* in the third turn. All of the top runners then pitted, including the leader Patsy Catalano. This left the front of the field on the green to be Hossfeld, Buck Catalano, McMullen, Tychoniewicz and Kinsella.
Tychoniewicz worked his way up to second before falling back in the pack. Up front Hossfeld was then challenged by McMullen, who passed for the lead going down the back stretch on lap 76. From then on McMullen set sail building up a lead of some seven car lengths.
Dave Catalano looped out in the third turn on lap 86 to bring out a yellow, then dropped out of the race. Up front Jan Leaty was able to work his way into second behind McMullen. Leaty, with fresher tires then challenged McMullen for the lead. McMullen was able to hold back Leaty with blocking moves for the next 12 laps. A yellow on lap 96, for a spin by Todd Smith, also helped McMullen maintain his lead.
With just two laps remaining Leaty and McMullen made contact exiting the fourth turn resulting in Leaty slowing into the infield with a broken suspension. McMullen then held off Hossfeld over the final two circuits to take the win. He was greeted in victory lane by a chorus of “boos”, by those that thought he had taken Leaty out intentionally.
Hossfeld finished second followed by Hebing, Patsy Catalano and Scott Bleskoski. Following tech the top five would turn out to be Hossfeld, Patsy Catalano, Bleskoski, Eddie Hawkins and Tommy Keyes.
BG MODS: MILLER WINS AGAIN
Junior Miller made headlines in late June by winning his 65th race at Bowman Gray Stadium, breaking the record for most career feature victories in the Stadium’s 58 year history.
The True Value Mod Series will be hosting an open show at Canaan on Friday. (Jim DuPont Photo)
Poster #4, available this week, spotlights a member of the first family of Bowman Gray Stadium, Gary Myers. Along with his father Billy and sons Burt and Jason, Gary and the Myers family have been thrilling Bowman Gray fans since the first day the gates opened at the historic track. Two of Myers’ 38 career Stadium wins came in the Advance Auto Parts 199. Advance Auto Parts has created a limited edition poster in the classic style of the vintage racing posters of yesteryear to honor Myers’ 1987 and 1992 Advance Auto Parts 199 victories.
The fourth of six posters will be available on Sunday, July 9th. Race into the Winston-Salem and Mt. Airy area stores during the time periods below to collect all 6 posters.
Here are a few of the Advance Auto Parts Posters available in certain North Carolina markets.
Chuck Hossfeld (51 Photo)
Miller continued his streak by winning the Allstate 100 at the very next event. It was the King of the Modifieds’ third win in three events – a performance that hadn’t occurred at the Stadium since 1993.
Miller set the pace early on by turning a qualifying lap of 13.414, the fastest of the night. Starting position for the Allstate 100 for the GMAC Insurance Personal Pit Crew Modified Series was determined by random draw – and in an uncanny stroke of good luck, Miller drew the pole as his starting position.
As the green dropped, Miller bolted out into the lead, but the King immediately had to contend with challengers. Second-place starter Kevin Powell of Winston-Salem gave a few hard taps to the bumper of Miller but couldn’t muster up enough speed to overtake him.
Bobby Hutchens of Lexington passed Powell with less than 15 laps left in the race. Hutchens also delivered a good shove or two to the rear bumper of Miller. “I probably waited a little too long to get by Kevin Powell. I feel like I had a little better car than Junior - I just needed a few more laps to work him,” said Hutchens.
“Bobby did his best there for a few laps, but once I got heat in the tires I was able to pull on off. He was a little better than I was for two laps, but after that we pulled on out,” said Miller. “I second guessed my crew chief and told him we needed more bite. If we had left it the way it was, we would’ve flown. It came through anyway, but it took a few laps to get going.”
Kevin Powell finished in third and Brad Robbins of Winston-Salem finished in fourth.
DIRT: WHO ELSE BUT TOMKINS AT CANADAIGUA?
Gary Tomkins, from Clifton Springs, continued his domination of the fast half-mile Canandaigua Speedway oval following his seventh DIRT Modified feature win on Saturday evening. It was also his third feature win in a row on Ferris Industries-Dig Safely New York Night at the Ontario County Fairgrounds oval.
“I’ve never won three in a row anywhere,” commented Tomkins in victory lane. “This is a first for me.”
With 20 cars starting the DIRT Modified main, fans were looking for a wide-open affair as many of the top weekly drivers were on hand for the race. Shannon Whaley blasted into the lead at the drop of the green beating out Pennsylvania regular Butch Tittle and Vic Coffey. A torrid four-car battle was taking place for the fourth spot between Steve Paine, Matt Sheppard, Jeff Brownell Jr. and Tomkins. Lap-after-lap a blanket could be thrown over the run for this position as the drivers raced wheel-to-wheel.
On lap seven Paine was able to pass Tittle and Coffey to take second and then began the process of closing in
on Whaley. By lap nine he was on Whaley’s rear bumper, passing him for the lead on the next circuit. At the same time, Sheppard seemed to throw out an anchor, dropping back to fifth. Brownell was now third and trying to catch the two leaders. The first yellow flew on lap 17 when Tittle slowed to a stop in the fourth turn. He was pushed back to the pits and race resumed.
Tomkins took the lead on the restart from Paine as Sheppard drew up to third. On lap 21 the yellow flew again when Sheppard slowed on the track in the third turn. He was able to pit and return quickly to the race at the back of the field.
The final yellow flew on lap 23 when Todd Town looped his mount in the third turn. Up front Tomkins was holding off Paine and even was able to inch out a slight advantage. On lap 29, Todd Burley charged low in the fourth turn and took second from Paine. Tomkins continued to draw away over the final laps and took the victory. Burley came home in second followed by Paine, Coffey and Charlie Donk to round out the top-five. The race average speed was 54.506 mph.
IMCA: JOHNSON WINS IN DAKOTA
Wayne Johnson’s late race charge to the front made him the first driver across the finish line Sunday night at Nodak Speedway (ND), in the opening event of the Dakota Classic Tour for IMCA Modifieds.
Johnson chased Robert Hellebust the first 25 times around the track in the 30 lapper before he made an inside pass in heavy lapped traffic to take the front position coming out of turn two.
Hellebust duplicated the maneuver at the same location to get the lead back on the next circuit. The pair ran virtually side by side down the backstretch before Johnson took the point back for good on the second set of turns on lap 28.
Mike Hagen made a late drive of his own to take runner-up honors. Shawn Strand and Steven Pfeifer completed the top five.
Junior Miller's #69 gets a bump at Bowman-Gray. (BG Photo)
Gary Tomkins has been unstopable in the #1 car this year at Canadaigua. (DIRT/Bruce Photo)