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
DIRT: HURRICANE TOPS TROPICAL DEPRESSION
Tropical Depression, once hurricane, Ernesto moved into upstate New York pouring all-day rains down on Saturday, forcing Canandaigua Speedway officials to cancel their planned double points finale. Close point races were up for grabs yet the heavy rains left the point leaders going into this finale as the track champions.
Steve “The Hurricane” Paine picked up his eighth Canandaigua DIRT Modified track title. Paine has now held this title for the last seven straight years. A broken drive shaft just a week ago plunged Gary Tomkins out of the points lead and into second. That mechanical failure ended up costing him his first track championship.
NWSMT: MARTINSVILLE CLOSES UP POINTS RACE
NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver Tim Brown did something last Saturday night in the Made in America Whelen 300 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway that he’s been trying to do
all year long – finish ahead of points leader Junior Miller.
As a result, Brown used his ninth-place finish at Martinsville to cut Miller’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship lead to only 47 points after seven races and hopes to chip away even further heading into this Saturday night’s Caraway 150 at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C.
Steve Paine (DIRT Photo)
NWSMT: NEW TRACKS COMING UP
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will visit two new venues over the next six weeks with race dates at the historic Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Southern National Raceway Park in Kenly, N.C. The additions of those two new short tracks sees the 2006 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour comprised of 13 races at eight different venues.
The .363-mile Hickory track is one that is rich in history as legends such as Junior Johnson, Ralph Earnhardt, Ned Jarrett and Harry Gant cut their racing teeth. There have also been several second-generation drivers to compete at Hickory in the form of Dale Earnhardt and Hickory native Dale Jarrett. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will add to Hickory’s racing history when the tour rolls into town for a Saturday, Sept. 30 race date with 150 laps of action.
The following weekend the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour heads to Southern National Raceway Park for a 150-lap race on Oct. 7. The four-tenths mile Kenly track features 17 degrees of banking in the turns and seven degrees on the front and back straightaway. Southern National was the home track for current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stars Denny Hamlin and Scott Riggs as they began their careers in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series.
DIRT: SUPER DIRT WEEK ENTRY FORMS AVAILABLE
Team entry forms for Super DIRT Week XXXV, Oct. 4-8, and its traditional satellite events at Rolling Wheels Raceway, as well as the Legends Championships at Canandaigua Speedway and World Series Weekend at Rolling Wheels are now available for print on-line.
To obtain Super DIRT Week entry forms, simply enter the DIRT MotorSports website, choose DIRT NorthEast from the leftside list, click on the Super DIRT Week logo at the top where a “Super DIRT Week Event Entry Form” selection can be found. PDF versions for Eckerd 200 big-block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock championship events can be downloaded and printed out.
Two links are available at the top of the Rolling Wheels homepage www.rollingwheelsraceway.com for the 20th Annual World Series Championship Weekend, Sept. 22-23, along with the 358-Modified and Sportsman Mr. DIRT Series Championship events scheduled Oct. 6-7 at the ‘Fast Track.’
Atop the Canandaigua main page www.canandaiguaspeedway.com is a link to the “Legends Championship Racing Entry Form” now available to click on for both Advance Auto Parts Modified and Mr. DIRT Sportsman Series contenders in the Sept. 15 doubleheader slated for the Ontario County Fairgrounds oval.
Contact the DIRT MotorSports NorthEast office in Weedsport, N.Y. at 315/834-6606 or log into www.dirtmotorsports.com for additional information posted throughout the remainder of the 2006 race season.
what the other two point battles will be like, it’s certainly going to be nerve racking and exciting.
Veteran Kunkletown, Pennsylvania driver Earl Paules won the RoC North Region by one single point over Jan Leaty on Friday night. The difference ended up being the five bonus points that Paules received for winning a heat race on this evening. As coming into the show Paules held an eight point advantage over Leaty. When Paules won his heat, the point difference bulged to 13 before the feature started. At the end of the feature with Leaty winning and Paules finishing fourth that point difference was 12. In the end with everything added up Paules won his first RoC title by just one point.
Paules was confident coming into Friday night as he was the defending champion of this race and he came loaded for bear with two cars on hand for his use. During the day both cars were hot lapped and Earl chose what he thought was going to be the fastest car. The choice looked good as he easily won his heat race, which ended up being the deciding point factor in his championship run.
Starting tenth in the feature Earl was going to use the
same strategy he used to win last years race, no pit
stops. Everything was going according to plans for
Paules as he entered the top five on lap 22 and hung
around the top five before finally moving into second on
lap 65. Earl was still looking good until lap 90 when he
started to drop back through the field like a boat anchor
due to worn out tires. Finally Earl coasted to a stop in
turn four on 102 to bring out the yellow and the chance to
pit for a tire change that was sorely needed.
Earl still wasn’t out of the woods yet as he was
behind all of the cars who had already pitted for fresh
tires. Meanwhile Jan Leaty who was second in points
did what he had to do and was leading the race comfortably and this placed added pressure on Paules. After the pit stop every chance the crew had they would let Earl know via two way radio communications what the point difference was and quite honestly it wasn’t looking too good.
But then lady luck shined down on Paules starting on lap 110 as some strange and unusual occurrences started to take place in the next eight laps, which saw many cars in front of Earl dropping out of the race. It all started when George Kent spun in turn one on lap 110 and the ensuing melee, including Paules took out a couple of cars. One lap later another turn one melee saw a couple of more cars drop out. Four laps after that another yellow saw two more cars drop out and two more laps after that two more cars dropped out. Then add into the mix a few cars dropping out due to the fact they ran out of gas. Finally when all of the unusual circumstance stuff stopped on lap 118 Earl was in fourth spot, just where he needed to be to win the championship by the slimmest of margins, one point.
“It feels good “ said Earl when talking about winning his first RoC title. “ It was a long race and it wasn’t looking that good there for a while. It was all luck tonight, there was that big wreck ( lap 110 ) that I spun to miss it, I went to the back again. Then there was that wreck with the 66 car ( lap 117 ) , I turned left and didn’t go on the brakes as I said we’re going to miss this to get up there, and we missed it. I finished fourth and won the points. “
“ I was trying to go the whole race but these tires fall off big time “ said Earl when talking about his original plan of not pitting during the 125 lap race. “ If you get 75 laps out of the tires you’re pushing it as that is when my car was starting to fall off. “
“This is what we were trying to do “ said Earl about winning the RoC North Region title. “ Actually our goals this year was to win them both, you have to set high goals. We set a goal to win the Central Region too, right now we’re fourth with only Thompson left but we’re only 30 points out and anything can happen so you never know. “
TRUE VALUE MODS: MOD MANIA SET FOR THOMPSON
The stars of the True Value Modified Racing Series, the New England based, third year traveling tour for modified race cars, heads to Connecticut this weekend, as part of the first ever “Sunoco Modified Mania” weekend at the Thompson International Speedway. The two day event, Sept 9 & 10 will feature six divisions of modified race cars and 400 laps of open wheel competition on the high banked 5/8th mile speedway. The top guns of the TVMRS are expected to enter the event that will feature a 75 lap green flag feature and heat races to establish starting positions for the main event. Qualifying through heat races and last chance consolation events has met with much fan approval.
Automatic qualifier races were conducted recently at New Hampshire ovals, Monadnock Speedway and Canaan Fair Motorsports Complex. Defending series champion, Kirk Alexander, captured the Monadnock event, while series founder Jack Bateman took down the Canaan win this past weekend.
In addition, guaranteed starter positions were drawn for at both events with series standouts; Dwight Jarvis, Jimmy Kuhn, Dale Evonsion, Andy Seuss, Johnny Bush, and Tom Abele all guaranteed starters. Kuhn has experience at Thompson having been a regular on the Whelen Modified Tour prior to jumping to the TVMRS for the 2005 season. Jarvis and Bush are also seasoned drivers. Jarvis, a 33 year veteran, is currently the TVMRS point leader and has secured a win at Monadnock this season. Seuss, was also victorious at Monadnock this summer, while Evonsion claimed his first tour win at Beech Ridge, ME., last month. Bush is a 30 year veteran who has raced at New Jersey and Long Island,
NY. speedways throughout his career. He is a weekly TVMRS competitor, hauling weekly to New England from Huntington Station, Long Island, NY.
Alexander, the winningest driver on the tour with 19 total victories, is anxiously looking forward to this weekend’s event. The W. Swanzey NH., driver passed on the recent Canaan race to prepare for the two day event. “We want to be ready for Thompson,” said the defending champion.
Bateman, the series founder and a 36 year driver said recently,” It’s a great opportunity for us and I hope all the guys take advantage of this and participate.” Bateman said he still cannot believe the growth and interest in the TVMRS tour and the fact his series will be part of a history making event in modified racing.
The TVMRS will be joined by the Race of Champions Modified tour, The Thompson Modifieds, Sunoco Modifieds, Pro-Four Modifieds, and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with 400 laps of racing scheduled.
Qualifying will be conducted through time trials and heat races on Saturday at 2:00 PM with consolation events at 12:15 PM and feature races on Sunday afternoon at 12:45 PM
BG MODS: FIELDHOUSE WORK BEGINS
The city of Winston-Salem and Winston-Salem State University held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday to signify the beginning of construction of a new field house facility at the historic Bowman Gray Stadium.
The Stadium is quite unique in that it is the home for Winston-Salem State University Football as well as stock car racing - Bowman Gray Stadium is NASCAR’s first and longest running weekly race track. In fact, Mayor Allen Joines entered the ceremony in the Bowman Gray Stadium Racing Official Pace Car amidst the sounds of a revving engine from a Modified Division race car and the Winston-Salem State University marching band.
The city of Winston-Salem has worked closely with both WSSU and racing management in order to ensure a final building that will benefit both parties - and one that is built on a schedule that will allow them both to continue to provide the quality of entertainment and competition that the Stadium facility is known for.
Construction will begin immediately with completion scheduled for August of 2007. When finished, the two-story field house should greatly enhance the Stadium facility and its amenities, allowing WSSU and Bowman Gray Stadium Racing to even further improve their operations.
The groundbreaking ceremony comes on the heels of an announcement that the city of Winston-Salem and racing management have signed a contract agreement which keeps NASCAR racing at the Stadium for another 20 years.
DIRT: ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT FOR AJ
Alan Johnson put an exclamation mark on another perfect night Sunday at Cayuga County Fair Speedway (NY), extending his tour points lead with his fifth Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series victory of the season.
DIRT MotorSports NorthEast’s all-time big-block Modified winner began the evening setting a new track record in Integra Shocks Time Trials, returned to win the first qualifying heat, then brought the curtain down by leading the final 55 laps to capture the 33rd Northeast 100 Championship worth $6,000.
Matt Sheppard finished a 2006 tour best second position to earn a guaranteed starting spot in the Eckerd 200 Championship during Super DIRT Week XXXV at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
Past Mr. DIRT champions Billy Decker, Steve Paine and Gary Tomkins filled out the front-five in the ‘Rush Hour on DIRT’ television production carried “live” by Time Warner Cable Sports.
Dale Evonsion is one of the guaranteed starters for Thompson. (Jamie Williams Photo)
Miller, the defending series champion, had a rough night at Martinsville when he got caught up in a early multi-car incident that left his car with a broken radiator en route to a 39th place finish.
Brown has been strong at each and every NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race this year, but the problem for the Cana, Va. driver is that Miller has been just a bit better. As a matter of fact, Brown has been just behind Miller in two races this season, including Miller’s win in the second race of the year at Caraway.
If those results were reversed, Brown would only be 32 points in arrears of Miller in the championship battle.
Burt Myers, of Walnut Cove, N.C., is third in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour standings, but looks to be facing an uphill battle as he is exactly 100 points behind Brown for second with Miller leading by 147 markers. Jason Myers, the younger brother of Burt, is fourth in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour standings with Bobby Hutchens, of Lexington, N.C., in fifth.
RoC MODIFIEDS: PAULES WINS NORTHERN CROWN
The first of three titles for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour was crowned on Friday night at the Oswego Speedway. If this point race is any indication
Tim Brown (Top) and Junior Miller (Bottom) are battling for the Southern Modified title. (51 Photos)