51's Northern Exposure Compiled by Mike Twist
Payne, Coffey and a Bunch of Childs All Win, Cheap Cars Race for a Big Purse, NHIS Champs and More
COFFEY CLEANS UP AT SUPER DIRT WEEK

The 2007 edition of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Rite Aid 200 came down to a duel among three veteran drivers, each looking to repeat in the crown jewel of DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Racing in the Northeast. When the final checkered flag flew to close out Super DIRT Week XXXVI at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, it was Vic Coffey making the gamble on fuel pay off as he held on for the well-earned $50,000 victory.
“We’ve got a good car and good team, I just had to do my job. Tires were no problem as I was keeping the car straight and not spinning them but I was worried about fuel. I told my guys I wasn’t coming in, we’re either gonna run out of gas or win. I don’t care about third, fourth or fifth-place, I came here to win,” declared Coffey, after capturing his second career Rite Aid 200 win by a narrow .480-second margin over a charging Tim Fuller.

Fan favorite Richie Tobias Jr. settled for third ahead of another second-generation star Ronnie Johnson, with Frenchman David Hebert rounding out the top-five Sunday evening.

PAYNE POUNCES ON DAV MIDGET FIELD

The NEMA Midget race portion of the DAV Memorial at Seekonk Speedway (MA) was won by Joey Payne, who jumped to the lead on a lap 20 restart. Payne won the NEMA Midget race driving the Angelillo owned # 45 car.
“We got lucky, we got lucky, whatever…today we didn’t get lucky, we were good,” said Coffey, 36, referring to his first Rite Aid Championship win five years ago when the leaders dropped out with empty gas tanks leaving Coffey to inherit just his second win of the season in the race that was extended to a record 203 laps after nearly a four and a half-hour delay due to rain. No rain, no dry tanks ahead and no luck needed.

This time Coffey got the lead, held it and earned the biggest win of his career.

“This win is definitely better than ‘02, we can appreciate it a lot more now knowing everything it takes to get this far. The first time everything came at us so fast.

Over two decades ago NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour drivers Charlie Jarzombek [won 187 feature events at 16 different racetracks] and nine-time [National Modified] Champion Richie Evans died while competing at Martinsville. As a tribute, MRD Motorsports will place the numbers of these two drivers on the bed of the #8 Chevy Silverado, which will be driven by newly-crowned ASA Late Model Challenge Series champion Travis Dassow. Underneath each number will be their nickname: [#1] "Charging Charlie" and [#61]"Rapid Roman."

CHILDS FAMILY TAKES CHARGE AT OXFORD

In addition to the ACT Late Model season finale at Oxford Plains Speedway, Saturday also marked the final 2007 event for six other Weekly Racing Series and Acceleration Series divisions, and it provided perfect punctuation to the dominance displayed by the Childs family this season.
WHILE LOGANO LOCKS DOWN BES TRACK TITLE

Joey Logano of  Middletown, Conn. has won the 2007 Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Championship at New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series. 

Driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet, Joey won from the pole at the New England 125 in June and completed his “sweep” by winning the Aubuchon Hardware 125 presented by HardwareStore.com in September.  He has also captured the 2007 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Championship.  At age 17, Logano is the youngest driver ever to win a Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Championship at NHIS.
Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, N.H. has placed second in the Busch East Series Track Championship standings.  Behind the wheel of the No. 55 Irving Oil Chevrolet, Leighton finished second at the New England 125 and was seventh at the Aubuchon Hardware 125 presented by HardwareStore.com.  Brad has won the Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Busch East Series Track Championship four times (1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002).  He was second in the Track Championship standings in 1999.

Peyton Sellers, driver of the No. 83 Strutmasters.com Chevrolet, has captured third place in the Track Championship point standings.  The Danville, Va. native finished ninth at the New England 125 and fourth at the Aubuchon Hardware 125 presented by HardwareStore.com.  Sellers has three Top-10 finishes in four Busch East Series starts at “The Magic Mile”. 

The Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Championship awards a total purse of $10,000 to the top three finishing drivers at the New Hampshire International Speedway races based on the point system for the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series.

Driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet, Joey won from the pole at the New England 125 in June and completed his “sweep” by winning the Aubuchon Hardware 125 presented by HardwareStore.com in September.  He has also captured the 2007 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series Championship.  At age 17, Logano is the youngest driver ever to win a Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Championship at NHIS.

LEGENDS TO BE REMEMBERED AT MARTINSVILLE

A pair of Northeastern racing legends will be remembered in the upcoming NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series event at Martinsville.
Joey Logano is undefeated so far in his career at NHIS.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
After winning his first race this year Payne expressed his feelings.

“We do not really race for championships. It is nice to get. Some people when they get involved in a points race it goes to their head. We are not like that. We take every race and try to win it. If the championship comes, it comes. That is it.”   (Denise DuPont)

LIA NAMED AS NHIS MOD CHAMPION

Donny Lia of Jericho, N.Y. has captured the 2007 Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Championship at New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Driving the famous No. 4 Mystic Missile Dodge for legendary car owner, Bob Garbarino, Donny won the New England 100 in June and was third at the New Hampshire 75 in September.  Lia has also been crowned as the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion.  This is Bob Garbarino’s first NASCAR Touring Championship since he established Mystic Missile Racing.  Donny was third in the standings in the Speedway’s Whelen Modified Tour Track Championship in 2004.

Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, Conn. has finished in second place in the Track Championship standings.  Szegedy finished fifth in July’s New England 100 and won September’s New Hampshire 75 after capturing the pole behind the wheel of the No. 2 Wisk/Snuggle Ford.  Todd finished third in the Whelen Modified Tour Track Championship in 2003 at NHIS.

Ronnie Silk has captured third place in the Track Championship point standings.  Driving the No. 19 Major Motion/Silk Plumbing Chevrolet, this Norwalk, Conn. native finished sixth in June at the New England 100 and second in the September New Hampshire 75.  This is Ronnie’s first podium finish in the NHIS Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Track Championship for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

The Lincoln Electric/Merriam-Graves Championship awards a total purse of $10,000 to the top three finishing drivers at the New Hampshire International Speedway races based on the point system for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

The awards will be presented at the Speedway's Annual Holiday Dinner on Wednesday, December 12, 2007.
“This was a tough one,” said Payne.  “We lost Marilyn and this one is for her. This is also for Jimmy Blewett he was a great friend.”

Car owner Gene Angelillo was down in victory lane to receive congratulations from NEMA officials as he is on the quest for another championship.

“He had a great run,” said Angelillo.  “That was for Marilyn - my dear beloved wife who passed away.” 

Rookie Jeremy Frankowski of Newark Valley, NY had a dominant lead during the first 20 laps of the race. His skill though was no match to veteran Payne’s experience when in came to a quick finish and single file restarts during the last 5 laps of the race. This was Payne’s first win for 2007.

“He tried to fool an old timer here,” said Payne.  “You are not going to beat me on a restart you are not going to shut me down like that.”
Payne and Angelilio in victory lane.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
Lia won his first race at NHIS this year and backed it up with a track title.  (Leif Tillotson Photo)
Two-time Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy Mini Stock champion Jimmy Childs rode out a 45-minute rain delay and dominated his caution-filled, farewell race in the division. It was the four-cylinder half of the annual Little Guy 100s.

The father-son tandem of David and Josh Childs swept the co-headline events in the Acceleration Series portion of the program. David ruled the 50-lap Chimney Tech Outlaw feature, an event postponed from the Summer Showdown event on Sept. 8. Josh showed the way in a 30-lap Macdonald Motors Runnin' Rebel tangle.

Ryan Farrar (Call of the Wild RV Sport Truck) and Vanna Brackett (Allen's Coffee Flavored Brandy Ladies) also collected 20-lap victories.

Twenty-two of the original 36 drivers patiently waited through two hours of rain delays before track officials ran out of time to complete the 100-lap Allen's Strictly Stock finale. The race was canceled and will not be made up. The purse for the race will be evenly divided among the drivers who remained at the track when the race was declared official.

Jimmy Childs sped to his seventh win of the season after reeling in early leaders Darrell Moore and Shane Kaherl and moving to the top of the leader board on lap 12.

Top challengers Kaherl and Don Mooney fell out of the race shortly thereafter.

Childs used the only extended green-flag segment of the race to pile up a 3/4-lap lead over runner-up David Mooney, Ashley Marshall and Moore, who was making his first Mini Stock start after graduating from the Acceleration Series.

"I'm looking forward to driving a Late Model, but I'm really going to miss this division," Childs said. "I've had so much fun over the years. I really owe it all to my dad (Bill Sr.) This is his ride, and he's let me drive it the last four years."

David Childs denied his uncle, Guy, in a tight Outlaw finish that left the two exchanging a few words in the winner's circle.

"I guess he doesn't like to lose, no matter who it is," said David, who led the first five laps before Richard Spaulding took over. Childs returned the favor on a lap 13 restart.

Guy charged from his 30th (and last) starting position to take second spot at the halfway point. Despite several overtures outside and inside, the veteran was unable to mount a challenge for his fifth win of the season. Instead, it was David pocketing his fourth.
David tried to make it a personal sweep but could only claw his way to fourth in the Runnin' Rebel event, while his son and Doug Degroat ran away from the field. Josh's win was the third of his Wal-Mart Rookie of the Year campaign.

"It's easy when you start up front," he admitted.

Kyle Hewins overtook David Childs late in the race for third, with Derek Cook completing the top five.

Degroat also claimed second in the Truck scramble, chasing Farrar across the stripe to the latter's second checkered flag of '07. Opie Allard, the top rookie in the pick-up class, took third away from Rick Hebert in the final turn. Ross Spurling, who won't officially be a rookie until next season, finished fifth in just the second race of his career.

Brackett, the Ladies champion, steered clear of a lap 6 wreck that took out leader Kimberly Sessions, second-place Cathy Manchester and fourth-place Patty Brannon in their 20-lap feature.

From there, Brackett held Deanna Bisbee at bay for her fifth conquest of the season. Lisa Brooks was third in Manchester's usual ride, matching her best result of the year. Christina Spaulding ran fourth, and Shannon Wheeler was a career-best fifth.

BIG MONEY ON THE LINE FOR RIVERSIDE ENDURO RACERS

Riverside Speedway in Groveton, New Hampshire will host the $5,00-to-win Frostbite 400 Enduro on Saturday afternoon.  The race pays $2,000 for second place and a cool thousand for third.  So far, the track has recived entries from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Canada.

Post time for the race is 2pm on Saturday, October 13th.





David, Josh and Jimmy (Top to Bottom) made the Childs family proud at Oxford last weekend by brining home three trophies.   (OPS/Trudy Marshall Photo)