Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT won his
third race of the year and his second at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in
another classic modified tour race in the F.W. Webb 100.
The modified tour had a awful race in
July as only three lead changes highlighted the race but in a clean race
broadcast live on Speed Network gave the fans a taste of what modified
racing at New Hampshire is all about as there was 23 unofficial lead changes
that was only slowed by three cautions, one for a light mist.
A green-white-checker finish was in
play when Ryan Preece spun with less than five laps to go but Silk, who led
the most laps, was able to hold on for the big win. Todd Szegedy, the points
leader heading into the race was second with Justin Bonsignore third and
Teddy Christopher fourth.
Unofficially it appears that Silk by
virtue of the win and leading the most laps retook the points lead as the
tour heads to the Stafford Motor Speedway next weekend.
Other than Silk and Roman Pennick, who
put on a great battle for most of the race, the other most impressive drive
was that of Christopher, who was forced to start last when he had to miss
time trials because his wife was injured. Eric Beers also had quite an
impressive day to finish fifth.
Pennick had a problem and pulled off on
the white flag lap and finished 22nd but he and the rest of the
modified teams put on a great battle at overcast New Hampshire Speedway.
Another good crowd for the weather
conditions was on hand.
The race, as we mentioned was done by
Speed Channel live with longtime teammate at Area Auto Racing News, Bobby
Dillner doing the play by play with Jimmy Spencer and Larry McReynolds
The race started at the track at 12:45
p.m. but it came on air on delayed coverage at 1 p.m. and that extra 15
minutes came into play when the mist forced the first cautions and the cars
to be parked on pit road on lap 38.
The camera work was good and although
there were a few gaffs from Spencer, overall the broadcast was done quite
Ryan Newman who was stripped of a win
here in July started fourth and ran in the top five but he blew a motor in
the #77 just before the half way mark.
Mike Stefanik spun early in the race
and came back to finish 8th while Doug Coby, who was involved in
an accident on a restart rebounded to finish 16th.
KING CALLS IT
The NASCAR Whelen modified tour has
lost another long time car owner after Don King, the owner of the Woody
Pitkat #28 car officially announced what many people knew since the
beginning of the summer that King was likely to call it quits following the
King has been in the sport for at least
10 years and employed drivers such as Jamie Asklar, James Civali, Doug Coby
and now Pitkat.
King could continue to go on but as he
told several people, he wasnít about to spend his retirement money.
King owns his own business, a very
successful business but as he told the Hartford Courant in a story that the
purses havenít kept up with the cost and it is too expensive to run the
Pitkat gave his car owner one heck of a
ride and actually led the race before something broke and he brought out the
second caution with 38 laps remaining in the 100 lap event.
With the modifieds fielding a paltry
field of 29 cars at unquestionably their best track, racing for the biggest
purse, it doesnít bode well when another well financed team calls it quits.
There was a time just a few short years
ago when the modifieds were bringing 50 plus car to New Hampshire and 40
plus to other New England tracks but those days are gone.
If I was NASCAR, I would get King on
the phone and find out the whole story, chances are there is more to his
getting out but maybe not. But when a long time dedicated team leaves, who
replaces them, right now nobody and if I am NASCAR I am concerned.
King and his team have always been a
welcomed sight at every modified track but sadly another team is going by
NASCAR refuses to acknowledge problems
with the tour but the numbers donít lie and the fields keep getting smaller,
but I would want to find out why and what we can do to help solve the issue.
$$$$ HURTING SPORTS?
When one looks across the landscape of
American sports, one trend, at least for me, is the greed of money and the
willing to let your sport suffer at the hands of television.
What am I talking about? Have you heard
about the many colleges that are in the middle of switching long time
conferences and deserting rivals all in the name of George Washington and
other dead United States Presidents.
One of the biggest culprits is ESPN.
Now where I live in central Connecticut, the self proclaimed World Wide
leader in Sports is one of the main groups of television executives throwing
billions of dollars around all in the name of getting exclusive televisions
rights to this event or that event.
Now I live less than five minutes from
the Bristol, Ct based operation and it employs many friends of mine but
having watched it grow from an old construction trailer where the first
broadcast was done to the mega-college type campus that it is now is truly
incredible but them and their money is ruining not only college sports but
other sports and NASCAR falls into this category.
On Friday afternoon at Loudon, N.H.,
the weather in the northeast was at best iffy for the scheduled start of
time trials that was set to come on the air at 3 p.m. eastern.
But the first car didnít roll onto the
track till 3:10 p.m. Why? So ESPN and their talking heads could talk about
the approaching weather that they were monitoring. They knew it was coming
but we still had to kill 10 minutes with the cute little stories that ESPN
and other networks love to do.
As time trials were winding down, specs
of rain began to hit the track, just with five cars remaining to take time.
Because the television contracts are
written in a manner to give the networks their way, it nearly cost New
Hampshire Motor Speedway and their fans from seeing time trials completed.
As the track dryers were called out onto the track, it took nearly 45
minutes to dry before the last five cars timed in and allowed the second
race of the Chase to begin by time trials and not points.
All the talking heads needed to do was
have NASCAR send out the first car just three minutes earlier and all of
this would have been a non story but sports have become slaves to the
television executives and their billions dollars. And you wondered why
sporting events on the east coast donít start the World Series until nearly
9 p.m. or Monday night football that begins at 8:40 p.m.
Television and its deep pockets have
ruined sports and because of the greed by the sports executives and college
presidents, They are now in bed with television and have lost all say in
what goes on in their own sports leagues.
As a big sports fan, I am fed up with
what they are doing to our favorite sports. ESPN isnít the only one but they
certainly are the 10 headed monster in the sports scene right now.
Kudos go out to Tommy Baldwin, Jr.,
Sprint Cup car owner as he ran a special Richie Evans Orange paint scheme on
his Cup car driven by Dave Blaney and the same paint scheme was run by Bobby
Santos, driver of the Bob Garbarino #4 modified.
Tommy, who was crew chief on his
fatherís modified, raced against and learned a lot about racing by watching
and racing with Evans and this was a great tribute by Baldwin and Garbarino.
Tommy Baldwin also ran a special
tribute to the Len Boehler #3 modified in the Sprint Cup series driven by
former modified driver, Steve Park but Park failed to qualify for the
So many times, people forget where they came from but
Tommy Baldwin certainly has not.